"In Greenwich Village, Van Ronk was king of the street, he reigned supreme."-- Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol.1
Two recent non-fiction reads from the library: The Mayor of MacDougal Street by musician Dave Van Ronk (with Elijah Wald) is a fascinating story of the life of a musican and the Greenwich Village music scene before and after Dylan. Van Ronk is a born raconteur and amusing playful narrator even a bit goofy at times but always compelling. His discussion of what folk music was and is at the time was very illuminating. For Dylan fans this book makes a very nice companion to Chronicles, Vol I.
Fills in some of the gaps and is a little more personal then the Dylan book which to me seemed a bit distant or removed.
I was fortunate enough to see Dave play at a small venue in Providence, R.I several years before he died. In the early fall of 1997 while living in New London, CT a friend (Ken H.) mentioned that a local blues musician we enjoyed going to hear, Dan Stevens , was taking guitar lessons from the legendary Dave Van Ronk. After noticing the blank expression on my face, Ken gave me a bit of background on Dave and the Greenwich Village scene. Later he found out that Van Ronk was playing a Stone Soup performance and I tagged along. There is a lot of music and interview samples here from the coauthors website. The book cover link will go to the book site.
The second book will be of interest to a select group only I imagine. The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam. Examines the success of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and attributes it to the mentoring of Bill's father, the recently deceased Steve Belichick. I would have liked a more detailed book but I did enjoy it. University of Iowa football coach, Kirk Ferentz, is one of Belichicks disciples.