BOB DYLAN On A Couch & Fifty Cents A Day with author Peter McKenzie & Alfred Lambremont Webre
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For three generations, people have been trying to figure out how Bob Zimmerman became Bob Dylan. What occurred during his stay with the McKenzies is the unknown, missing piece. The good news: Peter McKenzie remembers everything. His memoir is an intimate record: observations, interactions, conversations, descriptions of early writing attempts, never-seen-before images of handwritten song drafts, accounts of guitar and harmonica lessons. And it doesn’t end in 1961 — Dylan visited the McKenzies many times over the decades for their advice and encouragement. He was, for all practical purposes, a member of the family: an adopted son and an older, protective brother.
“It’s Eve and Mac McKenzie. And they took me in an’ they were beautiful… I lived with them…and they fed me…and I stayed out all hours an’ came back in and went to sleep on the couch. An’ Peter was there. I was his idol…now he’s 18, 19. He’s in college. He’s a very smart kid…they know me well. Talk to them.”
-BOB DYLAN 1965
In mid-May 1961, when Peter McKenzie was a 15-year-old high school sophomore, a disheveled 19-year-old showed up at his family’s apartment in New York City. He was supposed to spend just one night. By the time he left in mid-September, Bob Dylan had become an earnest adult. One reason: the discussions about world history, politics and religion he had with Peter’s parents, Eve and Mac McKenzie.
“I want to be as big as Harry Belafonte,” Bob told Eve McKenzie one morning in June 1961, while seated at the family kitchen table. He had just begun eating breakfast. Eve made it for him each morning, or early afternoon, depending how late he was out the night before. That was his dream then. We all know how that turned out.
“Bob Dylan: On A Couch & Fifty Cents a Day” is Peter McKenzie’s retelling of the year when Dylan, hungry for knowledge and experience, was fed at every level by the McKenzie family. It’s an all access pass to an eyewitness account of a magical time and a must read for anyone interested in Bob Dylan.
EDITORIAL REVIEWS AND COMMENTS:
“At a time when Dylan biographers are, almost literally, fighting over newspaper column inches advertising the latest 80th birthday edition of their respective tomes, it’s refreshing to find a new account from someone who was actually there in the early ‘60s and actually knew Bob Dylan. In Peter McKenzie‘s book we get a sense of the time Bob Dylan developed from being a song catcher to becoming a songwriter, with Peter and his family right there….This is essential reading for any Dylan fan.”
“‘BOB DYLAN On A Couch & Fifty Cents A Day,’ is as important as ‘CHRONICLES Vol. 1,’ and full of wonders.”
– Sean Wilentz, author of the best-selling book ‘Bob Dylan In America,’ and esteemed historian.
“1961 marked the most vulnerable and impressionable year of my adolescence. It’s also the year I encountered Bob Dylan. I’ve cherished a dozen of his later albums, and I am in awe of his genius as a writer and performer, but it’s true: the first cut is the deepest. Peter’s book is, for me, the best kind of time travel, to a year when I was young and full of dreams and encountering a hero just a few years ahead of me.”
-Jesse Kornbluth, writer and also publisher of the literary site Headbutler.com
“”In my freshman dorm room, I sat enthralled as my friend, Pete McKenzie, pounded out all the many verses to “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” The boots with which he stamped the time were, he said, with reverence, Bob Dylan‘s own, left behind at the McKenzie family apartment.”
-Stephen Brown, The London Times Literary Supplement
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Peter K. McKenzie graduated from Harvard in 1967. He is an accomplished musician, artist and writer based in New York City.
I’m afraid I may overly-disappoint. But, I am relatively confident I will intrigue an open mind. Mr. Weber (if I may) I, because I hold you with such high admiration, am driven to interject the following: Regarding Mr. Dylan ( and others such as Joan Baez ) there is a much more intriguing and revealing account to unfold here. As curious and substantial as this “Mackenzie” story may prove to be, in full context, what I direct you to opens this seemingly cracked door much much wider. Without further ado, I introduce you to “Miles W. Mathis.com” for extensive research and exposure of people like Bob Dylan with great emphasis on genealogical background. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Mathis be ready to expect a very long list of “papers” on numerous people exposed, genealogically speaking.