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Bob Dylan Working on 'Chronicles' Sequel

'I'm always working on parts of it,' he tells Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan
FRED TANNEAU/AFP/GettyImages
September 14, 2012 3:45 PM ET

Good news for Bob Dylan fans: a follow-up to his acclaimed 2004 book, Chronicles: Volume One, is in the works. "Let's hope [it happens]," he tells Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Mikal Gilmore. "I'm always working on parts of it. But the last Chronicles I did all myself. I'm not even really so sure I had a proper editor for that. I don't want really to say too much about that. But it's a lot of work. I don't mind writing it, but it's the rereading it and the time it takes to reread it – that for me is difficult."

Dylan says that the first Chronicles began when his label asked him to write an essay to accompany a new compilation album of about 50 of his old songs. "I really didn't want to," he says. "But then I was thinking it would be a good opportunity to say some stuff about this period of time in maybe '62 to '63. I walked off The Ed Sullivan Show when it was real popular in America. I wanted to take myself back to that time and relive it."

Photos: Bob Dylan Through the Years

Ultimately, the project took on a life of its own. "I stumbled into a strategy of going into the future and into the past," Dylan says. "I was writing about the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album, but I didn't use that. In Chronicles I used [1989's] Oh Mercy because it was more interesting to me. I still have the other piece for Freewheelin' – most of it – and I can definitely make it bigger. That's one of the aspects of Chronicles Two and Chronicles Three. It would definitely start with records. "

The plans are far from concrete and will probably change as he begins to write. "The whole early part of the first Chronicles was supposed to be based on some old record – maybe Another Side of Bob Dylan," Dylan says. "I don't know. I'm not familiar with what's on all those records. But someplace in the 1960s. I was going to use that in a record, and then I could go into the future. Well, what happened was that I kind of lost the thread of what I was doing, and kind of just stayed there, and didn't really go into the future. When I started writing about the early days in New York, I found it all extremely interesting. When you start doing that, it amazes you what you uncover without even trying."

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