A Kamloops lawyer is set to release a new edition of his book, The Bob Dylan Albums, updated with 20 years’ worth of new releases and previously unheard material from the legendary singer-songwriter.
Anthony Varesi is a Crown prosecutor by day, but in his free time, he is a longtime follower of Bob Dylan. Varesi said he discovered the musician at age 12 and has been following the Voice of a Generation ever since.
Varesi said Dylan's greatness as a songwriter is what keeps him interested — and there's a lot to be interested in, with Dylan having written nearly 600 songs and released 40 studio albums.
"The first edition came out 20 years ago, so it was time for an update. There's been a lot of releases in the interim, a lot of archival releases," Varesi said.
He did the majority of the work on the first book in the late 1990s and early 2000s while studying law at the University of Saskatchewan.
Before arriving at the publishing stage, Varesi had to go through the time-consuming process of getting approval from Dylan’s New York office to quote the lyrics for the book, since they are protected by copyright.
The second edition of The Bob Dylan Albums has been almost entirely rewritten, Varesi said. It has also been expanded from about 65,000 words to 150,000 words.
Varesi said he approached the book and its comprehensive analysis of all of Dylan's albums from an objective standpoint, noting he is critical of the artist in some instances.
Varesi includes analysis of some of the more controversial aspects of Dylan's career, including his 2011 trip to China, use of his music in advertisements and songs he wrote about George Jackson, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Joey Gallo and Lenny Bruce.
The book covers Dylan's entire career, from 1962's Bob Dylan through to the 2021 release of The Bootleg Series: Springtime in New York.
The author also covers Dylan's appearances in films, his soundtrack contributions and other writings.
"For one man to have done so much, it's pretty remarkable,” Varesi said. “Certainly, his body of work is much greater than any of his contemporaries.”
Indeed, in 2016, Dylan became the first musician to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Bob Dylan Albums, published by Ontario's Guernica Editions, will see its official release on Tuesday, Nov. 1, available at major retailers and local book stores.