Untold Dylan seeks to explore the compositions of Bob Dylan, and the influences upon his creative work. Details of how to contact us are given at the end.
Here’s some background on those who are involved in creating the site, including both writers and researchers. This file was last updated on 15 March 2021 with the addition of an article on Patrick Roefflaer
Tony Attwood gained his research degree at London University Institute of Education and has since spent his working life as a teacher, as a musician, as a university lecturer, in the theatre and as a writer of fiction and non-fiction books, and of advertisements. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Administrative Management (not that you would know it from the cock-ups that occasionally beset Untold Dylan).
Tony’s first engagement with the work of Bob Dylan (aside from being a fan) came when he negotiated the rights to arrange some Dylan songs for pupils and students to perform in school music lessons in the three-volume series “The Pop Songbooks” published by Oxford University Press.
Tony also runs a blog on his favourite football (soccer) club: Untold Arsenal, and runs the Arsenal History Society. He launched Untold Dylan on 29 October 2008, with a review of Mississippi. His hobby, beyond Dylan and Arsenal FC, his three daughters and nine grandchildren, is dancing modern jive and the blues in dance clubs around England, and occasionally in Europe.
Tony lives in Northamptonshire, a county in the middle of England. And very curiously like Mike Johnson (see below) spent a year working in Algeria! What are the chances of that?
In 2022, having lived his entire life believing himself to be an only child, Tony discovered he had a brother.
Larry Fyffe, a fan of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen from time out of mind, has an honours BA degree in Literature and Sociology from the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada.
He has researched the history of chess for the authors of a number of books thereon, and written published articles on the subject.
Larry’s mother was born in England and she moved to Canada as a war bride of a Canadian soldier. (May they both rest in peace.) Larry’s older brother was born in England; Larry and his identical twin were born in Cornhill, NB; he has a younger brother and three sisters. His bewitching better half is Carolyn, and Margaret, his beautiful daughter.
Jochen Markhorst grew up in Arnhem and Hanover, with Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde as soundtrack, bought Blood On The Tracks and Street Legal from his pocket money, studied German language at Utrecht University, translated Russian at the Military Intelligence Service, teaches language training courses at companies and lessons in schools, translates German literature, Dutch websites and English subtitles and always plays the music of Dylan in the background.
Markhorst, however, is not one of the hardliners who honour the motto Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan – Jimi Hendrix is certainly not the only one who can brush up a Dylan song. He defends this controversial opinion, among other things, in his fourteen books on Dylan songs.
Jochen has been living in Utrecht since 1983, is still married to the same great, attractive woman and has two sons who have left home by now, but fortunately still study and live in Utrecht.
Mike Johnson (Kiwipoet) is a novelist and poet, born and raised in shit-faced little towns in the South Island of New Zealand. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Canterbury, and a sore head from too much educated rap.
He spent ten years in Europe, mostly Germany, working as teacher of English and trying to write. He did the long trek from Europe to India then known as the ‘hippy trail’ when it was still possible to travel through Afghanistan. He spent a year teaching in Algeria. The writing happened when he returned to NZ and his first book of poetry, The Palanquin Ropes, was co-winner of a literary award, and his first novel, Lear – The Shakespeare Company Plays Lear at Babylon, was short listed for the New Zealand Book Awards in 1987. Twenty books later he likes to astound his friends and detractors by rising at 4.30 a.m. and pounding the keyboard for a couple of hours. Commercial success has eluded him, but hell, it’s only money!
In 2014, tired of the machinations of the publishing industry, he and his wife Leila Lees established their own publishing company, Lasavia Publishing Ltd, which boxes along on a shoestring but is thriving with a little stable of nine writers and illustrators and more coming along. Through Lasavia Publishing Mike is slowly republishing his out of print backlist as well as new work. You can check that out at Lasaviapublishing.com. His dream is to one day publish somebody’s book on Bob Dylan.
His interest in Bob Dylan began when he first heard ‘Visions of Johanna’ on Blonde on Blonde and had a conversion/transmission experience. He was never quite the same again. You can read about that in a comment made to Tony Atwood’s article on that song.
He has four children from three different lives, he means wives, is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at AUT University in Auckland, and lives on Waiheke Island, once a peaceful rural kind of place to be.
Mike has contributed two major series to this site:
Other works includes
- Is the Great Cashout also the Great Renunciation?
- Masters of War & Extinction Rebellion: Bob Dylan’s ongoing contemporary relevance.
- Pay in Blood and the American Imperium
- Dancing to Dylan (or just be amazed at Dylan)
- Mishearing Dylan: Did he really sing that?
- Listening to Dylan in the Age of Plagues
- How can a non Christian relate to Dylan’s Gospel songs?
Filip Łobodziński never thought of Dylan knowledge being an area of research. Especially in his native Poland where Bob Dylan’s name is well-known, recognized… and almost totally ignored as a pillar of modern culture. Until he found Untold Dylan (and read some thick volumes on BD).
He got his master’s degree in Spanish culture & language at Warsaw University in 1987. Meanwhile, and when not reading or listening to music (to which his parents had got him addicted), he started an acoustic band whose repertoire consisted of Spanish, Catalan, Sephardic and French songs translated into Polish, arranged and interpreted by the guys themselves.
He worked as a music journalist working for several Polish influential rock magazines, then turned to journalism per se, working for years for the radio and for the television news programmes. But, as public expectations of journalism switched to superficiality, he quit the business and since 2013 he works for central institutions.
But… there’s always a ‘but’… he still carries on performing with his band and, in 2014, he formed a new band called dylan.pl, dedicated exclusively to arranging and performing his own translations of Bob Dylan’s songs. He’s been translating Spanish, French and English language books since mid-eighties and songs from different languages since 1979. With his Dylan translations’ folder containing over 130 lyrics he gathered them in a book and selected 29 of them as a repertoire for this dylan.pl
Since then he has compiled all of Dylan’s studio albums in cover versions with plenty of bonus tracks, and has done that same with the Beatles’ albums and singles. And inevitably on October 10, 2016, he got about a hundred phone calls from different Polish media begging for a comment.
He’s published also a huge anthology of Patti Smith’s lyrics in Polish and is working on a major anthology of rock & pop important singer-songwriters’ lyrics, including over 40 artists from Hank Williams and Willie Dixon through Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits and David Thomas to Elvis Costello, Björk, P.J. Harvey and Joanna Newsom.
Aaron Galbraith grew up in the west of Scotland and was educated at Glasgow University. Always a massive music fan, the first concerts he attended were Paul McCartney and Neil Young. He recently counted and has seen over 100 different acts live (several more than once), ranging from Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison to BB King, The Strokes, Blur and Adam Ant.
He became acquainted with the work of Bob Dylan whilst at Uni due to one of those 3 CDs for a tenner deals popular at the big music superstores of that time. On a whim, he picked up Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde. He then proceeded to collect the entire back catalogue and has since seen Dylan over ten times in concert.
He now resides in Virginia in the Good Ol’ US of A with his wife and young daughter. His hobbies, beyond Dylan and other musical acts, include following the Scotland national football team and attending various tennis tournaments throughout the world, primarily to see Andy & Jamie Murray in action.
Patrick Roefflaer lives in the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. As a young punk (as in punk-rock), he got interested in Bob Dylan after seeing the Hard Rain special in December 1976. It was the passion that Dylan displayed end his attitude that mesmerised him and made him a lifelong fan.
Around 2005 Patrick started a blog writing about music. The articles on Dylan were well appreciated, especially since he regularly got new info by contacting people who had actually worked with the singer-songwriter. It caught the attention of a publisher who suggested to bundle them as a book. In Bob Dylan in de studio (Epo, 2011) Dylan’s astonishing ways to record in the studio is detailed chronologically. Much to his surprise and delight it got mostly great reviews.
Some years later, a local library asked Patrick to give a lecture on Bob Dylan as part of a month long festive around the singer-songwriter. One of the other things they organised was an exhibition of the artwork of Dylan’s albums. To give a guided tour to this, Patrick dived into the history of the artwork and this led to the series of articles published on Untold Dylan.
There is an index to all of Patrick’s illustrated articles on the artwork of Dylan’s albums in the Album Artwork index.
Joost Nillissen grew up in Amsterdam and was educated by Jesuits who made him loose his faith. For almost 30 years he lived and worked in Israel where he discovered the history of the Bible. Tourism was his trade and ever since he bought his first album in 1971 Bob Dylan was the soundtrack of his life.
Painting and writing were his serious hobbies and in the late nineties his stories were published in literary magazines in The Netherlands and Belgium.
After his divorce in 2004 he returned to the Netherlands and decided to take writing seriously. Hundreds of advertorials on any subject imaginable flowed from his pen. He wrote and published three novels and a collection of short stories.
Joost is semi-retired, wears a brand new suit, has a brand new wife, a son in Israel and a daughter in Amsterdam, no grandchildren that he is aware of and loves working on the retelling of some of Dylan’s songs, to be published in a book.
If you want to write to Untold Dylan with a view to submitting an article or a series of articles, or indeed on any matter that you don’t want to appear as a comment, please email Tony@schools.co.uk and send a copy to TonyAttwoodofLondon@gmail.com (just in case I am on the road).
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