Larry "Ratso" Sloman

On the Road with Bob Dylan

In 1975, as Bob Dylan emerged from eight years of seclusion, he dreamed of putting together a traveling music show that would trek across the country like a psychedelic carnival. The dream became reality, and On the Road with Bob Dylan is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at what happened when Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue took to the streets of America.

With the intimate detail of a diary, Larry "Ratso" Sloman’s mesmerizing description of the legendary tour both transports us to a celebrated period in rock history and provides us with a vivid snapshot of Dylan during this extraordinary time. This reissue of the 1978 classic resonates more than ever as it chronicles one of the most glittering rock circuses ever assembled, with a cast that includes Joan Baez, Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsberg, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and a wild entourage of groupies, misfits, sinners, and saints who trailed along for the ride. Sloman candidly captures the all-night revelry and musical prowess—from the backstage antics to impromptu jams—that made the tour a nearly mystical experience.

Complete with vintage photos and a new introduction by renowned Texas musician, mystery writer, and Revue member Kinky Friedman, this is an unparalleled treat for Dylan fans old and new. Without question, On the Road with Bob Dylan is a remarkable, revealing piece of writing and a rare up-close and personal view of Dylan on tour.


"An all-access pass to hang with the greatest singer-songwriter of our time. On the Road with Bob Dylan remains a true gonzo rock journalism classic and a revealing study of music’s greatest genius/​enigma."
–David Wild, contributing editor to Rolling Stone and host of Bravo’s Musicians


"An invaluable insider's look at a legendary tour."
–Michael Musto, the Village Voice



"When Dylan personally invited the fledgling author Sloman (Reefer Madness) to chronicle his Rolling Thunder Revue tour back in 1975, Sloman thought he had landed his dream gig, expecting all-night parties and intimate chats with the tour's supporting cast, which included Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson and Allen Ginsberg. In fact, Sloman, who first published this memoir in 1978, found access to the stars very limited. After the first concert, Dylan's manager bounced him from the band's hotel. Yet he decided to do whatever it took to stay on tour, earning the nickname "Ratso," after the wily con man played by Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy. Sloman embraced the role: 'I was Ratso, I realized, rolling with the punches, licking my wounds in auxiliary highway hotels, stuffing my frayed dreams into a tattered suitcase, limping along the highway in search of that warm sun that always follows the thunder.' But by the end of the tour, Sloman is still stuck with inglorious duties like looking after Dylan's beagle puppy. A brisk and funny...prose stylist, he records some interesting moments: a sunrise ceremony led by an Indian chief, coincidentally named Rolling Thunder; an emotional encounter with Jack Kerouac's bartending brother-in-law Nicky in Lowell, Mass.... "
Publisher’s Weekly

Selected Works

Biography
The Secret Life of Houdini
An award-winning new biography of America’s first Superhero, Harry Houdini.
Memoir
Scar Tissue
"Book of the Year"
–New Music Express


"The year's most astonishing rock autobiography"
–Observer
Nonfiction
On the Road with Bob Dylan
"The War and Peace of Rock ‘n Roll"
–Bob Dylan