Dylan & Me: 50 Years of Adventures

Louie Kemp

Book Cover

GENRE

BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR

    Core Theme

    FRIENDSHIP. LOYALTY. FAITH

    TIME PERIOD

    1960s & '70s,1980s & '90s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY, I'M NOT THERE, ROADIES

    CHARACTER LIST

    • LOUIE KEMP: 11-60+. LEAD. RELIABLE AND LOYAL.

    • BOB DYLAN: 12-60+. LEAD. TALENTED MUSICIAN.

    • JOAN BAEZ: 20S. FELLOW PERFORMER ON TOUR.

    • DAVID GEFFEN: 30. RECORD PRODUCER.

    • MARLON BRANDO: 20-50. FRIEND AND ACTOR.

    Logline

    “It was at summer camp in northern Wisconsin in 1953 that I first met Bobby Zimmerman from Hibbing. He was twelve years old and he had a guitar. He would go around telling everybody that he was going to be a rock-and-roll star. I was eleven and I believed him.” So begins this honest, funny, and deep

    Target Audiences

    Age: 55+,35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Duluth, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Europe, San Francisco

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Louie Kemp (WestRose Press)

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    From little Bobby’s very first public appearance (on a roof at Herzl Camp) through his formative years in Minnesota and New York and his rise to global superstardom, Louie Kemp was by his side—a trusted ally and confidant as Bob figured out how to share his gifts without compromising who he was.

    Ending Description

    Neither of us has ever questioned the other’s motives or agenda. Once Bobby had become Mega Bob and I had become very successful in my own way, others in our lives had agendas ... that went with the territory.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1733001212

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age

    Plot - Premise

    Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Bob Dylan & Louie Kemp

    Age: 12 - 60

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Visionary,Funny,Outspoken,Religious

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    Rock legend Bob Dylan has been the subject of numerous books (including his own) and documentaries—including the recent one by Martin Scorsese. But none of these works has pierced the mystique of Dylan quite so thoroughly and affectingly as Dylan & Me. Louie Kemp’s memoir of his five-decade-long friendship with Dylan is a treasure trove of never-before-told stories, starting with the boys’ formative years in Minnesota. From little Bobby’s very first public appearance on a rooftop at Herzl Camp through his rise to global superstardom, Louie Kemp was by his side—a trusted ally and confidant as Bobby Zimmerman became Bob Dylan and Louie Kemp built a successful international business. Their lives diverged at times but their friendship held fast, and, no matter how much time passed between one adventure and the next, the two “boys from the North Country” picked up where they left off and shared experiences that will surprise and delight Dylan fans and anybody who loves a rollicking-good rock-and-roll memoir. Louie produced Bob’s groundbreaking Rolling Thunder Revue and traveled with him in the rarefied world of the rock star, but he also shared quiet moments and intimate experiences. When Louie got married, Bob was his best man; when Bob questioned his Jewish faith, Louie brought him back to the fold. When Louie invited Bob to a Passover Seder, Marlon Brando tagged along—making it an unforgettable night for all who were fortunate enough to attend.

    Brief

    As the author states, “It was at summer camp that I first met Bobby Zimmerman. He was twelve years old and had a guitar. He would tell everybody that he was going to be a rock-and-roll star. I believed him.” So begins this honest, funny, and deep account of Bob Dylan’s story, by his friend and tour manager.

    What We Liked

    - This unique perspective of Bob Dylan's origin story is illuminating;
    - The two friends find themselves all over the world with fascinating people;
    - This piece could be broken down into a mini-series. While movies and documentaries already exist, a series could provide a fresh and stylized approach to the material;
    - Key points: Audiences love Bob Dylan; biography films/series are popular; plenty of diverse characters to work with; relatable underlying themes; overall this is a fun, upbeat story.

    Synopsis

    Louie Kemp, in his mid-twenties, sits in a rocking chair overlooking a sea of people. Next to him, just behind the curtain on-stage, his lifelong friend tunes a guitar. Suddenly, a small flicker of light appears in the dark that multiplies and spreads like a virus across the crowd. Taking in the remarkable moment, the two men admire the glow from all the lighters. Then leaving Louie in his chair, the other man steps up to the microphone and instantaneously commands the gaze of the cheering mass. It becomes clear Louie is as big of a fan as anyone else in the stadium. After all, his friend is the iconic American folk-singer, Bob Dylan.

    Their friendship starts twenty years prior in 1953 at a youth camp in small-town Minnesota. At 11-years old, Louie is a regular attendee. He meets a new boy with a guitar that confidently proclaims he’s going to be a rock star someday. By the end of the season, Bobby Zimmerman gives his first public performance singing rock and roll cover songs to his adoring peers. The performances continue over the years and Bobby breaks off on his own, black leather jacket in hand, and moves to New York City. Louie takes over the family business back at home and watches his friend become famous from afar. After the release of the hit “Blowin’ in the Wind”, stardom arrives, fully transforming Bobby Zimmerman into Bob Dylan.

    After six years, Louie travels to New York to reunite with Bob. The two friends don’t skip a beat and discover their friendship is strong as ever. The filmmaker, Sam Peckinpah, casts Bob Dylan to sing “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” for his latest movie filming in Mexico. Louie tags along to the film set and Bob, liking the company, invites him to join on his next tour. Louie handles the tour in stride as limos, five-star accommodations, private jets, and new celebrity friends become the norm. He plans a birthday party with Cher, gives Marlon Brando’s son a job at his business back home, and dines with Francis Ford Coppola. Louie again accepts Bob’s next offer which is to produce his upcoming tour, The Rolling Thunder Revue, that would become legendary amongst performers. As the planning phase commences, Louie discovers how much work really goes into these productions.

    After years of success, Bob mentions something that catches Louie off guard. He confesses that he constantly has an urge, perhaps a need, to seek something else. At this point, Louie and Bob have traveled the world together, married and raised families, made plenty of money, yet now he explicitly communicates a feeling of emptiness. Enter religion. Now in his late 40s, Bob goes above and beyond to seek counsel from numerous rabbis’ to guide him on a quest to understand Judaism. They provide a valuable insight to an already insightful man, that the urge to continue his education and consistently seek more is his blessing and not a symptom of emptiness at all. The two men still tour together, are devout to their religion, family men, activists, and lifelong friends.

    About The Author

    Louie Kemp, Bob Dylan’s tour manager for years, provides a first-hand account of his experiences.