Friday, July 16, 2010

Five Minutes with Roy Gyongy Fox

Last week a friend gave me a little surprise gift, a splendid treasure of a book called Dylan: The 5 Minute Visual Bob-ography. It was cool. It was fun. It was delightful aesthetically, and a pleasure to read. Here's how a reviewer at Amazon.com described it:

Great little introduction and artistic interpretation of Bob's life and times. For a Bob newbie or a veteran. Clearly written by a fan, but who isn't? My favorite part: when he talks about the release of "Like a Rolling Stone," the author implores the reader, "STOP EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW AND LISTEN TO IT. This book can wait. Play it a couple times. How does it feel?"

The author's name was distinctive, Roy Gyongy Fox. It had two echoes with me. First, I had just finished watching Robert Redford in The Natural, the fairy tale story about a baseball player named Roy Something Hobbs. (I can't quite recall the name, but it has a similar rhythm. Second, when we learned the colors of the rainbow as kids, the easy way to get them all was by recalling the name ROY G BIV.

Anyways, Roy Gyongy Fox was easy enough to find on Facebook, and kind enough to let a Dylan fan interview him about his Dylan booklet for fans.

Ennyman: First about your name… Where does Gyongy come from?

RGF: It's Hungarian. My parents immigrated in 1948. Today they would have been referred to as illegal aliens. Back then the term was displaced persons.

E: You obviously enjoy both art and music. When did you first become aware of these interests and where did you get your early encouragement from?

RGF: From day one it seemed like the only place to be. In kindergarten I knew. My parents seemed to think the arts were tops; no doctor lawyer stuff here.

E: About the book… Are you a writer who likes to design or an artist who writes? How did the book come about?

RGF: I've done a lot of work for blueq.com ... they were publishing small books, Mitch the creative head is a big Bob fan so it was a natural thing. I've done more visuals than words but don't really have a preference . .

E: There is a nice acknowledgement in the back thanking Bob Dylan. In what way did Bob help with this project besides being an inspiration for you?

RGF: That was it. Seemed like I needed to say thanks one more time.

E: A lot of us feel that way. How did The Bob Band come about? How did you meet and how long have you been playing together?

RGF: We've been together about 1.5 years. Dennis the lead singer and I found our way on Craigslist. Things really flow when everyone loves Bob... I found it very daunting at first, to really study the tunes. Especially Blonde on Blonde. It's really got an energy that can't be picked apart.

E: Have you ever been to Duluth (Dylan’s birthplace) or Zimmy’s and Dylan Days in Hibbing?

RGF: Nope. I never wanted to be that obsessed, but I guess I am....

E: Are you making a living through art and music or do you have a “day job” that supports your creative life?

RGF: I've been able to support myself with commercial design. Blueq has been steady for the past 4 years and some of the projects really push over into art, pure and simple...

E: Can you send a photo of yourself or self portrait painting?

RGF: I like my Facebook picture. It was done by a street artist in the village when I was 19. I look the same but older now. There are some photos of me there also, playing in the band at my daughter's wedding last summer.
E: Thank you, Roy.

Afterword
If you're a Dylan fan, hop on over to Amazon.com and buy RG Fox's Dylan. It's an affordable gem. Then visit and bookmark Fox's MySpace space featuring The Bob Band. The streaming Dylan sounds are pretty durn good. http://www.myspace.com/thebobband4

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