SCHLOCK N' ROLL Times They Are A-Changin', Dylan (inset)
When Bob Dylan has a rare brush with critical failure, he doesn't want to be reminded of it. Simon & Schuster has quietly dropped plans to publish a book about The Times They Are A-Changin', the jukebox musical that paired Dylan's songs with the choreography of Twyla Tharp. Though similar in conception to Movin' Out, Tharp's highly successful staging of Billy Joel's hits, the show was a critical failure and a financial catastrophe, closing in November after four weeks and $8.5 million in losses. Ben Brantley, theater critic for the New York Times, called it "a heart-rending episode in Broadway's own reality soap opera, 'When Bad Shows Happen to Great Songwriters.'"
The book, though never announced by Simon & Schuster, was to have been published later this year. According to a source familiar with the project, Dylan—who still owes the publisher two more volumes of his autobiography—expressed a desire to see the book go away, and Simon & Schuster was only too happy to oblige. A spokeswoman for the company didn't respond to a query.