The Search for Bill Fox, Once Cleveland's New Dylan

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Local music fans beware: There’s a fascinating local-legend story in this month’s issue of The Believer, a literary rag published by author Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s. The story’s not online, but it’s worth checking out during your next cruise through Border’s. It traces the life of local singer-songwriter Bill Fox, who College Music Journal once placed among the most important songwriters of his generation. Fox got his start with the Mice, an indie band popular here in the 1980s. He then launched a solo folk career, landing a record deal and drawing comparisons to Bob Dylan. Then he mysteriously disappeared from music. The author, a New York writer who became obsessed with Fox’s music after his wife heard a song on the radio, comes to Cleveland in search of Fox, who’s said to be working at a telemarketing company. Fox is reluctant to interview, mostly because he doesn’t want his life story available online (which is why The Believer, apparently a pretty classy rag, left it offline). The search is a fascinating hike through Fox’s, and by extension Cleveland’s, mystic musical past. – Joe P. Tone

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