Bob Dylan – Folk Troubadour
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist, writer and film actor. He has been a cult figure in rock music for five decades. Many of his songs, such as Blowin ‘in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin’, became the anthem of the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement in the United States. In 2016 he was awarded Nobel Prize in literature. According to Rolling Stone survey he is the second (after The Beatles) leading performer in the history of music.
Robert Allen Zimmerman (his real name) was born on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota into the family of a merchant. His ancestors are immigrants from the Russian Empire. In 1947, Robert’s father contracted polio, and the family moved to the nearby town Hibbing. As a child, Robert was fond of music and Woody Guthrie greatly influenced him. At the age of ten Robert wrote his first poems.
In 1959 he entered the University of Minnesota. During his career, he has used several aliases. But Bob Dylan became his main pseudonym.
In the early ’60s, Dylan decided to begin a professional music career. In 1961 he left the University and moved to New York. During one of the performances Dylan was heard by music critic Robert Shelton, who helped to sign a contract with Columbia Record. His debut album was released in February 1962. And in the same year the singer had officially changed his name to Bob Dylan.
His masterpiece, Blond on Blonde (1966), is considered by some to be the finest rock album in history.
Dylan was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966. He would spend the next year and a half recuperating from a broken neck in upstate New York.
On December 10, 2016 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature For having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.
In 1961 Dylan met artist Suze Rotolo and fell in love. She can be seen on the cover of his album Freeweelin’. But despite the seriousness of his feelings, she was not going to belong to him alone, and a year later went to Italy. He dedicated the song Boots of Spanish Leather to her. A year later, she returned to the States, but it took another year, and she finally mixed his feelings with the mud. So, the song Ballad in Plain D was written.
In the early ’60s, Dylan met already well-known at that time folk singer Joan Baez. Their relationship resulted in a fruitful artistic association. She sang many of his songs including the famous Blowin’ in The Wind. In 1965, they parted.
Then he had love affairs with 16-year-old singer Dana Gillesli, actress Eddie Sedgwick and Playboy model Sara Lowndes.
Sara became his first official wife. The song Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands is about her. She gave birth to four children. However in the mid-70s Dylan filed for divorce.
Carolyn Dennis became his second wife and gave birth to their daughter, Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, in 1986. In 1992, the couple separated.
– Hunter Thompson not only dedicated his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to Bob Dylan but also wanted that Dylan’s song Mr. Tambourine Man was played at his funeral.
– German film Knockin’ on Heaven was named in honor of the eponymous song by Bob.
– Dylan tried his hand as a filmmaker. He made two films: documentary Eat the Document (1972) and the five-hour drama Renaldo and Clara (1978).
– Time magazine included Dylan in the list of hundred most influential people of the century.
– Jakob Dylan, son of Bob, is the vocalist of rock band The Wallflowers.
– The idea to name the team Judas Priest appeared thanks to his song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest (1967).
– His first song written at the age of 12 was dedicated to Brigitte Bardot – the object of his boyish love.
– He is a real fan of chess.
– His songs are played in more than 400 films. Among them: Vanilla Sky, Forrest Gump, American Beauty, Knockin’ on Heaven.
– A talented person is talented in everything. Bob Dylan is not only a poet, singer and actor, but also a wonderful artist. His work has been exhibited in major museums around the world.