Some Lesser Known Facts About Bob Dylan
- Does Bob Dylan smoke: Yes
- Does Bob Dylan drink alcohol: Yes
- Dylan’s father, Abraham Zimmerman, was a semi-professional baseball player. He died of polio in his early twenties.
- His great-grandfather owned the biggest movie theaters in Hibbing, Minnesota, thus allowing a young Dylan to watch films for free.
- In college, Dylan was infamous for scamming his friends out of cigarettes and articles of clothing.
- When he was first signed to Columbia Records, Dylan conned his way out of a stipulation that required his parents to sign (at 20, people were considered minor at that time) by convincing John Hammond, the producer, that he was an orphan.
- Dylan’s first major appearance on American television came on The Steve Allen Show in 1964. Surprisingly, when Dylan announced that he was playing the song “Hattie Caroll,” only one audience member applauded in recognition.
- Apart from being a song-writer, Dylan is also a prolific painter. The cover of his 1970 Self Portrait (album) is his own painting.
- Sam Shepard and Dylan co-wrote a 12-minute song called the “Brownsville Girl” based on the Gregory Peck film The Gunfighter. To this date, Dylan has played it in a concert only once.
- Dylan was so grief stricken at the death of Elvis Presely, that he didn’t speak to anyone for a week.
- Dylan starred in a 1987 commercially unsuccessful movie named Hearts on Fire as a rock star turned farmer.
- He also tried his hand at book-writing and published a book named Tarantula in 1971.
- In the year 2004, Dylan was awarded with an honorary doctorate in music from the University of St. Andrews.
- In 2008, Pulitzer Prize committee honored Dylan with a special citation for “lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”
- Dylan has nine grandchildren and sports a bumper sticker on his car that reads “World’s Greatest Grandpa.”
- In the year 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for ‘having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.’
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