This is biography Bob Dylan, aka Robert Zimmermann was born on 24 May 1941 in Duluth Minnesota (USA). At the age of six, he moved to Hibbing, on the border with Canada, where begins studying piano and practicing on a guitar purchased for correspondence.
At the age of ten, he ran away from home, from his border mining town with Canada to go to Chicago. At 15 he played in a band, the Golden Chords, and in 1957 in high school, he met Echo Hellstrom, the Girl From The North Country a few years later. With Echo, Bob shares his first loves for music: Hank Williams, Bill Haley and his Rock Around
The Clock, a little bit of hillbilly and country & western. Attends university a Minneapolis, in 1959, and at the same time he started playing in the Dinkytown clubs, the intellectual suburb of the city, frequented by students, beats, militants of the New
Left and fond of folk.
At the Ten O’Clock Scholar, a nearby venue
from university, he first performed as Bob Dylan, performing “traditional”, pieces by Pete Seeger, and pieces made popular by Belafonte or the Kingston Trio. In this regard, we must dispel the legend that the name “Dylan” borrowed from
famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
In fact, in his own official biography, the singer stated that, while admiring the illustrious poet, his stage name did not anything to do with it.
At the same time, however, Dylan never made it clear where he would get this from the name and why. Either way, Bob Dylan became his name legally as well starting from August 1962. Taken by music, he travels around America alone and penniless.
He is in fact a minstrel itinerant, in this emulation of his great idol and model, Woody Guthrie. In 1959 finds his first permanent job in a strip-tease club. Here he is forced to performing between shows to entertain the public, which however does not show of greatly appreciate his art. Indeed, he often whistles him and takes him badly. His lyrics, on the other hand, certainly cannot capture the moods of rude cowboys either tough truckers.
In the autumn of 1960, one of his dreams came true. Woody Guthrie yes gets sick and Bob decides that this may be the right opportunity to get to know finally his myth. Very bravely, he announces himself in the New hospital Jersey where he finds a sick, very poor, and abandoned Guthrie. They know each other, yes they are liked and an intense and true friendship begins.
On the push of encouragement of the master, begins to tour the premises of Greenwich Village. His style, however, clearly stands out from the master. It is less “pure”, definitely more contaminated with the new sounds that were beginning to appear in the panorama
American music. Inevitable, followed by criticism from the most ardent supporters of traditional folk, who accuse it of contaminating folk with the rhythm of rock’n’roll.
The more open and less traditionalist part of the audience, on the other hand, greets him
the inventor of a new genre, the so-called “folk-rock”. A not indifferent part of this new style is represented by the typical instruments of the free-range rock, such as amplified guitar and harmonica. In particular, then, his lyrics deeply strike the hearts of young listeners because they tune in to the issues dear to the generation that was preparing to do the ’68.
Little love, little comforting romanticism but a lot of sadness, bitterness, and attention to the hottest social problems. He is hired to open a concert on bluesman John Lee Hooker at Gerde’s Folk City and his performance comes enthusiastically reviewed on the pages of the New York Times.
In short, attention towards him grows (he participates in some folk festivals together to the greats of the genre like Cisco Houston, Ramblin ‘Jack Elliott, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, and others) also getting an audition with Columbia boss John Hammond which immediately turns into a record deal. Recorded in late 1961 and released on March 19, 1962, the debut album Bob Dylan is a collection of traditional songs (including the famous House Of The Rising Sun, revived later by the group The Animals and In My Time Of Dyin, the target of one reinterpretation also by Led Zeppelin in the 1975 album Physical Graffiti) for voice, guitar, and harmonica.
Only two original songs were written by Dylan: Talkin ‘New York and the tribute to the master Guthrie Song To Woody. Beginning in 1962 he began to write a large number of protest songs, songs destined to leave their mark on the folk community and become real anthems of the civil rights militants: Masters Of War, Don’t Think Twice It’s All are part of it Right, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and, above all, Blowin ‘In The Wind.
After more than thirty years, it has now become a myth, a popular icon without equal (yes he even talks about his candidacy for the Award Nobel Prize for Literature), in 1992 his record company, Columbia, decides to organize a concert in his honor at the
Madison Square Garden in New York City: the event is broadcast worldwide and becomes both a video and a double CD titled Bob Dylan – The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (1993).
On stage, all legendary names of American and non-American rock;
from Lou Reed to Stevie Wonder fromEric Clapton to George Harrison to others. In June 1997 he was suddenly hospitalized with a rare infection cardiac. After the initial apprehensions (also due to the dripping of reliable news regarding his actual health conditions), within a few weeks, they come the resumption of concert activity has been announced for September and, finally, the release (repeatedly postponed) of a new album of original songs in the studio.
Shortly after, almost completely rehabilitated, he takes part in a historic concert for John Paul II in which he performs in front of the pontiff. No one would ever say to be able to see such a scene. The minstrel, however, at the end of his performance, yes he takes off the guitar, goes towards the pontiff, and taking off his hat, takes his hands, and makes a short bow.
A truly unexpected gesture on the part of those who, to put it mildly, words of Allen Ginsberg (reported by Fernanda Pivano, the great Americanist friend of the Beats): Dylan represents the new generation, that’s the new poet; Ginsberg he asked me if I realized what formidable means of dissemination the message thanks to Dylan.
Now, he told me, through those uncensored records, through the jukebox and radio, millions of people would have listened to the protest the establishment had stifled until then under the pretext of “morality” and censorship “.
In April 2008 the prestigious Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism and the Arts have awarded Bob Dylan, as the most influential songwriter of the last half-century, with career recognition. In 2016 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature, for having ” created a new poetic.