BOB DYLAN IN HIS PRIME
From the early ‘60s until now, Bob Dylan has written a plethora of amazing songs, but none were as progressive or as influential as those released in the years of 1965 and 1966. Over the course of the last 45 years, he has worn a variety of different personas: folk troubadour and protest singer, weary-eyed romantic, and born again Christian. But none of these Dylans were as iconic as that of the beatnik poet/psychedelic hipster of the mid-1960s.
Robert Allan Zimmerman was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941. His Jewish middle-class parents raised him conventionally but passion couldn’t help from pouring out of him, even at a young age. Dylan was an avid devourer of books and radio, which at the time was filled with blues and rock ‘n roll by performers the likes of Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. Even at a young age, he was heavily influenced by musical artists such as Little Richard and movie stars like Marlon Brando and James Dean, citing 1955’s “Rebel Without a Cause” as his favorite movie at the time. His mother claimed that he spent hour upon hour in his room drawing and writing poetry. School was never really Bobby’s bag, but he was a decent student when he actually attempted to complete his studies. He learned to play the guitar and piano at an early age and formed numerous bands while in high school. Such an amalgam of interests might lead someone to use adjectives such as diverse or comprehensive to describe the young Zimmerman, but he was so multi-faceted that later on in life it would seem that he turned into other people entirely. Years later he would state about his own upbringing: “My childhood is so far away, it’s like I don’t even remember being a child. I think it was
someone else who was a child” (Kane, 18). It wasn’t long before he dropped his given name completely.
At age 18, Robert left Duluth and moved to Minneapolis to attend the...