73 things you might not know about Bob Dylan

Categories: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has spent well over 50 years in the public spotlight, with his every move, lyric, and career transformation scrutinized by obsessive fans and social scientists alike. The activities of the Bard from the North Country have been pored over endlessly throughout Dylan's legendary career, but the man continues to surprise us, while keeping us all forever young and entertained.

In honor of Dylan's 73rd birthday this Saturday, May 24, we've assembled 73 facts about the man that you may or may not know. But no matter how well-versed you are in his work, there's always more to learn about the man and the myth that is Bob Dylan.

See also:
Bob Dylan's Super Bowl ad: Selling out, or sign of the times?

73. Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. He lived there for six years before his family moved to Hibbing. A passport issued to Robert Dylan in 1974 dates his birth as May 11, 1941.

72. Dylan's family home in Hibbing is located at 2425 7th Avenue East -- a street now known as Dylan Drive.

71. Dylan's uncles and great-grandfather owned movie theaters around Hibbing, which allowed a young Bob to see movies for free.


70. In his Hibbing High School yearbook, Zimmerman stated his post-graduation goal was "to join Little Richard."

69. Zimmerman was in the Latin Club and Social Studies Club in High School.

68. In 1959, Zimmerman briefly joined Bobby Vee's band, a kind gesture that gave the teen-age musician one of his first big breaks. Dylan paid tribute to Vee at his recent Midway Stadium show by covering his early hit, "Suzie Baby," with Vee in attendance looking on fondly.

67. While Dylan attended the University of Minnesota, he left school in 1960 after only one year. He does, however, hold an honorary doctorate of music from both Princeton and the University of St. Andrews.

66. Dylan's classic "Girl From the North Country" is rumored to be inspired by his Hibbing girlfriend, Echo Helstrom (whom Dylan referred to in Chronicles as "My Becky Thatcher...Everyone said she looked like Brigitte Bardot, and she did."), or his college girlfriend, Bonnie Beecher.

65. During Dylan's time at the U of M, he lived both at the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity house and above Gray's Campus Drugstore, which is now the Loring Pasta Bar.

64. Some of Dylan's first Minneapolis performances were at the 10 O'Clock Scholar, a beatnik coffee shop in Dinkytown located where Hollywood Video now stands.

63. Dylan frequently bought guitar strings at the Podium in Dinkytown, and returned there in the early '70s to buy a guitar that he would use to re-record some of the songs on Blood on the Tracks.

62. The Twin Cities folk magazine Little Sandy Review noted that Robert Zimmerman actually invented the pseudonym Bob Dylan, a name derived from the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Little Sandy's editor Paul Nelson later landed a coveted job at Rolling Stone.

61. Dylan moved to New York after reading that Woody Guthrie was seriously ill in a NYC psychiatric hospital. He left Minneapolis in January of 1961, and eventually visited Guthrie, forming a friendship with him that lasted until Woody's death in 1967.

60. In February of '61, Dylan began playing frequently in clubs and coffeehouses throughout Greenwich Village, catching his big break when Robert Shelton of the New York Times praised one of his early shows at Gerde's Folk City.

Sponsor Content

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault