8 Things You Didn't Know about Bob Dylan

Happy 79th birthday Bob!

May 24, 2020
Bob Dylan 1978

Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


The man who has been called the Spokesman for a generation turns 79 this week. For more than five decades Dylan has been entertaining us, making us think, and often making us raise our eyebrows and say "What the heck?"

Here are a few things you may have not known about this rock star poet., including his conection to Madison.

1. Dylan briefly lived in Madison after leaving the University of Minnesota. This was in the early 1960s before he went to New York and got noticed. Some say he lived on Langdon Street, but others say he was hanging out at somebody's house on Clymer Place, which is closer to where the Kohl Center is now.

2. He held rehearsals at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, prior to a 2009 concert tour. Folks at the Barrymore weren't allowed to tell anyone, due to a strict secrecy clause.

3. Bob was a frat boy!  Before he flunked out of the University of Minnesota, Dylan pledged to the fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu.

4. Dylan’s first draft of “Like a Rolling Stone” was six pages long. A four-page version written on hotel stationery sold at auction in 2014 for 2 million dollars.

5. He appeared in the 1973 Sam Peckinpah film Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid as a drifter named Alias. Another movie connection? In 2001, Dylan received an Academy Award for his song “Things Have Changed,” featured in the film Wonder Boys.

6. Bob is an accomplished iron sculptor. His specialties are iron gates and archways. Check his stuff out here.

7.He now has his own brand of whiskey, called "Heaven's Door." It comes in three varieties and is not cheap.

8. Dylan has a pretty good sense of humor. He displayed that in many of his early press conferences, including this one.