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July 17, 2017

Bob Dylan called "miserable" by fans for refusing to sign autographs in Dublin, 1966

In 1966, Bob Dylan’s career had skyrocketed over the earth. Mary Campbell summed up what had happened in a lede that contains multitudes: “1965 was the big folk-rock year in pop music and slightly built, shy-spoken, gritty-voiced Bob Dylan was the big man of the year.”

Who had thought of folk, rock, and pop in the same basket, from the same gritty voice, on the same disc? Bob Dylan. Even — and especially — as a young man, Dylan never felt what Harold Bloom would call the anxiety of influence. He reveled in his influences, all of them, and had made that clear in 1965 with three wild records recorded that year: Bringing It All Back Home (spring), Highway 61 Revisited (summer), and Blonde On Blonde (spring 1966). From February through May, 1966, Dylan, heading a road show now legendary on record, film and in print, rolled around the world spinning out something entirely new.


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