What religion is Bob Dylan hugging now

Bob Dylan

Laut.de biography

Bob Dylan

"I had a wife and children who I loved more than anything else in the world. I tried to take care of her, not to be in trouble, but the big nuisances in the press continued to call me the voice, the speaker or even the consciousness of a new generation. That was crazy. I had always sung no-frills songs and presented powerful new events. I had little in common with this generation that I was supposed to be the voice of, let alone that I knew a lot about them"explains Bob Dylan in his 2004 autobiography Chronicles Volume One.

Clear words that characterize his difficult relationship with the world beyond the stage. Idolized by his fans, partially glorified by the media as a messiah, Dylan has spent most of his life escaping their crushing embrace. But he cannot deny the social significance of his songs either. The great influence they still exert is shown by the fact that he has not only been one of the narrower circle of candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature since the mid-1990s, but was actually awarded it in 2016.

Robert Allen Zimmermann was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941, but grew up in rural Hibbing, the area around which is characterized by huge iron pits. As a child he taught himself to play the piano and guitar and, according to his own account, sticks to the radio at night to listen to country, folk and rock'n'roll sounds. After his first experience in high school bands, he moved to St. Paul after graduating from high school and began studying music. He never goes to class: He's too busy discovering and re-enacting new pieces.

In 1961 he hitchhiked to New York to meet his idol Woody Guthrie, who was forgotten and seriously ill in a hospice. In the meantime he has taken on the stage name Bob Dylan, probably a tribute to the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. To stay afloat, he tumbles through the numerous cafes of Greenwich Village and performs a repertoire that consists mainly of Guthrie pieces.

In 1962 he surprisingly received a record deal with Columbia. He is the first folk singer in the repertoire of the big major label. But manager John Hammond is impressed by the lean 21-year-old with the rasping voice, the unorthodox and not very elegant guitar style and the depth of his statements.

In 1962 the debut "Bob Dylan" comes out, which mainly contains cover versions - among others also "Man Of Constant Sorrow", the later title track for the successful film "O 'Brother, Where Art Thou". One year later, "The Freewhelin 'Bob Dylan" laid the foundation for success. "Blowin 'In The Wind", "Masters Of War" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" are enthusiastically received by the still young protest movement. A Peter, Paul And Mary cover version of "Blowin 'In The Wind" reached the top of the US singles charts, and Dylan went on a successful tour with folk singer Joan Baez, who made him famous across the country. More than 40 years later, their love affair still provides reason for discussion.

In 1964 he reached the first high point of his career with "The Times They Are A-Changin '". The title track, "With God On Our Side" and "Only A Pawn In Their Game" describe a changing world and can be heard everywhere at protest marches and events. However, Dylan feels misunderstood and is increasingly alienated from the press, who make him an icon, and the fans who see him as a prophet.

In 1965 he performed at the Newport Folk Festival and received bitter boos when he began his short set with the band and the electrified "Like A Rolling Stone". There was an even more pronounced scandal a year later in London. "Judas," calls out a spectator as Dylan steps onto the stage. "Liar", he replies, and turns to his band. "Play fucking loud" is what he calls her before he starts a distorted version of "Like a Rolling Stone". Shrieking whistles and angry fans characterize his appearances at that time - and drive Dylan more and more on the defensive.

Now married and a father, he longs for distance. He uses a motorcycle accident to go into hiding from 1966 to 1968, hoping to be forgotten. A project that he does not succeed. Although he first devoted himself to country with "Nashville Skyline" and then with "Self Portrait" (both 1969) short stories by Anton Chekhov, the public attention that speaks of "Middle Period" and "Comeback Album" remains. "One of many," Dylan smugly explains in his autobiography.

After the youth protest has subsided, a new phase begins with "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid" (1973). Dylan is not only one of the actors in the western strip of the same name directed by Sam Peckinpah, but also the author of the soundtrack, which contains one of his most famous pieces, "Knockin 'On Heaven's Door". "Planet Waves", "Blood On The Tracks" (both 1974) and "Desire" (1976) catapult him back to the top of the charts - and with him his longtime companion The Band, which celebrates great success even without him.

In 1978 the musician and his wife Sarah divorce, which plunges Dylan into a serious creative crisis. On stage he has a religious enlightenment experience and turns into a devout Christian. By 1981 he recorded three little-noticed albums with religious songs. After all, he received his first of several Grammies for the piece "Gotta Serve Somebody".

Afterwards he shows himself increasingly uninspired. Although he tours successfully with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and reached the high floors of the charts with a live album accompanied by the Grateful Dead, he has also lost access to his music by his own account. In 1988 he finally got himself up again - first as a member of the supergroup Traveling Wilburys (which also includes Petty, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Roy Orbison), then with the beginning of a worldwide concert tour that will last into the new millennium and the stamp "Neverending Tour "receives.

New musical impulses emerge with the recordings of "Oh Mercy" (1989) under the leadership of U2 producer Daniel Lanois. Dylan's appearance at an anniversary concert in Woodstock (1994) and an MTV Unplugged recording in the same year, which made his well-known pieces from the 1960s available to a younger audience, generated further impetus.

As he ages, Dylan appears to have largely made peace with his public image. In the new millennium, for example, he has presented convincing studio albums peppered with autobiographical features. In them Dylan pays homage to traditional styles such as country, blues, rockabilly or western swing and thus expresses his conviction, which has also been formulated elsewhere, that a renewal of popular music can only grow out of a reflection on its origins.

Although his rare interviews and the ban on photographing him still prove his displeasure with the press, in the middle of the new millennium he is more open than ever before. One year after the first volume of his autobiography, "No Direction Home" was released in 2005, a documentary by Martin Scorsese that was well worth seeing and in which Dylan spoke in detail about his career from the beginning to 1966. Another cinematographic honor came in 2007 when, among others, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Richard Gere slip into the role of the bard in Todd Hayne's "I'm Not There".

In 2007 the compilation "Dylan" appears on three CDs, the definitive collection of hits from 46 years of music history. There is also a 2-CD set containing the first remix that the grandmaster has agreed to so far. In "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)," British producer Mark Ronson replaces guitar and harmonica with hip-hop beats and saxophone, which sounds amazingly good.

After his fans had been demanding a literary award for Dylan for years, this wish finally came true in 2008: For "lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic expressiveness" the old master of rock receives the American Pulitzer Prize in a special category. The Columbia University jurors honor Dylan's "far-reaching influence" on pop music.

He is still responsible for discussions. In 2011 he performed in Beijing and rumors were circulating that he had made a deal with the communist government: concert yes, critical tones no. In May, the bard spoke up on his website and countered unusually verbose and vehement. There was no deal and he played what he wanted. He concludes with a swipe: "Everybody knows by now that there's a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I'm encouraging anybody who's ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them".

In 2012, "Tempest" will be the 35th studio album in Dylan's career. As a result, the singer organizes and manages his own legacy with various editions of "The Bootleg Series" reflecting different phases of his career. "Vol. 8" has sessions from the late 80s to 2006, while the deluxe version of "The Best Of The Cutting Edge 1965 - 1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12", for example, is a whole CD with just the various takes of "Like A Rolling Stone" fills.

In 2016, Dylan sold his private archive to Tulsa University and the George Kaiser Family Foundation for an estimated $ 15-20 million. With the cover albums "Shadows In The Night" (2015) and "Fallen Angels" (2016) he also dedicates himself to other greats in US music history.

In 2016 he was the first musician ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Dylan said the Nobel Committee "new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition"shaped and established. The spokeswoman for the Nobel Prize jury is particularly impressed by the lyrical output:"Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear, but his works are also wonderful to read as poetry."

However, the award is a bit bumpy on the stage. First, Dylan gives the committee two weeks to let the committee know whether he would accept the award at all, then he says that he cannot accept the award personally due to “existing obligations”. The official award ceremony will take place on December 10, 2016. His colleague Patti Smith sings his song "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" on behalf of Dylan and the US ambassador to Sweden reads out his speech. Seemingly unimpressed by all the hype, the master will even be releasing another album with completely new songs in the summer of 2020 with "Rough and Rowdy Ways".