It’s no secret that Bob Dylan has dominated the music industry for nigh on half a century, influencing an entire generation of music lovers and musician wannabes. And yet, he remains an elusive figure whose life choices and musical leanings have incited as many detractors as fans. To honour our Celebrity of the Month, here are five fascination Bob Dylan facts you’ve probably never even heard of.
A week’s silence
When Elvis Presley passed away on 16 August 1977, his death affected Bob Dylan so greatly that he went dumb for an entire week. In his own words, he says: “I went over my whole life. I went over my whole childhood. I didn’t talk to anyone for a week after Elvis died. If it wasn’t for Elvis and Hank Williams, I couldn’t be doing what I do today.”
In addition to being one of the best-selling musicians of all time – he’s sold well over 100 million records worldwide – Dylan is published six books of paintings and drawings, and has had his artwork exhibited in several major art galleries. The cover of his 1970 album Self-Portrait actually features his own painting.
Lights, camera, action
As if music and art weren’t enough to occupy him, Bob Dylan tried his hand at film making. His directorial debut was 1978’s Renaldo and Clara, a lengthy 235-minute movie featuring a blend of fiction, documentary-style video and concert footage.
According to Bob Spitz, a biographer for The Beatles, it was actually Bob Dylan who first got the British band hooked marijuana when he offered them a joint upon being introduced to them in 28 August, 1964.
Before making it big as a musician in New York City, Dylan first attempted a college education at University of Minnesota. While he dropped out after only one year, he still found the time to pledge the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.