Biographic by Steve McGarry for June 04, 2006
He was the angry young troubadour whose songs of protest inspired a generation and changed the face of popular music, making it cool for Rock 'n' Roll to have an IQ. The contribution of Bob Dylan to popular culture can be measured by the timeless nature of his classic songs from "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Like a Rolling Stone" from "All Along the Watchtower" to "Knockin on Heaven's Door." Bob Dylan ws born Robert Zimmerman on May 24, 1941m in Duluth, Minnesota, having played in numerous bands in High School, he ended a brief sojourn at the university of Minnesota to concentrate on music. He was briefly employed as a piano player with Bobby Vee's backing band, before heading to New York and launching himself onto the Greenwich village folk and blues club scene. By the release of his second album-1963's "The Free Wheelin' Bob Dylan" he was being hailed as a genius. He revolutionized songwriting, his words of anger and protest dwarfing the "Moon and June" banality of his contemporaries, and songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "The Times They Are A-Changin" became the anthems of a generation. When Dylan "went electric" in 1965, he may have alienated a few die-hard folkies, but he became a multiplatinum rock superstar! But in 1966, at the height of "Dylanmania" Bob suddenly vanished! Following a motorcycle crash, he dropped out of sight for 18 months-although bootleg recordings of his work with The Band during that time created tremendous excitement. When Dylan returned, he seemed determined to shake off the trappings of Stardom and pursue uncharted territory, challenging his fans to keep pace. Over the next decades, his music meandered through country, Christianity and cover songs. Induced into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1988, Bob Dylan is a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winner, and his accolades have ranged from an honorary doctorate from Princeton to a Lifetime Achievement Grammy from France's highest cultural award. The commandeur dans lordre des arts et des lettres, to a kennedy center award for his lifetime contribution to American culture.