By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
25. He made his first appearance on the silver screen in Don't Look Back, a documentary of his 1965 British tour with Joan Baez. The film was released in 1967. His second movie, Eat the Document, which featured his 1966 tour of England with the Band, was filmed as a TV special for ABC in the late Sixties, but ultimately was canned by the network for being too "controversial and unprofessional."
26. He puked on John Lennon's shoes while tripping on a smorgasbord of psychedelics in the back of a limousine carting the two superstars back to their Mayfair Hotel suite in London. The scene was captured during the filming of Eat the Document, but was cut from the final version for obvious reasons. "John, I sure wish I could talk English," Dylan said shortly before doing the big spit. "Me too, Bob," Lennon icily replied. Dylan then pawed at his face like a dog digging a hole for a bone, compared Johnny Cash to Frankenstein's monster, hunched over and did a Technicolor yawn on the floor of the limo.
27. His October 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited was an instant classic for its live-in-the-studio recording process. The recording peaked at No. 3 on the album charts.
28. His biggest hit off Highway 61, "Positively 4th Street" (No. 7 in the U.S.), sounds suspiciously similar to "Like a Rolling Stone."
29. His masterpiece was Blonde on Blonde, released in August 1966. Although the album is best known for the "Everybody must get stoned" chorus to "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," it also contains Dylan's deepest, most hypnotic work in the ballads "Just Like a Woman" and "Visions of Johanna."
30. He decided he wanted a Salvation Army horn section on "Rainy Day Women #12 &35" in the middle of the night during thesessions for Blonde on Blonde, so he called up a local trombone player and calmly explained the situation. An hour later, the trombonist showed up in a suit and tie, recorded two takes and went home to bed.
31. He broke his neck on July 29, 1966, when he crashed his Triumph 55 motorcycle while riding near his Woodstock, New York, residence. In addition to several broken vertebrae, he suffered a concussion and severe lacerations on his face and scalp. He was in critical condition for a week and bedridden for a month. He spent the next nine months in seclusion, afflicted by amnesia and occasional paralysis.
32. His first public performance after the motorcycle crash was at a memorial concert for Woody Guthrie at Carnegie Hall on January 20, 1968. Guthrie had died at 55 four months earlier.
33. His artistic sensibilities were eerily prescient. A prime example is The Basement Tapes. The source material for that double LP was a recording of a jam session of Dylan and the Band in 1967 at a huge, old house in Woodstock known as Big Pink. The recording clearly anticipated the coming wave of ruralist rock bands led by the Grateful Dead.The master tapes of that session were bootlegged and enjoyed widespread underground circulation before Robbie Robertson compiled and remixed them for release eight years after they were recorded. The Basement Tapes turned out to be a surprise hit, rising to No.7 on the U.S. album charts and No.8 across the pond. The album also was ranked No.1 in the 1975 Village Voice Jazz & Pop Critic's Poll, then considered the definitive critical assessment of popular music.
34. His first album after the motorcycle crash was 1968's John Wesley Harding, a simpler, more countrified effort than his prewreck albums that utterly ignored the psychedelic stylings that were still in vogue because of the Beatles' 1967 release of Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Although Harding went to No.2 on the U.S. album charts, no single was issued off thealbum (though Jimi Hendrix would later geta hit with his take on "All Along the Watchtower").
35. He recorded a country album called Nashville Skyline in 1969 on which he sang a duet with Johnny Cash called "Girl From the North Country."
36. His last Top10 single was "Lay Lady Lay," which hit No.7 in 1969. The song was originally written for the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack on request, then rejected.
37. His garbage became an obsession of munchkin-faced star-stalker and self-proclaimed "Dylanologist" A.J. Weberman, who throughout the late Sixties and early Seventies would routinely pilfer Dylan's personal refuse from in front of the songwriter's Greenwich Village town house. Weberman scrutinized the trash and published his findings from a roach-infested loft in the Bowery where he also housed his "Dylan Archives"--thousands of pages of analysis, including a deconstruction of every word in every song Dylan ever wrote.
38. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Princeton University in 1970.
39. He wrote a surreal, stream-of-consciousness rant of a novel titled Tarantula that was published in November 1970. Dylan didn't want it to see print, but A.J.Weberman forced his hand by publishing bootleg mimeograph copies of purloined five-year-old galleys to fund hisfan club from hell, the Dylan Liberation Front.
40. His worst recording released with his consent was 1970's Self Portrait, an insufferable double album patchwork of new songs and tired covers that relied heavily on theinferior talents of Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot and the Everly Brothers. Portrait is the only Dylan album whose best song ("All the Tired Horses") is an instrumental.