With my new research assistant job I’ve been working from home. I feel like I’m doing homework and just dawdle instead of powering through the work I have to do. My solution: I’m going to go work at coffee shops and give myself a proper work schedule.
On this day in 1941 at 9:05 p.m., little Bobby Zimmerman — a.k.a. His Dylanness — was born. Earn your degree in Dylanology with our primer on unexpected Bobster trivia, featuring one fact for each of his 69 years, after the jump. Don’t think twice!
1. Before he renamed himself Bob Dylan, Robert Allen Zimmerman briefly went by Elston Gunn.
2. Dylan’s father, Abe, was a semi-professional baseball player before he contracted polio in his early twenties.
15. When he was first signed to Columbia Records, Dylan conned his way out of a stipulation that required his parents to sign (at 20, Dylan was considered a minor at the time) by convincing John Hammond that he was an orphan.
16. Suze Rotolo’s pet names for Dylan were “the Pig” and “RAZ.”
17. When a CBS censor informed him that he couldn’t play “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” on The Ed Sullivan Show, Dylan refused to go on.
18. Dylan’s first major appearance on American television was on The Steve Allen Show in 1964. When Dylan announced that he was playing the song “Hattie Caroll,” only one audience member clapped in recognition.
19. In 2004, Dylan earned an honorary doctorate in music from the University of St. Andrews.
20. The only other honorary degree Dylan has accepted was in 1970 from Princeton.
21. Last year, Dylan was detained by the police in New Jersey after a homeowner spotted him wandering around a residential block in the rain.
22. During Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, reporters swarmed the singer at Heathrow. They were so entranced by Dylan that Lena Horne, then an enormous British celebrity, passed by the gaggle of photographers unnoticed.
23. The first time Donovan and Bob Dylan met, Dylan and his entourage all wore Halloween masks.
24. Dylan’s first draft of “Like a Rolling Stone” was six pages long.
25. His first wife, Sara Lownds, worked as a Playboy bunny.
26. One night at Max’s Kansas City, Dylan and his road manager, Bob Neuwirth, insulted The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones until Jones broke down in tears.
27. Dylan struck up a short-lived friendship with Tiny Tim, who Dylan recorded singing “Like a Rolling Stone” while strumming the ukulele.
31. After his friend Phil Ochs died, Dylan took to polishing off a fifth of bourbon a day.
32. Pauline Kael called Dylan’s film Renaldo & Clara “what Louis and Marie Antoinette might have done at Versailles if only they’d had the cameras.”
33. According to Nico, Edie Sedgwick was the subject of “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat.”
34. From around 1960 to 1964, Dylan’s preferred intoxicants were pot and Beaujolais.
35. After Dylan’s 1966 motorcycle accident, Allen Ginsberg brought him a box full of books to aid his recovery.
36. In the summer of 1970, Dylan was briefly involved in the production of a musical version of The Devil and Daniel Webster with poet Archibald MacLeish but backed out when he and MacLeish didn’t see eye to eye.
37. At John Prine’s second gig outside of Chicago ever, Dylan showed up to play backup harmonica.
38. The original title of Planet Waves was Ceremonies of the Horsemen.
39. The first words Dylan spoke to playwright Sam Shepard, who Dylan had hired to write scenes for the movie Eat the Document, were “We don’t have to make any connections. None of this has to connect.”
40. Shepard and Dylan cowrote a 12-minute song called “Brownsville Girl” based on the Gregory Peck film The Gunfighter. Dylan has only played it in concert once.
41. After Elvis died, Dylan didn’t speak to anyone for a week.
42. In 1978, Dylan took a three-month course at the Vineyard School of Discipleship as part of his conversion to born-again Christianity.
43. An offhand comment Dylan made at Live Aid inspired Willie Nelson to organize Farm Aid.
44. During his satellite radio hour, Bob Dylan covered a verse of LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
45. Dylan toured with the Grateful Dead for six shows in 1987.
46. Bruce Springsteen inducted Bob Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
47. The Traveling Wilburys started when Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne recorded a Harrison B-side called “Handle with Care” at Dylan’s house in Malibu.
48. The Pulitzer Prize committee gave Dylan a special citation in 2008 for “lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”
49. In 2001, Dylan received an Academy Award for his song “Things Have Changed,” featured in the film Wonder Boys. According to rumor, Dylan often props his Oscar up on the speakers when he’s playing.
50. Since 1988, as part of his “Never-Ending Tour,” Bob Dylan has played at least 100 concerts per year.
51. Dylan starred in a 1987 box-office flop Hearts on Fire as a rock star turned farmer.
52. When Dylan performed for Pope John Paul II in 1997, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the current Pope Benedict), tried to stop Dylan from playing.
53. “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″ was recorded in one take.
54. Joni Mitchell recently revealed a giant grudge against Dylan.
55. In 1999, Dylan appeared on an episode of Dharma & Greg.
56. Seinfeld veteran Larry Charles directed Dylan’s 2003 film Masked & Anonymous.
57. Dylan has played shows in supported of the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitcher sect of Judaism.
58. During a cross-country trip in 1964, Dylan showed up at Carl Sandburg’s doorstep and handed the poet a copy of The Times They Are A-Changin’.
59. At the release party for Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan’s table included guests Bette Midler and David Bowie.
a belief in America as a nation chosen by God as a beacon to the world, and free enterprise as the cornerstone of liberty and democracy.
promoting rightwing views on religion, economics and guns while diminishing the science of evolution, the civil rights movement and the horrors of slavery.
The new curriculum asserts that “the right to keep and bear arms” is an important element of a democratic society. Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology.
There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.
The education board has dropped references to the slave trade in favour of calling it the more innocuous “Atlantic triangular trade”, and recasts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as driven by Islamic fundamentalism.
A few months ago, the iPhone twitter client Tweetie added a simple but hard-to-implement feature: when you quit the app and come back to it, you’re exactly where you were before. The exact tweet, person, search, or new-tweet view you were looking at when you quit.
Lately I have been disapointed with This American Life. There hasn’t been any drastic changes (or at least not that I can pinpoint) but I am not as engaged as I was when I first started listening. My solution: go back to their archives. I had listened to their old list of favorites but it seems as though with their website redesign they updated the favorites list. I might even re-listen to some of the classics…
What is your favorite episode?
OR tell me about any other radio shows/podcasts you’re in love with
My film final is kicking my ass, something that I never thought would happen. I have to write 9-10 pages; I’m on page 5 and I’m running out of ideas. Can’t my paper just be like “Norman Bates wanted to do Marion Crane, but he was nuts and part mother, so he just killed her? And the audience was like WTF? The end.” No? Okay.
BTW, sorry if you’ve never seen the movie and I ruined it for you.
so here is what you do. Get really drunk. Have someone film you. Do a film analysis. Transcribe it and voila! (if you don’t know what I am talking about, watch drunk histories on youtube)
“Nine out of ten mother fuckers agree that his fucking foul language is a fucking travesty. But mother fucking fuck is just another fucking word. The idea a word is dirty is too in-fucking-absurd.”—Jay Brannan