Today is music legend Bob Dylan’s 82nd birthday, and his music is no less powerful and moving as it was sixty years ago when he came onto the scene. His music has influenced the world through the passionate 1960s, the chaotic 1970s, and even through today, when his songs are as powerful and moving as ever.
Let’s take a look at the life of Bob Dylan, and appreciate the artistry created by possibly the best musical writer of all time.
Birthplace, Duluth, MN
Robert Allen Zimmerman was born on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, MN. He and his parents lived in a small duplex in the city, and were active in their Jewish community.
From a very early age, he was drawn to music. He listened to blues, folk and country music in his childhood, and then moved on to rock and roll, jazz, and American music. All of these influences can be heard in his unique music.
Childhood Home, Hibbing, MN
When he was six, his father contracted polio, so the family moved to Hibbing to be closer to family. His father ran a hardware store, and Dylan grew in his musical talent. He formed bands and worked with up and coming artists, performing at high school and local venues, and getting in trouble for his new sound of music.
He and his family lived in Hibbing until Dylan moved away to college. He only lasted a year at school before dropping out to move to New York City to meet his idol Woodie Guthrie and start his own career in music.
Chelsea Hotel, New York City, NY
Dylan started at the bottom like all musicians do, but quickly gained a small following and respect in the industry. Once he started earning a little money, he stayed at Chelsea Hotel, which has a storied reputation for being a gathering place for talented, and sometimes troubled, artists. Mark Twain, Thomas Wolfe, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, and Janice Joplin are just a few of the talented individuals who influenced, and were influenced by, the hotel.
He stayed here off and on for a few years, and wrote his most famous song Blowin’ in the Wind here. A few years ago, the hotel did a remodel and sold the doors to rooms where famous individuals resided. Dylan’s door sold for a whopping $100,000!
Fat Black Pussycat, New York City, NY
Another haunt where Dylan liked to pen his lyrical poetry, the Fat Black Pussycat coffee bar, was a major stop in the 1960s beatnik scene. The original venue has been turned into another restaurant, but you can still visit another version of the Fat Black Pussycat in the city. It has been relocated and reestablished, and has a great layout for people who just want to chill and enjoy a show.
Shangri-La Studio, Malibu, CA
By the 1970s, Dylan was one of the most famous musicians in the US, and he toured the music group The Band. The group created a music studio in Malibu in a home named “Shangri-La” and decided to keep the name. The place, designed with input from Dylan, was a recording studio, clubhouse, and hangout for musicians, to encourage talent development.
Dylan recorded there often, as did Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Joe Cocker, and more. Dylan actually lived outside in a tent for several months! It’s still in use today, by artists such as Kanye West, Eminem, and Ed Sheeran.
Bob Dylan’s Home, Malibu, CA
Dylan clearly loved the Malibu area, because in 1979, he bought a home there for around $105,000, and he’s been there ever since. He’s actually bought neighboring properties over the years, developing a massive compound, and added to the original home.
While details are not public, it’s understood the main house is about 6,000 square feet, with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. It has eco-friendly amenities including solar panels.
Unique, especially in chic Malibu, there’s a shack out in the back property that Dylan goes to when he needs to get away from it all.
Dylan, who has a net worth of over $200 million, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, been awarded ten Grammys, an Academy Award, and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Perhaps most amazing for a musician, he was even awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature, for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
With all these accomplishments, hopefully Dylan will have a wonderful, relaxing, and rewarding birthday. After all he’s done, he deserves it. Happy birthday, Bob Dylan!