Who is Bob Dylan to you?

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Bob Dylan (aka Robert Zimmerman of Hibbing, MN) is turning 70 in May. In anticipation of the big day, we want to gather memories, stories and thoughts about Bob Dylan and his music. Thanks to his shape-shifting, the man and his music mean something different to nearly everyone.

Share your story here.

Maybe his music came into your life at an important time. Maybe you’re from Northern Minnesota or part of the Jewish community and remember him from growing up. Or maybe it’s his style.

Whatever it is, we want to know what Bob Dylan means to you. And please feel free to forward this to friends or family who may want to share their stories.

Your response will help us with a project we’re working on and a producer may contact you to follow up.

Thanks so much for your help. We look forward to hearing from you.

Molly Bloom
Public Insight Analyst
Minnesota Public Radio News
mbloom @ mpr.org



about 12 years ago

aka Robert Zimmerman of Duluth, MN.


about 12 years ago

Minnesota's  first royal son.  Any claims are frivolous.


about 12 years ago

Why do we worship this guy,  Hes alright but he hates it here.  He does not even like the fact the we have a route through this town named after him.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

As usual, every Bob Dylan post must include a guy who feels the need to point out Dylan hates Duluth despite all evidence to the contrary. 

What surprises me is that no one ever compares Dylan to Hitler.


about 12 years ago

Jim, ha-ha. He talked rather nice about Duluth in a Rolling Stone article last year ... can we drag politics into this thread too?

Hot Shot

about 12 years ago

Yeah but did you hear him at the Grammy's??

Rabble rabble.


about 12 years ago

Bob Dylan fans are worse than Grateful Dead fans.

Michigan Street. Michigan Street is named Bob Dylan Way. Michigan Street. Geniuses. Should have renamed Buchanan Street. Boom, done. I'm still planning on making "I Got Knifed on Bob Dylan Way" t-shirts.

Bob Dylan on Hitler:
"Yeah sure, looking back in hindsight, you can see that someone would have to take control. But still, it's so perplexing. Like why him? You could see that the man's a total mutt. No Aryan characteristics whatsoever. You couldn't guess his ancestry. Brown hair, brown eyes, pasty complexion, no particular type of stature, Hitler mustache, raincoat, riding whip, the whole works. He knew something. He knew that people didn't think. Look at the faces of the millions who worshipped him and you see that he inspired love. It's scary and sad. The torch of the spoken word. They were glad to follow him anywhere, loyal to the bone. Then of course, he filled up the cemeteries with them."

Tiny Montgomery

about 12 years ago

He played the Saint Paul Saints stadium in the late 99's.  I wasn't into the opening act, so why not show up when things got going? I'd hear it fine from the street anyway.  As I'm walking toward third base past security, they're looking at me as I nod, smile and keep going. In the bleachers near left field wasn't a bad spot. I looked to my right and there's this big security guy talking to a cute girl. It was the writing on the wall again.  I hop over the rail and start toward the stage, bracing for a tackle that never comes. I nudge my way through the crowd, some guy jabs me in the ribs, so I stop and look up. Bob is gazing right at me. What if he saw the whole thing, and Albert Goldman shakes me down at the end of the night?  The band is really on.

Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Feb '05: Knock on door of random home with Bob Fest lawn sign saying 'war is not the answer.' I figure if they're the only ones in the whole town to publicly denounce the war, at least walk up in person and thank them. An older lady answers the door. I ask about the sign, if it's a Bob thing. She tells me about Bob Fest, then reveals she actually went to high school with Dylan. She remembered the talent show performance. The next evening Bob gives a rare television interview where he just kind of sits there. 
I didn't really 'turn on' to Dylan until I was 21, when I suddenly realized he was cool. One day in high school a friend told me he was related to him, his mom was Jewish and they'd all been to weddings and stuff. In those days I'd barely heard of him, he was still some dude from the 1960s. The local ties seemed endless. A retired preacher I knew was also from Hibbing and remembered the whole family, the hardware store was still clear in his mind.  All these places and people really had been.  

I ordered the new album from the Fetus in Mpls. and went to pick it up the morning it was released, this day became known as "September eleven." We were being attacked but I went to get the album anyway. That's what Bob would've wanted.  When I met some of the KRG folks who knew Bob when he was a teen on Cedar Avenue, I wanted to ask about back in the day, but I knew better. You can't go back. 

Where it concerns wandering mistrals,  Bobby loaned me a sense of the small world, one of a kind, all togetherness, all for one and one for allness of the thing. The duality of man, and the power of people like small Jewish kids from northern Minnesota to change their world.  I may not like the man, but I love his music. If you see him say hello, and may dogs run free.


about 12 years ago

Loved waking up on weekends to my mom gnashing "Blood on the Tracks".  Bob Dylan, to me, is a poet.  I saw him on his softball stadium tour.  It was a glorious day.  The music was not great, but I didn't care.


about 12 years ago

Here's the thing. We went from "Louie Louie," Chuck Berry and the rot-gut doo-wop of the late 1950s to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." Blech. Bob saved us from that.


about 12 years ago

Molly Bloom
Public Insight Analyst
Minnesota Public Radio News


Tony D.

about 12 years ago

Bob Dylan Way runs past three businesses/buildings owned by a couple guys who helped drive the process to create "Bob Dylan Way." And it runs to the old Armory, which some hope to turn into an arts center; Dylan famously saw Buddy Holly, et. el., play there. I'm guessing that may be why Bob Dylan Way covers Michigan Street, Superior St., and London Road.


about 12 years ago

I kinda like Bob Dylan Way, it's got that "noirish" Duluth feel to it, whenever I am on it, I understand where Dylan came from.

I saw him at Live Aid in Philadelphia in the 80s. I like that he is his own person, does his own thing. Just like most Duluthians.

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