BOB DYLAN'S Lancashire
Lancashire Life|August 2020
BOB DYLAN'S Lancashire
Music biographer Spencer Leigh considers the Nobel Prize winning singer-songwriter’s Lancashire links
Spencer Leigh

Bob Dylan played one of the most controversial concerts of all-time, in Manchester in 1966 when the audience jeered and someone shouted, ‘Judas!’. The American singer had been there the previous year and everybody had loved him so what had brought about this change?

Whenever I write a biography, whether it be the Beatles, Elvis or Frank Sinatra, I start with questions I want to answer. I had scores of questions with Bob Dylan and I particularly wanted to know why someone would deliberately alienate his audience. Dylan rarely answers questions directly so his past interviews muddy the waters. Only in June, he told the New York Times that he was as bewildered by his songs as anybody else. I don’t believe that but it does mean that his lyrics can be analyzed by university students. Dylan is a major subject for debate at the Institute of Popular Music which is part of the University of Liverpool.

Now in his 80th year, Bob Dylan was born in Duluth on May 24th, 1941. He attended the University of Minnesota but like John Lennon at art college, he was too impatient to study. With an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, he performed in folk clubs and coffee houses in Greenwich Village and, following a rave review in the New York Times, he secured a contract with Columbia Records.

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August 2020