- Bob Dylan has a reputation for appreciating his privacy.
- Bob Dylan said the media does not give an honest picture of him.
- In the 1960s, Bob Dylan withdrew from public life completely.
Bob Dylan has lived under the scrutiny of the media and the public longer than he lived outside of it. Despite this, he has managed to keep many aspects of his life private. This doesn’t mean he stays out of the public eye, though. Dylan has given hundreds of lengthy interviews since he rose to fame in the 1960s. However, he said that the media often misrepresents him.
The musician is famous for his privacy
The value Dylan places on his private life is evident to those who know him, so much so that his concert promoter has instructed tourists not to speak to him.
“Before we went out, I gathered all the tour staff in San Francisco and I said, ‘You know, this is Bob Dylan,'” promoter Bill Graham wrote in the book. Bill Graham Presents: My Life in Rock and Out. “‘I don’t think he’s someone who wants you to say to him every day, ‘Hello, Bob! How are you’? What’s going on?’ Please try to understand that and give her some respect for her privacy.”
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Even for Dylan, though, this may be too much privacy.
“The tour began,” Graham wrote. “In the third or fourth city in the middle of the night, someone knocked on the door of my hotel room. I opened the door and it was Bob. He went inside and I saw that he had a problem. I said, ‘Is everything all right, Bob? Is there something wrong?’ He said, ‘Bill. Why is nobody talking to me?’”
Bob Dylan has said that he often disagrees with the picture that the press paints
In many interviews, Dylan has spoken at length about music, religion, and people of his time. Still, he doesn’t share much about himself with the media, perhaps because he doesn’t appreciate how they’ve portrayed him over the years. He would prefer to express himself through his music.
“The media has always misrepresented me,” he said, according to the book The Ballad of Bob Dylan: Pictures and Daniel Mark Epstein. “They refuse to accept what I am and what I do. They always excite and blow things up… It makes me feel better to write one song than to talk to a thousand journalists.”
According to Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz, Dylan began to see the media as a “parasite” early in his career.
“He was an artist,” Wilentz told the Columbia Journalism Review. “All the journalists can do is feed him. And when they’re done with you, they’ll spit you down the drain. It was done by [Jack] Kerouac. They can destroy you if you let them.”
Bob Dylan immediately left the media and public eye
In 1966, Dylan crashed his motorcycle near his home in Woodstock, New York. While he was recovering from the accident, he completely withdrew from the public eye.
“I was in a motorcycle accident and I was hurt, but I recovered,” he wrote in his 2004 memoir. Chronicles. “The truth is I wanted out of the rat race.”
He used his escape from fame to spend time with his family.
“Then, I had that motorcycle accident, which put me out of commission,” he told Rolling Stone in 1992. “Then, when I woke up and came to my senses, I realized that I had been working for all this. leech. And I didn’t want to do that. Besides, I had a family, and I just wanted to see mine children.”