Why Dylan Became a Rock and Roll Star
 
 

This is from a 1966 interview with Nat Hentoff.

Hentoff: What made you decide to go the rock n' roll route?

Dylan:  Carelessness.  I lost my one true love.  I start drinking.  The first thing I know, I'm in a card game.  Then I'm in a crap game.  I wake up in a pool hall.  Then this big Mexican lady drags me off the table, takes me to Philadelphia.  She leaves me alone in her house, and it burns down.  I wind up in Phoenix.  I get a job as a Chinaman.  I start working in a dime store, and move in with a 13-year old girl.  Then this big Mexican lady from Philadelphia comes in and burns down the house. I go to Dallas.  I get a job as a "before" in a Charles Atlas "before and after" ad.  I move in with a delivery boy who can cook fantastic chili and hot dogs.  Then this 13-year old girl from Phoenix comes and burns the house down.  The delivery boy, he ain't so mild.  He gives her the knife, and the next thing you know I'm in Omaha.  It's so cold there, by this time I am robbin' my own bicycles and frying my own fish.  I stumble into some luck and get a job as a carburetor out at the hot-rod races every Thursday night.  I move in with a High School teacher who does a little plumbing on the side, who ain't much to look at, but who's built a special kind of refrigerator that can turn newspaper into lettuce.  Everything's going good until that delivery boy shows up and tries to knife me.  Needless to say, he burned the house down, and I hit the road.  The first guy who picked me up asked me if I wanted to be a star.  After what I'd been through, how could I refuse?

Hentoff:  And that's how you became a rock n' roll singer?

Dylan:  No, that's how I got tuberculosis.

Back to Joe's homepage