Bob Dylan has long been a badass. He confirmed his status as rock’s grooviest granddaddy when he recently picked up his Nobel Prize for Literature wearing an actual hoodie. No suit and tie for this cultural trailblazer, just Sports Direct’s finest. In honour of Bob, here are his most baller moments from over half a century of being brilliant.
Fighting the power
Alongside Mahalia Jackson and Joan Baez, Bob was one of the opening acts for Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech at 1963’s historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a key protest in the civil rights movement. When MLK delivered the speech, Bob was stood only a few feet away from him.
The video for ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ sees Bob Dylan hitting peak sass. Recorded in a glum looking alleyway behind the Savoy Hotel during Bob’s 1965 UK tour, Bob casually subtitles the video with handdrawn paper signs, while beat poetry legend Allen Ginsberg loiters in the background. The cue cards themselves were written by Bob, Allen and hippy songwriter Donovan. Iconic.
In 1966 played Manchester’s Free Trade Hall. The crowd were expecting to hear some lovely acoustic folk music. Instead, Bob blew them away with electric rock’n’roll. One fan was so arsed off he shouted out “Judas”, suggesting Bob had betrayed his loyal following by plugging in and rocking the hell out. Bob didn’t give a shit, responding: “I don’t believe you, you’re a liar.” He then launched into ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, after telling his band to “play it fucking loud”.
Ever wondered how to chuck someone our of your hotel room with style? Then check out this scene from Bob’s 1967 rockumentary Don’t Look Back. Also, many, many points for referring to basically everyone as ‘cats’. “You’re a big noise,” says drunken intruder number one. “I know it!” sasses Bob back to him. “Either be groovy or leave.”
Jack of all trades
When Bob Dylan produces his own records he calls himself Jack Frost. This is basically his version of Beyonce’s Sacha Fierce, but wearing a bolo tie instead of hotpants.