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Today songwriting sensation Bob Dylan turns 81-years-old! Born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24th 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan was destined to lead a influential musical career that would span over six decades. While we all know his folk classics such as The Times They Are a-Changin’ and Blowin’ In The Wind, here are a few fun facts you might not have known about the birthday boy.
- Before Robert Zimmerman went by his surname Bob Dylan, he tried out the title Elston Gunn as he played piano for Bobby Vee.
- Somehow, he’s never had a #1 single. However The Byrds’ cover of his song Mr. Tambourine Man did reach the top in 1965.
- Dylan’s high school did not allow him to participate in the talent show because his act was too “outrageous.”
- Dylan was a member of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu before he dropped out of the University of Minnesota.
- While living in Greenwich Village, New York, Dylan became a chess enthusiast.
- While still a minor at 20-years-old, Dylan told Columbia Records he was an orphan to bypass the requirement of a parent’s signature. The vice-president said his voice was the most horrible thing he ever heard.
- In 2012, Dylan was arrested in New York on suspicion of homelessness while wandering around during a rainstorm.
- He’s known to love pranks.
- Dylan spent three months at the Vineyard School of Discipleship in 1978 to become a born-again Christian.
- Reports say that the first draft of Like A Rolling Stone was between six and 22 pages long.
To celebrate the 81 years Dylan has given us, watch Bob Dylan perform Mr. Tambourine Man live at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964.