“I picked up a copy of our Bible, which is a magazine called Sing Out!, and I saw, with the music printed, this song called “Blowin’ in the Wind.” And I read it and I thought, “Christ, that has to be …” He had changed his name to Bob Dylan. He explained to me who he was. He said, “You remember me. I sat at your feet in Central City. My name was Robert Zimmerman. Now my name is Bob Dylan.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes or my ears! I mean, this song was sophisticated, to say the least. It was unique – I’d never heard anything like it.
Those are words from Judy Collins, who recounted her memories with a very young Bob Dylan/Robert Zimmerman in New York City in a Rock Cellar feature about musician’s first encounters with the revered artist.
Today, Dylan celebrates his 77th birthday. For decades, he’s been a cherished songwriter, poet and cultural icon, continuing to push the envelope and challenge people’s expectations to this day. His commitment to his singular artistic vision earned him a Nobel Prize in Literature — concrete proof of the value of his hard work.
Said David Crosby to Rock Cellar of his first impression of Dylan:
“The guy’s such a good poet. He’s such a good poet, holy shit, is he a good poet. And I was pretty stunned. I walked out of there very confused, because I knew I could sing better and I knew that I just had to up my game about words a thousand percent. He was a terrific inspiration to me in the sense that I knew I had to become a much better poet. And so I tried my best to do that.”
Continued well-wishes and the happiest of 77th birthdays to Bob Dylan!