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Bob Dylan in Formentera
The whole truth (and the whole lie) about the singer’s visit to the Pitiusan smallest island.

(by Pablo Burgués)

 

Oh, oh, oh, oh, I have fresh news, my friends… Bob Dylan, that singer with a little tache and Tio Pepe-style hat, was in Formentera in the late 1960s. Maybe you’re asking yourself: how is it possible that such a urbanite New Yorker came to a lost island in the Mediterranean? Well, sit down here and let me tell you: 

Dylan was born in Minnesota on 24 May 1941 and was christened as Robert Allen Zimmerman. But that name never seemed fucking good to him, and thus, soon after beginning his studies at the university he changed it into Bob Dylan (as a tribute to the Irish poet Dylan Thomas). His first record was launched in 1962 and, as Paulo Coelho would say: the guy got a crappy success. A year later his second work was born, and it included the mythical song Blowin' in the Wind, and that was indeed a real fucking hit.

Since that moment the artist’s personal and professional life became a real madness. In just four years he produced four records (one of them was double), he did an endless world tour, had a relationship with Joan Baez, got married to the model and Playboy girl Sarah Lownds, had a son, got hooked on heroin several times and, as a final sting of fireworks, on 29 July 1966 he had a terrible motorcycle accident that almost sent him to the next world.

He fractured several cervical vertebrae, and that forced him to stop sharply his career and his dizzy social life. I think that was somehow lucky, because if the guy had spent two more months at that speed he would have got Elizabeth II pregnant, he would have created Google and written the lyrics for Spain’s national anthem.

After that accident, Dylan was missing for two years and it is precisely in that period when the rumours say that he was living incognito in Formentera. At that time the island was very much in fashion among the hipsters, to the extent that in the summer of 1968 there are records amounting to 1.300 long-haired guys (besides a local population that was hardly 3000 people).

Facing such a hairy invasion, the regional authorities sent a letter to Formentera police, stating the following: “Taking into account the considerable presence of foreign and national so-called beatniks in the island, that attracts attention of the general public, due to their disgusting look, grubby clothes, anti-social behaviour and economic irresponsibility, it is therefore necessary to identify them… in order to expel them”.

Well, some people state that one of those “disgusting” guys was the now Literature Nobel Prize Bob Dylan… However, some other people state that lie is not truth… Who is right? Well, if you behave well maybe I’ll tell you about it next week.

 

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Pablo Burgués on Instagram and Twitter

Translation: Dora Sales

Read more stories: Typic d’aquí 

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