Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Just a Few Comments About the Dylan Allegations

Adam Swanson painting based on opening scene in 
D.A. Pennebaker's Dont Look Back
By now nearly everyone has heard the story. An unnamed woman has filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court stating that Dylan sexually abused her at his New York apartment over a six-week period between April and May 1965. She was 12 years old at the time.

What's silly about these allegation is that Bob Dylan is probably the most documented human being on the planet. In May he was on tour in England, filmed endlessly by documentarian D.A. Pennebaker whose epic Dont Look Back is considered by many to be the best rockumentary ever.

Dylan's whereabouts and activities have been observed and recorded from the earliest days of his career. has links to a year by year summary of his entire career...  concerts, recording studio activities, album releases and other significant whereabouts. 

Here's an outline of Dylan's 1965 calendar. 1965 was an incredible year for Bob. It began with the recording of Bringing It All Back Home, the first of a trio of albums that is unmatched in the history of music. In June he would record Highway 61 Revisited, following up with Blonde On Blonde in the first half of 1966.

There are still more details about that spring at ThreadReaderApp

Still from Dont Look Back
In March 1965, Bob Dylan had left his home in New York for an American concert tour with Joan Baez. At the end of March, he played Santa Monica and Berkeley, with a second Berkeley show on April 3. On the 9th, he was in Vancouver, British Columbia, and played Portland, Oregon on the 23rd. In the intervening month, he was in California most of the time with Sara Lownds. On April 26th, Dylan arrived in London for an English tour. For the first two weeks of May, 1965, he was on tour in England. The Guardian reported they were asked to leave their Sheffield hotel on May Day. Bob didn't like any misbehavior on the tour. The tour was being filmed by D.A. Pennebaker. In mid-May, Dylan went to Portugal with Sara on holiday — "drinkin' white rum in a Portugal bar." Returning to London on the eve of his May 24th birthday, Bob was sick enough to be hospitalized. He and Sara, and his film crew and fellow musicians, stayed in London through June and perhaps into July (experts disagree). 

The civil lawsuit says Dylan sexually abused her at his New York apartment over a six-week period between April and May in 1965, “leaving her emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day”. 

It doesn't make sense. Most of April he was on the West Coast, a long ways from New York. He was preparing for his concert tour in England that would be fully documented. He was also preparing to marry and start a family with Sara, a beautiful woman he would soon take as his bride. 


It's fairly well known that Bob Dylan was into magic. In his new book Bob Dylan: On a Couch & 50 Cents a Day, Peter McKenzie tells about Bob showing him some magic tricks with a deck of cards. I've also shared here how much Dylan was into the magic of Harry Houdini. 

It's a given that Bob Dylan has performed miracles when it comes to songwriting and performing. Yet no matter how skilled he was as a magician, it is highly unlikely he was able to be two places at one time. Whether the other side of the Continent or the other side of the ocean, simultaneous appearances in New York City do not add up.

* has plenty of stories about this if it matters to you. Personally, I think it's silly.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is free advertizing for the Bob Dylan new CD BOX – "Springtime In New York": The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985)".... and also for all his future publications! It's time for Bob to write the "CHRONICLES" #2... It will sell very well!
The same kind of publicity influenced some admirers of Polansky in February 2020 there was an article on him in the French newspapers anouncing the victory of Roman Polansky who received the CESAR as the Best director for his film "J'ACCUSE".

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