13 May 2009


I was rather taken with this story that appeared on the BBC News website earlier this week:-

"Folk legend Bob Dylan mingled unnoticed with Beatles tourists during a minibus tour to John Lennon's childhood home. The 67-year-old troubadour paid £16 for the public trip to the 1940s semi in Woolton, Liverpool, last week as his European tour called at the city. He
was one of 14 tourists to examine photos
and documents in the National Trust-owned home, where Lennon
grew up with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George."

Of course, Dylan met Lennon in his lifetime and who knows how close they got. I once went on a Beatles Magical Mystery tour in Liverpool myself, seeing the same semi that Dylan saw along with Strawberry Fields and several nondescript houses where Paul Mc Cartney lived. I recall the tour guide announcing, as we passed the Job Cente in Speke... "And that's where Pete Best works..." Of course, he was The Beatles' drummer before Ringo Starr.

Dylan as a tourist and allegedly nobody recognised him but perhaps they were simply being polite to give the guy some well-deserved private space. When I visited Hibbing, Minnesota some years back I had almost given up hope of finding Dylan's childhood home until we stopped at a bar on the way out of town and the barman said he knew. Strange how we can all be so curious about where our musical, artistic and literary heroes once lived.
Above: Dylan with Liverpool children in 1966


  1. I believe Dylan and Lennon were quite close at one point during the 60s.

    A great story though YP.

    It's amazing how Dylan seems to have mellowed in his later years- readio shows, mingling with fans at concerts etc.

  2. Anonymous12:32 am

    I think we are curious about where our heroes once lived, particularly in their childhoods, because we can see more connections and similarities to ourselves and our own lives at these places, inhabited by the hero before s/he left the ordinary behind.

  3. That sound you hear is probably the padding of Arthur Clewley's feet as he gets ready to make a salacious comment regarding the ordinary behind....

  4. ... Ha! But you beat him to it, Robert.

  5. On being friends with Dylan, Lennon said: "Yeah, well we were for a bit, but I couldn’t make it. Too paranoiac. I always saw him when he was in London. He first turned us on in New York actually. He thought "I Want to Hold Your Hand"- when it goes "I can’t hide"- he thought we were singing "I get high." So he turns up with Al Aronowitz and turns us on, and we had the biggest laugh all night - forever. Fantastic. We’ve got a lot to thank him for."


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