New Tapes Air Bob Dylan's Heroin Addiction

Film now being produced around Robert Shelton's interviews
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2011 9:22 AM CDT
Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday: Heroin Addiction Revealed in Newly Released Robert Shelton Interview Tapes
US poet and folk singer Bob Dylan performs 08 October 1987 during his concert at the POPB in Paris. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Bob Dylan turns 70 today, but he confesses in a previously unheard interview that along the way he “kicked a heroin habit in New York City” in the early ‘60s. “I got very, very strung out for a while, I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it,” Dylan told his friend Robert Shelton while on a private plane during a 1966 concert tour. Though there have been rumors of Dylan’s involvement with heroin, he was never previously known to have confirmed them, the BBC reports.

Shelton, the music critic credited with discovering Dylan, had unparalleled access to the singer. The plane interview and another from the following day, in a motel, were discovered during research for a revised version of Shelton’s biography of Dylan; a film is now being developed around them. They paint a picture of a sometimes animated, sometimes despondent artist who was dismissive of his own work, saying he takes it “less seriously than anybody.” Click for more, including Dylan's talk of suicide. Or click for Sinead O'Connor's bizarre love letter for the birthday boy. (Read more Bob Dylan stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.