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Anti-Semitism Played Role in Dylan's Name Change

His musings on that and other topics just sold for $495K
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 20, 2020 12:51 PM CST

(Newser) – A trove of Bob Dylan documents including the singer-songwriter's musings about anti-Semitism and unpublished song lyrics has sold at auction for $495,000, per the AP. Boston-based R.R. Auction said the collection privately held by the late American blues artist Tony Glover, a longtime Dylan friend and confidante, was sold Thursday to a bidder whose identity was not made public. The collection included transcripts of Glover's 1971 interviews with Dylan and letters the pair exchanged. The interviews reveal that Dylan had anti-Semitism on his mind when he changed his name from Robert Zimmerman, and that he wrote “Lay Lady Lay” for Barbra Streisand to sing. Dylan, 79, was close with Glover, who died last year. The two men broke into music in the same Minneapolis coffeehouse scene. Glover’s widow, Cynthia Nadler, put the documents up for auction online.

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Included in the auctioned items were lyrics Dylan penned after visiting folk legend Woody Guthrie in May 1962. The lines, never made public until last month, read: “My eyes are cracked I think I been framed / I can’t seem to remember the sound of my name / What did he teach you I heard someone shout / Did he teach you to wheel & wind yourself out / Did he teach you to reveal, respect, and repent the blues / No Jack he taught me how to sleep in my shoes.” In a 1971 conversation with Glover, Dylan discussed why he changed his name from Zimmerman, saying: “A lot of people are under the impression that Jews are just money lenders and merchants."

(Read more Bob Dylan stories.)

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