A previously unheard interview with Bob Dylan has revealed that the aging bard, 70 today (May 24), overcame an addiction to heroin during the sixties.
The BBC reports that the ‘lost’ interview took place during a US tour in 1966, when Dylan flew from Lincoln, Nebraska to Denver, Colorado after a concert. He was accompanied by critic and friend Robert Shelton, who conducted the two-hour interview with Dylan. Shelton described the interview as a “kaleidoscopic monologue”.
During the interview, Dylan confesses that he battled a heroin addiction as his career was burgeoning in the early sixties.
“I kicked a heroin habit in New York City,” he said. “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.”
Widely known as an early proponent of marijuana, this marks the first time Dylan has admitted using heroin.
The interview contained many other interesting morsels, including his ruminations on death and that he considered committing suicide as a response to his overwhelming fame.
“Death to me is nothing… death to me means nothing as long as I can die fast. Many times I’ve known I could have been able to die fast, and I could have easily gone over and done it.
“I’ll admit to having this suicidal thing… but I came through this time.”
And in a rather less surprising admission, he said he had little respect for his own work, saying,”I take it less seriously than anybody… I know that it’s not going to help me into heaven one little bit, man. It’s not going to get me out of the fiery furnace.
“It’s certainly not going to extend my life any and it’s not going to make me happy. You can’t be happy by doing something groovy.”
Suicide, however, seemed to be a theme Dylan was warming to. He went on, saying, “I’m not the kind of cat that’s going to cut off an ear if I can’t do something. I’m the kind of cat that would just commit suicide.
“I’d shoot myself in the brain if things got bad. I’d jump from a window… man, I would shoot myself. You know I can think about death, man, openly.”