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Monday, July 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 65.0° F  A Few Clouds


How Bob Dylan bombed in Madison

Once upon a time, Bob Dylan wasn't good enough for Madison.

The budding singer briefly lived here in the early 1960s. Dylan had left the University of Minnesota after only a year, ready to conquer the national folk scene. His friends scoffed, since he hadn't even conquered the Minneapolis folk scene yet.

But Bob saw himself as a star way before anybody else did. He moved to Madison to take the place by storm before heading off to the folk mecca of New York City.

It didn't work out that way. Madison was full of excellent folksingers, many of them better than Dylan at the time. Bob played around town but didn't impress anybody. Locals paid little attention when he finally hitched a ride to New York City.

As you may have heard, things went a little better for him there.

In honor of Dylan's 73rd birthday on May 24, here's an audio piece about his brief Madison period, including my discovery of the place where he hung out back then. It originally aired on Wisconsin Public Radio's Wisconsin Life.

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