Dropping out of college in Minneapolis in 1960, Robert Zimmerman reinvented himself as Bob Dylan and travelled to New York seeking out folk legend Woody Guthrie. He found Guthrie ill in hospital with Huntington's Disease and wrote his first song in honour of his hero, throwing himself into the emergent Greenwich Village folk movement. Famous producer John Hammond signed him to Columbia and Dylan's cryptic songs full of biting social commentary delivered in a strange, strangulated voice made him the hero of the protest song movement as youth attitudes hardened in a turbulent world. He enraged the folk fraternity by going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, astonishing fans with the full-blooded rock of his hit single Like A Rolling Stone and toured with The Band. Repulsed by his celebrity, he hated the "spokesman for a generation" tag, but continued to make challenging records embracing different styles. Despite health scares he continued to tour incessantly through the 2000s.
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