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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

That Was the End of Zimmerman

In his autobiography, Bob Dylan refers just once to the name he was born with:

As far as Bobby Zimmerman goes, I'm going to give this to you straight and you can check out. One of the early presidents of the San Bernadino Angels was Bobby Zimmerman, and he was killed in 1964 on the Bass Lake run. The muffler fell off his bike, he made a U-turn to retrieve it in front of the pack and was instantly killed. That person is gone. That was the end of him.
So, I checked it out. Turns out, he was right about everything but the year. Robert Anthony Zimmerman, born 13 Jan. 1941 in San Bernardino County, California (the death index says 1940), died 3 Sept. 1961 after a motorcycle accident at Bass Lake. This was just a few weeks before the name "Bob Dylan" first appeared in the New York Times (pdf).

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