Listen: Bob Dylan on Drugs, John Lennon and Much More in 1969

Key audio excerpts from Dylan's first-ever interview with Rolling Stone

May 10, 2011 11:10 AM ET
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Chris Wood/Express/Getty Images

Happy Birthday Bob

Click to listen to the interview

When Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner flew to New York in the summer of 1969 to interview Bob Dylan, the songwriter had been out of the spotlight for three long years. In an extensive and groundbreaking interview, Dylan broke his silence on everything from drugs and the stories behind his greatest songs to why exactly he'd gone into seclusion at the height of his fame.

"Well, Jann, I’ll tell ya — I was on the road for almost five years," Dylan said. "It wore me down. I was on drugs, a lot of things. A lot of things just to keep going, you know? And I don’t want to live that way anymore."

He also discussed his legendary Basement Tapes sessions for the first time. " They were just fun to do," he said. "That’s all. They were a kick to do. Fact, I’d do it all again. You know... that’s really the way to do a recording – in a peaceful, relaxed setting – in somebody’s basement. With the windows open... and a dog lying on the floor."

Read the entire interview here, and hear audio excerpts where Dylan discusses drugs, John Lennon, his long break between projects, touring and more.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »