Protest Singer: 1962-1964
The world was going through a radical transformation when Dylan got the urge to write original songs. The Cold War seemed to be on the verge of going hot in a hurry, the Civil Rights movement was ripping America in half and President Kennedy was beginning to move troops into Vietnam. Dylan wasn't very political by nature, but his girlfriend Suze Rotolo came from an active leftist family and she urged him to begin writing about issues of the day. The songs came quickly — from "Masters of War" to "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" to "With God On Our Side." The image of him singing these songs was so powerful and became so ingrained in the minds of his generation that nothing he did in the ensuing years could make them view him as anything other than a protest singer.