Entry count: 3610
Article Bob Dylan

August 2nd, 1962: From Zimmerman To Dylan

From Zimmerman To Dylan

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1970.

Support Gaslight Records

On this day 50 years ago Robert Allen Zimmerman officially changed his name to Bob Dylan.

As the man himself noted in Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home, he simply didn't feel any connection with the name Zimmerman and he instead chose the name Dylan somewhere between his move from Minneapolis to New York and "it stuck". It would however take another year or so for him to officially change his name on the 02/08/1962.

Speculation has led the world to believe that Bobby chose the surname Dylan as an homage to Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas, however, he has stated that that was not the case: "No, I haven't read that much of Dylan Thomas… It wasn't that I was inspired by reading some of his poetry and going 'Aha!' and changing my name to Dylan."

Perhaps the fairest assumption to make is that Robert Allen Zimmerman changed his name to Bob Dylan in order to simply conform with the paradigm of punchy, few-syllabic names like those of his heroes – Woody Guthrie, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry. It was going to be a lot easier to get Bob Dylan's records played on the radio than Robert Zimmerman's. Dylan was also perhaps trying to avoid any anti-semitic undercurrents still relevant within American culture at the time.

Either way, Bob Dylan has rightfully become one of the most iconic and revered names in cultural history, as such, it's worth remembering the day that name officially came into being.

More recent news

Watch The Jackson 5 perform single from their debut album on Ed Sullivan

News

December 23rd, 1969: Watch The Jackson 5 perform single from their debut album on Ed Sullivan

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 is the latest release from Motown

 
The Clancy Brothers have released a new album of Christmas songs: Listen

News

December 20th, 1969: The Clancy Brothers have released a new album of Christmas songs: Listen

Irish folk group, The Clancy Brothers have recorded 11 songs to bring a little joy to your Christmas

 
See photos from The Doors album cover shoot in Los Angeles today

News

December 18th, 1969: See photos from The Doors album cover shoot in Los Angeles today

The new Doors album is due for release early next year.

 
Four people died over the weekend at The Altamont Speedway Free Festival

Article

December 10th, 1969: Four people died over the weekend at The Altamont Speedway Free Festival

Here's the story of Altamont in quotes from many of the people involved.

 
The Rolling Stones have released a new studio album ahead of their free concert tomorrow at Altamont

News

December 5th, 1969: The Rolling Stones have released a new studio album ahead of their free concert tomorrow at Altamont

As The Stones finish their run of U.S. concert dates they have released their eighth album, Let It Bleed.

 
This summer Bob Dylan sat down for an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine

Interviews

December 4th, 1969: This summer Bob Dylan sat down for an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine

Read the transcript below of Dylan and Wenner's interview from June this year

 
Emmylou Harris covers Bob Dylan on debut album

News

December 3rd, 1969: Emmylou Harris covers Bob Dylan on debut album

Listen to Harris's cover of Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" from her album Gliding Bird

 
Peter Stone Brown covers Bob Dylan's 'She Belongs To Me'

Live At The Gaslight

Peter Stone Brown covers Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me"

Recorded in Atlantic City at Dylan Fest in 2015

 
Watch Roy Orbison perform 'Oh, Pretty Woman' with Johnny Cash last week

News

October 4th, 1969: Watch Roy Orbison perform "Oh, Pretty Woman" with Johnny Cash last week

Orbison appeared on The Johnny Cash Show in Nashville

 
Mixtape October 1969

Mixtapes

October 1st, 1969: Mixtape October 1969

It's the end of Summer 1969, here's what I'm listening to.

 
Tyrannosaurus Rex released a new single 'Pewter Suitor' this week - Listen

News

October 1st, 1969: Tyrannosaurus Rex released a new single "Pewter Suitor" this week - Listen

The new single was left off the band's album Unicorn, from earlier this year.

 
'I was just about all through as a man' Johnny Cash talks to Richard Green of NME

Interviews

October 1st, 1969: "I was just about all through as a man" Johnny Cash talks to Richard Green of NME

Cash gave a brief interview recently while visiting London

 
Loading more