Book Excerpt: Bob Dylan Writes ‘Blonde On Blonde’ at the Chelsea Hotel — Plus Audio

Today The Daily Beast printed an excerpt about Bob Dylan from Sherill Tippins “Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel.”

It begins like this:

In the fall of 1965, all Bob Dylan wanted to do was check into the Chelsea Hotel with his girlfriend Sara Lownds and write his album, but he ended up trysting with Andy Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick—and then making the biggest decision in his life.

Bob Neuwirth, Bob Dylan’s closest friend and “supreme hip courtier” during this period, later recalled that it was on a snowy night sometime in the late fall of 1965 when he and Dylan first crossed paths with Edie Sedgwick. Dylan had finally returned east after a harrowing tour with his new band, the Hawks, and had more or less abandoned the house he had bought in Woodstock, not believing he could write something new in a place where he’d written before. “It’s just a hang up, a voodoo kind of thing,” he said. “I can’t stand the smell of birth. It just lingers.” Instead, he had returned with his girlfriend Sara Lownds to the Chelsea Hotel—the perfect environment for writing the city songs he had in mind.

For more, head to The Daily Beast.

Plus more on the making of Blonde on Blonde at the Oxford American.

“Visions of Johanna,” London, May 27, 1966:

“Visions of Johanna,” Dublin, May 5, 1966:

Bob Dylan’s Screen Test at Andy Warhol’s Factory,1965

— A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post —

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

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