Thursday, April 25, 2024

Now Even Bob Dylan Can Feel What It’s Like to Be “Cancelled,” Presumed Guilty By Even Rolling Stone


Yesterday, a crazy woman sued Bob Dylan, our rock poet laureate, Nobel Prize winner, for sexual molestation. She said in her suit that the incident happened exactly in April and May of 1965, at New York’s Hotel Chelsea. She said he was 24, and she was 12. (She doesn’t explain how a 12 year would be in the hotel without parents.)

No one except this column bothered to check Dylan’s whereabouts for this time period. It wasn’t difficult. Dylan was mostly on the West Coast doing concerts in April, many with Joan Baez, continuing from March.

On April 26th, two days after a show in Seattle, Dylan flew to London. He was in the UK or Europe until June 2nd. During that time, he and Baez had their famed UK shows which DA Pennebaker filmed for “Don’t Look Back,” the most famous rock documentary of all time. Dylan also went to Portugal on vacation with future wife Sara Lowndes, with whom he would have four children. (He and Sara were married in the fall.)

So the accusations leveled by an anonymous woman who calls herself “J.C.” in the lawsuit are meritless. He wasn’t in New York, or the U.S., he wasn’t staying at the Chelsea Hotel. A friend of his from that time told me Dylan couldn’t have afforded a “swanky room” there (TMZ’s description). Indeed, it wouldn’t be until July, when his watershed single “Like a Rolling Stone”: was released, that Dylan would have a hit record. So there was no big money coming in prior to July 1965.

But the press didn’t care. They just repeated the lie of the lawsuit as if it were true. Even Rolling Stone, which made its life on access to Dylan for 40 years, went with it and didn’t question the story. Nice, huh? I joke that if Jann Wenner were still alive (no one’s seen him in eons) that would not have happened.

In his great song, “Idiot Wind,” Dylan predicted all this back in 1974.

“Someone’s got it in for me
They’re planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out quick
But when they will I can only guess”

He also said it best almost a decade earlier, succinctly: “It ain’t me, babe, it ain’t me you’re looking for.”

Shame on everyone.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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