Bob Dylan's beginnings trace back to an infamous folk hero and a little neighborhood with a goofy name.
"Seems a little out of the normal... the choice that they made," says 'Spider' John Koerner over the phone from Minneapolis when asked about yesterday's news that America's mad, mercurial poet Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. "Might have surprised him, too!"
The legend of Bob Dylan, its Greenwich Village beginnings and the artistic renaissance Dylan found there, has been so complete and consistent that it is, moreso than ever now, wholly inseparable from the wider history of the previous century.
But Dylan's transformation from man to historical object began in Dinkytown, a neighborhood in Minneapolis that abuts the state university's campus. When Dylan arrived in 1959, still Robert Zimmerman, Dinkytown's fixed proximity to youth had birthed a vibrant, early-on-the-ground folk scene, prompted Dylan to (as he writes in Chronicles Vol. 1) trade in his electric guitar for an acoustic, and to begin surveying the depths of the roots music, both new and old, he was now in the middle of.