In 1966, Bob Dylan He was 24 years old and claimed that he had accomplished everything he wanted out of life. He was a successful musician, he had met his longtime hero, Woody Guthrie, and, on a smaller scale, had left his hometown behind. When pressed, though, Dylan said there were a few things he still hoped to achieve. While he didn’t come close to one, Dylan’s other goals were more attainable.
Bob Dylan became famous early in life
Dylan grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota. I have ran away from home seven times as a child and knew that if he wanted to fulfill his dreams, he had to leave the Midwest.
“[Growing up there] didn’t feel good or bad. I knew there was something out there that I had to get to,” Dylan told 60 minutes in 2004. “And it wasn’t where I was.”
Dylan moved to New York, where he began to pursue a career in music. He found success relatively quickly. After moving in 1961, he released his second, fame-making album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylanin 1963. Since then, he has released nearly 40 albums, won 10 Grammy awards, and picked up a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Bob Dylan once said he’d accomplished everything he wanted to in life by his early 20s
By 1966, Dylan had only enjoyed a few years of major success, but he said he’d accomplished everything he wanted to. In an interview with Playboy, he shared what he still had to look forward to.
“Salvation,” he said, per the book Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews. “Just plain salvation.”
When pressed, though, Dylan was able to think of a few more goals for his future.
“Praying,” he said. “I’d also like to start a cookbook magazine. And I’ve always wanted to be a boxing referee. I want to refer a heavyweight championship fight. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine any fighter in his right mind recognizing I?”
One of his hopes nearly came true
Unless he did it anonymously, it doesn’t seem that Dylan started a cookbook magazine. He came closer to his other goals of him, though. For Dylan, praying was easy to achieve. He converted to Christianity and began releasing music with heavily religious themes.
While he didn’t start a new career as a boxing referee, he did the next best thing by opening a members-only boxing gym in Santa Monica. I also invited former professional boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini to spar with him. Though Mancini didn’t listen to much of Dylan’s music, he immediately recognized the singer.
“I looked around and there was this older, curly-haired guy on the other side of the gym wrapping his hands,” Mancini told Daily Beast in 2021. “I recognized it was Bob Dylan. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t a big Dylan fan. I mean, I knew some of his songs by him, like ‘Highway 61’ and ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ but that was it. Still, don’t get me wrong, even then I knew Dylan was an icon, someone who changed the way we see Rushmore, if we had one.”
Though he said he’d accomplished everything he wanted in his early 20s, Dylan could still achieve new goals over the years.