Bob Dylan Went ‘Completely Nuts’ on His Tour Manager for Having a Piece of Cake: ‘He Can Be an A**hole’


For years, one of Bob Dylan’s closest friends and confidants was his tour manager, Victor Maymudes. They worked together for years, and Maymudes was present for many historical moments. They had a falling out in the late 1990s, but their relationship hit several snags before this. Maymudes recalled a time when Dylan screamed at him for having a piece of birthday cake.

Bob Dylan | Lester Cohen/WireImage

Bob Dylan and his tour manager Victor Maymudes worked together for years

Dylan met Maymudes at the very start of his career in 1961. He had recently moved to New York from Minnesota and played in small venues around the city.

“My father met Dylan in New York at the [West Village] Gaslight club in early 1961,” Maymudes’ son Jake told Rolling Stone. “He was managing Wavy Gravy and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at the time. He was a concert promoter and entrepreneur. He was six years older than Bob and way into the counterculture scene. One of the reasons they got along so well is because my old man had a little bit of insight into this new world that Bob was kind of jumping into.”

Victor Maymudes | John Byrne Cooke Estate/Getty Images

Maymudes saw something promising in Dylan and began driving him to shows outside the city.

“My old man drove him around to coffee shops since nobody else had a car,” Jake said. “There wasn’t an official role, other than buddy.”

Bob Dylan yelled at his tour manager for having cake

Maymudes and Dylan remained close when he became famous. They were good friends, but Maymudes said that Dylan was often hard on him.

“Bob would torture me; on occasion he was very hard on me,” he wrote in his book Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and Off the Tracks. “I drove him over to visit his parents at a house on Sixty-first Street in New York and he gets out and says, ‘You stay in the car. Don’t get out of the car.’ So that’s what I did, I just sat there.”

Soon, though, Dylan’s mother invited Maymudes inside to have a piece of birthday cake.

“A few minutes went by and his mother came outside and noticed me sitting there, so she yelled at me, ‘Victor! You gotta come in! We have birthday cake, it’s Bob’s birthday,’” he explained. “She pulled me out of the car and dragged me into the house.”

He had a piece of cake before excusing himself and going back outside. Though he was only briefly in the house, he worried that Dylan would be upset with him.

“I was expecting Bob to come freaking out at me any moment, and sure enough, he barreled out of the front door yelling at me,” Maymudes wrote. “’You were in the house! I said stay in the car!’ Just completely nuts in broad daylight in New York City. Now, you have to understand this type of chemistry because it happens to all of us at certain times in our life. He could lose control more than other people and go off like that.”

The former friends had a falling out

Still, Maymudes and Dylan remained close. In the late 1980s, Dylan gave Maymudes money to invest in real estate, which eventually ended their friendship. Maymudes invested in an unsuccessful coffee shop.

“My sister ran the place,” Jake said. “They didn’t invest money in advertising. They thought people would just find out about the place through the ether. A year went by and nobody showed up. It lost $100,000, and Bob’s accountants flipped out at my dad, and then at Bob. So Bob then flipped out at my sister and was incredibly rude to her. I’m not going to get into detail, but he fired her in a way that wouldn’t be cool for anyone to be fired. That pissed my dad off to no end. He was f***ing pissed, and he stormed out and basically quit. They got into a huge fight and stopped talking to each other.”

RELATED: Bob Dylan’s Childhood Friend Said the Singer Has Few Friends Left: ‘Most of the People Around Him Are Employees’

Maymudes died in 2001, before he and Dylan could reconcile. Jake believed that they would have reconciled if he hadn’t died.

“Over the years they had several big fights, and they always got back together,” he said. “My dad’s abrasive. Bob’s abrasive. They’re two grumpy old men. They f***ing flip out, and then get over it. At one point they could only talk to each other in a room full of lawyers, but my father wanted to rectify the situation before he died. He couldn’t believe that he and his buddy from him were acting like such idiots.”


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