Bob Dylan’s Heroin Addiction Revealed Via Unearthed Audio Tapes
Dylan, who turns 70 today, talked about his drug use with a friend, Robert Shelton, who taped the conversation during a private plane ride from Lincoln, Neb., to Denver in 1966.
"I kicked a heroin habit in New York City," he confessed. "I got very, very strung out for a while, I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it."
Dylan also told Shelton that he contemplated suicide at one point. "Death to me is nothing," explained Dylan. "Death to me means nothing as long as I can die fast. Many times I've known I could have been able to die fast, and I could have easily gone over and done it."
He went on to say that he would rather kill himself that die a slow, agonizing death. "I'm not the kind of cat that's going to cut off an ear if I can't do something," he explained. "I'm the kind of cat that would just commit suicide. I'd shoot myself in the brain if things got bad."
Shelton also conducted a second interview with Dylan the following day, during which the singer-songwriter complained that he was being taken advantage of financially. "I'm sick of giving creeps money off my soul," he said. "When I lose my teeth tomorrow, they are not going to buy me a new pair of teeth. If it's not the promoter cheating you, it's the box office cheating you."
The content from the tapes, which were recently unearthed when Shelton was working on an updated edition of his Dylan biography, 'No Direction Home,' is now being developed into film.
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