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Newly Released Interview Tapes Reveal Bob Dylan’s 60’s Heroin Addiction

On the day of his 70th birthday, just released tapes reveal Bob Dylan’s addiction to heroin during the early days of his career in New York.

In an interview between New York Times music journalist Robert Shelton and Bob Dylan recorded on a private plane headed towards Denver Col. in 1966, Dylan opened up to his reporter friend about his thoughts on death and his history with addiction.

Sheldon described the interview as a “kaleidoscopic monologue" and said that the songwriter was "twisting restlessly" throughout their talk. Talking drugs, Dylan revealed an addicted period early in his career, saying, "I kicked a heroin habit in New York City. 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."

Although Shelton, who died in 1995, never revealed the drug use, the interview tapes were discovered by a research team looking into materials for the anniversary re-release of Shelton’s 1986 biography of the singer, No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan.

The interview tapes are now being used as the background material for another documentary film on Dylan.

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