Cops: You're Bob Dylan? Never Heard Of You

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Here's a surprising bit of news that's come to light: Word is that late last month a couple of cops on the beat in Long Branch, N.J., came across a guy wandering around a dicey neighborhood. They asked the man for his ID. He told them he didn't have it on him, but that his name was Bob Dylan. The officers had no idea who that was.


And now, here's one strange little tale that caught our attention.

(Soundbite of music)

GREENE: Before a concert in Long Branch, New Jersey, last month, Bob Dylan put on his blue jacket and went for a stroll to pass the time.

(Soundbite of song, "Ain't Talkin'")

Mr. BOB DYLAN (Musician): (Singing) I ain't talkin', just walkin' through this weary world of woe…

GREENE: The rock legend was out walking through a pretty low-income neighborhood, blocks from the ocean, looking at some of the houses.

(Soundbite of song, "Positively 4th Street")

Mr. DYLAN: (Singing) You see me on the street. You always act surprised.

GREENE: Apparently, a resident was surprised because next came a call to the police reporting some mysterious man wandering the streets. The first cop on the scene drove up and asked for some ID. Bob Dylan didn't have any. The cop then asked for his name, and the singer told him it was Bob Dylan. Didn't seem to ring any bell.

(Soundbite of song, "Like A Rolling Stone")

Mr. DYLAN: (Singing) Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone.

GREENE: Okay, what are you doing here? the officer asked. I'm on tour, Dylan said. That's when a second police officer pulled up, but he didn't recognize Dylan either.

(Soundbite of song, "Rainy Day Women")

Mr. DYLAN: (Singing) They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to go home. Then they'll stone ya when you're there all alone.

GREENE: Finally, in the end, the three of them all went back to Dylan's hotel, where the staff IDed this man, who is arguably one of the most well-known songwriters of all time. The officers thanked Dylan for cooperating, and later they said he seemed as kind as could be.

(Soundbite of song, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right")

Mr. DYLAN: (Singing) I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind, you could've done better but I don't mind, you just kind of wasted my precious time. But don't think twice, it's all right.

GREENE: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Liane Hansen strolls back to studio next week.

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