Today in 1962 Robert Zimmerman legally changed his name to Bob Dylan and a legend was born

August 2, 2017

Robert Zimmerman

had first been known as Elston Gunn

He used it during a brief late-’50s tenure

in pop singer Bobby Vee’s band

when he was barely out of high school

Dylan later said

“The Elston Gunn name thing was only temporary"

"What I was going to do as soon as I left home

was just called myself Robert Allen

As far as I was concerned, that was who I was

that’s what my parents named me

It sounded like the name of a Scottish king and I liked it.

There was little of my identity that wasn’t in it”

Dylan also considered different formulations

of his birth name including Robert Allyn

and used variations on his most famous stage name

'Bob Dillon'

Bob Dylan again once said

“The first time I was asked my name in the Twin Cities

I instinctively and automatically

without thinking, simply said 

"Bob Dylan...Now I had to get used to people calling me Bob”

In 1961

Bob Dylan told the New York Times

“I just chose the name and it stuck

I didn’t change my name in honor of Dylan Thomas

That’s just a story

I’ve done more for Dylan Thomas than he’s ever done for me.”


Robert Allen Zimmerman

emerged from the Supreme Court building

at 111 Centre St. in downtown Manhattan

on August 2nd of 1962

as 'Bob Dylan'


Bob Dylan made no excuses along the way

He told CBS in a historic 2004 interview

“You’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents

I mean that happens

You call yourself what you want to call yourself

This is the land of the free”



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