Folk-rock legend Bob Dylan, who turns 70 years old tomorrow, suffered from an addiction to heroin at the height of his career in the 1960s and contemplated suicide, according to a report on BBC.
BBC reported that it uncovered a previously unknown tape in which the famous songwriter discussed his addiction.
Reportedly, Dylan’s friend and journalist Robert Shelton recorded an interview with the star in March 1966 after a concert during a US tour. The conversation was taped during a flight on a private plane from Lincoln, Neb. to Denver, Colo.
He admitted on the tape to heroin addiction in the early 1960s; as well as having suicidal feelings
I kicked a heroin habit in New York City, Dylan says on the tape.
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.
Regarding suicide, Dylan says on the tape: Death to me is nothing... 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. I'll admit to having this suicidal thing... but I came through this time, he says.
While rumors have long abounded about Dylan’s heroin use, he had never publically discussed it.
According to media reports, Mick Brown, a reporter for the Daily Telegraph, stated: It's extraordinary that he should be talking about [heroin] quite so candidly.”
Dylan further added about death: I'm not the kind of cat that's going to cut off an ear if I can't do something. I'm the kind of cat that would just commit suicide. I'd shoot myself in the brain if things got bad. I'd jump from a window... man, I would shoot myself. You know I can think about death, man, openly.
On the tape, Dylan is characteristically dismissive of his work and the critical acclaim they have received.
I take it less seriously than anybody, he says. I know that it's not going to help me into heaven one little bit, man. It's not going to get me out of the fiery furnace. It's certainly not going to extend my life any and it's not going to make me happy. You can't be happy by doing something groovy.
Shelton also recorded an interview with Dylan the following at a hotel in Denver. During that session, the singer complained about the risks associated with fame.
I'm sick of giving creeps money off my soul,” he says on the tape. 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. Somebody is always giving you a hard time.