George Harrison was Bob Dylan’s close friend and bandmate, so he could provide insight into the relatively reclusive singer. Though Dylan is dedicated to his work as a songwriter and performer — his many albums and Nobel Prize are evidence of this — he also got tired of life on the road. Harrison explained that Dylan often tried to think of different career paths to get him out of touring.
The ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ singer began his music career in the early 1960s
Dylan has been working as a musician since 1961, meaning that his career has stretched over 60 years. After moving to New York City and performing in Greenwich Village clubs, Dylan released his first album in 1962. He didn’t find major success until the release of his second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, in 1963. With its release, he established himself as a prominent singer-songwriter.
Since then, Dylan accumulated an expansive body of work that doesn’t just include songs. He has published books, sold paintings, and appeared on film.
George Harrison said Bob Dylan was looking for ways to get out of touring
Working as a musician for 60 years is impressive, but it’s likely also exhausting. Dylan tried to find other ways to fill his time. Carrie Fisher explained that he once reached out to her with a project.
“He was calling because this cologne company had contacted him to see if he would endorse a cologne called Just Like a Woman,” she wrote in her book Wishful Drinking. “Now Bob didn’t like that name, but he liked the idea of endorsing a cologne. And he wanted to know if I had any good cologne names.”
Surprisingly, she did have a few cologne names in mind. She later brought up Dylan’s request in a conversation with Harrison.
“Anyway, a couple of weeks later, I saw George Harrison at this dinner party, as one does, so I tell him that Bob called and he said, ‘Don’t worry, because you know whenever Bob is on the road for a long time, he starts thinking about finding a regular job. You know, a job that will take him off the road.’”
Dylan had reached out to Harrison with a different business idea just before his call with Fisher.
“It turns out that Bob had phoned George the week before to see if he wanted to open The Traveling Wilburys Hotel.”
Though he’s still a musician, Dylan has dabbled in a number of different projects, including owning a whiskey distillery and a boxing gym.
George Harrison and Bob Dylan were close friends
It makes sense that Dylan would reach out to Harrison with a business idea, as the two men were close friends.
“George quoted Bob like people quote Scripture,” Tom Petty told Rolling Stone in 2002, per The Petty Archives. “Bob really adored George, too. George used to hang over the balcony videoing Bob while Bob wasn’t aware of it. Bob would be sitting at the piano playing, and George would tape it and listen to it all night.”
Harrison’s wife even said that the two men were like soul mates. Luckily, they were able to work together on two albums in The Traveling Wilburys.
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