New tapes offer fresh evidence...

Newly discovered tapes are offering fresh evidence about Bob Dylan's possible heroin addiction.

Bob Dylan has always kept his cards close to his chest. The seminal artist's mid 60s output, for example, remains inspiring but relatively few details of his personal life from this period have surfaced in comparison to, say, The Beatles.

Suffering the legendary motorcycle crash in 1967, the period is marked by tremendous artistic evolution. Hidden behind trademark jet black sunglasses, Bob Dylan's life at this time has long been surrounded by rumours of drug abuse.

The idea that Bob Dylan was a junkie was sparked by several rumours, which have recently been given a new lease of life.

Tapes uncovered by the BBC (via The Guardian) feature a previously unheard interview with the singer. Recorded by Robert Shelton the interview took place on board a private plane and includes a number of revelations from Bob Dylan.

"I kicked a heroin habit in New York City" he admitted. "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."

Dylan's life in the mid 60s is marked by a tremendous momentum. Many close to the singer have admitted that they feared he could become a pop James Dean, dying before his career had the chance to reach its full fruition.

In the interview with Robert Sheldon, Bob Dylan admitted that he has a "suicidal" drive within him. "Death to me is nothing as long as I can die fast," he told Shelton. "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 said.

Robert Shelton is a vastly experienced Dylan researcher. The journalist wrote the biography 'No Direction Home' in 1986 which contained a number of revelations and insightful comment on his work.

Re-issued for the singer's 70th birthday, a search through the vaults led to the release of the tapes to the BBC. Excerpts from the tapes were broadcast on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' program earlier today (May 23rd).

Join us on VERO

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.

Follow Clash: