On July 29, 1966 — 50 years ago — Bob Dylan crashed his 500cc Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle on a road near where he was living in Woodstock, New York.
The accident ended the “rat race” for Dylan, and allowed him to end his world tour in 1966.
Dylan wouldn’t go on the road again for eight years.
While living in Woodstock after he recovered, Dylan began the informal recording sessions at Big Pink of over 100 songs with the future members of The Band. The songs became the “Basement Tapes.”
Here’s what Dylan wrote about the accident in Chronicles:
“I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race. Having children changed my life and segregated me from just about everybody and everything that was going on. Outside of my family, nothing held any real interest for me and I was seeing everything through different glasses.”
This photo, made on a snowy day in 2011, is the approximate location on Striebel Road of Dylan’s motorcycle accident.
Striebel Road runs between Route 212 in Bearsville up to the Glasco Turnpike (Byrdcliffe). Albert Grossman, manager for Dylan and The Band, lived on this road.
Photo by Frank Beacham