Swedish paper profiles complicated story of Bob Dylan in Hibbing

Reporter Kristin Lundell and photographer Karin Grip visited Hibbing in October to do a feature for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, one of the nation’s largest dailies. Today, Lundell’s story and Grip’s photos ran in a huge three-page feature in the Culture section.

You can read the story in Swedish here or the Google translation to English here. (Google Translate is amazing, but imperfect. Some phrases don’t quite come across the way they were intended).

The story is a marvelously composed version of a common theme: Bob Dylan’s hometown doesn’t seem to understand him. And as much as I’d like this not to be the case (great improvements have been made in recent years) I personally witnessed what the reporters saw — prominent Hibbing people remarking about Dylan’s perceived disdain for Hibbing, something I thought had been debunked ages ago.

We continue to plan Dylan Days 2013 and I can share that a group of several Hibbing interests are working on a plan to make a prominent tribute to Dylan in his hometown. Dylan, for his part, continues touring, and his excellent recent album suggests a man looking back with complicated emotions. The story of Dylan in Hibbing is one of complicated emotions indeed.

Side notes:

  • I let it slip that in the time since I started organizing Dylan Days, Johnny Cash has slipped ahead of Dylan in my MP3 play meter. This is common knowledge in Sweden, now.
  • One of the cool things that happened was when I was driving with Kristin and Karin to Hibbing High School, KAXE played a new tune from a Swedish artist, “The Tallest Man in the World on Earth.” This made the story and I was very proud to be a part of the eclectic station that connects northern Minnesota to the wider world.
  • I wrote about my numerous faux pas with the ladies from Sweden in a column last month. I continue to decipher my family records to figure out exactly where in Sweden my relatives came from.
  • It’s worth going to the story link if only to see Iris Kolodji sing “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” on the stage of the Hibbing High School auditorium. Grip edited together a little music video that includes several images from around town. Iris is a frequent guest on my Great Northern Radio Show. The photo above, among Grip’s many fine shots, ran gigantically in the original newspaper feature.


  1. Next time I pass the Thirsty Moose I’ll have to stop and take respective cola. A finer euphemism I have yet to hear.

    Then the Google burps up this gem:

    “The two used to hang out after school: listening to music, watching motorcycle boots, thief read newspapers . . .”

    Thanks for the link, Aaron. I enjoyed the content as mauch as the haphazard translation.

  2. that would be Tallest Man on Earth, if you’re looking to add another faux pas:)

  3. Automatic translators art notoritiety arrow-prone, but do give you idea-context. 🙂

    And KC, thanks. That’s fixed now. I wish I could blame Google translator for that one, but that was all me.

  4. A comment to Swedish Svd Kristin Lundell
    can you read here on the swedish blog Kistalight/thommy Sjöberg
    Most regards from Kista/Stockholm

  5. gemantel@yahoo.com says

    What’s so “complicated” about it? Either the douchebag is from Duluth/Hibbing, or he isn’t.

    Let’s “uncomplicate” the story by stating simply that he is from Duluth/Hibbing —- NOT.

  6. Gerry Mantel says

    “Bob Dylan’s hometown doesn’t seem to understand him.” (Translation: Hibbingites aren’t exactly stupid, they know how much damage the Rockefellers did to Rangers, starting in the 1890s, when they came in and plundered the place.)

    “…I personally witnessed what the reporters saw — prominent Hibbing people remarking about Dylan’s perceived disdain for Hibbing, something I thought had been debunked ages ago.” (Response: Aaron, did you happen to catch the public TV film-salad titled ‘No Direction Home’? Did you see the part where Uncle Bobby debunked the debunkers?)

    • Gerry Mantel says

      p.s. — When I say “plundered the place,” I mean “financially.” Dylan/Rockefeller (“Another Side of Bob Dylan”) likely never paid one penny of federal income tax, yet he helped himself to billions of U.S. tax dollars to finance his various schemes.

  7. Gerry Mantel says

    You might want to read Dave Engel’s Dylan [classic], “Dylan in Minnesota,” where the premise is “Yeah, but not really ….”

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