4 Facts Between Bob Dylan and Bobby Vee

4 Facts Between Bob Dylan and Bobby Vee

R.I.P. Bobby Vee, ’60s pop singer and longtime friend to Bob Dylan has died at 73

Here is 5 Facts About Bob Dylan and Bobby Vee


1- Bob Dylan Played in Vee’s Band Under the Name Elston Gunn

bob-dylan boby-vee

Barely out of high school, Bob Dylan took the name Elston Gunn to play piano behind the early rock-and-roller, Bobby Vee


“When ‘Suzie Baby’ became a big hit, we had local gigs and needed a piano player,” Vee recalled, not for the first time. “This kid approached my brother at Sam’s Record Land in Fargo. He said his name was Elston Gunn and he had just come off the road with Conway Twitty, which he hadn’t.



An oft-told tale told once more by Bobby Vee, interviewed in the
latest issue of Goldmine, on how the mere lack of a piano cost
Dylan the life- long security of a job with Vee's backing band,
the Shadows.

The Shadows briefly expanded to a quintet when the band added a
confident young pianist whose long-term future was even rosier
than Vee's.

"He was in the Fargo/Moorhead area.  He was working as a busboy
at a place called the Red Apple Cafe.  We didn't know that at the
time. Bill [Velline] was in a record shop in Fargo, Sam's Record
Land, and this guy came up to him and introduced himself as
Elston Gunnn--with three n's, G-U-N-N-N.

"He said he heard we were looking for a piano player, which we
were, and he said that he had just gotten off the road with
Conway Twitty. Bill was blown away.  'Man, how good can this be? 
This was as good as it gets!' And went over to the radio station
with him, over to KGFO, and there was this piano in the studio
and auditioned him on the piano.  He came back and he said, 'He
played pretty good in the key of C.' We didn't realize it at the
time, but that's all he could play in, was the key of C.  I-IV-V
in the key of C.

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2- Bob  Dylan Still Thought of Vee ‘as a Brother’


Despite their different career paths after that one meeting in Greenwich Village, Dylan said he still thought of Vee as a brother since they came from the same part of the country.

“Standing there with Bobby, I didn’t want to act selfishly on his time so we said good-bye and I walked down the side of the theater and out through one of the side doors. There were throngs of young girls waiting for him in the cold outside the building. I cut back out through them into the press of cabs and private cars plowing slowly through the icy streets and headed back to the subway station. I wouldn’t see Boby Vee again for another thirty years, and though things would be a lot different, I’d always thought of him as a brother. Every time I’d see his name somewhere, it was like he was in the room.”


3-  Bob Dylan Performed Vee’s ‘Suzie Baby’ in 2013 & Called Vee the ‘Most Meaningful Person I’ve Ever Been on Stage With’


Before Dylan performed “Suzie Baby,” Dylan said that of all the people he had ever been on stage with, Vee was “the most meaningful person.” He asked the crowd to give Vee a round of applause before performing.

“Bobby Vee was from Fargo, North Dakota, raised not too far from me. In the summer of ’59 he had a regional hit record out called “Suzie Baby” on a local label. His band was called The Shadows and I had hitchhiked out there and talked my way into joining his group as a piano player on some of his local gigs, one in the basement of a church I played a few shows with him, but he really didn’t need a piano player and, besides, it was hard finding a piano that was in tune in the halls that he played.

Bobby Vee and me and a lot in common, even though our paths would take such different directions. We had the same musical history and came from the same place at the same point of time.”


4-  Bob Dylan & Vee Met Again When Dylan Was Playing in Greenwich Village & Vee Was at the Top of the Charts


a couple of years later I was in New York in Greenwich Village. I was walking down the street. There was a record store there, and there was an album in the front window. And it said, ‘Bob Dylan.’ And I thought to myself, ‘Looks a lot like Elston Gunnn


In Chronicles, Dylan sounds like he regretted seeing Vee go from rockabily singer to pop star. He wrote that “Take Good Care of My Baby” was “as slick as ever.” Dylan wrote:

He’d become a crowd pleaser in the pop world. As for myself, I had nothing against pop songs, but the definition of pop was changing.



a Memory

“So… I was downtown one day and I saw Abe Zimmerman and I said, “How’s Bobby?” He said, “Oh he’s home now.” So I called, and I said, “Whatcha been doin’, Bob? Huh?” And he said, “Well, I’ve been recording for this record label by the name of Bobby Vee.” And I was really impressed, of course, because Bobby Vee was rather big in that particular area. Of course, we all know who Bobby Vee is now, but back then I just let it go at that. And by the time I got to know who Bobby Vee was, it didn’t make much difference anyway.”


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