Hibbing High School is a public grade 7-12 high school in Hibbing, Minnesota, United States. The school building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Bob Dylan attended Grade 2-12 at Hibbing High School
Hibbing residents call themselves “Rangers”, a reference to the “Iron Range”, a name derived from the huge iron ore deposits that form the basis of industry in the region. Hematite, the main ore, has also lent its name to the Hibbing High School yearbook.
(in his memoir, Chronicles, Dylan described the winters as so cold and unending as to be hallucinogenic), the mining company also invested in education: the superintendent of the school system supposedly received the highest salary of any school district in the state, and K-12 instructors were paid unusually high salaries for the area
This photograph was taken by Bob’s mother, Beatty, in Hibbing, and dated September 1958, a 17-year-old Bob is shown with his second electric guitar. Most more youthful rock’n’roll moments seem to have him on piano.We can say for certain from the photograph that this electric instrument is not a Fender (it’s sometimes been said that he owned a Fender in Hibbing)—and we can say that it isn’t his first electric, a $39 turquoise Silvertone bought mail-order from Sears Roebuck, but must be his second, a new Supro Ozark (a guitar Jimi Hendrix also had as a lad), bought at Mr. Hautala’s store in Hibbing at a knock-down $60 because Bob and his friend John Bucklen each bought one at the same time: and September 1958 is too late for him to be just acquiring the Silvertone. This is the picture of a boy who’s proud of having upgraded. In Minneapolis, Bob swaps his electric for an acoustic. From there he emerges as an acoustic playing folkie, and remains so until July 1965.
Gray, Michael. The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. New York: Continuum, 2006, 0826469337, page 285.
“John Bucklen soon became the closest friend Bob had in Hibbing. He was six months younger than Bob, and a year below him in high school. His father, a disabled mine worker, was an accomplished musician who enjoyed a wide variety of music. His sister, Ruth, had a record player. The boys began to spend a lot of time at each other’s houses, although Bucklen got the impression Abe may not have approved of the friendship as he seemed to frown upon most of Bob’s friends.
“During jam sessions with Bucklen, Bob mixed up snatches of pop tunes with song ideas of his own. The first song Bob invented was about actress Brigitte Bardot. Bob played his parents’ white baby grand, and Bucklen accompanied him on guitar. Bucklen had a tape recorder and they recorded the sessions, interjecting juvenile humor and bits of hipster slang, as if making their own radio show. When they got tired of the game, they headed over to Crippa’s where they could listen to records in the sound booths. On visits to see his relatives in Duluth and the Twin Cities Bob was able to visit bigger stores that stocked the race records he liked.”
Sounes, Howard. Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan. New York: Grove Press, 2001, page 44-45.
Dylan (then known as Bob Zimmerman) cut his musical chops while attending Hibbing High, forming bands with names like The Golden Chords and Danny & the Juniors. It was a performance with the latter band that was famously cut off by the high school’s principal for being too noisy. A decade later, when Dylan returned to town for his 10-year high school reunion, he reportedly got into a fight with some drunken ex-classmates. Now, after five decades, he’s getting the last laugh.
Bob Zimmerman with Dale Boutang “the best rider in Hibbing, a cowboy on wheels and a seasoned weight-lifter” and Dale Boutang’s Harley 74, 1956.
Photograph taken by Beatty Zimmerman, Bob’s mother
Bob Dylan last attended a High School Reunion in 1969. As the ’59 class remember it, he, accompanied by his then-wife Sara, flew into Hibbing Airport, and were then driven into town, where the other graduates of 1959 were gathered at the Moose Lodge, at 1510 Howard Street. While things hadn’t changed much in Hibbing, things had clearly changed a great deal for Bob, now a massive star, if one then in self-imposed seclusion.
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