A previously unheard interview with Bob Dylan appears to confirm longstanding rumours the music legend once battled a heroin addiction and reveals the rocker once felt so low he considered suicide.
Tapes of the folk-rocker talking to his music critic friend Robert Shelton during a plane journey in the 1960s have been obtained by Britain's Bbc and during the chat, the Blowin' in the Wind hitmaker is heard talking about his brush with drugs.
Dylan purportedly tells Shelton, "I kicked a heroin habit in New York City. 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."
The two-hour long interview, which was recorded on Dylan's private plane during a journey from Lincoln, Nebraska to Denver, Colorado, in 1966 also reveals the star's thoughts on death, with the musician suggesting he once considered killing himself.
Dylan, who turns 70 years old on Tuesday (24May11), is heard saying, "Death to me is nothing... death to me means nothing as long as I can die fast. 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...
"I take it (music) less seriously than anybody. I know that it's not going to help me into heaven one little bit, man. It's not going to get me out of the fiery furnace. It's certainly not going to extend my life any and it's not going to make me happy...
"I'm not the kind of cat that's going to cut off an ear if I can't do something. I'm the kind of cat that would just commit suicide. I'd shoot myself in the brain if things got bad. I'd jump from a window... man, I would shoot myself. You know I can think about death, man, openly."
The recording was made while Shelton was working on Dylan's biography, No Direction Home, which first came out in 1986. The tapes were uncovered during research for a revised edition which was recently published to mark the star's upcoming birthday.