Dylan has cited the poet as a major inspiration, citing him as one of the progenitors of French symbolism and surrealism. He followed in the footsteps of Dylan Thomas and the Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg, both of whom were influenced by Rimbaud.
Dylan also credits Harry Dean Stanton (a Hollywood actor) with influencing his songwriting. He said that he used to watch Stanton work and borrow from his style.
Stanton died in October 2018 at the age of 94.
Dylan announced in 2012 that he was retiring from touring to focus on writing and recording new music. However, he did play several small clubs in 2013 and 2014 before deciding not to continue touring again.
He has said that he does not plan to stop writing songs, just won't be playing them live anymore.
However, he did announce another round of tour dates in 2015, this time including full concerts.
It's possible that Dylan could decide to resume touring again in the future.
Besides acting, Stanton was known for his work as a musician, forming a country rock band called Harry Dean Stanton & The Lost Highway with Jerry Garcia's son John Garcia. The pair released one album in 1969 called New York City.
Dylan himself has cited several artists as influences, including John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, and Elvis Presley.
However, he has also said that he is not particularly influenced by any one artist or style of music; instead, he always finds something new to like about whatever he listens to.
Dylan began writing songs at an early age and played in local clubs before forming a band called The New Christy Minstrels with his cousin, Marty Stuart, on guitar. They played traditional country music but also included some blues and rock 'n' roll songs into their set list. After failing to make a name for themselves in the industry, they broke up in 1961.
Dylan then moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, where he became involved in the counterculture movement that was popular among young people during the late 1950s and early 1960s. He wrote and performed his own material and that of other poets and musicians who shared his interest in politics and culture.
Dylan was principally responsible for introducing two distinct elements into the genre of rock music: poetry and folk music. Unlike other rock songwriters, Dylan was acquainted with contemporary poets such as Allen Ginsberg and was responsible for broadening the genre of rock by incorporating these inspirations. He also popularized the use of a guitar-bass-drums lineup, which is now common in most rock songs.
Dylan began writing poems at an early age and continued to do so throughout his career. These poems were often based on current events or issues that interested him, such as poverty, war, racism, and religion. Many of these poems were published under the pseudonym Robert Zimmerman. In 1955, he released his first album called The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, which included several folk songs that had previously been recorded by other artists. This album became very influential in the development of rock music because it introduced many new elements into the genre, such as poetic lyrics and improvisational jazz-like guitar playing.
In 1963, Dylan dropped out of school and moved to New York City where he soon started performing live every night in clubs across America. It wasn't long before he became one of the most sought-after musicians in the country, playing over 300 shows in 1964 alone. In addition to being a musician, Dylan wrote almost all of his own songs and served as their primary voice during live performances.
He is influenced by things that existed long before the 1960s, such as music, poetry, and writing. He didn't come fully formed from that time. And he has continued to work, write, ponder, and create amazing art for many years beyond 1969. As a result, it's critical to consider Dylan's work in context. The early songs often fit into categories that would become important later in Dylan's career, such as protest music or folk music. However, even if you take those tags at face value, you'd be missing the whole point of what makes his work so great.
As an artist, he has been able to evolve and change over time; he doesn't stay in one place for very long. His music reflects this ability, too - there are different periods in his career where you can see him exploring new sounds and new ways of thinking about music.
Dylan started making music at a time when most people were listening to traditional pop music. But he had these other tools at his disposal - he could use words well, he was interested in politics and social issues - so he was able to weave them into his songs in unique ways.
His impact on me is two-fold. First, he showed how influential an individual musician can be. Before Dylan, musicians were seen as part of a band, but now we know they can bring something unique to the table.
In his latest book, Bob Dylan in America, Sean Wilentz, an American history professor at Princeton University and "historian-in-residence" at BobDylan.com, explores Dylan's effect on American society. In this interview, he explores how Dylan influenced his generation and whether there is a comparable musician in today's music industry.
The full interview was published on Rolling Stone on 6 May 2012.