Bob Dylan Said His Attempt to One-Up John Lennon Turned Into a ‘Nightmare’

Bob Dylan and John Lennon held each other in high regard and spent time working together in the 1960s. Dylan visited England frequently and often met up with Lennon while he was there. He was impressed by the other musician’s living situation, so much so that he tried to find something similar for himself. Not to be outdone by the size of Lennon’s house, Dylan bought a bigger home. He explained that it ended up being a disaster.

Bob Dylan wears a blue shirt and stares at the camera.
Bob Dylan | Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

John Lennon talked about his appreciation for Bob Dylan’s music

In 1965, Dylan traveled to perform in England, igniting a media frenzy. The Beatles publicly spoke out in support of the American artist. Per the book No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan by Robert Shelton, journalist Ray Coleman noted that “Two Beatles particularly go for Dylan in a big way. Harrison has all his LPs and plays them regularly and Lennon admires him too.”

Lennon didn’t see Dylan becoming as popular as The Beatles, but he thought his music would do well in England.

“The first time you hear Dylan you think you’re the first to discover him,” Lennon said. “But quite a lot of people have discovered him before us … I think Bob Dylan’s music will grow steadily in this country, but I can’t see him becoming the new craze.”

The American musician bought a house after visiting England

In 1965 and 1966, Dylan spent a lot of time in England and visited Lennon’s home. 

“I dug his situation where he lived,” Dylan said. “It was a twenty-two-room house.”

He liked it so much that he decided to get a large home of his own. He didn’t want to buy a smaller home than Lennon, though, so the house he purchased was much larger.

“Do you know what I did when I got back from England, man?” he asked. “I bought me a thirty-one-room house, can you imagine that? Mine! I bought one just as soon as I got back from England. And it turned into a nightmare!”

While he didn’t elaborate on why the house ended up being nightmarish, it would have been a lot of space for Dylan, his wife, and the one child they had at the time. Evidently, though, Dylan wasn’t completely turned off of buying large homes. Per The Scotsman, the musician purchased a 10-bedroom mansion in the Scottish Highlands in 2007.

Bob Dylan and John Lennon wanted to work on music together but never released a song

When they were together, Dylan and Lennon discussed working on music. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make this happen.


What John Lennon Said Was ‘Bullsh*t’ About Bob Dylan

“We played a few records and talked,” Lennon said. “He’s an interesting bloke with some good ideas. We swapped addresses and said we’d exchange ideas for songs, but it never happened. He said he sent me things, but he got the address wrong and it never arrived. Maybe that’s why we get on well — we’re both pretty disorganized blokes.”