Like a Complete Unknown, Bob Dylan Was Arrested While On Tour by Rookie Cop Who Had No Idea Who He Is

Music legend might have to think twice before he takes a stroll or blows in the wind.

Having friends in high places and being famous worldwide did not help Dylan in a recent arrest by a clueless rookie cop.
Photo Credit: Rena Schild/

This happened a couple of years ago, but it's still funny. 

In a curious incident that either illustrates police overreaction or the widening generation gap—or both—Bob Dylan was arrested while strolling in a sleepy seaside New Jersey town by a rookie cop who didn't even recognize his name.

Residents of Long Branch, New Jersey apparently found the admittedly scruffy looking music legend's behavior "suspicious" and complained to their local, possibly not-terribly-busy police force. A 22-year-old rookie arrived on the scene and demanded identification. Dylan reasonably assumed she'd recognize the name and that would pretty much be that, but no, she ordered him into the back of her car and took him to his hotel to check his story. Dylan was in town to take part in a concert along with WIllie Nelson and John Mellencamp, when he decided to take that fateful stroll. 

As the Daily Mail in the UK reported:

Then she radioed her older colleagues at the police station to ask if anyone knew who Bob Dylan was. 

'I'm afraid we all fell about laughing,' said Craig Spencer, a senior officer in Long Branch, New Jersey. 'If it was me, I'd have been demanding his autograph, not his ID. 

'The poor woman has taken rather a lot of abuse from us. I offered to bring in some of my Dylan albums. Unfortunately, she doesn't know what vinyl is either.'

What about Dylan seemed suspicious to residents? Officer Spencer told the Daily Mail:

'Residents called to complain there was an old scruffy man acting suspiciously,' said officer Spencer. 'It was an odd request because it was mid-afternoon. But it's an ethnic Latin area and the residents felt he didn't fit in.' 

Dylan does have a propensity to wander off alone and do a little blowing in the wind when he is touring. He opted to take a bus after a concert in Belfast in 1991. People recognized him and a TV crew chowed up. This is not the first time that Dylan has wandered off alone while on tour. 

After a concert in Belfast in 1991, he shunned his chauffeur-driven limo and was captured by a TV crew waiting at a bus stop. During another tour, he decided to drop by the childhood home of Mark Twain. There too the curator recognized and asked if was really the Bob Dylan, to which the answer my friend was reportedly, 'I guess I am.'

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