On 29 July 1966, Bob suffered serious injuries following a motorcycle accident near his home in Woodstock, New York. He disappeared from public life, retiring behind the white picket fence with his wife and kids, the crowds attempted to seek out their saviour, but Dylan had being trying to escape the baying hordes for years, the accident cemented his resolve, he refused to tour for eight years, once again he was going to do things his way. Of course he continued to create, John Wesley Harding (1967) was a pared down, contemplative effort; informing the masses that he was not going to be their bard, that he was no longer going to be anybody’s dancing bear, they still lapped it up, it appeared that whatever Dylan did was cool – with most everybody; although John Wesley Harding went against everything that was hip at that time, like The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s (1967) or The Rolling Stones Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967). And Dylan wasn’t just fooling around, he immersed himself even further in the country blues of Leadbelly and Hank Williams in his 1969 offering Nashville Skyline. He was attempting to get further and further from the masses, consciously not recording anything which might set them upon him once again.
His Self Portrait (1970), definitely wasn’t going to have them knocking down his door, was Dylan purposely now producing shoddy work or had the muse flown? Everybody waited with bated breath, later that year he released New Morning (1970) which made up nobody’s mind, but it must be remembered that Dylan at this stage was not even thirty!