I Now Own Bob Dylan's Phone Number
So yesterday the New York Times ran an awesome article about Bob Dylan's private archive and its sale for $20 million.
One of the photos with the article is of a 1969 telegram from Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper about using the Dylan classic "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" in the film "Easy Rider."
The really interesting thing about the telegram is that it includes Bob Dylan's (presumably private) phone number from his years living in Woodstock, N.Y.: 679-8467
I just happen to be from Woodstock. My family moved there in the late 1970s when I was a child and we still own the house I grew up in. An essential part of the Woodstock identity is the 679 phone exchange. When we were kids, we just remembered each others' phone numbers by the last four digits because we were all on the 679 exchange.
Back then, the area code in Woodstock was still 914, just like Dylan had when he was living in town in the 60s. But Verizon did have to split the 914 area code in 2000. Woodstock ended up within the newly-created 845 area code, but our town got to keep its sacred 679 exchange.
So when I saw the "Easy Rider" telegram to Dylan in the Times story yesterday, my first thought was "Who has Bob Dylan's Woodstock phone number now?"
As it turns out: no one. Dylan's full actual number, 914 679 8467, is not in service. In fact, it appears that Verizon is not using the 679 exchange within the 914 area code at all. (I could be wrong about that, but couldn't find any working 914 679 -XXXX numbers, so I don't think anyone can set up the full number.) And remember, the 914 area code doesn't include Woodstock anymore anyway.
But within Woodstock we still all have 679 phone numbers (albeit with the 845 area code). So what about Dylan's old 679-8467?
Well, lucky me, the number wasn't in service anymore. One call to Verizon and (845) 679-8467 is mine and set to be installed as a second line at our Woodstock home.
Do we actually need a second landline? Probably not. As a Woodstock person is there anything much cooler than having Bob Dylan's old number in town? Definitely not.
I guess I'll just have to screen my calls.
(Fun fact: the "Easy Rider" telegram is dated April 16, 1969, just a week after Dylan released the seminal album Nashville Skyline.) See his full timeline:
Also my favorite Dylan show was at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY a few years ago