It all might have ended 55 years ago, and there would have been no controversial Nobel Prize, no Congressional Medal of Freedom awarded by Barack Obama, no Grammys, no Oscars, no multitudinous symbols of recognition and acclaim, no chart-topping records, no quotes from his mercurial songs being bandied about by popes and presidents.

On July 29 1966, on a beautiful sunny morning and barely a month after the release of his landmark album Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan smashed his 500cc Triumph motorcycle in the upstate New York town of Woodstock...

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