In 1973’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Bob Dylan played the Kid’s knife-throwing buddy Alias. Was he real?

Ask the Marshall Billy the Kid

In 1973’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Bob Dylan played the Kid’s knife-throwing buddy Alias. Was he real?

Peter L. Stadlbaur
Maubray, Belgium

Billy the Kid’s only Arizona sidekick was an ex-soldier named John Mackie, who the Kid knew while he was a small-time thief in Bonita. His best pal in New Mexico was Tom Folliard.

Alias was a fictional figure, but the Kid called his friend Alias in ghostwriter Ash Upson’s portion of Pat Garrett’s 1882 book, The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid. Bob Dylan got the role, recommended by Kris Kristofferson (who played the Kid), and he earned Director Sam Peckinpah’s respect with the songs he wrote for the film.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.
If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu

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Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.