Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Dylan Goes Electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival
Here's the story:
"Dylan told Kooper he wanted to bring the 'Rolling Stone' sound on-stage. Three members of the Butterfield Band were recruited: guitarist Mike Bloomfield, drummer Sam Lay, and bassist Jerome Arnold. At a party in Newport, Dylan completed his band with pianist Barry Goldberg. In a Newport mansion, Dylan rehearsed this instant group until dawn. They kept their plan secret until they walked onstage, Dylan, in a matador-outlaw orange shirt and black leather, carrying an electric guitar. From the moment the group swung into a rocking electric version of 'Maggie's Farm,' the Newport audience registered hostility. As the group finished 'Farm,' there was some reserved applause and a flurry of boos. Someone shouted: 'Bring back Cousin Emmy!' The microphones and speakers were all out of balance, and the sound was poor and lopsided. For even the most ardent fan of the new music, the performance was unpersuasive. As Dylan led his band into 'Rolling Stone,' the audience grew shriller: 'Play folk music! ... Sell out! ... This is a folk festival! ... Get rid of that band!' Dylan began 'It Takes a Train to Cry,' and the applause diminished as the heckling increased. Dylan and the group disappeared offstage, and there was a long, clumsy silence. Peter Yarrow urged Bob to return and gave him his acoustic guitar. As Bob returned on the stage alone, he discovered he didn't have the right harmonica. 'What are you doing to me?' Dylan demanded of Yarrow. To shouts for 'Tambourine Man,' Dylan said: 'OK, I'll do that one for you.' The older song had a palliative effect and won strong applause. Then Dylan did 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue,' singing adieu to Newport, good-bye to the folk-purist audience."
That's a great story, and it has resonance with the piece from his book that was printed in last week's Newsweek:Post a Comment