A história

Dylan fica eletrizante no Newport Folk Festival


Antes de subir ao palco no Newport Folk Festival de 1964 - o evento anual que lhe deu sua primeira exposição nacional real um ano antes - Bob Dylan foi apresentado por Ronnie Gilbert, um membro do The Weavers: “E aqui está ele ... leve-o , você o conhece, ele é seu. ” Em suas memórias de 2004, Crônicas: Volume Um, Dylan escreveria sobre como ele "falhou em sentir os presságios agourentos na introdução." Um ano depois, ele descobriria o quão possessivo o público de Newport se sentia em relação a ele. Neste dia de 1965, Bob Dylan ficou eletrizante no Newport Folk Festival, apresentando um set de rock-and-roll publicamente pela primeira vez enquanto um coro de gritos e vaias chovia sobre ele de um público consternado.

LEIA MAIS: O dia em que Dylan se tornou elétrico

Seis semanas antes, Bob Dylan gravou o single que marcou sua passagem do folk acústico para a linguagem do rock and roll eletrificado. “Like A Rolling Stone” havia sido lançado apenas cinco dias antes de sua aparição em Newport, no entanto, a maioria do público não tinha ideia do que os esperava. Nem os organizadores do festival, que ficaram tão surpresos ao ver a equipe de Dylan montando equipamento de som pesado durante a passagem de som quanto o público daquela noite ficaria ao ouvir o que saiu disso.

Com Al Kooper no órgão e The Paul Butterfield Blues Band o apoiando, Dylan subiu ao palco com sua Fender Stratocaster na noite de 25 de julho e lançou uma versão eletrificada de “Maggie’s Farm”. Quase imediatamente, as zombarias e gritos do público ficaram altos o suficiente para abafar o som de Dylan e sua banda. Foi afirmado por alguns que testemunharam a performance histórica que parte da gritaria do público naquela noite era sobre a terrível qualidade do som da performance - overloud em geral e mixado tão mal que os vocais de Dylan eram ininteligíveis. Mas o que motivou as vaias diretas - mesmo por causa do próximo número de Dylan, o agora clássico "Like A Rolling Stone" - foi uma sensação de desânimo e traição por parte de um público despreparado para a nova direção artística do cantor.

E o que o próprio homem achou da recepção hostil que recebeu daquela que deveria ter sido a mais amigável das platéias? Alguns dizem que ele ficou extremamente abalado na época, mas com quatro décadas de retrospectiva, seus sentimentos eram claros. Refletindo sobre o comentário de Ronnie Gilbert “Leve-o, ele é seu”, Dylan escreveu: “Que coisa maluca de se dizer! Dane-se isso. Pelo que eu sabia, eu não pertencia a ninguém naquela época ou agora. "


Dylan fica eletrizante no Newport Folk Festival - HISTÓRIA

Elijah Wald & ndash Dylan fica elétrico!
Newport, Seeger, Dylan e a noite que divide os anos 60

A história da icônica apostasia elétrica de Bob Dylan no Newport Folk Festival de 1965, ambientada no contexto de seus tempos turbulentos, a evolução musical de Dylan e o renascimento folk frequentemente incompreendido, personificado pelo frequentemente incompreendido Pete Seeger.

Publicado porDey Street / HarperCollins, julho de 2015.
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Na noite de 25 de julho de 1965, Bob Dylan subiu ao palco no Newport Folk Festival apoiado por uma banda elétrica e rugiu em uma versão empolgante de & quotMaggie's Farm & quot seguido por seu novo hit de rock & quotLike a Rolling Stone. & Quot O público de folkies comprometidos e ativistas políticos que o saudaram como seu profeta acústico (misturado com alguns jovens fãs de rock que amavam os Byrds e Beatles e seu novo som) reagiram com uma mistura de choque, vaias e gritos. Foi o tiro ouvido em todo o mundo - a declaração de independência musical, o fim do renascimento do folk e o nascimento do rock como a voz de uma geração - e um dos momentos marcantes da música do século XX.

Dylan fica elétrico! coloca aquela noite no contexto cultural, político e histórico de seu tempo, traça a evolução de Dylan como um músico pesquisador e onívoro, explora o que Newport era e significava e restaura Pete Seeger ao papel central que desempenhou no festival e todo o conceito de música folclórica como era entendida naquela época. Com base em novas entrevistas, fontes anteriormente inexploradas e horas incontáveis ​​de fitas de Newport inéditas, ele fornece acréscimos e percepções inesperadas a uma história que foi mitificada, mas nunca explorada seriamente. Ao longo do caminho, aprofunda-se no renascimento do folk, a ascensão do rock e as tensões entre a música tradicional e inovadora para fornecer novos insights sobre a evolução artística de Dylan & rsquos, sua afinidade especial com o blues, sua relação complexa com o estabelecimento folk e seu futuro mentor Pete Seeger, e as maneiras como ele remodelou a música popular para sempre. Esse breve conjunto em Newport tornou-se um substituto para divisões muito mais amplas - marcou uma divisão entre o início dos anos 60 do movimento pelos direitos civis, exercícios de defesa civil, a velha esquerda e música folclórica e os anos 60 que a maioria de nós se lembra: Vietnã , Black power, hippies, a New Left e rock. O set de Dylan incluiu apenas cinco canções, mas capturou aquele momento de uma maneira que nenhuma outra performance poderia, e continua sendo uma pedra de toque familiar cinquenta anos depois.

Para pedir um livro ou e-book na livraria independente local:

& quota pesquisou profundamente e divertiu a crônica do conflito cultural que Dylan desencadeou no palco de Newport & quot
- David Remnick, O Nova-iorquino

& quotsplendid, colorido trabalho de musicologia e história cultural. O Sr. Wald é um excelente analista dos eventos que descreve. & Quot
--Janet Maslin, O jornal New York Times

& cota um ótimo trabalho acadêmico, repleto de insights & ndash entre os melhores livros de música que já li. & quot
--John Harris, O guardião jornal

& quotexcelente. um rico estudo do conflito entre a autenticidade cultural e o sucesso comercial. & quot
- Timothy Farrington, Wall St. Journal

& captura de forma cativante um período e um estado de espírito. uma grande contribuição para a história musical moderna. & quot
--Mark Levine, Lista de livros, revisão com estrela.

“Como contada por Wald, a história de Dylan em Newport não é tanto sobre música, mas sobre as próprias histórias, como eles hipnotizam mesmo quando avançam e nem sempre terminam de forma limpa. A verdade costuma ser confusa. E geralmente essa confusão contribui para uma história melhor. & Quot
- David Kirby, Washington Post

& quot Livro de Elijah Wald. parece uma declaração pessoal de uma parte importante da minha vida. Não consigo recomendá-lo o suficiente para quem está interessado nesses anos extraordinários. & Quot
- -George Wein, fundador do Newport Folk Festival

A virada selvagem de “Dylan” em Newport foi amotinada, monumental. Elijah Wald & rsquos análise devastadoramente inteligente daquela noite & ndash e tudo que a precedeu, e tudo que veio depois & ndash é tão emocionante. Wald é um escritor notavelmente afiado e gracioso, capaz de estabelecer conexões extraordinárias entre artistas, gêneros e momentos culturais. Simplesmente não há ninguém melhor quando se trata de desvendar não apenas a mecânica da música americana, mas a mitologia da música americana & ndash as histórias que contamos a nós mesmos, as histórias em que acreditamos. & Quot
--Amanda Petrusich, autora de Não venda a qualquer preço: a caça selvagem e obsessiva pelos recordes mais raros do mundo de 78 rpm.

& quotUh-oh: aí vem Elijah Wald, espetando a versão aceita com aqueles fatos teimosos novamente, assim como ele fez com Robert Johnson em Escapando do Delta e muitas outras pessoas em Como os Beatles destruíram o rock 'n' roll. De forma concisa e divertida, este livro meticulosamente pesquisado mostra por que a história que ele conta é importante e deixa você com uma ideia tão clara quanto qualquer pessoa, exceto Bob Dylan, do que realmente aconteceu naquela noite. É uma grande história, contada com maestria, de como os tempos estavam, de fato, mudando - e por quê. & Quot
- Ed Ward, historiador do rock and roll da NPR's Ar fresco com Terry Gross, e autor de Michael Bloomfield: A ascensão e queda de um herói da guitarra americano.

& quotElijah Wald é o tipo de escritor que vira sua cabeça. Sua alternativa profundamente informada aborda as suposições mais queridas dos fãs de música popular não apenas preenche lacunas, mas reorienta toda a paisagem cultural. Em livros anteriores, ele fez isso para o blues e os Beatles, agora ele enfrenta a vaca mais sagrada de todas, Bob Dylan em Newport em 1965. O que Wald revela sobre o mais mistificado dos cantores e compositores e os mundos folk e rock que então o cercavam e elevou-o mudou minha própria visão de um momento que eu pensei que tudo tinha descoberto - e dos compositores da década de 1960 como um todo. & quot
--Ann Powers, principal crítico pop do Los Angeles Times e autor de Estranho como nós: My Bohemian America.

& quotNeste tour de force, Elijah Wild complica o mito da sucessão de gerações em Newport ao fazer justiça ao que ele chama de Bob Dylan & rsquos & ldquodeclaration of independent & rdquo sem tirar a vida de Pete Seeger e Joan Baez, que estavam defendendo a sua própria. Este é um dos melhores relatos que li sobre músicos lutando por sua honra. & Quot
--Todd Gitlin, autor de Os anos sessenta e Occupy Nation

1. A casa que Pete construiu
O renascimento do folk dos anos 1950 e 1960 foi um movimento variado e multifacetado, mas todas as suas facetas refletiram o trabalho de um cantor, compositor, banjo e guitarrista onipresente, líder cantor, pesquisador, artista e filósofo: Pete Seeger. Ele é frequentemente lembrado como uma voz paternal da consciência social, mas ele era muito mais. Em 1950, ele levou os Weavers ao topo das paradas pop e, ao longo da década de 1950, gravou dezenas de LPs solo de música tradicional e recente de todo o mundo. Como um pioneiro do que Dave Van Ronk apelidou de movimento neo-étnico, ele foi o primeiro urbano do norte a dominar as técnicas instrumentais rurais do sul e lutou para trazer os artistas tradicionais para o centro do renascimento do folclore. Desafiando os caçadores de vermelho da Era McCarthy, ele foi condenado por desacato ao Congresso e se tornou um modelo de justo anti-autoritarismo. Ele publicou por conta própria o primeiro livro de instruções sobre banjo folk e bluegrass e resmas de outros artigos e livros, além de fazer numerosas gravações de campo e filmes. No início dos anos 1960, ele era um defensor apaixonado de uma nova geração de cantores e compositores. E em 1963, com sua esposa, Toshi, ele apareceu com um novo modelo de trabalho para o Newport Folk Festivals.

2. North Country Blues
Bob Dylan cresceu em Hibbing, Minnesota, ouvindo os novos sons R & ampB chiando durante a noite em uma transmissão de rádio de Shreveport, Louisiana, e bandas de rock 'n' roll frontais chamadas Golden Chords e Rock Boppers. Ele sonhava em ser uma estrela de cinema como James Dean, uma estrela cantora como Buddy Holly, ou fugir para se juntar a Little Richard. Depois de um breve período tocando piano para Bobby Vee, ele foi para a faculdade em Minneapolis, onde se tornou parte do florescente renascimento da música folk, primeiro favorecendo os cantores afro-americanos Odetta e Leon Bibb, depois tocando com outros jovens músicos locais e se apresentando em festas e cafés. Ele estava absorvendo seu primeiro gostinho da Boêmia dos anos 1950, lendo romances beat, tomando pílulas, saindo em clubes negros - e, graças a Jon Pankake, Paul Nelson e seu novo folk 'zine, o Crítica de Little Sandy, ele descobriu Ramblin 'Jack Elliott e Woody Guthrie.

3. Cidade de Nova York
Dylan chegou a Greenwich Village em janeiro de 1961 e, no ano seguinte, mergulhou na cena local e desenvolveu um novo estilo musical ao conviver com Dave Van Ronk, Paul Clayton, Jim Kweskin, Peter Stampfel, John Lee Hooker - e, em uma viagem paralela a Cambridge, Eric Von Schmidt. Ele se tornou conhecido como um adepto da gaita, gravando como sideman com Harry Belafonte, Carolyn Hester e o bluesman da Delta Big Joe Williams, e surpreendeu seus colegas ao fechar um contrato com a Columbia Records. As notas de seu primeiro álbum o descreviam como "um dos mais atraentes cantores de blues branco já gravado" e citaram Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins e Jelly Roll Morton como influências. No final de 1962, ele descobriu Robert Johnson, gravou uma sessão de rockabilly elétrico e aperfeiçoou um estilo único misturando blues, rock 'n' roll, caipira e algumas de suas próprias composições.

4. Soprando no vento
O início dos anos 1960 foi uma época de otimismo e paranóia, esperança por um futuro de igualdade racial e medo de nenhum futuro. No movimento de liberdade do sul, a música folk encontrou um novo propósito - Seeger conectou um jovem cantor e guitarrista chamado Guy Carawan à Highlander School no Tennessee e eles espalharam uma canção que Seeger havia aprendido de um ex-líder musical Highlander, chamada & quotWe Shall Overcome. & Quot. Em Nova York, Seeger sugeriu que Sis Cunningham iniciasse uma partitura quinzenal de tema chamada Broadside para encorajar novos compositores, e Dylan se tornou um de seus colaboradores mais prolíficos. Suas primeiras composições foram principalmente no estilo de Guthrie, mas no verão de 1962 ele escreveu & quotBlowin 'in the Wind & quot, e naquele outono Seeger o apresentou no Carnegie Hall para um show que abriu com uma gaita de blues e uma música baseada em uma guitarra riff dos Everly Brothers, mas também incluiu & quotA Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall. & quot.

5. Newport
Com base no sucesso de um festival anual de jazz de verão, o Newport Folk Festival começou em 1959. Os festivais que as pessoas lembram, começaram em 1963, quando Pete Seeger e sua esposa Toshi, junto com George Wein e Theodore Bikel, criaram um novo modelo: um festival em que estrelas populares recebiam o mesmo que artistas rurais desconhecidos e as multidões que vinham para ver os nomes conhecidos eram apresentadas a um mundo de música tradicional desconhecida. Para os fãs de hardcore folk, a grande novidade do festival de 63 foi o reaparecimento de Mississippi John Hurt, um cantor lendário que gravou pela primeira vez em 1928, mas para jovens ouvintes que ouviram música folk como o som de sua época, o momento icônico chegou no final do show da primeira noite, quando Dylan - um compositor de 22 anos ainda pouco conhecido fora de Nova York - foi acompanhado no palco por Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul e Mary, os cantores da liberdade e Bikel, de braços dados e cantando & quotBlowin 'in the Wind & quot e & quotWe Shall Overcome. & quot

6. Times A-Changin '
Para muitos ouvintes no início dos anos 1960, Dylan incorporou os ideais do renascimento folk: um jovem vagabundo, saindo do Ocidente, cantando velhas canções que aprendera em suas viagens e escrevendo novas canções sobre as provações, problemas e tribulações do mundo Em volta dele. Ele escreveu canções sobre tudo que lhe veio à mente - canções de amor, baladas fora da lei, monólogos cômicos rimados, novidades de ragtime, blues - mas para muitas pessoas, o que mais importava eram suas canções de consciência social. Ele foi saudado como a voz de uma geração, e a pressão para viver de acordo com essa descrição parecia cada vez mais um fardo. Enquanto isso, a música folk estava mudando de uma música secreta compartilhada por fãs devotos para uma mercadoria de mercado de massa com sucessos número um, cantores pop pulando na onda e um programa de TV nacional chamado Hootenanny--que recebeu o nome em homenagem às reuniões de Pete Seeger, mas baniu o próprio Pete por considerá-lo excessivamente polêmico.

7. Jingle-Jangle Morning
Em fevereiro de 1964, os Beatles apareceram no Ed Sullivan Show. Durante o próximo ano e meio, a cena folk tentou chegar a um acordo com um novo competidor: o rock 'n' roll que não era apenas música divertida de dança adolescente, mas também atraía estudantes universitários inteligentes e socialmente comprometidos. Não era apenas rock: havia também Persuasions e Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry escrevendo melhor do que nunca, Johnny Rivers conseguindo sucessos com canções de Pete Seeger e Leadbelly - e Dylan, que agora estava escrevendo sobre um flautista chamado & quotTambourine Man & quot que o levaria "desaparecendo por entre os anéis de fumaça da minha mente." o Newport Folk Festival como & quotthe melhor compositor da época, desde Pete Seeger. & quot. Suas canções estavam ficando mais longas, mais complicadas e mais difíceis para seus antigos fãs entenderem. Na primavera de 1965, seu novo álbum incluía algumas faixas com uma banda de rock elétrico e ele tinha um single quente no rádio. Enquanto isso, o mundo do folk também estava mudando: um mês antes do festival de Newport naquele verão, o New York Folk Festival incluía uma noite de blues com a banda elétrica de Muddy Waters de Chicago e Chuck Berry.

8. Eletricidade no ar
O Newport Folk Festival de 1965 estava cheio de novos sons, novos estilos e novos conflitos. A formação incluía uma estrela pop da invasão britânica chamada Donovan, um quarteto elétrico de R & ampB chamado Chambers Brothers e, direto de Chicago, a Butterfield Blues Band. As reações foram mistas: Alan Lomax, o grande homem do folclore tradicional, aplaudiu os Chambers Brothers como uma lufada de ar fresco, mas deu à banda Butterfield uma apresentação tão morna que logo ele e Albert Grossman - o empresário de Dylan, e em breve Butterfield também --estávamos dando socos e rolando na terra.

9. Mais jovem que isso agora
Dylan e a onda de novos compositores que primeiro atraíram a atenção com letras sobre questões sociais estavam mudando seus estilos e temas, explorando suas vidas pessoais, sua imaginação e a possibilidade de obter sucessos pop. Richard e Mimi Fari & ntildea gravaram com uma banda elétrica e, embora tenham tocado em Newport com apoio acústico, eles flertaram com ritmos de rock 'n' roll e fizeram o público dançar na chuva. Os organizadores do festival ainda estavam tentando chamar a atenção para as tradições rurais, mas muitos dos jovens fãs queriam algo diferente, uma música que falasse diretamente aos seus gostos e interesses - embora outros jovens fãs fiquem horrorizados com a ideia de que seu encontro anual do Os fiéis do folk estavam se transformando em um mercado de música pop, cheio de repórteres e adolescentes inexperientes em busca de autógrafos de sucessos do rádio.

10. Como uma Rolling Stone
Dylan subiu ao palco no meio do programa do concerto de domingo à noite, vestindo uma jaqueta de couro preta, carregando uma Fender Stratocaster e apoiado por membros da Butterfield Blues Band. Ele cantou três canções, a música mais alta já tocada em Newport, e a multidão se dividiu entre fãs emocionados, fãs horrorizados e fãs perplexos que não sabiam o que fazer com tudo isso. Havia cerca de 17.000 pessoas naquele show, e o que ouviram ou viram dependeu muito de onde estavam. Algumas pessoas perto do palco se lembram de gritar porque os instrumentos amplificados estavam oprimindo a voz de Dylan, algumas pessoas mais atrás dizem que todos ao seu redor amaram o show, outros se lembram de estar cercados por vaias. Alguns se lembram de Dylan soando ótimo, outros se lembram dele soando terrível. Pete Seeger ficou horrorizado com o volume e a agressão ensurdecedores, e um dos mitos duradouros da noite é que ele correu para um machado e tentou cortar os cabos de som.

11. Consequências
O set de Dylan em Newport foi imediatamente aclamado como tremendo a terra e mudando os jogos. A cena folk tentou dar sentido ao que havia acontecido, alguns escritores expressando sua empolgação e outros interpretando-o como o fim de um período maravilhoso e progressivo que alimentou a esperança de unificar uma geração e mudando a humanidade. Seeger procurou sua alma, procurando encontrar uma lição em sua raiva e desapontamento. Folk-rock tornou-se a frase da moda no mundo da música do momento, enquanto os Byrds, Cher, os Turtles, os Rolling Stones e os Beatles seguiam suas várias variações do estilo de Dylan. Dylan, enquanto isso, seguiu seu próprio caminho, viajando pelo mundo com uma banda elétrica, enfrentando multidões furiosas que vaiaram e gritaram "Judas!" "Todo mundo deve ficar chapado." Será que ele se vendeu para o mercado pop ou ainda era um iconoclasta rebelde?

Cinquenta anos depois, Pete Seeger se foi, mas viveu o suficiente para se apresentar na posse do primeiro presidente negro com Bruce Springsteen cantando harmonia. Dylan passou por tantas mudanças que poderiam (e têm) enchido dezenas de livros - mais recentemente um álbum de canções popularizado por Frank Sinatra. O Newport Folk Festival, depois de retornar na década de 1980 como um festival de nostalgia um tanto sem brilho para folkies envelhecidos, agora está atraindo um novo público jovem com uma onda de novos músicos que nomeiam Seeger e Dylan como ancestrais. Aquela noite em Newport em 1965 permanece uma pedra de toque, crescendo em importância à medida que a influência de Dylan se espalhou além dos limites do folk, rock ou pop e ele foi reconhecido como um pilar da arte e da arte moderna. O confronto em Newport foi consagrado como o momento decisivo de sua chegada como um artista complexo e intransigente. A instrumentação pode tê-lo conectado a Elvis e aos Beatles, mas o público vaiado o conectou a Stravinsky.


A noite em que Bob Dylan entrou na eletricidade

Cinqüenta anos atrás, neste fim de semana, Bob Dylan escandalizou as multidões no Newport Folk Festival com uma guitarra elétrica. Murray Lerner, o cineasta que filmou o festival, relembra a cena.

Amanhã faz 50 anos desde a noite em que Bob Dylan ligou sua guitarra. Em 1965, a cantora levou um instrumento elétrico ao palco no Newport Folk Festival.

Ele estava em uma celebração da música tradicional americana, o que fazia sentido porque Dylan - então na casa dos 20 anos - era uma estrela da música folk que estava prestes a se tornar algo mais.

(SOUNDBITE DE GRAVAÇÃO ARQUIVADA)

GREENE: Estamos ouvindo aqui um daqueles momentos icônicos da história da música. Diz-se que foi um momento em que a música folk pura se misturou com a música rock, ou mais precisamente, a música folk foi cooptada. Em qualquer caso, foi alto.

(SOUNDBITE DA CANÇÃO, "MAGGIE'S FARM")

BOB DYLAN: (Cantando) Não vou mais trabalhar na fazenda da Maggie.

INSKEEP: Murray Lerner estava lá. Ele era um cineasta filmando o festival e sentiu a atmosfera enquanto Dylan subia no palco.

MURRAY LERNER: Você sabe, toda a roupa, a jaqueta de couro preta e a escuridão no palco me fez sentir que poderia, você sabe, levar a algo ruim.

GREENE: E então Lerner fez o que qualquer bom cinegrafista faria.

LERNER: Eu pulei no palco por uma boa parte disso e tirei closes extremos dele.

GREENE: A filmagem foi posteriormente usada em um filme "The Other Side Of The Mirror", que capturou por que esse momento era tão elétrico.

LERNER: Dylan sempre foi um centro de dissensão e negativismo entre muitas pessoas puramente folk porque ele estava reescrevendo as canções e escrevendo suas próprias canções. E ele era uma grande estrela e eles não gostavam que ele fosse uma grande estrela. Então, quando ele ficou elétrico, realmente aumentou a preocupação deles sobre o que ele estava fazendo nesta posição.

(SOUNDBITE DA CANÇÃO, "MAGGIE'S FARM")

Dylan: (Cantando) Bem, eu tento o meu melhor para ser igual a mim, mas todo mundo quer que você seja igual a eles. Eles dizem que cante enquanto você é escravo. Eu simplesmente fico entediado. Eu não vou trabalhar.

LERNER: Eu não esperava nada disso, mas quando realmente me rendi a isso quando aconteceu, fiquei realmente emocionado. E eu vi que essa seria uma nova onda não apenas da música, mas também da cultura, pensei.

INSKEEP: Lerner pode estar certo, mas quando você ouve a filmagem, fica claro que nem todo mundo estava pronto.

LERNER: Sim, definitivamente houve uma mistura de vaias e aplausos.

(SOUNDBITE DE GRAVAÇÃO ARQUIVADA)

DYLAN: Muito obrigado.

INSKEEP: Aqui temos parte da alquimia da cultura e da fama. As vaias das pessoas só tornaram Bob Dylan mais famoso.

GREENE: E quando o cineasta Murray Lerner retornar ao Newport Folk Festival neste fim de semana, ele ainda estará falando sobre aquela noite há 50 anos.

(SOUNDBITE DA CANÇÃO, "COMO UMA PEDRA DE ROLAMENTO")

Dylan: (Cantando) Era uma vez você se vestia tão bem, dava um tostão para os vagabundos no seu auge, não era? As pessoas chamam, digamos, cuidado, boneca. Você está fadado a cair. Você pensou que eles estavam brincando com você.

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Por que Bob Dylan foi vaiado no Newport Folk Festival em 1965? Não, não foi só porque ele pegou uma guitarra elétrica

Bob Dylan toca uma guitarra elétrica Fender Stratocaster pela primeira vez no palco enquanto se apresenta no Newport Folk Festival com o guitarrista Mike Bloomfield em 25 de julho de 1965 em Newport, Rhode Island. (Foto de Alice Ochs / Arquivos de Michael Ochs / Imagens Getty

Bob Dylan é considerado por muitos como a voz de sua geração, mas esse trovador também teve seu quinhão de críticas no passado. Essas pessoas podem ter ficado apenas incomodadas com seus vocais ou seus arranjos de música relativamente simplistas, mas o que não podia ser negado é que o homem era um letrista extraordinário. Dylan nos abençoou com dezenas de faixas atemporais, de 'The Times They Are A-Changin' a 'Murder Most Foul'. No verão de 1965, Dylan havia lançado cinco álbuns e se tornado a principal figura de proa em canções folclóricas de protesto como "Blowin In The Wind". Mas embora já fosse considerado um herói nacional americano, Dylan como artista ainda estava se transformando, trocando de pele, reinventando a si mesmo e seu som enquanto mergulhava mais fundo em seu ofício. Seu último álbum, 'Bringing It All Back Home', foi lançado em 1965, apresentando um som de guitarra elétrica atualizado e uma imagem mais ousada de Bob Dylan, que agora estava ficando mais confortável em sua própria pele, chegando a ponto de lutar verbalmente com jornalistas.

Bob Dylan no Newport Folk Festival em 1965 (Getty Images)

As bases da música rock clássica ainda estavam sendo estabelecidas na década de 1960, e os horizontes para a guitarra elétrica pareciam ilimitados. Então, quando Bob Dylan plugou uma guitarra elétrica no tradicionalmente acústico Newport Folk Festival em 25 de julho de 1965 (exatamente 55 anos atrás), a multidão chocada aparentemente viu isso como um sacrilégio da mais alta ordem e supostamente o vaiaram por abandonar sua autenticidade em favor da tendência emergente na época. Eles viram como Dylan vendendo sua alma para o rock 'n' roll comercial e algumas pessoas supostamente gritaram "Toque música folk!" e "Livre-se da banda!" Bob Dylan seria vaiado por puristas da música em shows ao vivo por muitos meses depois disso, mas o incidente do Festival de Newport ganhou as manchetes, e "Bob Dylan Goes Electric" caiu como um momento seminal na história da música. No entanto, a maioria das pessoas não percebe que havia mais fatores em jogo nessa história milenar.

Para começar, a multidão no Festival de Newport estava supostamente indisciplinada e agiu de maneira turbulenta o dia todo, ouvindo relatos de pessoas que estavam presentes. Bandas como Chambers Brothers e Butterfield Blues Band já haviam tocado mais cedo naquele dia com instrumentos elétricos, e alguns dos membros dessas bandas também fizeram parte do conjunto de apoio de Dylan naquela noite. Quando Dylan foi apresentado, o locutor Peter Yarrow informou ao público que Dylan só tinha um tempo limitado para tocar naquela noite, então ele tocaria um set encurtado. Isso foi o que desencadeou principalmente seções da multidão enfurecida, mas sua frustração também foi acompanhada por gritos de alegria de pessoas que estavam animadas para ver Dylan se apresentar.

No final, Dylan só teve tempo suficiente para tocar três músicas, o que pareceu perturbar ainda mais a multidão perplexa, uma vez que outros artistas tiveram tempo para apresentações mais longas. Quando ele deixou o palco, o mesmo locutor, Peter Yarrow, perguntou ao público agitado se eles gostariam de ouvir mais Dylan, e você pode ouvir claramente as pessoas gritando "mais" em gravações piratas do show. Um dos membros da banda de apoio de Dylan, o tecladista Al Kooper, também revelou que a mixagem do sistema de som estava ruim naquela noite, então a baixa qualidade do som também provou ser um fator crucial na agitação do público. Então, muitas das vaias podem ser atribuídas ao festival em si, e não a Dylan.

A razão pela qual este mito popular ganhou força ao longo do ano é porque alguns dos colegas artistas folk de Dylan, como Alan Lomax e Pete Seeger, supostamente queriam desligar a performance, com algumas pessoas até dizendo que Seeger queria usar um machado para cortar os cabos e fios que a banda estava usando para seu equipamento de som. No entanto, outras pessoas rebatem que Seeger disse isso apenas como uma ameaça verbal, com seu amigo explicando mais tarde que o barulho alto e turvo provavelmente estava provando ser mais irritante do que agradável. Aparentemente, Seeger disse algo parecido com: "Tire essa distorção da voz dele, é terrível. Se eu tivesse um machado, cortaria o cabo do microfone agora". Então, mais uma vez, descobriu-se que a maioria das pessoas estava culpando a qualidade do som o tempo todo, ao invés do fato de que Dylan estava abandonando suas raízes acústicas.

Mais tarde, Dylan voltaria a tocar duas músicas sozinho no violão, 'Mr Tambourine Man' e 'It’s All Over Now Baby Blue', que foi bem recebido por todas as contas, com o público até aplaudindo-o de pé. Logo após o festival, alguns jornais começaram a noticiar que Dylan havia sido "amplamente vaiado por puristas da canção folclórica que consideravam essa inovação o pior tipo de heresia". Mas acontece que algumas dessas informações foram meramente baseadas em relatos subjetivos do incidente.

Felizmente Bob Dylan deu de ombros para a má imprensa como só um artista de sua estatura é capaz, e a jovem sensação da música passou a dominar a cultura popular pelo próximo meio século. Ele recebeu o Prêmio Nobel de Literatura em 2016, e a lenda de 79 anos ainda está forte, lançando seu álbum aclamado pela crítica 'Rough and Rowdy Ways' em junho deste ano. Se há uma coisa que Dylan nos ensinou, há mais de uma maneira de contar uma história com habilidade, mas esse incidente em 25 de julho de 1965 sempre será lembrado como um dos momentos mais comentados do folclore musical.

Se você tiver um furo ou uma história de entretenimento para nós, entre em contato pelo telefone (323) 421-7515


Esta semana na história do rock: Bob Dylan se torna elétrico

Bob Dylan se apresentando no Newport Folk Festival em 1965.

Arquivo de Alice Ochs / Michael Ochs / Imagens Getty

Esta semana na história do rock, Bob Dylan enlouqueceu, o Jackson Five fechou um acordo com a Motown, Elvis Costello foi preso por cantar, Woodstock & rsquo99 terminou em desastre e o Who & rsquos John Entwistle morreu.

25 de julho de 1965: Bob Dylan fica eletrizante no Newport Folk Festival
A apresentação do jovem Bob Dylan & rsquos no Newport Folk Festival de 1965 sempre foi planejada para ser um evento acústico e direto: o cantor / compositor de 24 anos teve uma recepção tremendamente positiva quando se apresentou no festival de 1963 e 1964, e já estava firmemente estabelecido como um dos principais artistas populares de protesto de instrumentação tradicional (violão, fundo esparso). Sua decisão de tocar com uma banda elétrica veio espontaneamente na noite anterior ao set. Dylan escolheu duas faixas de seu quinto álbum, Trazendo tudo de volta para casa & ndash “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Maggie&rsquos Farm” &ndash and the work-in-progress “Phantom Engineer” (which would eventually become “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” on sixth album Highway 61 Revisited).

When Dylan took the stage with that unprecedented amped-in performance, he fatefully intertwined folk with rock & roll. But more immediately, he was harassed by the audience, who booed him loudly and called him a traitor to the folk genre. Legendary singer/songwriter Pete Seeger watched from the sidelines and was dismayed by Dylan&rsquos electric ambitions he complained to the audio technicians, “If I had an axe, I’d chop the microphone cable right now.” (That line spiraled quickly into the apocryphal story that Seeger actually had an axe and attempted to swing it at the sound system.)

After performing the three rehearsed songs, Dylan stormed off the stage. He was eventually urged back by other festival performers and brusquely delivered two songs on acoustic guitar: “Mr. Tambourine Man” and, not so subtly, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” The more traditional delivery satisfied the crowd, who cheered enthusiastically for the scowling Dylan. After that contentious performance, he refused to return to the Newport Folk Festival for 37 years.

July 26, 1968: The Jackson 5 sign with Motown Records
The first family of Sixties pop was discovered in a fairly typical way: they opened for a Motown Records artist, Bobby Taylor, who arranged for the troupe to audition for his label. The Jacksons (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael) aced their tryout, a rendition of James Brown&rsquos “I Got the Feelin,” signed to Motown and relocated from Indiana to California.

However, that backstory changed in the hands of Berry Gordy the Motown guru invented several shrewd promotional tactics on the eve of the Jackson 5&rsquos debut into the music industry. He decided that the young singers would benefit from a more glamorous narrative and decided to credit Motown star Diana Ross as the catalyst of the group&rsquos career. Motown&rsquos publicity team pushed a brand-new narrative in the group&rsquos official biography: Ross had been introduced to the Jackson 5 by the mayor of their town, and she delivered the fresh-faced boys to her own label. Gordy also lowered the ages of several brothers in the group: all Motown materials maintained that lead singer Michael, already preternaturally gifted at age 11, was in fact only nine years old.

The marketing tactics were a rousing success. Diana Ross introduced the group at their first media showcase, and the Jackson 5 enjoyed six years at the top of the Motown food chain as their top-charting teen idols. Their first four singles for Motown (“I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “I’ll Be There,” and “The Love You Save”) all reached Number One on the Billboard Charts.

July 26, 1977: Elvis Costello is arrested for busking outside a Columbia Records conference
Two months after releasing his debut album on British indie-punk imprint Stiff Records, Elvis Costello proved his anarchistic mettle by protesting at the steps of a much bigger label.

O lançamento do My Aim is True was an unsatisfying achievement for 22-year-old Costello: Stiff Records only provided distribution in the United Kingdom, so listeners in the United States had to buy copies as costly imports. As the album had been well-received in the U.K., reaching Number 14 on the charts (and single “Less Than Zero” was popular on radio), New Wave progenitor Costello felt that he was being deprived of his rightful American audience. To solve this, he set up shop outside a convention of Columbia Records executives at a London hotel, loudly performing his songs and making his case for international distribution.

The ploy worked: Costello was arrested by British police and fined a small sum, but Columbia invited him back for a formal audition. He was signed to the label and they re-released My Aim is True to American shores that year. Columbia went on to issue forth the most influential works of Elvis Costello and the Attractions, including 1979&rsquos Forças Armadas and 1982&rsquos Imperial Bedroom. Costello switched over to Warner Brothers Records in 1989 &ndash without having to busk for anyone&rsquos attention.

July 25, 1999: Woodstock 󈨧 ends in riots, three deaths and 120 arrests
The 30th anniversary celebration of the original peace-and-love-in, Woodstock, ended in grisly failure: three deaths, over 100 arrests, and a muddy, post-apocalyptic landscape of aggression.

Woodstock &rsquo99 was an attempt to revisit and amplify the legendary Sixties music mecca and claim another moment of rock & roll history. It was a reasonable plan upon conception: organizers had successfully executed another updated event, Woodstock &rsquo94, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original. But Woodstock &rsquo99 was a powder keg from the start. Temperatures reached over 100 degrees and on-site vendors charged upwards of $4 for small bottles of water. Also, the headliners were far more hostile stylistically than the original bevy of artists, and they fostered a similar climate in the irritable, heat-stroked audience: Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit quickly incited fury during their sets. Widespread riots erupted during the Red Hot Chili Peppers&rsquo performance: attendees started lighting the massive amounts of ground trash on fire, climbing the main towers and looting food booths. Audience members were trampled and assaulted: by the end of the carnage, three participants were dead and 120 were arrested. Four rapes were reported, including one that occurred in the pit during Limp Bizkit&rsquos set.

July 27, 2002: John Entwistle dies
The Who&rsquos bass player was no background player: his walking lines were some of the most powerful in rock.

Known as “Thunderfingers” and “the Ox,” Entwistle was a chief contributor to the Who&rsquos signature chaotic build his smart, sharp parts often served as melodic centerpieces for the songs (“My Generation” builds largely on his lines). He was born on October 9, 1944 in London and was a childhood musical prodigy, as well as the only member of the Who to receive formal training he played trumpet, piano and French horn (the latter was later heard on the Who&rsquos “Pictures of Lily”). He was the primary catalyst in the formation of the Who, as he played with both Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey before bringing them together in one band.

Entwistle was one of the first musicians to utilize Marshall stacks, the now-frequent mass arrangement of amplifiers he began using them to hear over Keith Moon&rsquos cavernous drumming and, in turn, guitarist Pete Townshend adopted the stacks to be heard over Entwistle. He was the first member of the band to record a solo album, 1971&rsquos Smash Your Head Against the Wall.

Entwistle died at the Hard Rock Hotel in Los Vegas after suffering a heart attack. He was 57. The Who were scheduled to begin a North American tour the next day.


55 years ago, Bob Dylan changed the Newport Folk Festival forever

Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965. From "Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties" by Elijah Wald. Diana Davies

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Happy Friday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I can’t tell you how nice it feels to type that the Red Sox and Yankees play tonight. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to [email protected].

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 18,950 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, after adding 110 new cases. The most recent test-positive rate was 2.5 percent. There were no new deaths, so the total number of fatalities is 1,007. There were 77 people in the hospital, 13 in intensive care, and five were on ventilators.

The Newport Folk Festival was supposed to take place this week, but it’s another one of those marquee summer events in Rhode Island that has fallen victim to the coronavirus. The Jazz Festival is also canceled this year.

But never fear, let’s hop in our DeLorean, fire up the flux capacitor, and flash back 55 years to the most infamous moment in the history of the Folk Festival: The night Bob Dylan performed with an electric guitar, and depending on who you ask, was booed off the stage after three songs.

Considering that this happened 21 years before I was born and my taste in music has mostly been shaped by Eminem, I reached out to music historian Elijah Wald to help us understand the significance of Dylan in Newport. Wald is the author of “Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties,” the definitive book about the event.

As Wald tells it, the Newport Folk Festival was never designed to be a showcase for professional performers, and that’s what made it special. It was the intimacy that fans loved, and even though Dylan was already famous when he performed in Newport the year before, he was seus star, not the mainstream’s star.

But by the time he appeared on stage in 1965, he had the No. 1 song in the world, and “Newport is suddenly full of frat boys who want to hear rock-and-roll,” Wald said. When he decided to use an electric guitar for his performance – an idea posed by his manager – his traditional supporters freaked out.

”These people knew him before he was a star,” Wald said. “To them, he was selling out and trying to be The Beatles.”

The truth is more complicated than that, as Wald explains in his book. Dylan had experimented with electric when he was in high school, and he was dead set on “making music 100 percent on his own terms.”

Wald also explained that there were just as many people who cheered Dylan that night as booed him, but the performance itself was flawed. Dylan has always maintained that he was booed off stage, adding to the legend of Newport.

You should read Wald’s book to dive deep into the story, but those who believe Dylan sold out have it wrong.

”Dylan was exactly the same the day after Newport as he was the day before,” Wald said.

THE GLOBE IN RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at [email protected].

⚓ My latest: You already knew that Election Day would look different this year, but did you know there’s a good chance that we probably won’t know winners for several days afterward?

Amanda Milkovits reports that unionized healthcare workers and staff at five nursing homes are planning to strike next week over what they say are low wages and dangerous working conditions.

⚓ The coronavirus isn’t stopping the Providence Grays vintage baseball team.

⚓ Blithewold Mansion in Bristol gets some love in the Globe’s look at the healing power of New England’s grand estate gardens.

⚓ Elsewhere: Steven G. Calabresi, a Providence resident and co-founder of the Federalist Society, makes the case in The New York Times that President Trump’s call to delay the election is an impeachable offense.

⚓ Rhode Map readers have sent another round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Jennifer Bramley (21, I hear), Dale Venturini, David Whitty (40), Eric Silverman (30), Ford Ballard (74), Sam Boswell (23), Kathleen Quirk (38), Eddie “Scootch” Brothers (55), Mark Smiley, Avery Bernier (18), Kate Bubrick, Richard Nassa (74), Hollybeth Normandin Runco, Marianne Combies (65), Brandford Davis, Bill Preston (66), Larry Valencia, e Claire, Lydia, e Simone Ollman (4). Plus, a special shout out to Caitlin O’Donnell e Ryan Dillon, who are getting married this weekend.

John Lewis: If you missed President Obama's eulogy for Congressman Lewis, watch it here.

Politics: James Pindell writes that for the first time in this election cycle, the Democrats are projected to retake the US Senate.

O negócio: The second quarter set a modern record for the biggest pullback in business activity. Larry Edelman explains what might happen next.

Raça: Don’t miss Shelley Murphy’s fascinating story on a man who was imprisoned for nearly 50 years for murder, and is now seeking a new trial.

Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at [email protected].

⚓ The Providence City Council meets at 4:15 p.m. to discuss placing a question on the November ballot that would ask voters to approve $140 million in borrowing for school construction and repairs.

⚓ Tonight’s the deadline for all politicians in Rhode Island to file their second quarter campaign finance reports.

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Obrigado pela leitura. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected], or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you on Monday.

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I Got a Song – A History of the Newport Folk Festival

A new book on the history of the Newport Folk Festival is a treasure trove for music fans. Former Providence Journal reporter Rick Massimo has written the first complete account of the legendary festival, describing its many successes and occasional blunders. Massimo interviewed many of the major organizers the festival, as well as musicians, attendees, and Newport locals – the boots on the ground.

I Got a Song follows on the heels of Elijah Wald’s excellent Dylan Goes Electric: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties(2015), and legendary festival guru George Wein’s 2007 autobiography, Myself Among Others (2004), both outstanding accounts of the Newport Festival scene. Massimo’s book looks at the festival from its start in 1959 right up through the 2015 weekend, the 50 th anniversary of that historic moment when Dylan went electric. (More on that later.) It’s a great read, a thorough and entertaining account.

Os primeiros anos

Massimo traces the origins of the first Folk Festival to the Newport Jazz Festival, first held in the “City by the Sea” in 1954. The oft-repeated story has longtime Producer George Wein approached at his Boston Jazz club Storyville by Newport socialites Elaine and Louis Lorillard. The couple wanted to bring an outdoor festival to the sleepy summer retreat, and Wein jumped on board.

Although outdoor Classical concerts at venues like Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts were common, no one had yet produced a large festival of “popular” music. The Newport Jazz Festival was in fact, the first. In the mid/late 1950’s, Newport was the center of the jazz world, at least for one weekend in June.

A popular workshop at the early Jazz Festivals was a “Blues afternoon,” which featured R&B and blues artists. For the 1959 Festival, Wein went further, planning a “Folk” afternoon with Odetta, Pete Seeger and The Weavers. The previous winter, he had noted large crowds of Boston area college kids attending his Sunday afternoon folk/blues shows at Storyville. At that point, he saw the potential for a full-fledged summer folk festival.

Organizing a folk festival was a creative challenge for Wein, a pianist and jazz promoter. He quickly came to rely on visionaries in the folk world, including performer and activist Pete Seeger, Folklorist Alan Lomax and Bob Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman. Wein has trusted others for advice and consul ever since, especially Festival mainstay Seeger, who is portrayed in the book as the central artery running through the Festival’s history.

The first festival in 1959 was considered a great success, with Seeger joined by well-known artists Odetta, Rev. Gary Davis and The Kingston Trio. Other legendary performers including Jean Richie, Bo Diddley, Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry also appeared. It was evident from the start that the Festival would have deep roots.

Of course, folk music at Newport was always about more than just a guy and a guitar. The “new thing” at Newport in 1959 was 19-year-old Joan Baez, fresh off the Cambridge coffeehouse scene, a guest of popular folkie Bob Gibson. Still unknown at the time, the Providence Journal referred to her “Joan Byers” as she made her big stage debut.

A couple of years later, Baez brought her own “new thing” to the concert, one “Bobby” Dylan, who quickly became the face of the festival. IN 1964, the festival was drawing over 75,000 fans, when blues legends Son House, Muddy Waters and Skip James appeared. Thousands slept in public parks and beaches, straining the city’s resources.

Over time, Newport became the benchmark for music festivals. It was the first true Americana festival (before the term became widespread), with a focus on authentic American roots music. In an age before Google and YouTube, talent scouts ventured into different regions of the country seeking out artists in genres including Cajun, Bluegrass, and a Cappella. Wein and his staff brought in international artists as well, from as far away as Spain and Israel. In Chapter 4, “Texas was the Worst,” Massimo shares some colorful stories about the adventures of festival staff seeking out artists in the South.

Massimo describes the struggle between the “evolutionists” and the “functionalists,” two camps in the Folk world identified by historian Richard Cohen. The evolutionists brought a pure approach to the music – it had to remain authentic, true to its roots. To them, it was only folk if it could be played on the front porch or the juke joint. The functionalists believed the music “could serve practical purposes, energizing the folk to struggle against racism and oppression.” The struggle between these two forces played out repeatedly over the years.

Challenging both movements was the mass market popularity of folk music in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Remarkable by today’s standards, groups like The Kingston Trio, the Brothers Four, and Peter, Paul and Mary were topping the pop charts. In fact, one of the early blunders came during the first festival in 1959 where Wein acknowledges briefly losing the trust of the purists. Near the conclusion of the first Sunday concert, and under pressure from fans who wanted to get home early, he made a last second change to the schedule, accommodating fans and allowing The Kingston Trio to go onstage before Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs. It took a while for the purists to forgive him.

Of particular interest is Chapter 7, “A Limited Amount of Time,” where Massimo tells the story of the legendary half hour set when Dylan ”went electric,” kicking out the jams for a whole generation. The narrative is shared completely through a series of quotes – from festival organizers, fellow musicians, journalists, critics and other eyewitnesses.

As far as his verdict on that moment, it’s apparent that truth lies in the eye of the beholder. Indeed, those who were present seemed to each take away something different. Some witnessed the audience booing, but for many, it was unclear – was it directed at the artist? The sound system? Other fans? The assemblage of quotes, arranged chronologically (and all dutifully footnoted), isn’t intended to answer the question. Massimo allows the witnesses to make their statements, and the reader to be the jury.

Justiça social

Since its founding, the festival was a focal point for youth – in a way, the counterculture began to percolate in Newport. Political activism was overt from the start and the Festival addressed social justice issues thorough song and action. Of course, the Civil Rights Movement was in the forefront in the early years. Massimo shares some great anecdotes, including Wein’s story about how two groups integrated a bus at the 1964 Festival.

“The all-white Sacred Harp singing group from Alabama was riding a shuttle bus to the festival grounds when the bus stopped to let on the all-black Georgia Sea Island Singers, who were also headed there. The bus was full. There was nowhere for the Sea Islanders to sit. According to the book, there was an awkward pause while everyone weighed their options. And then, only a few years after the idea of a black woman sitting with white people on a bus provoked many white Southerners to riot in the streets, the men of the Sacred Harp group rose and offered their seats to the women.”

More recently, the festival has taken on environmental issues and stood in the forefront of the Gay Pride movement. The “out and proud” Indigo Girls ruled the Festival in the 1990’s appearing 9 times in 10 years. They brought a new brand of activism that inspired many festival-goers.

Going Forward

In recent years, Wein has ceded the day to day operation of the festival to Executive Director Jay Sweet. Sweet, has become the “memory keeper,” charged with the challenging task of keeping the Festival fresh while maintaining the connection to the past. He’s continued to broaden the definition of what folk music is, inspiring a new generation of fans.

Since 2014, the Festival has sold out even before any acts are announced, a rare feat that even caught the attention of James Taylor, a late addition to the 2015 line up. In a special moment that year, Taylor was able to complete his 1969 set that had been shortened by news of the first manned moon landing.

In a 2016 interview, Sweet spoke about the “paradox of compounding expectations,” the belief that the Festival has to outdo itself each year. Of course, the organizers can never equal that moment in ’65 when Dylan went electric, nor many others, but it has succeeded in maintaining the spirit of those times. That positive, life affirming spirit is evident in this book as well- I strongly recommend it.

I Got a Song is out June 6 th . Preorder it here.

Ken Abrams writes about music for FolkRadioUK, Popdose, and NoDepression. He is a former Music Critic at GoLocalProv in Providence, RI.


Dylan Goes Electric: Rock's Greatest Tall Tale, 50 Years Later

How we remember Dylan's Newport Folk Festival debacle.

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s infamous electric set at the Newport Folk Festival, the first public performance Dylan did with a rock band. It’s a cultural moment around which the history of popular music has been constructed — the moment Dylan broke with his “folk” roots and revolutionized popular music. The show is the takeoff point for a new book by one of pop music’s finest scholars and canon-busters, Elijah Wald — Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties.

The accepted narrative surrounding the event is more-than-a-bit apocryphal. There are many factors to consider when speculating about porque, exactly, the set incited boos, as well as the various reactions to it from notable figures in attendance, the context in which the audience viewed it, and Dylan’s own attitude toward the performance.

As the story goes, the crowd at Newport was shocked when Dylan mounted the stage with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band — plus Blood, Sweat and Tears’ Al Kooper on organ — and played a set of searing electric music. Some remember trash being thrown, and Dylan being booed off stage. Folk-revival patron saint Pete Seeger is believed to have been so angered by the racket that he tried to cut the power.

But this simplistic, wholesale view of the reaction doesn’t make complete sense. Dylan’s first foray into electric music — the Bringing It All Back Home album — had been out for several months, and his now iconic song “Like a Rolling Stone” had debuted to much fanfare a few days earlier. The crowd was doubtless prepared for Dylan to try out some of this material it was not the shot heard around the world.

Seeger, himself, has remained adamant that his reaction to the music was not a hatred of the idea of electric music coming to the festival. He was prompted to make a remark about wanting to “cut the cord” because of the poor quality of the mix. He was particularly angry that Dylan’s vocals were so buried and unintelligible — understandable since Dylan’s unhinged, psychedelic verses were considered the main sticking point of his new music, not merely din and rhythm.

Many people remember the sound being terrible, and the performance itself being sloppy, especially at the start. The band had only had one night of rehearsal. The bassist, Jerome Arnold, taped chords to his bass there was essentially no sound check. Al Kooper recalls the group getting off- beat on “Maggie’s Farm,” the opener you can hear this in the recording of the show. They ran through only three songs before leaving the stage without a word. The MC — Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary — returned to wrap things up. The recording evidences a very mixed reaction, though deafeningly loud and dominated by some loud boos. It’s easy to hear how this would have been mostly a reaction to the poor mix, the brevity of the set, and Dylan’s brusqueness. Kooper even remembers hearing “more!” rather than “boo.”

Another piece of misinformation is the idea that Dylan’s set was the first time electric music had ever been played at Newport and was anathema to the folk scene as a whole. The Butterfield Band had performed the previous day in their own right, and classic blues acts such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf — veterans of the festival — had already begun to perform in electric bands. The change was in the wind as Dylan put it in a 1985 interview, “I had a hit [electric] record out, so I don’t know how people expected me to do anything different.”

It’s also easy to forget that Dylan did a heartfelt, acoustic encore of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” which mollified the crowd – he’d also performed some pre-Bringing It All Back Home acoustic songs at a workshop the previous night. The decision to play with the Butterfield Band had been made spontaneously at the festival it was not a concerted effort to overthrow the establishment.

Looked at from almost any other angle than being the beginning of the “social drama” Dylan created, as rock critic Greil Marcus put it in his Dylan treatise Invisible Republic, or that it was a moment that “changed the rules of folk music,” the Newport set comes off as something of an aberration. But though it was not — in practice — a great performance, it has snowballed in significance in retelling. Though the negative response was not as vociferous as it would be on his subsequent tours with the Hawks (who would eventually become The Band in their own right), it’s regarded as Dylan’s most controversial performance.


Bob Dylan Goes Electric at the Newport Folk Festival

On July 25, 1965, the typically acoustic guitar-toting Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival with a Fender Stratocaster and an electric backup-band. His performance of Maggie’s Farm was met with raucous booing from the audience. Until then, many folk-aficionados believed that protest musicians had an moral imperative to perform on traditional, ‘non-commercial,’ acoustic instruments, considered to be ‘of the people.’ By playing the highly-commercialized Stratocaster, Dylan challenged the restrictive ideology of his audience, unified folk music with rock music, and encouraged people to see rock, folk, and their respective instruments as forms of and media for protest.

Tolinski, Brad, and Alan Di Perna. Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. New York, Doubleday, 2016.
Wald, Elijah. Dylan Goes Electric: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties . New York, Dey St., 2015.


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With his acoustic songs of social protest, a young Bob Dylan was a hero to folk music fans in the early 1960s and the Newport festival was their Mecca. Bringing an electric guitar and band with him onstage to launch into "Maggie's Farm" was more than an artistic change, it was a provocative act. Most folk purists disdained rock `n' roll.

What happened next is a little foggy. Did an enraged Pete Seeger really try to cut Dylan's electric power? Was the crowd upset about the noise, or by Dylan leaving the stage after only three songs? Was it even upset at all? He later returned for a couple of acoustic songs.

Either way, Dylan never looked back.

Music has its share of memorable instruments, like Paul McCartney's Hofner bass or the Gibson guitars that B.B. King calls Lucille. Yet it's tough to think of any instrument that was the focus of an event more meaningful than the electric guitar Dylan played that day, said Howard Kramer, curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.

"This is not just kinda cool. This is way cool," said guitar expert Andy Babiuk. "We all love Bob Dylan, but this is really a pinnacle point not just in his career but for music in general. I don't think music in the 1960s would have been the same if Dylan had not gone electric."

Victor Quinto briefly flew music stars like Dylan, The Band and Peter, Paul & Mary around during the 1960s. Peterson, his daughter, said Dylan left the Fender behind on an airplane and Quinto took it home. She was told that her father contacted Dylan's representatives to get them to pick it up, but no one ever did. Quinto died at age 41, when his daughter was 8, and she treasures any remaining connection to her dad. The guitar was in her parents' attic until about 10 years ago when she took it.

Peterson had no idea about its history until a friend of her husband's saw it and mentioned the possible Newport connection. After unsuccessfully trying to verify it on her own, she turned to "History Detectives" about a year ago for help.

"When I heard it, I was like, `Yeah, right,"' said Elyse Luray, a former Christie's auction house appraiser and auctioneer who co-hosts the PBS show. But there were intriguing clues. Peterson's father left behind an address book that included a phone number for "Bob Dylan, Woodstock." Luray showed the guitar case to a former Dylan roadie who recognized the name of a little-known company that Dylan had formed at the time stenciled on its side.

A sheaf of papers with handwritten song lyrics was in the guitar case and PBS took them to an expert, Jeff Gold, who said the handwriting matched Dylan's. The fragmentary lyrics later appeared, in part, on songs that Dylan recorded but rejected for his 1966 "Blonde on Blonde" album.

Luray took the guitar to Babiuk, an appraiser of instruments who consults for the rock hall. He took the guitar apart to find a date written inside (1964) that made its use in Newport plausible. He drew upon blown-up color photos from Newport to compare the wood grain on the guitar Dylan played that day to the one in his hands. He's confident it's a match, likening the wood grain to a fingerprint.

Dylan's lawyer, Orin Snyder, said late Wednesday that the singer had the guitar.

"He did own several other Stratocaster guitars that were stolen from him around that time, as were some handwritten lyrics," Snyder said. "In addition, Bob recalls driving to the Newport Folk Festival, along with two of his friends, not flying."

In a response, "History Detectives" spokesman Eddie Ward said the show continues to believe Peterson has the guitar in question and would "welcome the opportunity" to examine the guitar that Dylan says is the one he played that day. Peterson said she stood by the "History Detectives" conclusion. Babiuk said he didn't want to get involved in a dispute, but said he was "99.9 percent certain" that he examined the guitar used at Newport.

Peterson said she had written to Dylan's lawyers in 2005 requesting that Dylan waive any claim to the guitar. Lawyers declined the request and said it should be returned but until this week, there had been no further contact.

Unlike some musicians who prize instrument collections, Dylan has generally looked upon them as tools to convey his art, much like a carpenter's hammer, Kramer said. "I don't think he's dwelled on a guitar he hasn't played for 47 years," he said. "If he cared about it, he would have done something about it."

That doesn't mean lawyers or managers wouldn't be aware of its value and fight for it, however.

Peterson told The Associated Press in an email that she had no plans to sell or donate the guitar to anyone.


Bob Dylan, PBS Dispute Ownership of His Famous ‘Dylan Goes Electric’ Guitar

"History Detectives" experts say the daughter of a pilot who once flew Dylan to appearances has the Fender Stratocaster, but the singer's lawyer claims otherwise.

Associated Press

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Bob Dylan and historians at PBS are in a dispute over the whereabouts of an electric guitar that the singer plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, quite possibly the most historic single instrument in rock ‘n’ roll.

The New Jersey daughter of a pilot who flew Dylan to appearances in the 1960s says she has the guitar, which has spent much of the past 47 years in a family attic. But a lawyer for Dylan claims the singer still has the Fender Stratocaster with the sunburst design that he used during one of the most memorable performances of his career.

If the authentic “Dylan goes electric” guitar ever went on the open marketplace, experts say it could fetch as much as a half million dollars.

The guitar is the centerpiece of Tuesday’s season premiere of PBS’ History Detectives, and the show said late Wednesday it stands by its conclusion that Dawn Peterson, the pilot’s daughter who works as a customer relations manager for an energy company, has the right instrument.

On July 25, 1965, that guitar was more an object of derision than desire.

With his acoustic songs of social protest, a young Bob Dylan was a hero to folk music fans in the early 1960s and the Newport festival was their Mecca. Bringing an electric guitar and band with him onstage to launch into “Maggie’s Farm” was more than an artistic change, it was a provocative act. Most folk purists disdained rock ‘n’ roll.

What happened next is a little foggy. Did an enraged Pete Seeger really try to cut Dylan’s electric power? Was the crowd upset about the noise, or by Dylan leaving the stage after only three songs? Was it even upset at all? He later returned for a couple of acoustic songs.

Either way, Dylan never looked back.

Music has its share of memorable instruments, like Paul McCartney’s Hofner bass or the Gibson guitars that B.B. King calls Lucille. Yet it’s tough to think of any instrument that was the focus of an event more meaningful than the electric guitar Dylan played that day, said Howard Kramer, curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.

“This is not just kinda cool. This is way cool,” said guitar expert Andy Babiuk. “We all love Bob Dylan, but this is really a pinnacle point not just in his career but for music in general. I don’t think music in the 1960s would have been the same if Dylan had not gone electric.”

Victor Quinto briefly flew music stars like Dylan, The Band and Peter, Paul & Mary around during the 1960s. Peterson, his daughter, said Dylan left the Fender behind on an airplane and Quinto took it home. She was told that her father contacted Dylan’s representatives to get them to pick it up, but no one ever did. Quinto died at age 41, when his daughter was 8, and she treasures any remaining connection to her dad. The guitar was in her parents’ attic until about 10 years ago when she took it.

Peterson had no idea about its history until a friend of her husband’s saw it and mentioned the possible Newport connection. After unsuccessfully trying to verify it on her own, she turned to History Detectives about a year ago for help.

“When I heard it, I was like, ‘Yeah, right,'” said Elyse Luray, a former Christie’s auction house appraiser and auctioneer who co-hosts the PBS show. But there were intriguing clues. Peterson’s father left behind an address book that included a phone number for “Bob Dylan, Woodstock.” Luray showed the guitar case to a former Dylan roadie who recognized the name of a little-known company that Dylan had formed at the time stenciled on its side.

A sheaf of papers with handwritten song lyrics was in the guitar case and PBS took them to an expert, Jeff Gold, who said the handwriting matched Dylan’s. The fragmentary lyrics later appeared, in part, on songs that Dylan recorded but rejected for his 1966 Blonde on Blonde album.

Luray took the guitar to Babiuk, an appraiser of instruments who consults for the rock hall. He took the guitar apart to find a date written inside (1964) that made its use in Newport plausible. He drew upon blown-up color photos from Newport to compare the wood grain on the guitar Dylan played that day to the one in his hands. He’s confident it’s a match, likening the wood grain to a fingerprint.

Dylan’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, said late Wednesday that the singer had the guitar.

“He did own several other Stratocaster guitars that were stolen from him around that time, as were some handwritten lyrics,” Snyder said. “In addition, Bob recalls driving to the Newport Folk Festival, along with two of his friends, not flying.”

In a response, History Detectives porta-voz Eddie Ward said the show continues to believe Peterson has the guitar in question and would “welcome the opportunity” to examine the guitar that Dylan says is the one he played that day. Peterson said she stands by the History Detectives conclusion. Babiuk said he didn’t want to get involved in a dispute, but said he was 󈭓.9 percent certain” that he examined the guitar used at Newport.

Peterson said she had written to Dylan’s lawyers in 2005 requesting that Dylan waive any claim to the guitar. Lawyers declined the request and said it should be returned but until this week, there had been no further contact.

Unlike some musicians who prize instrument collections, Dylan has generally looked upon them as tools to convey his art, much like a carpenter’s hammer, Kramer said. “I don’t think he’s dwelled on a guitar he hasn’t played for 47 years,” he said. “If he cared about it, he would have done something about it.”

That doesn’t mean lawyers or managers wouldn’t be aware of its value and fight for it, however.

Peterson told The Associated Press in an email that she has no plans to sell or donate the guitar to anyone.

“The guitar remains in a safe place,” she wrote, “away from my home.”


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