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“We have all been here before.”
“By 1965, Bob Dylan had achieved the status of leading songwriter of the American folk music revival.
“At the ’63 Newport Folk Festival, Dylan had been received enthusiastically when he performed ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ on acoustic guitar, along with Joan Baez, the trio ‘Peter, Paul, and Mary’, and other Festival performers.
“At the ’64 festival, Dylan had strummed his acoustic and sang ‘With God on Our Side’ and ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.
“On the night of Sunday, July 25, 1965, Dylan was introduced by the festival’s MC (Peter Yarrow): ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the person that’s going to come up now has a limited amount of time — his name is Bob Dylan.’
“Dylan, within his now electric band, played the songs: ‘Maggie’s Farm’, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, and an early version of ‘It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry’.
“According to Jonathan Taplin,
Dylan had made a spontaneous decision on Saturday that he would challenge the Festival by performing with a fully amplified band.
“Some sections of the audience booed Dylan’s performance.
“Leading members of the folk movement criticized Dylan for moving away from political songwriting — and for performing with an electric band.
“Dylan was said ‘to have electrified one half of his audience — and electrocuted the other’.
“Dylan’s attitude was, according to Taplin, ‘Well, fuck ’em if they think they can keep electricity out of here — I’ll do it.’
“After those 3 songs, Dylan and the band left the stage, to the sound of both booing and clapping.
“MC Peter Yarrow returned to the microphone and begged Dylan to continue performing.
“Dylan came back on stage and said to Yarrow, ‘What are you doing to me?’
“With only his acoustic guitar now, Dylan strummed and sang ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’, and then — as his farewell to Newport — ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’.
“The crowd then exploded with applause.
“Dylan did not return to the Newport Folk Festival for 37 years.
“In a .. gesture, Dylan performed again at Newport in 2002, wearing a wig, and a fake beard.”
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Thank you, Wikipedia, for all of the above!
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