This weekend marks the anniversary of the Bob Dylan release "Bringing it All Back Home". It was Dylan's first electric rock album and it totally would freak out the patrons at the Newport Folk Festivalthat would be held in June. One side of the album was just Dylan ala folksinger, the flip side was Dylan with a full on electric band backing him. 1965 will always be the year that Dylan went "Electric". It turned out to be a turning point in Bob Dylan the protest singer's career. By June of that year, Dylan had been toying with the idea of performing electric for his fans in Newport, the fans had a mixed reaction to this move, many booed him others thought it was pretty cool. Actually it was more spontaneous than it may have seemed at the time. Dylan was hearing a lot of remarks that disrespected what the Butterfield Blues Bandwas doing at the festival. People backstage, including Pete Seeger and festival organizer Alan Lomax didn't think the electric blues of Butterfield was right for the event. Dylan didn't like that attitude much and he got together with several of Butterfield's band and rehearsed in a house the night before his performance. When Dylan came out to perform, the band blasted away and the audience reeled back in horror. Some of it had to do with the short set, some of the boos were because the sound quality was bad, and most of it was because they wanted Bob the protest folk singer, not the rock start Bob. Eventually the album Bringing it all back home made believers of everyone and Dylan went on to a great career. The day the album came out, March 26th 1965, Dylan attended a record release party in LA. Later that night he went down to the strip and sat in with the Byrds at Ciro's nightclub. Dylan added harmonica to the band's performance of his song, "All I Really Want to Do". I think it was the Byrds more than anything that convinced Dylan to go electric. The hit Mr. Tamborine Man proved that Dylan's songs could be amped up and still make perfect sense, maybe make even more sense. This Saturday we'll jump on some of that 1965 transition Bob Dylan, and we'll play some of the Byrds as well. We'll also clear the decks for Chicago, Canned Heat and Clapton w/John Mayall. Joe Cocker, the Stones and Hendrix will all be part of the "happening". Join me this Saturday 7-10am for Say You Want a Revolution.
Dylan at Newport 1965