On This Day In Music History...
July 25, 1965: Bob Dylan went electric.
Bob Dylan wore many hats: he was a poet, painter, philosopher, activist — but he was a pioneer folk musician, first and foremost. His lyrics commented on his displeasure with social and political events, which developed an entire counterculture of folk fans sharing his same views.
Folk music was always perceived as a very intimate experience, often being performed in small coffee shops or someone's living room acoustically so that nothing stood in between the performer and the listeners. As such, Bob Dylan's electric performance at the Newport Jazz Festival was met with boos and hisses since many folk fans saw it as a betrayal to the genre. (The video is of his performance of "Mr. Tambourine Man," which he played acoustically after the two electric songs). Being born on the cusp of the nineties, it's hard for me to imagine such backlash to new musical technologies since all my musical experiences happen through some sort of electronic device, be it microphones, headphones or a PA system. Fortunately, people eventually got over the whole "Bob Dylan gone electric" thing because he's the man. Not sure they'll get over the fact that his grandson is now a rapper, though... Yeah, you read that right, 15 year old Pablo Dylan is embarking on a rap career and already has a mixtape entitle "10 Minutes" up for grabs. Check out a track here. Do you think his rhymes live up to his legacy?
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