Friday, 18 November 2011

Evolution: Studying The Engine From Music's Slipstream

Newport Folk Festival, July 1965

You Can’t Stop The Future, thought Bob Dylan as he glared back into the harsh, stunned gawk of the crowd. Like an ocean of earthy colours and unwashed beards they froze in the bloated summer dusk; bloated like the ozone of a blistering stormcloud. They twitched as they watched Dylan, all black leather and loud, ‘fuck you’ orange shirt, arm himself with an electric stratocaster and jam a buzzing lead into it. Charged with sizzling defiance, Dylan and his band (recruited at the last moment, upon hearing the festival snobs heckle the electric Paul Butterfield Blues Band) gritted their teeth and hurtled into a squawking, feverish ‘Maggie’s Farm’.

The audience howled like a huge, spurred beast as the raggedy speakers shrieked and thundered with lusty vigour. Pete Seeger, an architect of the world that Dylan had just declared war on, grabbed an axe and stomped towards the soundboard.

Or, so they say.

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