Musicians who keep a-changin'

By The Economist online

“JUDAS!” cried a voice from the crowd. The catcall came as Bob Dylan was tuning his electric guitar at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England on the evening of May 17th 1966, 50 years ago today. Devoted fans of Mr Dylan, dismayed that the “voice of a generation” seemed to be eschewing the acoustic, political folk music of his early albums for capricious rock tunes, had been jeering his electric guitars since they first appeared onstage at the Newport Folk Festival a year before. Throughout his World Tour in 1966, the opening acoustic portions of Mr Dylan’s concerts were met with cheers—while the sight of a Fender Telecaster led to mass walkouts. Responding to his Mancunian heckler, in a moment which has passed into musical folklore, Mr Dylan told his band to play the opening chords of “Like a Rolling Stone” “fucking loud”. Half a century later, he is still grumbling…

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