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Elijah Wald Dylan Goes Electric

July 26, 201520 min
This July 25th marks the fiftieth anniversary of the controversial day Bob Dylan “went electric” at the Newport Folk Festival and to coincide with that event Dey Street Books is releasing DYLAN GOES ELECTRIC!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties by Elijah Wald (Dey Street Hardcover; $26.99) on-sale this July 14th. Wald’s new book is a must-have not only for Dylan fans, but for aficionados of music history and anyone who wants a deeper understanding of a complicated, fascinating period that reshaped popular culture. On the evening of July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan took the stage at Newport Folk Festival backed by an electric band and roared into a blistering version of “Maggie’s Farm” and his new rock hit, “Like a Rolling Stone.” The audience of committed folk purists and political activists who had hailed him as their acoustic prophet reacted with a mix of shock, booing, and scattered cheers. It was the shot heard round the world—Dylan’s declaration of musical inde

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