Photo: American rock and folk musician Bob Dylan singing and playing guitar during a concert at the Olympia music hall in Paris on May 25, 1966. Credit: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Fifty years ago, Bob Dylan
donned a black leather jacket, plugged in
an electric Stratocaster guitar and shocked the
world during a July 25, 1965 performance at the Newport Folk Festival. The audience booed his set; perhaps a purist backlash to
the electric guitar, or perhaps a protest against the poor sound quality.
Decades later, people continue to
make sense of the reverberations.
after an eight-year tour hiatus, Dylan was back on
the road in early 1974 and “waving around his electric guitar.” All Things
Considered sent a KBIA reporter into the crowd at a St. Louis show to gauge
fans’ reactions to Dylan’s new style. The reporter concluded that even though
Dylan had embraced “rock ‘n’ roll rhythm,” he could still “please almost all of
the people, almost all of the time.”