Dylan goes electric
25 July 1965
When Dylan walked on stage at the Newport Folk festival clutching an electric guitar and backed by a full electric band, it was a pivotal point in the history of rock music. Previously known as a folk artist, this was Dylan rejecting his acoustic roots and opting for the amped up thrills of rock.
The first song Dylan and band played was met with a confused response from the audience. By the time they'd finished a scrappy version of his recent single "Like A Rolling Stone", the grumblings of the audience had turned into booing.
Folk legend Pete Seeger (who was watching from the sidelines) is said to have been so appalled that he tried to get the power switched off, though he later claimed this was because the sound was so bad. After the first half of the show, Dylan conceded and went back on with an acoustic guitar to finish his set to rapturous applause. From this point onward the folk community became bitterly divided, while Dylan stepped into the pop limelight.
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