July 25th is the anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. I should have posted this yesterday, but I got distracted finishing my post on The Band.
Dylan going electric at Newport is kind of like the Big Bang for all of the music I like. But it is kind of funny that I had never seen or heard it until about a year ago. Thank you YouTube!
The one surprise is how amazing Mike Bloomfield is on guitar.
The other surprise is that after the first time through, Dylan abandons changing chords. "Maggie's Farm" is just a country blues. Seems impossible that The Butterfield Blues Band couldn't learn the song even if it was pulled together at the last minute. So I'd have to guess that they were either too stoned or they had in fact never played the song before going out there. Or both. Then Dylan went and hired the guys in The Band to be his back-up band for his first electric tour. Hmmm.
Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties by Elijah Wald provides very vivid biographies of Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger and gives you a sense of what it was like to be there. I could go on and on. I love that book. I intend to read every book that Wald writes. He's that good.