Bob Dylan, one of the most iconic musicians of the 20th Century, recently granted Rolling Stone magazine a rare insight into his life, granting them an opportunity for an interview to support his forthcoming album. However, interviewer Mikal Gilmore got a little more than he bargained for when asking about musical quotations.
The question was simple enough, asking about the ‘controversy over your quotations in your songs from the works of other writers’. However, what followed saw Dylan open up about the controversial decision to utilise electric guitar, and the ‘Judas’ incident that followed suit.
Opening up, Dylan stated that “these are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you’ve been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherfuckers can rot in hell.”
Fair enough Dylan. In 2005, The Independent published an article covering the same issue, but from the perspective of a fan. It told the story of John Cordwell, an instigator of the ‘Judas’ remarks, who told the UK Newspaper “I think most of all I was angry that Dylan… not that he’d played electric, but that he’d played electric with a really poor sound system. It was not like it is on the record [the official album]. It was a wall of mush. That, and it seemed like a cavalier performance, a throwaway performance compared with the intensity of the acoustic set earlier on. There were rumblings all around me and the people I was with were making noises and looking at each other. It was a build-up.”
After all these years, it’s clear that Dylan is still pissed about the entire situation. Tempest is in stores now and is his thirty-fifth album.