Join us October 14th at 7:00pm for live music and lively conversation as we take on a defining moment in rock history. Elijah Wald will be here to discuss his new book, Dylan Goes Electric!, and, together with Darryl Holter, perform a few songs from Bob Dylan’s iconic performance.
In 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,” followed by his new rock hit, “Like a Rolling Stone.” The audience of committed folkies and political activists who had hailed him as their acoustic prophet reacted with a mix of shock, booing, and cheers. It was the shot heard round the world—Dylan’s delaration of musical independence, the end of the folk revival, and the birth of rock as the voiceof a generation—and one of the defining moments in twentieth-century music.
In Dylan Goes Electric!, Elijah Wald explores the cultural, political and historical context of this seminal event that embodies the transformative decade that was the sixties. Wald delves deep into the folk revival, the rise of rock, and the tensions between traditional and groundbreaking music to provide new insights into Dylan’s artistic evolution, his special affinity to blues, his complex relationship to the folk establishment and his sometime mentor Pete Seeger, and the ways he reshaped popular music forever.
Elijah Wald is a writer and musician whose books include Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, and How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music. A respected expert on the folk revival, he collaborated with Dave Van Ronk on The Mayor of MacDougal Street, the inspiration for the Coen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis. His awards include a 2002 Grammy, and he has taught blues history at UCLA and lectured widely on American, Mexican, and world music.
Musician, historian, and activist Darryl Holter’s new album is Radio Songs: Woody Guthrie in Los Angeles 1937–1939, out last month via 213 Music. Radio Songs features ten renditions of original Guthrie material as collected, curated and performed by Holter. A sort of aural history text, Ben Wendel’s production and Holter’s arrangements are clean and concise; as a glimpse into Guthrie’s beginnings as a musician, Radio Songs is fascinating if its listener finds intrigue in the subject.
If you’re a fan of Dylan and rock music (and who isn’t?), you won’t want to miss this exciting and entertaining event!