Friday, July 29, 2011

Today in Rock History: Dylan Crashes His Motorcycle

On July 29. 1966, Bob Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident near Woodstock, New York. Why is this important enough to be mentioned by both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rock's Backpages? Rather than give the answer, I'll point out a library resource that contains it: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. We own it in print as part of our reference collection, ML102.P66 G84 1998. We also have it available online as part of the Oxford/Grove Music Online database, under E-Resources: Search Articles & More from the library's home page. One advantage of the online version is obvious: Berklee users can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. But you can also search within the text of an article, for example for "motorcycle" within the Bob Dylan biographical entry. Here's a hint: the article questions whether the accident really happened.

This weekend also marks the Newport Folk Festival, where Dylan went electric and was famously booed in 1965. Although many have claimed the audience turned on him as a traitor to folk music, musician, songwriter, A&R man and witness to the event Al Kooper insists there has been much misinformation about the incident in an interview earlier this year on Sound Opinions.

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