ON THE SHELF: JUDAS ! : FROM FOREST HILLS TO THE FREE TRADE HALL, A HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE BIG BOO by Clinton Heylin.(2016) Everything I read about folkies going electric occur mostly after two events; one being the Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan and second was Bob Dylan going electric in 1965, hence the subtitle THE BIG BOO. If you listen to the song CREQUE ALLEY by the Mamas and Papas you’ll hear a biography of the various musicians mostly folkies who happened to be “passing the hat” in the clubs in and around Greenwich Village New York during the early 1960s. After the Beatles on SULLIVAN a few of the solo acts, mostly songwriter types, reformed as duets or small combos to the horror of the folk aficionado and turned “electric”. Also,Barry McGuire having a #1 hit with “The Eve of Destruction” turned a few heads.
CLINTON HEYLIN, the British author is a renown DYLANOLOGIST and with some recently uncovered acetates of DYLAN’S soundboards from the now fabled 1966 tour, Heylin offers some new insights. This book is seriously researched so the faint of heart, the casual reader might drop off or skip many pages due to the books repetitiveness, that is, “Where they booing?”, “Who was booing?” “What was Bob actually thinking that night?”, etc, etc.
Our journey starts in NEWPORT FOLK FEST 1965 (the first boo), slowly morphs into THE HAWKS (a band playing so loud it hurt) joining him for FOREST HILLS 66 show and then the author takes us the reader throughout the United States, Europe, and back. Just the newspaper reports alone ,which are extensively referred to throughout the book, helped me the reader understand the depth of what was occurring. This book follows the entire tour of Bob Dylan on his historic electric adventure, not skipping one date during 1965/66, a tour which changed the face of music.
“Folk-rock, I’ve never said that word” Bob Dylan.
MY LITTLE KNOWN FUN FACT THAT I LOVE: ‘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?’ – Bob Dylan