Sailors, some in civies, but obvious,
standing by the beer stand,
hissed and booed. We were
seventeen, sneaking into the
good seats. When people
had to pee we’d stroll down
and take their place.
That night, nobody got up.
The sound was terrible.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
I’d seen at Paul’s Mall on
Boyleston St. in Boston
was not well represented.
Gospel singers at the previous Newport
Folk Festival had plugged in. There
was no hue or good-bye, but Bob Dylan had
sinned. He had tuned to the same current
and the the critics, somewhere in media land,
and the politically loud, right wing pawns
had their moment of reflected light.
For them, not for Pete Seeger
who never threatened to axe the cord,
but was pilloried, and not for the vast
majority of folk there, aware of Mr. Dylan’s
genius and the fickleness of sound systems.
But for faraway critics and the local
Newport drunk sailors, yes they did
lambaste the act. Shakespeare
got booed too.
Published on November 5, 2019