Monday, August 26, 2019

Researching the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival Featuring Bob Dylan

Much has been written this month on the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.  I even bought a 10-CD set that featured much of the music.  Later that month in the UK the Isle of Wight Festival took placed featuring Bob Dylan who lived near Woodstock at that time.

Today I went to the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center to look up the book shown above.  The author Ray Foulk was one of the organizers of the Isle of Wight Festival.  This time I only had to wait 20 minutes for the book as opposed to 75 minutes at the Schwartzman Building.  I will not have to write any complaint emails.

I took notes as I read this book at the library.  There was an Isle of Wight Festival in 1968 that was not a financial success, so the organizers needed someone to attract people in 1969.

Dylan did few concerts between late 1966 after the motorcycle accident until the 1974 tour.  I found out from the book that Dylan's fascination with Lord Alfred Tennyson's home on the Isle of Wight was his reason for coming to the festival.  Dylan just didn't want to be part of a massively hyped Jamboree and would have felt out of place with the tie-dyed hippies of Woodstock Generation.  He was also afraid that some people may try to find his house.  In any event that festival actually took place in Bethel, NY which was a distance from Woodstock.  Actually, Dylan wasn't stolen from Woodstock; he elected to come to the Isle of Wight.

Dylan was to travel to the UK via boat on the QE 2, but those plans were changed since his son had a minor accident.  He and Sara, pregnant with their son Jakob, flew to England.  He was paid $50, 000 to perform as the concert that attracted 200,000 people including John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr with their wives.

There was no video of the concert, but CBS Records arranged for an audio recording that was part of the Another Self Portrait boxed set.

Dylan at the Isle of Wight

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