By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Have you had people question your recollections?
I haven’t had too many complaints. [Singer-songwriter] Geoff Muldaur insists that the sound at Newport when Dylan went electric was absolutely crap. I remember it as being great.
Sometime in the late ’80s or so, there was an interview with Pete Seeger in Folk Roots. He kind of glossed over the whole dispute about Dylan and said, “People exaggerated my objections. I just felt you ought to be able to hear the lyrics. The sound was so loud you couldn’t really hear the lyrics, so that wasn’t my idea of what a folk festival was all about, but my objections to it have always been exaggerated.”
So I wrote a letter in which I mentioned his storming off into the parking lot and [his wife] Toshi bursting into tears. He then wrote a letter back, saying Toshi says she never burst into tears. But I have the clearest possible memory of coming back from the sound board, and as I approached [Theodore] Bikel and [Alan] Lomax standing at the foot of the stairs going up to the stage, seeing George Wein with his arms around a weeping Toshi, and Seeger’s back as he strode off into the parking lot.
You make the comment “No matter how pure and impassioned the intention, the inevitable effect of most artistic or cultural revolutions is to feed the public’s appetite for titillation.” What have been some unintended consequences of the things you’ve been involved with?
The list is endless.... I’ve been to folk festivals where groups from the Canadian maritime provinces are playing jigs and reels as fast as they can, with a very deft fiddler, electric guitar, electric bass and a drummer. I’m watching the drummer and thinking, oh my god, what did [Fairport Convention’s] Dave Mattacks unleash! When he did it on Liege & Lief, it was great.... Hearing some of this other stuff, maybe it wasn’t such a great thing after all!
Joe Boyd at Soho McNally Robinson in NYC on Mar 28, 2007