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Exclusive: Watch Footage of Outraged UK Fans at Bob Dylan’s Early Electric Shows in 1966

"He's prostituting himself!"

It’s a story that has since become the stuff of legend. The Bob Dylan World Tour of 1966—which followed his ‘going electric’ moment at Newport Folk Festival a year earlier—became one of the most notorious music tours ever staged, thanks to the boiling controversy that courted it round the globe. From country to country, fans were divided, and those on the negative side were vocal with their anger about what they felt was a betrayal. To them, their darling folk hero had dared to turn his back on his acoustic beginnings.


Nowhere was the anger more vociferous than in the UK, where his show at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall on May 17, 1966 became a moment in history when Dylan was confronted with what became the most famous heckle in rock music: “JUDAS!”

Flash forward nearly 50 years, Dylan is still filling out huge venues - playing five consecutive nights at London’s Albert Hall starting tonight - and we can look back on those riskier moments of his career and laugh, and also consider how they pretty much changed the course of modern music forever. Nice one, Bob. We owe you.

On November 6, Dylan will release the latest volume in his Dylan Bootleg Series, titled The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol 12, and it focuses on the studio sessions that produced three legendary albums: Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.

To celebrate, Noisey are premiering an exclusive clip filmed way back in those divisive days of 1966, a tongue-in-cheek montage of original footage shot during the UK dates of that World Tour (mostly North England judging from the accents), as angry fans stormed out of the second half of his shows. Each gig-goer is taken to one side and interviewed on camera about their grievances, and the reactions are, well, imagine a load of angry Northern blokes in the sixties watching their folk obsessions crumble before their very eyes. Priceless basically.

Watch the entire clip exclusively on Noisey below:

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The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol 12 is out on November 6th. You can preorder the deluxe edition here, and the 2CD/Vinyl right here. Or, get it on iTunes here.