SKF NOTE: Sam Lay was a Butterfield Blues Band member in 1965 at this pivotal moment in Rock history. Mr. Lay and the Butterfield Blues Band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
When Bob Dylan Went Electric
Fifty years ago, Bob Dylan picked up a Stratocaster and changed the world of rock ’n’ roll forever.
By MARC MYERS — July 20, 2015 6:45 p.m. ET
When Bob Dylan appeared at the Newport Folk Festival on the night of July 25, 1965, he had a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar around his neck. Three of his five backup musicians also took up electric instruments. Minutes into the first song, “Maggie’s Farm,” roughly a third of the 17,000 people in the audience began to boo. The media covered the rude reaction the next day.
Mr. Dylan couldn’t have wished for a better outcome. In the months ahead, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter was transformed from folk’s boy wonder into the poet equivalent of Elvis Presley.