Bob Dylan has issued a rare statement tackling the controversy around his ‘hand-signed’ books.
New tome The Philosophy Of Modern Song is out now, with some fans having paid around $600 for autographed copies. However soon after the release eagle-eyed readers noticed that the books were not, in fact, hand-signed.
Publishers Simon & Schuster admitted as such, explaining that Bob Dylan had used an ‘auto-pen’ for the signatures – in essence, one signature copied across multiple copies.
Fans were given a full refund and allowed to keep the book, with Bob Dylan now issuing a public statement on the controversy. Explaining that the decision to use the ‘autopen’ device was taken due to a “bad case of vertigo”, it seems that pandemic restrictions meant he couldn’t fulfil his obligations.
Find the statement in full below.
To my fans and followers,
I’ve been made aware that there’s some controversy about signatures on some of my recent artwork prints and on a limited-edition of Philosophy Of Modern Song. I’ve hand-signed each and every art print over the years, and there’s never been a problem.
However, in 2019 I had a bad case of vertigo and it continued into the pandemic years. It takes a crew of five working in close quarters with me to help enable these signing sessions, and we could not find a safe and workable way to complete what I needed to do while the virus was raging. So, during the pandemic, it was impossible to sign anything and the vertigo didn’t help. With contractual deadlines looming, the idea of using an auto-pen was suggested to me, along with the assurance that this kind of thing is done ‘all the time’ in the art and literary worlds.
Using a machine was an error in judgment and I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.
With my deepest regrets,