Music legend Bob Dylan is seeking shelter from a storm of criticism after it was discovered that fans who paid $599 for a “hand signed” copy of his new book discovered the autographs weren’t genuine.
Nine hundred copies of The Philosophy of Modern Song were sold a premium price with a Dylan signature. As it turns out, at least some of the supposedly handwritten signatures were made with an “autopen” device that replicates an original script.
The outrage was strong enough to prompt a statement from the Tambourine Man, who famously said nothing when he became the first musician to win a Nobel prize.
“I’ve hand-signed each and every art print over the years, and there’s never been a problem,” he wrote on Facebook. “However, in 2019 I had a bad case of vertigo and it continued into the pandemic years… 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.”
Dylan explained that the vertigo made it necessary for a team of five people to help him with signing sessions. During the pandemic, they were unable to find a safe way to do that. That’s when the autopen was suggested.
Publisher Simon & Schuster said it would refund people who bought the $599 versions of the book immediately.
As news of the autopen began blowin’ in the wind, the U.K. gallery that has sold most of Dylan’s paintings said it would offer full refunds to customers who purchased “hand signed” items. Those prints typically sold for between $6,000 and $18,000 apiece.
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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)