February 2, 2023

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

Bob Dylan addresses the book signature controversy

Bob Dylan has apologized to fans who allegedly bought autographed copies of his new book, The Philosophy of Modern Song, which were later revealed to contain reproductions of the songwriter’s signature. He took to social media on Friday (November 25) to address the issue, claiming he used an autopen for the signatures after a “severe case of vertigo” caused him to write some of the $599 books not to be signed.

“It has been brought to my attention that there is some controversy over signatures on some of my recent artwork and on a limited edition Philosophy of Modern Song,” he wrote on Facebook. “I have hand signed every single art print over the years and there has never been a problem.” He continued:

“However, in 2019 I had a bad vertigo that lasted into the pandemic years. It takes a crew of five working closely with me to make these autograph sessions possible and we could not find a safe, practical way to do what I needed to do while the virus was raging. So, during the pandemic, it was impossible to sign anything, and the dizziness didn’t help. With contractual deadlines looming, the idea of ​​using an autopen was suggested to me, along with assurances that such a thing would be done “all the time” in the art and literary world. The use of a machine was an error of judgment which I want to correct immediately. For this I work together with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners. With deepest regrets, Bob Dylan”

Dylan’s publisher Simon & Schuster has also looked into the incident. After initially refusing to offer refunds, they later issued a statement confirming that Dylan had not signed some of the books; They also apologized for the confusion and offered a full refund to anyone who bought an autographed copy of the book. The issue first surfaced shortly after physical copies of the books were shipped, with buyers identifying what they believed to be 17 variations of Dylan’s signature, Variety reports.

“We would like to apologize to all buyers of the limited edition ‘Philosophy of Modern Song’,” the publisher wrote on Twitter. “As it turns out, the limited edition books feature Bob’s original signature, but in the form of a penned copy. We are addressing this information by providing every buyer with an immediate refund.”

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