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August 28th, 1969: Bob Dylan held a press conference today at the Halland Hotel: Watch

Dylan says he's really at the Isle of Wight to see the home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Bob Dylan held a press conference today at the Halland Hotel: Watch

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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August 28th, 1969: Bob Dylan held a press conference today at The Halland Hotel ahead of The Isle Of Wight festival this weekend.

The press conference is Dylan's first since touring Europe in 1966 and it seems a lot has changed in these three short years. His mannerisms, voice, accent and appearance are all vastly different. Dylan attributes the voice change to quitting smoking. Maybe the rest comes down to a relaxed family life in the Catskills.

Watch a clip of the press conference below.

Dylan will perform at the festival on August 31st and it's anyone's guess what voice he will be using. Here are his last four public appearances.

4

May 27th, 1966: Royal Albert Hall

3

January 20th, 1968: Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert, Carnegie Hall

2

May 1st, 1969: Johnny Cash Show, Ryman Auditorium

1

July 14th, 1969: Edwardsville, IL

We haven't been able to track down any audio from this event, or speak to anyone who attended, so we aren't certain what voice Dylan used. Based on the setlist of "I Ain't Got No Home", "Slippin' & Slidin'" and "In The Pines" it seems likely it was back to his Guthrie memorial style. Get in touch if you know more.

Dylan has been spending time with his family and George Harrison at a farmhouse on the Isle of Wight this week. Harrison just finished recording The Beatles latest album, Abbey Road, in London last week.

Bob Dylan held a press conference today at the Halland Hotel: Watch
Dylan and Harrison playing tennis this week.

Read a transcript of the press conference below.

Press: Why did you come to the Isle of Wight?

Dylan: I wanted to see the home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Press: Why?

Dylan: Just curious.

Press: Can I have your general views on the situation of drug taking among teenagers and young people these days?

Dylan: I don't have any of those views ... I wish I did, I'd be glad to share them with you, but I ... I think everyone should lead their own lives you know.

Press: You used to, I believe, make public pronouncements on your views on things, like Vietnam, and it has been noticed in certain quarters you haven't been doing that recently, making your views known on big political and international issues. Is this deliberate policy on your part?

Dylan: No ... I think that's more a rumor than a fact. You check your old newspapers, you won't be able to find too many statements I've made on those issues.

Press: I've heard it said here today by some of your fans that the new Bob Dylan is a bit of a square ... Is that true?

Dylan: You'll have to ask the fans (amidst general laughter)

Press: Do you feel that your days of protesting are over?

Dylan: I don't want to protest any more. I never said I'm an angry young man.

Press: Can you tell us exactly what happened when you suffered an accident a while ago?

Dylan: Rikki ... where are you? ... (silence from Dylan for a moment) It's true I suffered a broken neck. It's awful hard to explain. I have to take it easy sometimes.

Press: Bob.

Dylan: Yes, Ken (general laughter from press).

Press: Do you think you have changed very much since we last saw you in London? Your clothes and hair have changed?

Dylan: I believe there's a conscious thing since the accident. I haven't really changed ... It had more to do with the show I was doing than anything else. It really had nothing to do with me personally ... that stuff was all for publicity. I don't do that kind of thing any more.

Press: Can you tell us what songs you will be performing?

Dylan: Everything we will do is on record. I'm not going to sing anything new ... Things you will have heard before but with new arrangements

Press: Because of your lack of public appearances, do you still like doing shows?

Dylan: We appeared a month ago in St Louis ... the more shows the better.

Press: Who are you looking forward to meeting while you're here?

Dylan: I'm hoping to meet anybody who's around. I'd like to meet The Who and maybe Georgie Fame.

Press: What about the Beatles?

Dylan: George Harrison has come to visit me. The Beatles have asked me to work with them. I love the Beatles and I think it would be a good idea to do a jam session.

Press: What about reports that various people will perform with you on stage?

Dylan: Great, great.

Press: Do you feel that cameras are like guns?

Dylan: I don't know.

Press: Do you feel this change that has come over you and your music is due to domestic effects? Are you chiefly a family man now?

Dylan: I would think so.

Press: There is a very large crowd expected here for your performance. Any comments on that?

Dylan: I just hope it's a good show.

Press: Do you have a personal message for the kids today?

Dylan: Take it easy and do your job well.

Press: What exactly then is your position on politics and music?

Dylan: My job is to play music. I think I've answered enough questions.

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