Bob Dylan Apologizes for Using Machine to Mass-Sign Books

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Dylan used an autopen to create a near-identical signature on every copy of the book.

Recently, legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan released a new book titled Philosophy of Modern Song, containing his thoughts and musing on both his music and state of the music scene in general. In addition to the regular edition of the book, 900 copies were offered for $599 each with the promise that each copy would be hand-signed by Dylan himself. However, as fans began to receive their special-edition books, many began to notice that the signatures on each were almost identical, too identical to have been made by hand.

In response to fan backlash, Dylan took to social media to explain that, due to health complications, he needed to use an autopen device to help him sign the books. “I’ve hand-signed each and every art print over the years, and there’s never been a problem,” he said in the statement shared on his Facebook page.

“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.”

He explained that “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.”

Dylan apologized for using the device and explained that he is working with his publisher, Simon & Schuster, to rectify the matter. “To those who purchased the ‘Philosophy of Modern Song’ limited edition, we want to apologize,” Simon & Schuster announced in a tweet. “As it turns out, the limited-edition books do contain Bob’s original signature, but in a penned replica form. We are addressing this information by providing each purchaser with an immediate refund.”

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