Bob Dylan Apologizes for Fake Signature Book Controversy

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Bob Dylan has released a statement concerning the fake signature controversy with his new book, The Philosophy Of Modern Song.

Earlier this month, publishing company Simon & Schuster admitted to selling fake hand-signed copies of Dylan’s book. Now, The Bard has released a statement addressing the issue.

Fans who paid $599 for the “signed” book will be reimbursed by the publishing house, who recently admitted the signatures inside the book were a “penned replica form.”

In his statement, Dylan said he’d been suffering from a “bad case of vertigo” since 2019 and it had “continued into the pandemic years.” He said that “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” but that “using a machine was an error in judgment and I want to rectify it immediately.”

[RELATED: Simon & Schuster Admit to Selling Fake Hand-Signed Bob Dylan Books]

In the statement released from Simon & Schuster, the publisher said, “To those who purchased The Philosophy of Modern Song, we want to apologize. As it turns out, the limited edition books do contain Bob’s original signature, but in a penned replica form. We are addressing this immediately by providing each purchaser with an immediate refund.”

Originally, Simon & Schuster revealed that 900 copies of the book were personally autographed by Dylan. “You hold in your hands something very special, one of just 900 copies available in the U.S.,” read a letter signed by Jonathan Karp, the president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, accompanying each purchase. “This letter is confirmation that the copy of the book you hold in your hand has been hand-signed by Bob Dylan.”

In another recent twist to the book, Talking Heads member Chris Frantz took exception with Dylan’s categorization of bands who performed as contemporaries with Elvis Costello. Read about that HERE.

See Dylan’s full statement 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,
Bob Dylan

Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty Images

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