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NEWPORT, R.I. (CAP) - Some of the same concertgoers who booed Bob Dylan's first "electric" performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 say the announcement that he'll release a Christmas album this year is just "rubbing salt in the wound."
"He's really starting to get my goat now," said Fred Markinson, 68, of Pawtucket, R.I., who was one of the many crowd members who protested Dylan's electric set at the folk festival back in '65. "I'm done with him, and this time I probably mean it."
However, despite his belief that Dylan had "turned Judas" by forgoing traditional folk for rock 'n' roll 44 years ago, Markinson admitted he did continue to buy his albums and see his concerts, right up through his country phase, his "born-again" period and the era when "his voice started to sound like he'd swallowed a bar of Lava soap."
"But the Christmas thing is definitely the last straw," he said, then yelling "Judas!" to no one in particular.
Bob Carlisle, 64, of Newton, Mass. also booed Dylan at Newport, and wrote several lengthy screeds on the rock Bard's sellout status in the underground Boston newspaper Avatar. In one of those, he called Dylan's electric set "a pedantic, pandering betrayal of all he ever claimed to stand for, and one of the most grievous crimes hereforto committed upon the world of folk music, nay, the world in general."
"I still feel pretty much the same way today, even though I now know hereforto is not a word," said Carlisle, who currently does a music blog called "StereoBob" in which he keeps track of the latest artists to sell out their principles. This week he features U2's $100 million concert set, pooh-poohing it as "ostentation personified" in a post that actually uses the words "pooh-pooh" five separate times.
As for Dylan, "I also booed Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review in 1975, and almost a dozen of his religious shows in the late '70s and early '80s, and a couple of concerts in 1988 when he just sucked," Carlisle noted. "Plus that tour with the Dead - I practically strained my booer on that one.
"I hope to keep on booing his concerts and bad-mouthing his albums until he returns to his folk roots, or is dead, whichever comes first," explained Carlisle. As for the Christmas album, "I'm sure I'll hate it as soon as I buy it," he said, adding, "Judas!"
Dylan has been fairly mum about the Christmas album, although in a recent interview for Rolling Stone he said, "Well my daddy, he didn't leave me much, you know he was a very simple man, but what he did tell me was this, he did say, son, he said, you know it's not possible to be Santa Claus unless you come down Santa Claus lane." Then he sat back slowly in his chair, rubbing his pencil-thin moustache.
Meanwhile, a press release from Sony announced that the Christmas album would be a combination of traditional and original holiday favorites, done in the style of a 1920s blues singer who just swallowed Lava.