Bob Dylan blames vertigo and pandemic for use of autopen to sign ‘autographed’ books in his career
Bob Dylan has used autopen to sign autographs. Now, amid pandemic, he’s had to find a new way of signing.
On April 16, Bob Dylan signed 12 books he purchased while attending a book signing at the Horseshoe Tavern. On April 25, he visited The Book Room at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Beach and signed two more. And on May 3, Dylan sat in a window seat at a San Francisco theater and signed six more for his fans there.
Bob Dylan, whose albums have sold more than 150 million copies and whose work has been featured in films like “Gimme Shelter,” is a unique cultural phenomenon (see “The artist who’s too old”). He is also a notoriously bad autograph-sealer, meaning he is extremely good at signing the same book multiple times.
“In his career, he is one of the great autograph-signers,” said a former Dylan publicist, who asked to remain anonymous.
“His autograph skills are very, very good,” said another former Dylan publicist, who was in touch with Dylan and his publicist. “He’s got the handwriting of a genius.”
The phenomenon began in the 1960s and ’70s and continued after Dylan took his first break in the early 1980s.
Bob Dylan has been a book-signing sensation since the ’60s
Dylan’s autograph-signing skills have been so good that he was able to put the public on notice during his time in the San Francisco art world.
“Back when he was doing the thing in San Francisco, they thought he was gonna stay away from the art world, they thought that he wouldn’t even attempt to sell art,” said the first former Dylan publicist. “There was that impression. There was this perception that he wasn’t in the market for art.”
But Dylan wasn’t just a “good” autograph-