Bob Dylan apologizes for using autopen to sign $600 worth of copies of his book


Iconic American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has issued an apology after it was revealed the star had used a machine to duplicate his signature on books and artwork in recent years.

Dylan said he made an “error in judgement” in approving his works, including the book “The Philosophy of Modern Song”, to be sold as hand-signed copies to fans.

After developing symptoms of vertigo in 2019, the star claimed he started using an autopen to sign merchandise, books and other artwork. The controversy began when fans on social media began noticing a similar signature on limited-edition signed copies of Dylan’s latest book that cost $600.

“I have been informed that there is controversy over the signatures on some of my recent art prints and on a limited edition of Philosophy Of Modern Song. I have hand signed each art print at the over the years, and there has never been a problem,” Dylan said in a statement. “However, in 2019 I had a bad case of vertigo and that continued through the pandemic years. It takes a team of five people working closely with me to help enable those signings, and we couldn’t find a safe and convenient way to complete what I had to do while the virus was raging.”

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American folk-rock singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has issued a rare apology after fans noticed limited copies of his latest book were not hand-signed.
(Val Wilmer/Redferns)

He added: “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, with the assurance that this kind of thing is done ‘all the time’ in the world of art and literature.”

Initially, Dylan’s book publisher, Simon & Schuster, claimed the musician’s signatures were valid with a “letter of authenticity”. However, the company later admitted that all 900 copies were written replicas and offered customers a full refund.

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“To those who purchased The Philosophy of Modern Song Limited Edition, we want to apologize,” the publisher said in a social media statement. “It turns out that the limited edition books contain Bob’s original signature, but in a written replica form.”

“We are addressing this issue immediately by offering every buyer an immediate refund,” Simon & Schuster noted.

The scandal has raised concerns that many of Dylan’s other works, which have sold for thousands, have been self-signed.

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