Bob Dylan has been forced to publicly apologise after he was found to be using an autopen to sign signatures in copies of his new book ‘The Philosophy of Modern Song’. The books were sold in a limited capacity, with 900 of them being sold for $599. An autopen is a machine used to automatically print signatures.
Several customers noticed that they all had the exact same signature in the copies that they purchased - despite the book being advertised as “hand-signed”. People who bought the books shared images of them online - when compared, it became evident that all the signatures were exactly the same.
In his apology, Dylan, 81, wrote: "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 judgement and I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that."
Publishers of the book, Simon & Schuster, also apologised for the error. They offered full refunds to customers (despite initially refusing to do so) and wrote on Twitter: ”As it turns out, the limited edition books do contain Bob’s original signature, but in a penned replica form.”
Bob Dylan is one of the most internationally recognised and renowned musicians in the world. Among his hits include ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’.