Bob Dylan has offered his "deepest regrets" to fans over an "error in judgment" in using a machine to sign copies of his new book.
The 81-year-old 'Blowin' In The Wind' star was caught up in a furore after $600 limited edition copies of his tome 'The Philosophy of Modern Song' were advertised as "hand-signed" but were later found to have been autographed using an "autopen" which replicated his scrawl.
Bosses at publishing company Simon and Schuster have acknowledged the blunder and offered refunds and now Dylan has explained how the situation came about. In a statement posted on Facebook.com, he wrote: "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."
Dylan went on to tell fans he decided to use a machine to help him with signing sessions after being struck down with a bout of vertigo and then being stuck in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He went on: "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."
The folk legend added that he's now doing all he can to "rectify" the situation, writing: "Using a machine was an error in judgment and I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon and Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that. With my deepest regrets, Bob Dylan.”
A statement previously issued by Simon and Schuster noted: "To those who purchased the ‘Philosophy of Modern Song’ limited edition, we want to apologise. As it turns out, the limited edition books do contain Bob’s original signature, but in a penned replica form. We are addressing this information by providing each purchaser with an immediate refund."