Bob Dylan Refunds Offered After Signature Scandal

( On Monday, music legend Bob Dylan issued a rare statement explaining why his publisher used machine-generated signatures on the limited edition “autographed” copies of his new book “The Philosophy of Modern Song.”

Last week, it was reported that after pictures of the “hand-signed” signatures began cropping up online, the fans who shelled out $599 to get their hands on one of the 900 limited edition books realized that each of the signatures was identical.

Faced with backlash from Dylan fans, the book’s publisher Simon & Schuster was forced to admit that the signatures were not hand-written autographs. In a statement last week, Simon & Schuster admitted that while the limited edition books “contain Bob’s original signature,” it was in a “penned replica form.”

The publisher said it would address the issue “immediately” by offering each purchaser a refund.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone was satisfied by the refund offer, with many collectors replying to Simon & Schuster’s tweeted statement by accusing the publisher, and even Dylan himself, of deliberately misleading fans.

The bubbling anger finally prompted Dylan to issue a rare public statement.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Dylan said he had “been made aware” of the “controversy” over the signed copies of his book as well as signed prints of his artwork. He explained that while he previously hand-signed everything, in 2019 he began needing assistance after suffering from bouts of vertigo.

At first, this help came from five assistants who worked in close contact with Dylan. But during the COVID pandemic, he was unable to rely on these assistants due to social distancing guidelines. This, Dylan explained, was what prompted the use of “auto-pen.”

He said when the deadline was “looming,” someone suggested the use of the auto-pen and assured him that this was done “all the time” in the “art and literary worlds.”

Dylan called the decision to use a machine-generated signature “an error in judgment,” and said he wanted it rectified “immediately.”