The Cooperative/Public Power Advantage
by Jessica Shelby
The stage was set and the band was ready. The date was May 17, 1966; the place was Free Trade Hall in Manchester England. The infamous Bob Dylan took to the stage to open the Newport Folk Festival. However, a foreign instrument was in Mr. Dylan's hands; it was an electric guitar. Dylan began strumming the tune to "Like a Rolling Stone," but his once so faithful followers had turned on him. They began shouting "Judas" and booing Dylan of the stage. Reluctantly, Dylan finished his set and stepped off stage without a discernable trace of applause.
Dylan went back stage with his head hung low. "What's with the sad vibe, man?" Dylan looked up to see a black man picking the guitar more magnificently than he had ever seen.
"Hey, man, what are you doin' here? Who are you," asked Dylan.
"The name's Jimi.
I'm just here looking for inspiration, my brother. Hey, you never explained that sad vibe of yours," replied Jimi.
"I was just booed off the stage for attempting to 'cross over'"
"Hey man, I heard you out there. You weren't half bad. They'll come around." Jimi was picking the tune to "Purple Haze," which, at the time, was still unknown.
Dylan asked, "Whatcha pickin', man."
"Oh just a little something I've been working on," replied Jimi.
"Well, this is a folk crowd. That type of music won't go far," said Dylan.
Jimi replied, "They'll come around. Sit down, my man, and let me explain something to ya."
Dylan sat next to the man, somewhat bewildered and curious. "You see," said Jimi, "electricity ain't been around most folks for more than thirty some odd years. Folk music is what these 'folks' grew up to. It's what they used to.