Bob Dylan is in hot water over his signature.
On Friday night, the legendary folk musician issued a rare public statement apologizing for using a machine to write duplicate signatures on artwork and books sold as hand-signed.
Dylan explained that he had been using the auto-pen technology since 2019 due to a “bad case of vertigo” that continued through the pandemic.
“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,” he explained. “So, during the pandemic, it was impossible to sign anything and the vertigo didn’t help.”
Despite being assured that the use of an auto-pen was done “all the time,” Dylan said, “Using a machine was an error in judgment and I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.”
The artist did not share any more details about how he will be rectifying the situations, or whether there will be refunds issued to buyers.
— Simon & Schuster (@simonschuster) November 20, 2022
Refunds have already been issued by Simon & Schuster to customers of the 900 limited edition $600 signed copies of Philosophy of Modern Song.
Castle Galleries, which also sold signed art prints by Dylan said in their own statement, “We were entirely unaware of the use of autopen on these particular prints, and we sincerely apologize for the disappointment this may cause. We will be reaching out to each and every one of our collectors who purchased any print from the above editions to offer a solution to fully rectify the matter. Details on how we intend to resolve this matter will follow shortly.”
Dylan is not the only artist to have faced controversy over the use of an auto-pen. Sinead O’Conner fessed up to using one in her memoirs, while Van Morrison was recently accused of using one to sign CDs, but his management team denied the claims.