Bob Dylan has admitted that he used an auto pen to sign his new book, despite it being promoted as “signed by hand.”
Dylan fans shelling out $599 for the limited edition book called The philosophy of modern song and published by Simon & Schuster, grew suspicious after realizing that the signatures on the books not only looked alike, but were identical.
It soon became apparent that the 81-year-old music legend had been using an autopen, a device that can replicate a person’s signature, saving them many hours of work while preventing possible hand cramps.
Dylan recently admitted to using an autopen and posted an apology on Facebook with an interesting explanation as to why he ended up using a machine to sign the 900 books instead of his own hand.
“I’ve hand-signed every art print over the years and there’s never been a problem,” said Dylan. “However, in 2019 I had dizziness and it continued into the pandemic years.”
The creator of hits like Blowing in the wind and Like a rolling stone continued: “It takes a team of five working closely with me to make these signing sessions happen, and we couldn’t 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 draw anything and the dizziness didn’t help. With contractual deadlines looming, the idea of using an autopen came to mind, along with assurances that this sort of thing is “always” done in the arts and literary world. Using a machine was an error of judgment and I want to correct it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.”
Simon & Schuster said in a tweet it was sorry for what had happened, but added: “It turns out that the limited edition books contain Bob’s original signature, but in a written replica form. We address this information by offering every buyer an instant refund.
The autopen is not a new device. The first version of the device was patented in the US over 200 years ago, with celebrities, politicians and other prominent figures making use of it. U.S. presidents including Thomas Jefferson and Lyndon B. Johnson are known to have used it while in office, while in 2011 Barack Obama was the first to legislate with an autopen-generated signature.