People who called me 'Judas' should rot in hell, says a still furious Dylan

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The Independent Culture

It's 46 years since a heckler cried "Judas!" at Bob Dylan. But the accusation still rankles with the legendary singer, who has finally addressed one of the most infamous incidents in rock music folklore, after telling his critics they can "rot in hell".

Dylan's decision to abandon his acoustic roots and "go electric" prompted the insult from a disgruntled audience member at his May 1966 show in Manchester.

The 71 year-old raised the accusation when he railed against the "wussies and pussies" who complain he gives insufficient acknowledgement to his musical sources, in an interview with US magazine Rolling Stone.

"These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me," Dylan said. "Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that.

"Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherf***ers can rot in hell."

He added: "I'm working within my art form. It's that simple. I work within the rules and limitations of it. It's called song-writing. It has to do with melody and rhythm, and then after that, anything goes."

Dylan, whose 35th studio album Tempest is released this week, had responded to the "Judas" cry at his 1966 concert by shouting: "I don't believe you, you're a liar". He then launched into a loud rendition of "Like A Rolling Stone", telling his band to "Play it f***ing loud!"