Keith Butler 1946 - 2002


Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 16:42:57 +0000
From: rcj10@cam.ac.uk (R.C. Jamieson): 

Keith Butler passed away in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada on Friday 25 October
2002, at the age of 56 years.  He is survived by sons David and Peter.  And in
turn he was the loving son of Winifred and the late John of England.  Keith
will be sadly missed by all relatives and friends in England and in Canada. 
Friends visited the Pine Hills Cemetery Visitation Chapel and Reception Centre,
625 Birchmount Road, on Tuesday, 29 October 2002.  The funeral service was held
in the Chapel on Wednesday, 30 October 2002 at 2:00 p.m.  Friends who wish may
make memorial donations to 
The Princess Margaret Hospital 
Contact 

Keith Butler, the man who shouted Judas! at Manchester in 1966 was a friend of
EDLIS for some time, and my own feeling was that he was the person who shouted,
though there were other claimants.  Even if he were not, he was an interesting
Bob Dylan fan, a second-year student at Keele University (a brand new
university in 1962 and the first new United Kingdom university of the twentieth
century), who saw and reacted to Bob Dylan at his most significant concert.  He
died Friday 25 October after three weeks in hospital. 

Who's Who entry Keith was first suggested for the EDLIS Who's Who in late 1998 and earlier this year, 2002, it was arranged that he was to write the foreward to one of the books in the EDLIS series Bob Dylan All Alone On A Shelf, but that will not happen now. Very oddly his death was reported by The Independent on Sunday 15 August 2001, and Keith sent me an attachment of that death notice, part of Sholto Byrnes' Diary. I assume he had mixed Keith up with John Cordwell? Keith did not seem much bothered but of course many people had assumed it was true so he was sending it to many of us. Andy Kershaw did a programme which was recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall and includes the interview with Keith Butler. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in January 1999. It circulates if you have not heard it ask your usual sources what is available. Andy Gill interviewed Keith Butler in the UK Independent of 23 January 1999. In March 1999 Andy Gill again featured Keith in an article on page 22 of that month's Mojo. It includes a photograph of Keith on the balcony above the stage and on page 23 there is a picture of Andy Kershaw with Keith on the stage of the Free Trade Hall. Uncut followed this with an article by Bleddyn Butcher on the Judas! shout. Mojo itself published correspondence from Martin Cowan, Jim Aitchison and Alan Fraser. This all sparked much more coverage around the world. I also recall Ben Taylor alerting rec.music.dylan readers to the BBC2 Newsnight television programme about Keith on 30 January 1999 when he explained how everyone could watch it over the net. I think for many that was the first time they had watched the BBC over the Internet. The Judas! concert, which had often been mistaken for a London concert, was known to collectors to be Manchester before the misrepresentation of place on bootlegs. It became a strange legend that I always countered, against some quite eminent Dylanologists who could become very heated about the matter. I do not know when the Oldham Chronicle article was first reproduced in that debate, though Ed Ricardo posted its contents to rec.music.dylan on Monday 10 April 1995, repeating what I had posted on 4 May 1993. It was very old news then among serious long term collectors. I do not know when it was first published in a book or fanzine? There is a quotation of it on p. 168 of John Bauldie's The Ghost of Electricity : Bob Dylan's 1966 World Tour, (Essex, 1988). It was of course published on the 25th May 1966, for those who read original sources. Judas In 1998 a legitimate release of this concert was finally out, a quarter century after the event was recorded, with the myth inspired name: Live 1966 "The Royal Albert Hall Concert" (The Bootleg Series Vol. 4). My favourite description of what Bob Dylan was doing, and Keith was reacting to, is in Paul Cable's Bob Dylan His Unreleased Recordings, from 1978, quoted at the end of this EDLIS description from 1994: Between a rather vicious Tell Me Mama (1) and I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (2) the harmonica begins and Dylan says, "This is called I Don't Believe You. It used to be like that and now it goes like this". He stamps his foot four times and the harmonica and The Band "come in with the sort of immediacy you get from tipping a whole table full of crockery and cutlery into the sink all at once." - Paul Cable (1978). If anyone knew Keith well and wants to contact his family feel free to do so through me. I don't imagine anyone with an interest in Dylan is without the concert Keith interrupted so dramatically with perfect timing, as a tape, on vinyl, on CD or in some other format. Have a listen to it now. His views mellowed but that was from the heart on the night. That Judas! shout is a landmark in rock and roll history. He could never have imagined how many would hear it. Mr Dylan is not a man many people find easy to communicate with. Keith, if he was the one who shouted at him, did it. The man on stage knew what he meant and reacted. Craig rcj10@cam.ac.uk -- tho I don't understand too well myself what's really happening. i do know that we're all gonna die someday an that no death has ever stopped the world. my poems are written in a rhythm of unpoetic distortion / divided by pierced ears. false eyelashes / sub- tracted by people constantly torturing each other. with a melodic purring line of descriptive hollowness -- seen at times thru dark sunglasses an other forms of psychic explosion. a song is anything that can walk by itself / i am called a songwriter. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 03/09/99 11:32 SonicNet Music News reports: >But the man who crystallized those feelings by shouting "Judas" remained >anonymous until last year, long after the moment had been written into >history. He still might have been unknown had he not been struck with a bout >with asthma the day before Live 1966 was released in October. > >On that night, Butler, now 52 and living in Toronto, woke from an asthma >attack and decided to take a walk to get some fresh air. He ended up in a >coffee shop, where he picked up the Toronto Sun from the counter and spotted >an article that inspired him to find out more about that night in 1966. > >The story, by Associated Press writer Scott Bauer, described the impending >release of Live 1966, as well as C.P. Lee's book about the concert, "Like >the Night," and a rarely seen documentary on Dylan's '66 tour called "Eat >the Document." > >"So I'm on my own, in the middle of the night, in a coffee shop," Butler >recalled. "And at the bottom of the article, it said, 'On "Eat the Document" >can be seen some footage of people leaving the theater. > >'One of them says, "Any bloody pop group can do this rubbish." ' And I >recognized the words -- it was staggering. It was an incredible shock ... >from 30 years ago and 3,000 miles away, I was reading what I recognized as >my own words." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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