Saturday, 3 August 2019

When Ken Barlow heckled Bob Dylan

I enjoyed the recent inference (Friday 26 July 2019, episode one) that Ken Barlow was the man responsible for the legendary “Judas!” heckle during Bob Dylan’s gig at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester on 17 May 1966.

Maria told Kirk – Weatherfield’s answer to Bob Dylan – that Audrey was always going on about it:

And this was not the first time we have heard of Ken’s claim. In 2015 (Monday 11 May, episode one), Liz McDonald told the same story:

The Judas heckle is probably the most famous in musical history. It is not known for sure who shouted it, though many have claimed the honour. There are some good articles about it, for example here and here.

It is brilliant scriptwriting to throw Ken Barlow in the mix. He was an Angry Young Man back then and I reckon he would have been narked that Dylan had betrayed his folk roots by going electric.

I also love the fact this has been mentioned more than once. Both eps were written by Simon Crowther (episode guides here and here). Maybe he’s a big Bob Dylan fan.

The heckler did sound a bit like Ken, to be fair:

Still, like Steve, I just can’t see Ken heckling. Could it be that Ken is simply another in a long line who claim to have heckled Bob Dylan in Manchester in 1966? 

To paraphrase Dylan’s response, I don’t believe you Ken. You’re a liar. You were probably down the library or something.

By Martin Leay
Twitter @mpleay
Corrie Blogs @

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


popcorn said...

That clip of Dylan - wow! Thanks for the memories.

maggie muggins said...

That does sound like Ken in the Dylan clip! Thanks for this, Martin, I had missed what Kirk & Maria said there. LOL.

Dame Edna said...

I have two great musical loves.

With Scott Walker gone, Dylan needs to take damned good care of himself.

Martin Leay said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. The Dylan clip is from the brilliant 2005 Scorsese film, 'No Direction Home'.

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