Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (pt.2)

No doubt about it. The star of tonight's episode is the D.A Pennebaker footage from Dylan's 1966 European tour with the Hawks. Pennebaker miraculously managed to capture some of Dylan's most historic performances and backstage antics on beautiful color film. While the first episode hinted at this footage, the second showcases it in all its glory. The DVD has promised to contain bonus footage presenting full performances which only elevates my anticipation for its arrival.
Same song, second verse. I'll cover a few of the highlights and offer some screen captures for your eyeballs.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The opening sequence with Dylan riffing off of some English advertisements is nothing short of brilliant. It shows Dylan to be the true poet and wordsmith that I've grown to love and admire. It's a stream of consciousness rap that's one part genius and one part narcotics. He's having a ball as he twists and turns on the English sidewalk while weaving a fantastic tapestry of words out of thin air. It's sure to leave your head spinning in wonder. Pure Dylan magic!
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
This episode also delves deeper in to his relationship with Joan Baez and reveals the moment when the fractures in it began to separate the two. She actually comes across as pretty square and possessive, admitting that she was a wet blanket when it came to cutting up with friends and purposely separated herself from the crowd. Having invited Dylan on stage for duets on her tour, she was expecting him to do the same during his 1965 European tour. She would soon find out that he had no intention of doing such a thing. In a recent interview, it's obvious that this action hurt her very much when stating that she could see he clearly wanted the stage all to himself. Cutting to a recent interview with Dylan he replies, "You can't be wise and in love at the same time." This incident most certainly created a wedge in their relationship.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Allen Ginsberg's remembrance of Dylan's encounter with the Beatles in a hotel room during his 1965 tour is both revealing and humorous. A message was sent to Ginsberg requesting his presence in the room where Dylan was hanging with the Beatles. Arriving, he discovered a quiet, tense atmosphere prevailing in the room. After taking a seat on Dylan's armchair, Lennon was said to snidely interject, "Why don't you sit a little closer?". Ginsberg could jut laugh. Allen then asked Lennon if he had ever read any William Blake. John, insisting he had never heard of him, was quickly called out on his little white lie by wife Cynthia. With that, the mood was lightened in the room quickly breaking the ice between the two camps. Allen recalls being amazed at both groups naiveté and how each appeared so unsure of their minds and speech despite being at the summit of their musical and spiritual powers.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Al Kooper's story of his sly insertion in to the "Like A Rolling Stone" session is also a fun one. Having shown up to the session with his guitar he quickly became intimidated by Mike Bloomfield's obvious talents, packed up instrument and retreated back to the control room. It wasn't much later that the organ player was repositioned behind the piano. Seeing his opportunity, Al insisted to producer Tom Wilson that he had a great idea for an organ part on the song(admitting that it was a bullshit line). Knowing that he was a guitarist, Tom laughed and brushed off Al's idea. Not long after, Wilson was called away to a phone call and Al quickly slipped in to the studio and behind the organ. And the rest they say, is history. The wonderful banter caught on tape when Wilson realizes what Kooper has done is priceless.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The fascinating differences in perspective on a single moment are not exactly enlightening. No fewer that four points of view are discussed concerning the backstage goings on during Dylan's Newport '65 electric set. Each shines little light on the subject and, in fact, only shrouds the moment further in to darkness. Did Seeger threaten the electric wires with an axe or not? Seeger himself states that "if" he had had an axe, he would have used it to cut the power. All others state that they had actually seen or heard he was brandishing an axe. Even Dylan chimes in, stating that when he heard about the incident it had affected him deeply. Claiming it felt "like a dagger" to have someone whose music he greatly admired react in such a way toward his artistic choice. We then see an interview with Seeger himself saying he thought what Dylan(and band) had done that night on stage was wonderful. Confusion reigns/rains.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Following his Newport '65 performance, Dylan is approached by Maria Muldar who found him sitting apart from the party. Stepping to him, she asked if he wanted to dance. His reply, "I'd dance with you Maria, but my hands are on fire." Wow.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
It was great to learn what a cool southern cat Bob Johnson really is.
Here are a few quotes from him.
About being in the studio: "I took all the clocks down. Nobody had any fuckin' clocks in there!"
On Bob: "Instead of touching him on the shoulder, God kicked him in the ass!"
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Favorite Bob quote of the evening: "We all like motorcycles to some degree." :^)
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Weirdest quote of the evening: "Could you just suck your glasses for one moment." !?!
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Dylan's beautiful encounters and admiration for Johnny Cash are truly heartwarming. Following the Newport Folk Festival, Johnny presents Dylan with his guitar. Whereupon, Dylan is informed by Bobby Neuwirth that the gesture is an old country music traditions show of respect. There's also footage of Dylan and Cash singing a hauntingly beautiful version of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" together at the piano. And finally, Dylan's genuinely touching moment recalling Johnny recording one of his songs. This is way powerful stuff here, folks.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The prevailing feeling of weariness that looms large over this episode is pretty heavy. He puts on a brave face at the beginning, even stating, "I had a perspective on the booing." But it's not long before it begins to show during the endless string of press conferences, slowly bleeding in to his offstage life, and finally creeping it's way in to backstage and onstage moments. He had reached burnout. There's no doubt about it. Whether it was the drugs, audience, daily grind, or a combination of the three, it's unmistakable. You can't help but feel for the guy.

What's good is bad, what's bad is good,
you'll find out when you reach the top
You're on the bottom.


Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your site while doing a search for custom built motorcycles. You have a very cool site! If you would like to find custom motorcycles at auction prices, check this link out. Some great deals!

3:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home