Friday, November 10, 2006

BOB DYLAN WORLD TOUR

MAPS has recently lent me his copy of this dvd-movie of Dylan’s famous 1966 ‘electric tour’, (the one where he upset half his fans world-wide by swapping his acoustic guitar for an electric telecaster and The Band) and I promised (under threat from the central committee) to write a review of it.

That’s a bit of a difficult project for me, because unlike MAPS I do not worship the very air Bob breathes, nor do I have much sympathy for his music, or for that matter the music of his famous contemporaries Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, The Doors, The Who, Cream etc. The 60’s for me is The Mothers of Invention (with their glorious satirizing of afore mentioned bands), Leonard Cohen singing his twin worlds, Robert Wyatt / Soft Machine, King Crimson and maybe a smattering of Syd Barrett, so immediately I’m a little wary of another ‘document of the golden era’.

The movie itself is marketed as ‘never before seen, behind the scenes footage of the greatest rock’n’roll tour of all time’ and the footage was shot on an 8mm camera owned and operated by the drummer, Mickey Jones, so the movie starts with a long interview with the drummer who talks all about his history and how he ended up touring with Bob, then we get to snippets from the movie itself. What they don’t mention on the cover is that his home camera is without sound so all the footage needs a running commentary from Mickey, fortunately Mickey ‘loves talking’ and could ‘talk to a lamp-post for 20minutes if there was no-one else around’ that’s alright, he does quite a good job. We see clips of aeroplane wings, beaches from hotel balconies, cathedrals, castles, Sydney from the air etc and occasionally we even catch a glimpse of Bob wandering past the camera, or sitting in the corner of a room, I’m beginning to wonder though whether the movie title isn’t slightly misleading. I guess what movie footage is shown (normally in short 10second clips) is actually from that tour but I think a more accurate title would have been ‘Mickey Jones’ World Tour’ but I doubt it would have sold as well.

There is some interesting stuff that 60’s music buffs will no doubt be interested in, rare raw footage of The Beatles on stage, though without sound, and the background story behind the legendary moment at a London concert when a fan shouts out at Dylan ‘Judas!’ and someone from The Band says ‘Play It Real Fucking Loud’ and Mickey Jones smashes his cymbal ‘harder than I’ve ever hit it before’ but I can’t help but think that a real Dylan fan is going to be somewhat disappointed by the sparseness of the presence of the man himself in the film, though I’m sure MAPS will be able to give a definitive answer to that one...

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