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Don`t look back, has he ever?
on 2 November 2007
"Advertising signs they con you into thinking you`re the one, who can do what`s never been done, who can win what`s never been won, meantime life outside goes on alround you". So sings the Court Jester during the live performance of "It`s alright Ma, I`m only bleeding" ho,ho,ho. Has anything changed since then? Yes, Dylan himself, many, many times. The master of reinvention. Spokesman of a Generation, Judas to the Folk movement or the first Punk Rocker? Did Bob Dylan ever stand still?
The dramatic progress he made from Coffee House Folkie to Electric Rock Protagonist is unparalleled in Musical History, no one before or since has moved so far so fast. The most notable example of this trend is evidenced in the footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker shown here, much of which is actually one of the first examples of hand held camera work, that later became the vogue. Donovan performs in a hotel room to Dylan and his entourage, including Alan Price of the Animals, Joan Baez and Bob Neuwirth. Donovan`s song is simple, a pure rendition of "To catch the wind" a good folk song. Dylan responds with "It`s all over now, Baby Blue." Literally light years ahead lyrically, but as if to make a point, is performed in the same style of delivery as Donovan`s song. It is an embarrasing moment for the Bard`s desciple but just goes to show the gulf that exsisted between Dylan and his contempories.
The young Punk side of his character comes to light in the equally embarrassing interviews with The Science Student and The Time Magazine Journalist. Dylan is actually not as obnoxious as he appears, since he tries to explain to both parties, why he is berating them. He might as well be from Mars judging by their reaction.
This is the solo acoustic Dylan on tour in the U.K. in 1965 just prior to the infamous Electric performance with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band that you can catch on "The other side of the mirror" set. Chronicling all Dylan`s performances at The Newport Folk festival 1963-65. Don`t look Back precedes the as yet, offically unreleased "Eat the dcoument" and makes for interesting comparison between the tours of 1965 & 1966. An absolute must for any Dylan collection.
Was Subterranean Homesick Blues, with the throw away cards, the first ever Rock Video? Does anyone know the answer to that please? Worth the price of the whole DVD alone is that sequence. Although to be fair you may be rather more inclined to opt for the Delux Box Set release with the alternate version of this sequence and a D.A. Pennebaker Biography of the making of the film.