Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dylan Part, Too

Second half of No Direction Home had a different feel to me. Still held my interest, though I didn't find it as enlightening as the first half. What tonight's segment did have was the ability to make me feel a part of what was going on - as though I were plopped down in the middle of Dylan's world of 1964-66 (with a smidgen of 1963). So in the middle of that chaos, I experienced:
  1. People's rage at the shift from acoustic to electric. Most folks my age didn't really hear much of Bob Dylan until "Like a Rolling Stone." We knew that he wrote the big folk/protest songs that PP&M or The Byrds or whoever were recording - maybe even heard him sing "Blowin' in the Wind" a time or two, but it was the "electric" Bob we knew best at the time. I guess I understand that people thought he was selling out at the time, but in retrospect, he really wasn't, was he?
  2. The difference between Dylan being grilled by the press and the Beatles under the magnifying glass. Where the Beatles (especially John and Ringo) were clever and wicked and funnily sarcastic with reporters, Dylan just seemed weary by them. Confused the hell outta the press. Such stupid questions. Dylan's press personality wasn't as winning as John Lennon's, shall we say.
  3. Dylan's non-attendance at protest events. Guess I always assumed he was there. According to Baez - nope, wasn't Dylan's scene. He could write about it and sing about it, but he didn't hang out at rallys.
How does it feel? How does it feel? Tiring, but fulfilling. I'm off to bed.


bot37363838 said...

It did have a different feel, you're right. I felt a little sad for Joan Baez, because she's clearly had to walk around now for 40 years with people thinking "...Bob Dylan" whenever they saw her face or heard her name.

It's as if she lost a limb in 1965 but could still feel it itching. Her rendition of "Love is Just a Four Letter Word" was fab, though (great fingerpicking), and I'd like to have heard more of that. Her anecdote about Dylan not remembering writing it was hilarious.

But what happened to Blonde on Blonde? No mention of the recording sessions in Nashville, no interviews with anyone who played on that one (where were the interviews with surviving members of The Band?). A sort of great big hole in the documentary, I thought.

MaryB said...

Yeah - my assumption was that some things were sacrificed in order to put the viewer more "in the moment," as it were. Well, I'm sure it won't be the last Dylan doc. YES - loved Baez's pickin' and singin' - I marveled at the quality of her voice.