Last night I finally finished watching the final hour of the top-notch Martin Scorsese documentary No Direction Home, which follows Bob Dylan from his earliest beginnings, to his rise as a folk singer, through his controversial 1965 tour when he started to go electric. For someone who didn’t grow up seeing images of the young Dylan and the world he inhabited, I found it to be a fascinating character study and a look at how the world has changed in the past 40 years.
I can’t recommend this film highly enough. Scorsese unearthed a treasure trove of previously unseen film footage and audio recordings, and weaves it all together with honest reflections from Dylan himself. I thoroughly loved it.
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” (Witmark demo) – Bob Dylan
“Desolation Row” (Take 1) – Bob Dylan
“Masters of War” (live at Town Hall) – Bob Dylan
“It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry” (Take 9) – Bob Dylan
(alternate version they talk about in the film that is much more upbeat than the bluesy album version that Dylan came up with after recording this take)
“Like A Rolling Stone” (live in Manchester) – Bob Dylan
(last song performed in the film, where the crowd calls him Judas — and he plays even louder)
And regarding the subject of this post, the six degrees of Bob Dylan; Online magazine Coudal Partners is hosting a very cool contest where you try to connect various famous people to Bob Dylan in as few steps as possible. Today’s is J. D. Salinger, but see how quickly uberfans have been able to connect Zimmy to past challenges like Mary-Kate & Ashley, David Beckham, and Bugs Bunny. If you win the day’s entry, you get a copy of his new album Modern Times. All of those winners are in the hat to win the complete catalogue of every single Dylan album on Columbia (47 of ‘em). Put on your thinking caps!
As for me, I am off to California this week on vacation (hurrah) and I have an early flight this morning into SFO. Hence the posting time (or maybe I’m just up *really* late on a Friday night doing something cool other than packing? Naah . . .)