When Dylan headed out on his 1965 tour of England, he was ascending a dizzying peak of creativity. He hadn't yet gone electric on stage, and was a year from being famously branded a Judas. He had a physical beauty and musical irresistibility that brings to mind the Hindu Lord Krishna (whose own flute stylings drove cowherd girls crazy). Dylan was untouchable.
D.A. Pennebaker's feature-length doc of that tour, Don't Look Back, is, of course, one of the all-time great pieces of rock 'n' roll filmmaking. Part of that is Dylan's allure, and part is Pennebaker's formidable filmmaking skills. He weaves black-and-white film footage of concert appearances, press conferences, and chain-smoking car rides to create as intimate a portrait of Zimmy as we're ever going to see. One minute he's jovial and next he's jittery and cranky. A colorful cast of characters surrounded him, including gal-pal Joan Baez, manager Albert Grossman, Allen Ginsberg and chief competition Donovan. He interacts with increasingly frantic fans. Through it all, you see Dylan begin to crack under a pressure no human could handle. It's a great portrait of fame's downside.
The new '65 Tour Deluxe Edition comes with a new hour-long collection of outtakes from the original documentary which are every bit as enthralling as the original film. There's also a book with a transcript of the entire doc and a little flipbook of the cue-card video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues." It's a gorgeous package heaven for the amateur Dylanologist.
Brian J. Bowe writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.