Bob Dylan - No Direction Home

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Tactful Cactus
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Postby Tactful Cactus » 28 Sep 2005, 18:01

Matt Wilson wrote:Right, but he didn't play a single concert or go on TV in '67 or '68. I think the only show he played in '69 was the Isle of Wight (he did go on the Johnny Cash show that year though).


He also did the Woody Guthrie tribute, around 68-ish. I agree its probably unlikely there's anything there, but you never know.

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Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Sep 2005, 18:02

Tactful Cactus wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:Right, but he didn't play a single concert or go on TV in '67 or '68. I think the only show he played in '69 was the Isle of Wight (he did go on the Johnny Cash show that year though).


He also did the Woody Guthrie tribute, around 68-ish. I agree its probably unlikely there's anything there, but you never know.


Yeah, you're right about that--it slipped my memory.
I wonder if it was filmed?
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Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 28 Sep 2005, 18:07

The boot disc I have is most certainly from the board. I sounds too good to be a front of stage audience recording. The film audio last night could have come from a different source. It could have been recorded straight to the audio strip by the film camera (I doubt it) I think there monkey shines with it personally, which is unacceptable to me, sharp-eyed archivist that I am. That sort of thing is simply not done.

I was talking to a friend here at work who watched it last night. He said that he wasn't really aware of there being a big deal at Newport but to him it sounded like the booing wasn't in the original tape. To his ears it sounded more like it was mixed in or laid on top of the performance tape. To him there was something artificial feeling about it.
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Postby Hugh » 28 Sep 2005, 18:12

Paging Jimbo.

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Postby Phenomenal Cat » 28 Sep 2005, 18:13

T. Berry Shuffle wrote:To his ears it sounded more like it was mixed in or laid on top of the performance tape. To him there was something artificial feeling about it.


I agree. Its sounded like it faded in and out, as if we were supposed to listen to the song but every once in a while remember that booing was ahappening. It reminded me of Gimme Shelter, where you'd suddenly hear a big disturbance and then the camera would swoop over the crowd to investigate.
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Postby Butch Manly » 28 Sep 2005, 18:20

T. Berry Shuffle wrote:To touch back to what Mr Cactus and P. Cat were saying. Last night my wife and I were listening to the Newport boot in the car on our way back to the house to catch the second part on the tele. When the Newport segment came on Aimee asked "Where's all that booing from? That wasn't on the disc we were just listening to." I wonder if they didn't add it for dramatic effect. It would seem weird for them to do that.


given that it was a documentary and therefore putting itself forward as some sort of document of truth, i'd say it were scandalous if that's what they did.

to charlie O: did you bookmark that newport festival page, charlie? it seems i didn't and i'd like to read it again.
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Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 28 Sep 2005, 18:41

While listening to the bootleg I just heard as Peter Yarrow is saying "Bobby's coming back" a guy in the audience yell "and tell him to get a wooden box." Which doesn't make much sense to me; I thought everybody knew that he was seeing Joan Baez.
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Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Sep 2005, 18:44

T. Berry Shuffle wrote:While listening to the bootleg I just heard as Peter Yarrow is saying "Bobby's coming back" a guy in the audience yell "and tell him to get a wooden box. Which doesn't make much sense to me; I thought everybody knew that he was seeing Joan Baez.


I never really minded Joan Baez.
I have none of her albums but I wouldn't mind hearing them either.

I'd say she helped Bob out greatly in '63-'64.
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Postby andymacandy » 28 Sep 2005, 18:46

Matt Wilson wrote:
andymacandy wrote:Id love to see a similar doc on the 68-74 period.


I've been thinking the same thing. But why stop at '74? Just because he worked with the Band that year? I'd definitely take it through '75 or even '76--when he was still great.

The thing is, footage from all those years would be hard to come by as he didn't tour until '74. I wonder what you could find in terms of film from 1967? Probably not much.

74 was kind of arbitary-and leaves room for the final part of the trilogy!
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Postby The Modernist » 28 Sep 2005, 18:49

Tactful Cactus wrote:
Maxwell's Golden Pickaxe wrote:I thought he was taking the piss...


He could have been, but to me it sounded like he was at the end of his tether. Its like a last desperate plea to get them to shut the fuck up so they can start the song.
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No I really don't believe he was pleading. He was taking the piss and being defiant. By saying to the crowd in effect I promise you'll like this it's a folk song and then playing Leopard Pill-Box hat which was just the kind of loud raucous rock n' roll they'd been booing, he was deliberately rubbing their noses into it. What he was really saying here was - this might not be your idea of folk music, but it is mine and if you're too narrow minded to get into it then fuck you.
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Postby Butch Manly » 28 Sep 2005, 18:52

Lynton Kwesi Giraffe wrote:to charlie O: did you bookmark that newport festival page, charlie? it seems i didn't and i'd like to read it again.


actually, scrap that - i just found it here.

and yet in "no direction home", robert shelton has this to say:

At the festival, Al Kooper, whose session work had already impressed Dylan, was strolling about when Albert said Bob was looking for him. Dylan told Kooper he wanted to bring the "Rolling Stone" sound on-stage. Three members of the Butterfield Band were recruited: guitarist Mike Bloomfield, drummer Sam Lay, and bassist Jerome Arnold. At a party in Newport, Dylan completed his band with pianist Barry Goldberg. In a Newport mansion, Dylan rehearsed this instant group until dawn. They kept their plan secret until they walked onstage, Dylan, in a matador-outlaw orange shirt and black leather, carrying an electric guitar. From the moment the group swung into a rocking electric version of "Maggie's Farm," the Newport audience registered hostility. As the group finished "Farm," there was some reserved applause and a flurry of boos. Someone shouted: "Bring back Cousin Emmy!" The microphones and speakers were all out of balance, and the sound was poor and lopsided. For even the most ardent fan of the new music, the performance was unpersuasive. As Dylan led his band into "Rolling Stone," the audience grew shriller: "Play folk music! ... Sell out! ... This is a folk festival! ... Get rid of that band!" Dylan began "It Takes a Train to Cry," and the applause diminished as the heckling increased. Dylan and the group disappeared offstage, and there was a long, clumsy silence. Peter Yarrow urged Bob to return and gave him his acoustic guitar. As Bob returned on the stage alone, he discovered he didn't have the right harmonica. "What are you doing to me?" Dylan demanded of Yarrow. To shouts for "Tambourine Man," Dylan said: "OK, I'll do that one for you." The older song had a palliative effect and won strong applause. Then Dylan did "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," singing adieu to Newport, good-bye to the folk-purist audience.

Backstage, there had been almost as much excitement as out front. At the first sound of the amplified instruments, Pete Seeger had turned a bright purple and begun kicking his feet and flailing his arms. (A festival official said later: "I had never seen any trace of violence in Pete, except at that moment. He was furious with Dylan!") Reportedly, one festival board member--probably Seeger--was so upset that he threatened to pull out the entire electrical wiring system. Cooler heads cautioned that plunging the audience into the dark might cause a real riot.

At a party later that night, The Chambers Brothers played rock for dancing, and a discotheque ambience descended on Newport. I asked George Wein, the festival's technical producer, why he didn't like folk-rock. He countered: "You've been brainwashed by the recording industry." Off in a corner, a sullen Dylan sat on the lap of Betsy Siggins, of Cambridge's Club 47. He looked stunned, shaken, and disappointed.
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Postby Tactful Cactus » 28 Sep 2005, 19:01

Haille Modernist! wrote:No I really don't believe he was pleading.


Oh well, ive been wrong before.

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Postby Charlie O. » 29 Sep 2005, 00:47

Robert Shelton wrote:As Bob returned on the stage alone, he discovered he didn't have the right harmonica. "What are you doing to me?" Dylan demanded of Yarrow. To shouts for "Tambourine Man," Dylan said: "OK, I'll do that one for you." The older song had a palliative effect and won strong applause. Then Dylan did "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," singing adieu to Newport, good-bye to the folk-purist audience.


Actually, he did "Baby Blue" first, then "Tambourine Man".

Nonetheless, the rest of Shelton's report has been well substantiated by other sources. Everyone seems to agree that there was booing (it's possible that the soundboard feed just didn't pick it all up - I've heard lots of soundboard recordings where you can hardly hear the audience at all!), it's really more a question of what the main complaint was, or if there even was one main complaint.

I wondered what Dylan's "What have you done to me?" to Yarrow was about. Did he just not want to go back out?
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Postby linusoli » 29 Sep 2005, 01:05

I imagine Dylan felt his point had been made and to go out acoustically would be to compromise it.

So where did Richard Manuel go when Bobby decided to tinkle the keys during Ballad of a Thin Man in Europe?
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Postby The Slider » 29 Sep 2005, 10:06

Maxwell's Golden Pickaxe wrote:
Aimo wrote: was the footage of him refusing to sign autographs for fans in Dublin the only footage from the Irish leg of that tour? Was any of the live footage from that Dublin gig?


From the looks of it, there's probably footage of all dates on the tour. Who shot it? Is there more on the DVD?


No there isn't more on the NDH dvd but it is all Pennebaker's footage from (and outtakes from) Eat The Document.
Which is, of course, available from the usual place.
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Postby modharper » 29 Sep 2005, 13:44

linusoli wrote:So where did Richard Manuel go when Bobby decided to tinkle the keys during Ballad of a Thin Man in Europe?


Probably to get a beak full of amphetamine or a shot of Johnnie Walker...

I'm surprised there was no contribution from Robbie Robertson, given that he was Bob's right-hand man for a good year and his friendship with Scorsese.

I asked Robbie about his time with Bob when I interviewed him the other week. He had this to say:

When we saw how people were reacting to this thing, there was something incredibly outrageous about all of that and weirdly precious to us. Because like I said, we were from the other side of the tracks, and in the beginning, we just thought, ‘Well, they’re booing because…’ You know, the first couple of gigs we played it wasn’t with all of the guys of The Hawks. It was just Levon and me and some other guys, so we just thought it’s because we’re not playing worth a damn, that’s why they’re booing. But when we all play together we’ll play this music properly and we’ll figure it out. We thought that would remedy the problem, but we played all over North America and Australia and Europe and they booed us everywhere we went. But pretty soon you figured out that this is a ritual, that the people were coming to the concerts with that in mind. Like, what you do is you go to this show and when they plug in these guitars, that’s when you start throwing stuff and booing. So it was like, ‘This is just weird’. But there was a certain survival aspect to it that was a learning curve that we weren’t used to. We were having a lot of fun in this experience and we were just going along with it just to see where the hell this leads you. I wouldn’t have put it this way at the time, but we were on the inside of a musical revolution and didn’t really know it. We were just thinking, ‘Maybe we just need to do it better’. So after the shows, because they were shooting this film and were taping the shows, we’d listen to those tapes and think, ‘That’s not THAT bad! (Laughs) You don’t have to throw tomatoes and sharp objects and scream and boo at something like that. It’s not that bad.’ Finally we started to think that it was actually pretty good too, but they’re not hearing it. So we were going through all kinds of quandaries, and sure enough, over time, the world turned and we stood our ground and the world came around and said, "No no, this was great". So that’s what revolutions are about, I guess.
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Postby Moleskin » 29 Sep 2005, 14:11

Matt Wilson wrote:
T. Berry Shuffle wrote:While listening to the bootleg I just heard as Peter Yarrow is saying "Bobby's coming back" a guy in the audience yell "and tell him to get a wooden box. Which doesn't make much sense to me; I thought everybody knew that he was seeing Joan Baez.


I never really minded Joan Baez.
I have none of her albums but I wouldn't mind hearing them either.

I'd say she helped Bob out greatly in '63-'64.


I have a few of her early albums - I can't say she sounds much like a 'howling banshee', though I can see how her voice could irritate people. She's on the way toward that Whitney Houston melisma(?).

A good starting place? Her first album, or, since this thread is about Dylan, her 1968 record of Dylan covers, Any Day Now, which includes 'Love is Just a Four Letter Word'.
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Postby Maxwell's Golden Pickaxe » 29 Sep 2005, 14:44

modharper wrote:
linusoli wrote:So where did Richard Manuel go when Bobby decided to tinkle the keys during Ballad of a Thin Man in Europe?


Probably to get a beak full of amphetamine or a shot of Johnnie Walker...

I'm surprised there was no contribution from Robbie Robertson, given that he was Bob's right-hand man for a good year and his friendship with Scorsese.

I asked Robbie about his time with Bob when I interviewed him the other week. He had this to say:

When we saw how people were reacting to this thing, there was something incredibly outrageous about all of that and weirdly precious to us. Because like I said, we were from the other side of the tracks, and in the beginning, we just thought, ‘Well, they’re booing because…’ You know, the first couple of gigs we played it wasn’t with all of the guys of The Hawks. It was just Levon and me and some other guys, so we just thought it’s because we’re not playing worth a damn, that’s why they’re booing. But when we all play together we’ll play this music properly and we’ll figure it out. We thought that would remedy the problem, but we played all over North America and Australia and Europe and they booed us everywhere we went. But pretty soon you figured out that this is a ritual, that the people were coming to the concerts with that in mind. Like, what you do is you go to this show and when they plug in these guitars, that’s when you start throwing stuff and booing. So it was like, ‘This is just weird’. But there was a certain survival aspect to it that was a learning curve that we weren’t used to. We were having a lot of fun in this experience and we were just going along with it just to see where the hell this leads you. I wouldn’t have put it this way at the time, but we were on the inside of a musical revolution and didn’t really know it. We were just thinking, ‘Maybe we just need to do it better’. So after the shows, because they were shooting this film and were taping the shows, we’d listen to those tapes and think, ‘That’s not THAT bad! (Laughs) You don’t have to throw tomatoes and sharp objects and scream and boo at something like that. It’s not that bad.’ Finally we started to think that it was actually pretty good too, but they’re not hearing it. So we were going through all kinds of quandaries, and sure enough, over time, the world turned and we stood our ground and the world came around and said, "No no, this was great". So that’s what revolutions are about, I guess.


Excellent. Cheers modharper.

I'm still surprised at Robertson's exclusion from No Direction Home though.

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Postby Mozz » 29 Sep 2005, 16:32

As a result of being entranced by both parts of No Direction Home, I've gone out and bought a whole load of Dylan LP's and I'm really going to start 'listening' to them. I'm going to read Howard Sounes's Down The Highway as well. The film just encapsulated why Dylan was (and perhaps still is judging by the lucidity and eloquence of the interview material) a genius, something that I hadn't totally grasped before. The two parts of the film that stick out for me are:

1) At the Newcastle gig when he's singing 'Mr Tambourine Man'. To me, his body language and his whole attitude is saying "I must have sung this song about 350 times and I'm fed up with it". Whether this was down to his drug intake, I don't know, but it's just a perfect indication of how he'd left the folk movement behind.

2) The general idiocy of the music media of the time. Maybe it was because the mid-1960's were a time of great innovation and change, and nothing like Dylan had ever been seen before, but I got the impression that the press were constantly bewildered and didn't have a clue as to what they were meant to be writing about. Particularly, the San Francisco interview, for me, is like Jesus being questioned by the Pharisees: the latter are trying to catch the former out but don't know what to ask him because he is far more intelligent than them and makes them look like fools.

On the whole, it was a fantastic testament to Dylan. I just wish that someone would do a similar job with Joni Mitchell and/or Bruce Springsteen, because I think they're deserving of something like that.

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Postby Moleskin » 29 Sep 2005, 16:38

The Mozz wrote:2) The general idiocy of the music media of the time. Maybe it was because the mid-1960's were a time of great innovation and change, and nothing like Dylan had ever been seen before, but I got the impression that the press were constantly bewildered and didn't have a clue as to what they were meant to be writing about. Particularly, the San Francisco interview, for me, is like Jesus being questioned by the Pharisees: the latter are trying to catch the former out but don't know what to ask him because he is far more intelligent than them and makes them look like fools.


I think most of the journalists were not from the music media, in that there was (almost) no such thing. These were mostly guys from the local rag or TV station, who next day would be interviewing a housewife about "the youth of today".
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