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.