(welcome to ‘blanks and postage’ — author jesse jarnow’s monthly column for aquarium drunkard highlighting the heady, askew…and beyond.)
Journeyman bassist Rob Stoner has played with nearly every rock & roll legend you could name, from Bob Dylan to Chuck Berry and Link Wray. Today at AD, he shines a light on the fact, fiction, and myth of Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story. “He’s always trying to put people on, to put people off his trail.”
As Bob Dylan’s swampy and haunted classic Oh Mercy turns 30 years old, producer and musician Daniel Lanois reflects on the strange magic he helped create in New Orleans, driven by a willingness to explore seemingly contradictory spaces: “I wanted to make sure that that the music was trying to destroy the singer at the same time as support him.”
In “Tight Connection To My Heart,” director Paul Schrader envisions a glittering, metropolitan Tokyo, wrapping our hero up in a surreal web of imagery. Wide pans and sudden zooms only add to the disorienting effect, as Bob Dylan wanders the city, searching for something we wouldn’t even know how to begin to describe.
Just about eight months after More Blood, More Tracks comes another massive Dylan archival haul. The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings weighs in at a hefty 14 discs, giving listeners a front row seat (and a backstage pass) at the traveling road show Bob threw together in the months following Blood On The Tracks’ release. Three discs of rehearsals! Five complete Dylan sets! A bonus disc of curios and oddities! (Oh and hey, there’s that Martin Scorsese doc to absorb as well). The good news? This box is very reasonably priced at just about $80 — a whole lot of bang for your buck. The bad news? Come on, dude, there is no bad news.
There’s a lot to love in Scorsese’s film, which repurposes an enormous trove of backstage and concert footage into a representation of the fall 1975 iteration of the Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Considered as a traditional documentary, Rolling Thunder Revue is fairly embarrassing. Considered as a Bob Dylan movie in the tradition of the films the songwriter has had his hands in over the years, it’s a grand achievement. The project swerves from fact in similar ways that Dylan’s Chronicles swerves from traditional memoir, with fictional constructs serving the biographical needs of the moment, just as they have since the largely bullshitted notes to Dylan’s 1962 debut LP […]
It’s a golden age for Dylan fanatics – and a gluttonous age as well. For the past few years, like clockwork, we’ve been gifted with massive boxed sets that unravel – and somehow deepen – […]
More Blood, More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 , the latest slab of previously unreleased Bob Dylan recordings, lands in early November. The six-disc collection features the complete New York City recording sessions for Blood On The Tracks, giving listeners a fly-on-the-wall […]
As anyone with a passing knowledge of the life (lives?) of Bob Dylan knows, in late 1978, the singer-songwriter had a born again experience, and devoted the next few years to writing and performing (mostly) […]
After a few months of rumors, Sony has finally announced another massive Bob Dylan box set — The 1966 Live Recordings. Weighing in at 36 (!) discs, it collects every known recording of Dylan’s confrontational 1966 tour of Australia and the UK (along […]
This fall, my first feature film, Shangri-La Suite , will be released in theaters. It tells the story of two lovers-on-the-run during the summer of 1974. Their names: Jack Blueblood and Karen Bird. Their aim: to kill […]
Happy 75th to a poet, a rock ‘n roll icon, a folk sensation, and a living legend. Stop and take a moment to fathom that number; 75 years. Bob Dylan has spent 54 of those […]
Rumors were flying all summer about a massive Bootleg Series covering Bob Dylan’s unbelievable, earth-shaking 1965-66 period. And hey, the rumors were true. The Cutting Edge (available in 2-, 6- and 18-(!!!) disc versions) draws back […]