Don't Look Back

A few nights ago I watched Don’t Look Back (imdb | rotten tomatoes), the documentary by D.A. Pennebaker about Bob Dylan. I’d watched parts of it before, but this time, watching it all the way through, I was reminded of two things:

  1. Bob Dylan was angry. A few months ago I would have said he was a jackass, but I’m no longer so certain. Of course he was conceited, given how much adulation he was being given, but knowing what we know now about how Bob felt (his recent memoirs have revealed that he didn’t understand the fans who wanted him to be a folk hero, who saw him as the spearpoint of a revolution) I get the feeling that it wasn’t superiority or arrogance coming spewing out of him so much as it was frustration and exasperation. This gave me a completely different view of him. Nearly a tragic figure, except that he seemed to take a fair bit of pleasure in berating the journalists and fans.
  2. Bob Dylan was a genius.

After watching the movie I had to put on the Royal Albert Hall CD and listen to “Desolation Row”, then I put in Time Out Of Mind and listened to “Highlands”. After that I put in the DVD of The Last Waltz and listened to “Baby Let Me Follow You Down”.

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