The way The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn tells it, Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour had simple beginnings. While shooting hoops one day in McGuinn’s driveway, Dylan stopped the game.
“I’m not very good, and we’re playing one-on-one, and he’s pretty good, hitting baskets,” McGuinn told me recently. “He realized pretty quickly that it’s not going to be a game, really, so we stopped playing and he said, ‘I want to do something different.’ Now, Bob Dylan saying he wants to do something different could be ‘let’s all move to Mars.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, I think something like a circus.’ And that’s all he said, and we went back to shooting baskets.”
Long-rumored amongst Dylan diehards to be in the works, Scorsese’s film is now available on Netflix and is a mesmerizing, altogether different follow-up to Scorsese’s 2005 Dylan documentary, “No Direction Home.”
The eventual result was one of Dylan’s most legendary tours, his trek across the northeastern U.S. and Canada, with an all-star supporting cast that included Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, McGuinn and others in tow. Chronicled first by Sam Shepard and journalist Larry “Ratso” Sloman, and eventually in the fifth edition of Dylan’s long-running “Bootleg Series” in 2002, it’s now the subject of a remarkable new film, “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese,” and a 14-CD box set (as well as a reissue of the long-out-of-print vinyl version of the original live compilation).
Long-rumored amongst Dylan diehards to be in the works, Scorsese’s film is now available on Netflix (and in select theaters), and is a mesmerizing, altogether different follow-up to Scorsese’s 2005 Dylan documentary, “No Direction Home.” Like Dylan’s ill-fated film “Renaldo and Clara,” shot during the original Rolling Thunder tour — footage from which Scorsese uses liberally to tell his story — Scorsese’s film mixes fact and fiction in ways that only add to the movie’s appeal, not to mention the myths surrounding Dylan during this period.
“I don’t remember a thing about Rolling Thunder,” Dylan says in the film. “It happened so long ago, I wasn’t even born yet.” After pausing for a perfect, comedic beat, he a