Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019) Movie Script

Bicentennial hats here!
Bicentennial hats.
Excuse me, do you feel patriotic?
Patriotic is-- is not the real feeling
that I have right now.
People like bicentennial hats,
I sell 'em bicentennial hats.
Ladies and gentlemen,
of this beautiful day
and this bicentennial day, right here,
downtown in New York City,
ladies and gentlemen.
Joseph Hurdley Jr.,
songwriter of New York City.
Otherwise, Uncle Sam is going to sing
one of his versions
of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Ladies and gentlemen,
"The Star-Spangled Banner" with new music.
Words by Francis Scott Key
and music by Joseph Hurdley Jr.,
dedicated to the future of America,
God save the republic.
Are you ready, maestro?
No maestros? I'll sing it myself.
O say, can you see
By the dawn's early light
It's one dollar.
Get your copies here.
-I've got four versions of...
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man
Play a song for me
I'm not sleepy
And there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man
Play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning
I'll come followin' you
Though I know that evenin's empire
Has returned into sand...
We're gathered
in this historic house
for the celebration
of the 200th anniversary
of the United States,
but I refer to the words that were spoken
by those who at the time
of the Declaration of Independence
thought of the mission of America,
what America could mean to the world.
And one of them said
that we act not just for ourselves,
but for all mankind.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man
Play a song for me...
Saigon had fallen.
People had seemed to, uh,
lost their sense of,
uh, conviction for...
for just about anything.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man...
Lot of arguments about why...
America was chased out of Vietnam...
in such a humiliating way.
Two people tried to shoot the president
in one month.
Take me on a trip
Upon your magic...
Let us set for our goal in 1976
to move forward in the realm
of the American spirit.
My hands can't feel to grip
That the opportunity that everybody
in this room has had...
is something that is a realizable dream
that can be achieved
for anyone who has the good fortune
to be born in this country,
or anyone who has the good fortune
to come to this country.
Ready for to fade
Into my own parade...
The idea was to put a tour up,
combination of different acts
on the same stage
for a variety of, uh, musical styles.
I wouldn't say it was a, uh,
traditional revue,
but it was in the, uh, traditional...
form of, uh, of a revue.
That's all clumsy bullshit.
- Okay.
- So what--
-I'm trying to get to the...
To the core thing.
To the core of what
this Rolling Thunder thing is all about,
and I don't have a clue,
because it's not... It's about nothing.
It's a-- It's just something that happened
40 years ago.
And that's the truth of it.
-Why don't we go down that road?
-Okay, we can.
-Let's go.
All right, let's go.
I don't remember a thing
about Rolling Thunder.
- Okay.
-I mean, it-- it happened
so long ago, I wasn't even born, you know?
-Uh, I... So, what do you wanna know?
And take me disappearing
Through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time
Far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees
Out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach
Of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today
Until tomorrow
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man
Play a song for me
I'm not sleepy...
Is that Bob Dylan?
That is Bob Dylan!
Life isn't about finding yourself...
or finding anything.
Life is about creating yourself.
- Playing tonight?
- And creating things.
And I want to introduce
another fine...
entertainer here at Folk City,
so everybody...
Summer, 1975.
It was a very odd scene in New York.
Unusual. Sort of.
The folk era had died out. Or did it?
- Joan Baez
and her friend Bob Dylan!
Let's have a nice hand for Joan Baez...
Rumor came around
that the inspired Dylan was back,
gathering all-- all his forces.
When ev'rything that I'm sayin'
You can say it just as good
And pretty soon,
they were all jamming together
as if they were young musicians
having fun,
actually in direct contact
with each other.
And all the hills echod
And all the hills echod
My name is Juanano de Castro
My father was a Spanish grandee
Excuse me, please!
We're really running short of time.
I wanna introduce...
Miss Patti Smith and Eric Anderson.
Let's have a nice hand.
-Let's hear it! Get up here!
There was a...
There was an archer...
There was an archer who was in love
with his sister.
So, the archer looked at his sister
and he said,
"All the madness
between me and you is real private."
But the sister was too scared,
so the sister...
the sister put down her cigarette
and she married the sultan.
So the archer became a... the archer
for the king.
So, it was the wedding night,
and the sultan and the sister
were gonna get married.
And so...
the archer went out the door,
and he had on his armor,
and he was going. There was all, like...
You know how like the gran-- ground was
in 16th-century Japan?
It was black and green like a chessboard.
So the archer was walking
on the black part of the chessboard,
and he looked
at the black part of the chessboard,
and it looked
like the back of his sister's hair.
-And so...
You know how it is.
- Yeah.
Anyway, it looked... Oh, what a mess.
Looked like the back of his sister's hair,
and so he couldn't advance
and be the king's archer no more,
because he looked over at the palace,
and over at the palace,
he saw his sister undressing
for the sultan.
So the prince took off a--
took off all his armor,
and he started walking toward the palace.
He started walking in another direction,
started walking in another dimension,
started walking in another dimension.
He moved in another dimension.
I move in another dimension
- I move in another dimension
- I move in another dimension
I move in another dimension
- And he kept on walking
And he walked real slow
Here is the first archer
In rock 'n' roll
He walked toward the palace
Toward the palace of answers
He took big steps
He took big steps
He walked seven ways
He walked seven ways
He freed the elements
The hurricane just burst
From his hands
You are my sunshine
- My only sunshine
-Let's go!
You make me happy
- When skies are gray
- Whoopee!
You'll never know, dear
How much I...
October, November, uh...
Dylan might have some idea
to do something.
Sort of like a... con man,
carny medicine show of old,
where you just get in a bus
and go from town--
or a carriage, and go from town to town.
It's like Dylan is taking us out to try
and give us each... He's presenting us.
I mean, that's his conception.
I mean, it hasn't been made overt.
His idea is, uh...
to show how beautiful he is... showing how beautiful we are...
by showing how beautiful...
the ensemble is.
So, it's to show the actual community.
Which is way-- the way-- the way life is,
the way that life of poets is.
- I live in an apartment
Sink leaks through the walls
Lower East Side full of bedbugs
Junkies in the halls
House been broken into
Tibetan thangkas stole
Speed freaks took my statues
And made my love a fool
- Speed freaks took my statues
And made my love a fool
-Do you wanna hear more or...?
- Yeah.
I got this big audition.
There was this party
at Allen Ginsberg's apartment.
And that's where you met Dylan?
Uh, yes.
- What did you think of him?
-Uh, Dylan was fine.
There were all these crazy people,
all getting high and coming up to him
and spinning faster and faster,
and Bob didn't react.
I think he just, uh,
watched the whole thing.
I think he liked the chaos.
I am a rake and a rambling boy
- There's many a city I did enjoy
- Woo!
- But now I married me a better wife
And I love her dearer
Than I love my life
My idea was
to have a kind of a jug band,
uh, for the whole show,
something, uh, along the lines
of maybe, uh, Kweskin Jug Band...
but that didn't happen.
They were in the middle
of the rehearsals at SIR Studio,
and I talked to Levy, and he asked Dylan
if it was all right for me to shoot
B-roll of the rehearsal.
Dylan was all right with it,
but Levy told me there was no budget.
Because I thought that this was really
going to go somewhere,
I took all the money that I had,
and I paid for everything
out of my own pocket.
- Did Bob like you?
- I don't know, who knows?
He was--
It was like looking into a mirror.
You either saw what you wanted to see,
or you hated what you saw.
I can tell you this,
back then I used to smoke,
and I held my cigarette like this,
you know, the European style.
After that night at Ginsberg's,
Bob started holding it like that, too.
That was me.
Rita May, Rita May
How did you ever get that way?
When'd you ever see the light?
Don't you ever feel afraid?
You got me burning and a-turning
But I know I must be learning
Rita May
And I don't sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
- But to the stars above
- Yeah!
One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below
I was going
to a jazz musician friend of mine house
in the Lower East Side,
and I was just about to cross the street,
and a car cut me off.
It was Bob.
It was Dylan.
It was never verbalized.
I knew who he was, or he knew I knew.
Just sort of passed, you know.
We just played music all day
and all night.
We went to The Bottom Line
and played with Muddy Waters,
and we went that night
to Victoria Spivey's house.
She's an old blues singer.
And, um...
we played music
till about six in the morning.
It was really great.
- She wears a turtle...
- She wears a turtleneck sweater
And a nylon shoe
She wears a turtleneck sweater
And a nylon shoe
There's nothing she won't say
And there's nothing that she won't do
There are 52 people.
If each person asks him is he okay,
it becomes a long, hard
question and answer period for him.
Is the light bothering him?
Is the guitar right?
Does he like the lighting?
Is the sound monitor okay?
He's a big man,
and he knows what he wants.
No llores, mi querida
Dios nos vigila
Soon the horse will take us to Durango
Five ten.
- Five ten?
- Yeah.
So what does he do?
He's a director.
But that's not...
That's why I'm saying it's tricky
because it's not marriage, is it?
I mean, unless you actually make it--
Well, I mean,
maybe marriage to the theater.
But when you said marriage,
I assumed you-- you meant marriage
between two people.
-Did you?
Well, no, mental marriage.
-Mental marriage?
Ah, well, that's interesting.
Some speak of the future
My love, she speaks softly
'Cause there's no success like failure
And failure's no success at all
I'm doing a-- a thing on a tour
for Rolling Stone magazine.
- Yes.
- Okay?
And-- And basically, I saw Bob leave,
uh, after that... uh, um, the dialogue
you did with him, the marriage thing.
And he said to one of the cameramen,
"That is hot. That was a hot scene."
-Oh, I'm really flattered. I'm touched.
Okay, now, look,
I-- I-- I just wanna know,
how did-- how did it happen?
I mean, was it set up?
-It happened-- No.
-Was it a set up scene?
It was totally spontaneous.
I was on my way to the bathroom...
...when, uh, on my way, uh,
Mel Howard introduced me to Bob Dylan.
What-- What did you say?
And what was your point--
-What did I say to--
-In the conversation to Bob?
Well, it was a sort of free...
-uh, going from one thing to another.
-It wasn't--
It wasn't meant to be specifically--
specifically that.
Yeah, but you started talking
about marriage.
Out of the blue,
-the subject of marriage came up.
-But what did you say?
Come gather 'round, fellers
So young and so fine
And seek not your fortune
Down in the mine
It will form...
Was the idea to make
a behind-the-scenes film of the tour?
I think that's
what they were expecting.
They just thought that
I was going to make it a concert film,
but I was trying to make something
really serious out of this.
First, what I wanted to show was
musicians working together,
making music together.
That was them doing their job.
That was, you know,
that was as if I went to film my father
in his shoe store.
Focus in on that.
What is that, Patti?
I seen th-- this Rimbaud book,
and I saw this picture.
I saw this vogue picture,
and I thought it looked like you,
-and I thought he was a neat guy, y'know?
And I thought you were neat, so I used to,
like, pretend he was my boyfriend.
Or if-- Or if you were.
You know, it doesn't matter, right?
So anyway...
What did you say?
-What did I say?
I gave my thoughts on...
He spoke about mental marriage.
-When he asked me--
-Mental marriage?
Uh, Superman takes a piece of coal,
and he puts it in his hand,
and he starts squeezing it,
and squeezing it, and squeezing it,
and squeezing it,
and then it becomes like a diamond.
-It's real hard.
And then, like, he drops it
on the ground,
-on the baseball diamond.
And the kids, the kids keep kicking it,
the kids keep kicking it.
-Then it goes round and round.
And after years and years
of kids kicking it around,
it gets smooth, but it's not...
It's just changed.
It's still the same crystal,
but it's smooth, so it's a crystal ball.
So it's sitting there in the middle,
the crystal ball is sitting there
in the middle of the baseball diamond.
-Okay? Now you can look in.
I hated the ristelaars...
the, you know, the-- the facilitators.
You know,
the-- the people hanging around him.
People pretending that they had access,
so that they could behave badly.
This film was going to show
the counterpoint
between the... the excesses of the people
on the tour
and the dissolution of society.
- Come on, everybody.
- Allen!
I wanted to show
the land of Pet Rocks
and Super Slurpees from 7-Eleven.
L'Amrique insolite.
I would go on the road
with the Rolling Thunder Revue.
-Right here.
- See you Thursday.
This is a true story.
Actually, they're all true.
Boy. Sure hope we get to Boston on time.
I married Isis
On the fifth day of May
But I could not hold on
To her very long
So I cut off my hair
And I rode straight away
For the wild, unknown country
Where I could not go wrong
I came to a high place
Of darkness and light
The dividing line ran
Through the center of town
I hitched up my pony
To a post on the right
Went into a laundry
To wash my clothes down
A man in the corner
Approached me for a match
I knew right away
He was not ordinary
He said, "Are you looking
For something easy to catch?"
I said, "I got no money, man"
He said, "That ain't necessary"
We set out that night
For the cold in the north
I gave him my blanket
And he gave me his word
I said, "Where we goin'?"
He said, "We be back by the fourth"
I said, "That's the best news
That I've ever heard"
I was thinkin' about turquoise
I was thinkin' about gold
I was thinkin' about diamonds
And the world's biggest necklace
As we rode through the canyons
Through the devilish cold
I was thinkin' about Isis
How she thought I was so reckless
She told me, though, that one day
We would meet up again
And things would be different
The next time we wed
If I could only just hang on
And be her friend
I still can't remember
All the best things she said
We came to the pyramids
All embedded in ice
He said, "There's a body
That I'm tryin' to find
If I carry it out
It'll bring a good price"
'Twas then that I knew
What he had on his mind
Well, the wind, it was howlin'
And the snow was outrageous
We chopped through the night
And we chopped through the dawn
When he died, I was hopin'
That it wasn't contagious
But I made up my mind
That I had to get on
I picked up his body
And I dragged him inside
Threw him down in a hole
And I put back the cover
I said a quick prayer
Just to feel satisfied
Then I went back to find Isis
Just to tell her I love her
She was there in the meadow
Where the creek used to rise
Blinded by sleep
And in need of a bed
I came in from the East
With the sun in my eyes
I cursed her one time
Then I rode on ahead
She said, "Where you been?"
I said, "No place special"
She said, "You look different"
I said, "Well, I guess"
She said, "You been gone"
I said, "That's only natural"
She said, "You gonna stay?"
I said, "If you want me to, yeah!"
Isis, oh, Isis
You a mystical child
What drives me to you
Is what drives me insane
I still can remember
The way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May
In the drizzlin' rain
Hi, Bob.
-Hi, what you guys want? An interview?
- Sure.
- Ah, wh--
- How was it, Bob?
How was what?
What did Bob say about the tour?
I never asked him anything
because, you know,
he wouldn't answer direct questions.
Dylan, you're beautiful.
- Bob!
A legend is in town,
and it's not just another...
rock 'n' roll show.
I mean, it's rock 'n' roll,
but it's a special event.
where rock 'n' roll
has four or five legends,
this is one of them, and maybe
the biggest one at the present time.
Not to brag,
but Rolling Thunder was kinda my idea,
you know.
Bob had done that tour with The Band
a few years back,
and that was super successful,
and then Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
were filling 50,000 seats a night.
And Zeppelin was huge.
I mean, there was money everywhere.
You know, all you had to do
was bend down, pick it up.
So, I had an idea that some kind of revue
with Bob would be a gold mine.
So I went off and pitched the idea,
and a bunch of local promoters
were interested.
And then by the time I was done,
I ended up with 15 headliners.
I'm gonna have to go to college
'Cause you are...
Now you've asked for it!
We took a big risk. And, uh, you know,
you had to put up the money,
get everybody, you know, hotels, catering,
cars, all this stuff, buses.
And you had to keep all these guys happy
and, you know, focused.
And so... And that was, you loaded up
before you went out on the road.
Then you hope you got paid.
And you hope the show worked.
Did you have any interaction with Bob?
The only time I saw Bob
was when he was onstage
or driving the bus.
You know? Bob kept to himself.
How did it become
"Rolling Thunder Revue"?
Well, I asked Bob.
He said originally he was gonna call it
Montezuma's Revue,
but then he said he was home,
and he was just kind of trying to think
of a name for the tour,
when all of a sudden in the sky,
he heard, "Boom!"
And then, from left to right,
punctuating the sky,
"Boom, boom, boom, boom!"
So he said,
"Hey, let's call it 'Rolling Thunder.'"
So before we even left,
Chesley Millikin, who was on the tour,
"Bob, you know what 'rolling thunder'
means to the Indians?"
And he goes, "What, man?"
And Chesley goes, "Speaking truth."
And then Bob goes,
"I'm glad to hear that, man."
Of course, later on we found out
that Rolling Thunder was actually
the code name
for, uh, Nixon's bombing of Cambodia.
And that Guam, the backup band,
was the base that, uh, they took off from.
So, who knows what the real story is.
This is the leaflet for a concert
they're having in town next week.
Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Jack Elliott.
Right in the Civic Center.
You know me,
I'm too old for that kind of stuff.
Oh, well.
- So...
when did you first hear about Bob?
This is like a... a...
It sounds like a fairy tale,
but all... a lot of the...
It doesn't happen continuously
for more than a few days at a time,
but a lot of my life,
I feel like I really am leading
a charmed life,
because miracles start happening
in threes or fours.
One thing I could tell you
about Ramblin' Jack,
he's more of a sailor than a singer.
He can tie a bowline, a clove hitch,
and he could tie a rolling hitch,
all blindfolded.
If you're ever on a boat or sailing ship,
you would rather have Ramblin' Jack
there as a sailor than a singer.
Now, London is a fine town
For sailors
California and back to France, so...
Which would you rather be,
the Pilgrims or the Indians?
- Pilgrims.
- Why the Pilgrims?
Why do you wanna be the Pilgrims?
'Cause the Pilgrims all land
and they turn into wax dolls,
and they're wax dolls
for the rest of the universe.
So the Indians.
Well, you know, the Indians, that's true--
Well, we're all wax dolls, so...
The first concert will take place
in Plymouth...
Uh, where the, uh, Pilgrims stepped
off their Mayflower.
We're... as if we're-- we're Pilgrims.
Pilgrims in the sense of searchers,
looking for the, uh, kingdom of a nation
with maybe a different intention.
Making America a kingdom of poetry,
a nation of poetry.
Well, look at this. Lookit.
Have you ever heard of Bob Dylan?
-Yeah, I've heard of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez,
Bob Neuwirth.
at Memorial Auditorium. Anybody?
Pass 'em out.
- I left Rome
And pulled into Brussels
On a plane ride
So bumpy that I almost cried
Clergymen in uniform
Young girls pullin' muscles
Well, it sure has been
One hell of a ride
Eating candy, ooh
They had to be held back
By big police
Everything is gonna be different
When I paint that masterpiece
Train wrecks
Running through the back of my memory
When I ran on the hilltop
Following a pack of wild geese
Everything is gonna be beautiful
When I paint that masterpiece
When I paint
That masterpiece
Any idea why he would wear a mask?
Are you being funny?
Well, it was kind of a leading question.
Yeah, okay.
Well, get to the point.
We didn't have enough masks on that tour.
We should have had masks for everybody.
When somebody's wearing a mask,
uh, he's gonna tell you the truth.
when he's not wearing a mask,
it's highly unlikely.
Shocking Blue!
Her weapons were her crystal eyes
Making every man mad
I'd been filming Shocking Blue.
Their song "Venus" was
at the top of the charts.
- And we needed more footage.
And at the time, I liked psychedelics.
Oh, LSD was my drug of choice.
You know, it was trans-- transformative.
And I filmed a lot of newspeople
and things from the TV,
like camera right on the TV,
like kinescoped,
and I cut these serious things,
these speeches, with the rock 'n' roll.
A goddess on a mountaintop
Was burning like a silver flame
Well, I'm your Venus
- I'm your fire at your desire
- It was brood en spelen, uh...
You know, like, "bread and circus."
I made an indictment of popular culture.
I called it "Burning Like A Silver Flame."
It played the local art film circuit,
uh, and it started to have
a life of its own.
Um, later, when I won
the Heinrich Greif Award,
America came calling.
Van Dorp,
I hadn't even heard of him before,
but, uh, he seemed like an okay guy.
I liked his film history.
He did some film work
at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
His idea was to, uh, make this film...
appear to be like old newsreels
we used to see at movie theaters...
growing up,
which I thought was a splendid idea.
Van Dorp, I wanted to tell you something.
I thought Sam would be perfect
for van Dorp to, uh, collaborate with,
because Sam's got
that special knowledge of the underworld
that van Dorp didn't seem
to have a clue about.
I think I asked him once,
"Sam, how you write all those plays?"
And he said...
"Man," he said,
"it's like I commune with the dead."
I said, "Yeah, yeah,
uh, you'd have to
to write plays like that."
And I asked him if he wanted to, uh,
write for, uh,
this movie
that this guy van Dorp was making.
And he went to meet with van Dorp,
and then he came back, and he said, uh...
he didn't know where the guy
was coming from,
but if I wanted him to do it, he would.
So, that's how Sam got involved.
I was living
in Homestead Valley, California,
running a horse boarding farm.
It was a little bit unclear
what-- what exactly he wanted me to do.
I was like a screenwriter
or writer for hire, you know.
So, sure. So, I joined up.
I was just kind of there for the ride,
and-- and as an observer
and trying to make sense of something,
you know.
New England was just
experiencing the backbone
of that economic fallout,
you know, way back then,
it was, you know, desolate...
Uh, really,
really difficult economic times, you know.
People suffering behind that, you know.
Rock 'n' roll was some kind of, a...
I don't know, a kind of medicine
or something.
Do you have tickets
for the concert?
- Yeah.
- How come he's coming here?
I know, how come he picked
such a small place?
Tickets are on sale at the collis--
the little Plymouth auditorium.
Wasn't that the year
of the bicentennial, also?
The bicentennial,
particularly in the little towns,
you know,
they didn't give a shit, you know.
"What is the bicen--"
You know what I mean?
They-- They certainly weren't celebrating
the-- the birth of America. You know?
- We love you, Bobby!
- Yeah!
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
How many times
Must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend
Is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
It always had this feeling of--
of almost a circus atmosphere,
a dog and pony show sort of thing.
It's the first song
I ever heard Woody Guthrie sing
on a little radio station.
He was telling a story...
about traveling across the country
on freight trains,
and he had a fiddle with him...
in a violin case.
Every time the train would stop,
police would come on and look through,
they'd see him with that violin case...
make him open it up,
and look inside.
They was looking for an outlaw...
named Pretty Boy Floyd,
who was also traveling with a violin case.
If you'll gather 'round me, children
A story I will tell
About Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw
Oklahoma knew him well
I do recall sort of looking over,
from a distance, Jack Elliott's shoulder
as he did his solo set.
You know, that was something
so new to me, and...
gee, it seemed so authentic,
I had no idea he was, you know,
a Jewish dentist's son from Brooklyn.
You know, you could've knocked me over
with a feather when I found that out.
Ramblin' Jack!
Take a bow, Jack.
I got another friend
for you to meet now.
They-- They had an entity
about them, you know.
It wasn't stardom.
It wasn't people were looking at,
"Oh, there's Dylan and there's Joan Baez."
No, they were looking at a band.
Well, I ride on a mailtrain, baby
Can't buy a thrill
I been up all night, baby
Leanin' on a windowsill
Once again, good night
on behalf of the Rolling Thunder Revue.
We thank you for coming. Good night.
Go in peace.
And particularly
with those songs
that had this kind of saga element
about 'em, you know,
it had a rejuvenating effect, I think,
you know, it was very exhilarating.
It was a feeling of exhilaration,
of-- of-- of being alive.
It... That sounds corny, but it's true,
you know.
Take, uh, Shakespeare, Will.
He grew up
in, uh, uh, Stratford-on-Avon,
you know, where the...
where these rivers cross,
and it was on the way outskirts of London.
And these troubadours and vagabonds
and carnival people from all over
were coming into London to perform.
And they would stop at this crossroads
of these rivers.
And as a kid, he's seeing this,
and then he writes those fucking plays.
You know?
That's... extraordinary.
You know,
that somebody is charged up like that
from something passing
through their lives, you know.
- Let me ask you a question.
- Sure.
What were you gonna do on Halloween night?
What was I gonna do on Halloween night?
Just get a buzz on.
Nothing else to do.
Yep, just party.
Where have you been
My blue-eyed son?
Where have you been
My darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side
Of twelve misty mountains
Walked and I've crawled
On six crooked highways
Been in the middle
Of seven sad forests
Been out in front
Of a dozen dead oceans
Been ten thousand miles
In the mouth of a graveyard
And it's a hard
And it's a hard
Well, it's a hard
And it's a hard
Well, it's a hard rain gonna fall
What did you see
My blue-eyed son?
What did you see
My darling young one?
Saw a newborn baby
With wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds
With nobody on it
Saw a black branch
With blood that kept drippin'
Saw a room full of men
With their hammers bleedin'
Saw a white ladder
Covered in water
Saw ten thousand talkers
Whose tongues are all broken
Guns and sharp swords
In the hands of young children
And it's a hard
Well, it's a hard
Well, it's a hard
And it's a hard
Oh, it's a hard rain gonna fall
What did you hear
My blue-eyed son?
What did you hear
My darling young one?
Heard the sound of a thunder
That roared out a warnin'
Heard the roar of a wave
Could drown the whole world
One person starved
I heard many people laughin'
Heard the song of a poet
Who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown
Crying in the alley
- And it's a hard
- Yeah!
And it's a hard
And it's a hard
Well, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain gonna fall
Who did you meet
My blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet
My darling young one?
Met a young child
Beside a dead pony
Met a white man
Who walked a black dog
Met one woman
Whose body was burning
Met a young girl
She gave me a rainbow
I met one man
Wounded in love
Met another man
Wounded in hatred
And it's a hard
Well, it's a hard
Well, it's a hard
And it's a hard
And it's a hard rain gonna fall
What'll you do now
My blue-eyed son?
What'll you do now
My darling young one?
I'm goin' back out
When the rain starts a-fallin'
Walk to the depths
Of the deepest dark forest
Where the people are many
And their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison
Are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley
Meets the damp, dirty prison
Where the executioner's face
Is always well-hidden
Where the hunger is ugly
Where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color
None is the number
And I'll tell it and think it
And speak it and breathe it
Reflect from the mountain
So all souls can see it
Then I'll stand on the ocean
Until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my song well
Before I start singin'
And it's a hard
And it's a hard
Well, it's a hard
And it's a hard
It's a hard rain gonna fall
- Hello?
- Bob?
- Yeah.
-This is Larry.
- Larry, how you doing?
-You got a minute?
I gotta do a story in an hour,
and I just need
about two or three paragraphs.
- Okay.
-Are you up?
Yeah, sort of.
What do you-- Why don't you
just talk about the music, okay?
What do you wanna know?
I've never seen you
so fuckin' great onstage.
I've never seen you so loose. How come?
Jesus Christ, you really got me
early in the morning, I can't even think.
- Uh...
Well, it's just the element
I work best in, you know?
You seen those Italian...
those Italian troupes
that go around in Italy,
-those Italian street theaters...
- Yeah.
The wagon, the wagon troupes,
Commedia dell'arte?
Yeah, right.
This is kind of an extension
of that, only musically.
- Music Commedia dell'arte?
- Yeah.
Come on, Red!
- Jane!
- Jane!
Get it, Merty!
If somebody told you Bob Dylan
was coming to Providence,
you probably wouldn't believe them,
but he is, along with Joan Baez,
Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and Bob Neuwirth,
and it's called the Rolling Thunder Revue
at the Providence Civic Center, Tuesday...
You'd book the venues,
make deals with each
of the local promoters,
and then you'd show up.
And, you know,
you'd have a deal for the gate.
And, you know,
hopefully everything would go out,
would go well,
and everybody'd make a little money.
Hey, man, it wasn't your door
and you weren't invited.
-Hey, don't yell at me, all right?
-Oh, I am yelling at ya.
- Okay.
-Go get your cop,
-so you can get some fuckin' help.
The overall promoter
was a longtime friend of Bob's
and a fishmonger.
I mean, he never had managed
a tour before,
let alone one of this size.
It's bad for your, uh,
high blood pressure.
-Yeah, okay.
-Bad for your high blood pressure.
-Read him some poetry, Allen.
-Anything you wanna say...
So he was out of his element
and underprepared,
and he wasn't very well-liked on the tour.
Then tell him the ushers left.
Tell him-- Tell him we're framing it.
- Hi, Barry.
This guy, Barry Imhoff,
was his second-in-command,
and he'd worked for Bill Graham for years,
but just prior to Rolling Thunder
had got out on his own
and started Zebra Productions.
And this was one of, you know,
if not exactly, his first tour.
What kind of jobs
would the promoter do?
I did whatever needed to get done.
So one day, you're delivering pizza
to the band,
and the next day,
I'm... got a bag full of $15,000,
and I'm walking through a parking lot
looking over my shoulder,
thinking everybody knows
exactly what I'm doing.
Well, you did what you had to do.
Some things we don't talk about.
My mom wanted to go see this tour.
Now, you know, nobody wants
to go to a concert with their mom.
Especially when they're 19 years old.
So, rebelliously,
I-- I wore a Kiss T-shirt.
So, I don't know which one of us
was more embarrassed,
whether it was me or my mom.
And we went to this concert.
We're trying to get in,
and the guy's giving us
kind of a hard time
and looking at our tickets and the thing,
and we can't get in...
And then, this guy comes walking up,
and he doesn't have tickets,
and he tries to get in.
And the cop at the door
is not letting him in,
and not letting him in.
And so, finally, like, a bunch of people
come out,
and they get Bob,
and Bob turns around and he's like...
And I'm just like this...
And my mom's like, "Come on."
And I don't wanna, "come on,"
but my mother pushes us through,
and so we go in with Bob, and, um...
Bob turned around and he saw my shirt,
and he was like,
"Do you like them?"
And then I realized he wanted
to talk about Kiss.
I think I was trying to--
to sound like I was...
smart, and so I started saying,
"Well, you know, I think that they paint
their faces in this Kabuki style."
And he said,
"Oh, I bet Okuni never spit blood
into the audience."
And I was like, "Okuni?"
And he's like, "Izumo no Okuni."
Oh, and that's, you know,
it's one of the guys who started,
uh, Kabuki.
I wanna rock and roll all night
And party every day
I wanna rock and roll all night
And party every day
I wanna rock and roll all night
I can't hear you!
And party every day
I wanna rock and roll...
Scarlet Rivera was some piece of work.
Most people'd kind of stay away
from Scarlet, but, uh, not me.
Her boyfriend at the time
was the leader of Kiss.
And she took me over to Queens
to see them play.
They were playing in a small club.
They had face paint on,
and I thought that was
kind of interesting.
I kind of filed that away somewhere.
Clap your hands!
I wanna rock and roll all night
Yeah, I remember a lot of things.
They-- They said I had a wonderful time.
I think I did.
They said every time
we used to do any interviews,
all they wanted to know was,
"Ronnie, we wanna hear about the orgies."
I said, "Orgies?"
I said, "God damn, we never had
any orgies. That sounds nasty as hell."
I said, "We might have had 14 or 15 people
in love a time or two, but no orgies."
Look who's here.
Yo, man.
Well, Ronnie Hawkins, now,
he looked like a shitkicker,
but he spoke with the wisdom of a sage.
He was like a...
gladiator or something...
that wrestled and raced
in, uh, in--
in some nondescript Roman arena.
you expected Ronnie to, uh,
to wear a toga...
instead of that ratty cowboy hat.
- Remember Scarlet Rivera?
- Oh, yeah.
She fell in love with my rhythm man
from my band, Scarlet did.
Yeah, they put on some interesting shows
there, up there in my room.
I think I narrated a couple of 'em.
I'm not sure.
But, uh, yeah, she was something else...
wore a sword.
She had--
She wore a sword everywhere she went,
that girl, so I didn't...
I was a little bit uneasy
about trying to slip her out,
'cause, boy, if you didn't satisfy her,
she's liable to stab you.
She was unusual.
I went to her room once,
and there was a box of stuff.
Like, chains and mirrors...
candelabras and...
She had swords.
She had a snake.
Just, uh...
many things in... in a trunk.
And, uh, that told me more about her
than anything she had to say.
She didn't say much.
But she didn't have to.
- What's that?
- This? This is my friend.
He keeps me company while I play.
He's playing the dance beyond his limits.
Something that most people
would say is impossible.
But artists like to challenge
the impossible, I guess.
That's why we wear
the makeup we wear, I guess, too.
It's a striking image
you have onstage.
Mr. Tambourine Man gives us
the opportunity
to be whoever we wish to be.
This, uh, young, beautiful,
young lady over here is Scarlet.
She plays with us, too.
I'd been at the high holy gypsy holiday
at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer,
South of France.
It happens to be on my birthday,
so it was like going home.
Manitas de Plata was there,
and he played all night
along the campfire.
I mean, he was fantastic.
And, uh, I stayed up till dawn
just listening to him play.
Some time after that,
couldn't have been more than a week,
that song came to me in a dream.
Your breath is sweet
Your eyes are like
Two jewels in the sky
Your back is straight
Your hair is smooth
On the pillow where you lie
But I don't sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above
One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below
Your daddy, he's an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He'll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice, it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food
One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below
Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself
You've never learned to read or write
There's no books upon your shelf
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark
One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below
Are you used
to going to rock shows?
No, it's one of the very few I've seen.
I finally realized, after last night,
I've been missing an awful lot.
I thought it was
the most unusual occurrence.
I never-- I never noticed...
as a-- as a part of an audience,
I never paid attention to a...
to a response between an audience
and people on the stage,
performers onstage.
That, to me,
was like a show all by itself.
It was like one battery charging another.
you not only could feel the vibes,
you could-- you could almost see them.
There was a...
a love affair between the performers
and the audience.
Uh, I was thinking about the forces
that draw people together.
The magnetism that makes the unit
that's now formed as Rolling Thunder.
And, uh...
to me, the future already exists.
For some people, maybe for everyone.
It's just a matter
of tuning yourself to it.
"I saw the best minds
of my generation destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves
through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix..."
Allen Ginsberg was a saintlike figure.
It was like having a...
kinda like a father figure.
He was always very sober.
No, Allen Ginsberg
was anything but a father figure.
He was definitely not a father figure.
Allen Ginsberg,
a guy I really-- I really miss,
of the ones that are gone.
We became very friendly,
I mean, you know, he-- he...
I wasn't a bad-looking, you know,
little 19-year-old at the time,
and he had a thing for straight,
teenage boys.
So, that probably added to it, I suppose.
One thing people
don't know about Ginsberg
is that he was an incredible dancer.
Um... who...
he would just do these steps
that were so unusual and exciting.
You know, and he'd always have
a good dance partner, too.
Uh, usually somebody from the tour,
somebody we'd pick up along the way.
Uh... He danced a lot, Ginsberg.
"& shaman
he swings a skinny leg to the sky
& shaman
he desires you be there watching
shaman don't care about eating now
he's got his paint on he's ready for jive
& shaman's going to sway
& gesture in space
& shaman's shouting yeah for you
& singing your sorrow
shaman's not faithful except to you
shaman does it for you you know all this
shaman's got his eyes on the violin."
There was this yearning,
Allen's yearning,
to either be Bob or...
have Bob love him more.
And I remember Bob saying,
"Just go out and sing
on the street corners."
So Allen was essentially doing that.
Seeing Ginsberg was
like going to see the Oracle of Delphi.
He didn't care about material wealth
or political power.
He was his own kind of king.
But... he wanted to play music.
He had already achieved
what any national poet
could hope to achieve.
"I saw the best minds of my generation
destroyed by madness."
Very few poets have done that.
Robert Frost, maybe.
"Promises to keep,
miles to go before I sleep."
Whitman said,
"I am large, I contain multitudes."
We still remember those lines today.
Today's poets don't reach
into the public consciousness that way.
So it was remarkable
that Allen had actually broken through.
Nowadays, lines that people remember
are lines from songs, lyrics from songs...
"Your cheatin' heart will make you weep."
"Don't change your hair for me,
not if you care for me."
"I'm in the mood for love."
"What a difference a day makes."
"Ain't misbehavin'."
Allen wanted his lines
to be remembered like that,
but he was a poet.
He wasn't a songwriter.
By 1970 through 1975,
all of the, uh, heroes of song and poetry
were out on their own,
in the solitude...
doing their art.
The people that were going to die
or drink themselves to death,
as many great artists did,
or get strung out...
uh, went down to... uh...
She'ol, as Kerouac did,
105 miles from this ocean,
buried in Lowell.
But that's where I got all my poetry,
out of Mexico City Blues.
You ever read this?
-This book...
-This is my favorite.
-Yeah, I-- I read this. Uh...
My good friend Dave Whitaker
gave me a copy of this book.
-Uh, in Minneapolis in 1959.
I remember when David gave me this book,
it just blew a hole in my mind.
"What's been buried in the grave?
-"Perfect dust."
"Perfect dust in time."
He wrote a lot about being dead.
"Once I went to a movie
At midnight, 1940,
Mice and Men, the name of it.
The Red Block Boxcars
Rolling by (on the Screen)
life finally gets tired of living -
On both occasions I had wild
Face looking into lights
Of streets where phantoms
Hastened out of sight
Into Memorial cello time."
- Oh, yeah.
Here's one.
"Dead and don't know it,
Living and do.
The living have a dead idea.
A person is a living idea;
after death, a dead idea.
When rock becomes air..."
"I will be there."
-He's here.
-Yeah, this is where he is.
-Yeah. So rock has become air.
-Let's sit down a minute, relax.
-Well, this is...
-Yes, it's not every day...
- Kerouac, he honored life.
I had to read everything again,
that Kerouac wrote.
Not that I did,
but I thought about it differently.
All of a sudden, On the Road,
he was talking about the road of life.
"Strange now to think of you,
gone without corsets and eyes,
while I walk
on the sunny pavement
of Greenwich Village,
downtown Manhattan,
clear winter noon,
and I've been up all night talking,
reading the Kaddish aloud,
listening to Ray Charles
blues shout blind on the phonograph
The rhythm, the rhythm
and your memory in my head..."
"like a poem in the dark--
escaped back to Oblivion--
No more to say,
and nothing to weep for
but the Beings in the Dream,
trapped in its disappearance,
screaming with it,
buying and selling pieces of phantom,
laughing and weeping over mahjong,
worshipping each other,
worshipping the God included in it all--
longing or inevitability?--
while it lasts, a Vision--
Death, stay thy phantoms!
O mother
what have I left out
O mother
what have I forgotten
O mother
with a long black shoe
with Communist Party
and a broken stocking
with six dark hairs
on the wen of your breast
with your old dress
and a long black beard around the vagina
with your eyes
with your eyes of Russia
with your eyes of no money
with your eyes of Aunt Elanor
with your eyes of shock
with your eyes of lobotomy
with your eyes of divorce
with your eyes of stroke
with your eyes alone
with your eyes
with your eyes
with your death full of flowers."
She walks alone
Through the city blocks
Oh, hears the tickin' of the clocks
Hunts for her by the waterfront docks
Where the sailors all come in
Maybe he'll see her there once again
How long must he wait?
One more time
For a simple twist of fate
Tell me a bit
about the spirit of the tour.
-'Cause you're doing new songs, right?
- Yeah.
And a lot of people in
the audience expected the old songs.
But Ratso, you know,
that's the first--
-one of the first rules--
- What's that?
The expectations, you know?
If you have big expectations,
you're gonna be let down.
You can't have any expectations.
But people do
have preconceptions.
That's their problem, Ratso.
That's their own problem.
We can't account for everybody
who's walking around, you know?
Like having expectations.
I mean, who gives a shit?
They sat together in the park
As the evening sky got dark
She looked at him and he felt a spark
Tingle to his bones
'Twas then he felt alone
And he wished he'd gone straight
And watched out
For a simple twist of fate
They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel
With a neon burnin' bright
He felt the heat of the night
Hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate
A saxophone someplace softly played
As she was walkin' on by the arcade
She heard the melody rise and fade
The sun was coming up
She dropped a coin into the cup
Of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about
A simple twist of fate
He woke up, she was gone
He didn't see nothing but the dawn
He got out of bed
And put his clothes back on
Pushed back the blinds
Found a note she'd left behind
To which he just could not relate
All about a simple twist of fate
He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks alone
Through the city blocks
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks
Where the sailors all roll in
Maybe he'll spot her once again
How long must he wait?
One more time
For a simple twist of fate
People tell me it's a crime
To know too much for too long a time
She should've caught me in my prime
She would've stayed with me
Instead I'm going off to sea
And leaving me to meditate
Upon that simple twist of fate
I shall resign the presidency
effective at noon tomorrow.
Vice President Ford will be sworn in
as president
at that hour in this office.
I dreamed I saw Saint Augustine
Alive as you or me...
Thomas Jefferson said,
"The people...
are the only sure reliance
for the preservation of our liberty."
With a blanket underneath his arm
And a coat of solid gold...
Abraham Lincoln renewed
this American article of faith
asking, "Is there any better way
or equal hope in the world?"
Everybody get out of the way, now!
Get down!
Get out of the way!
Come out ye gifted kings and queens...
We've got too many people
who are knocking every institution,
including the Congress, the president,
the flag,
I think it's time to stand up and say,
"Well, we believe in these institutions,
and we believe in America."
And I think America ought to sing
a little bit.
And know you're not alone
Now, we're talking about
Bob Dylan the man,
that's who we're talking about,
the message he preaches when he sings...
-You can't use microscopes on everything.
-The happiness...
You're not using microscopes.
-You can't use a scalpel that way.
-You're using the message.
I thought it was sort of depressing...
that people would stand in line
for two days to see a man.
It just so-- shows...
they have that need for something
or somebody to...
bring salvation or something. You know?
But I did it, too.
I don't know.
About five in the afternoon,
the day before the show, right?
-You were there,
you'd been there for a couple of days,
you hit on me right away.
You said you wanted this button, right?
Thought I was Dylan
or some shit like that.
-Yeah, right. Mm-hmm.
A lot of people think you are, Larry.
Well, it's pretty obvious.
Take your glasses off
for a minute.
-I'm not him.
- Well, anyways...
That little shit Ratso,
he was the worst.
He dressed like Dylan,
he tried to talk like Dylan,
always trying to ingratiate himself.
He thought he was Hunter Thompson
just because he was writing
for Rolling Stone.
He didn't want anyone else
with vision around.
Did he wind up
causing problems for you?
Does the cockroach really cause problems
for the house?
No, it's just a nuisance.
Van Dorp was an unusual guy.
He's one of those kind of people
who's trying to... just needs an enemy.
uh, he was trying to make enemies
where there weren't any,
and, uh, he-- he was--
he was successful at that.
He-- He angered a lot--
lots of people, especially in catering.
He would eat two or three, uh, meals
that really...
really were for somebody else.
So, he ate more than he was supposed to,
and I think-- and I think he...
...uh, I think he stuck his nose in places
it might've should not have been.
He was also a very paranoid person.
Complained to people
that his room was bugged.
Uh, which, you know,
McGuinn was on that tour,
and McGuinn who at that point was into,
uh, very sophisticated electronics.
So I'm not saying it wasn't bugged but...
but I'm not saying that it was bugged,
because I don't know that for a fact.
All tickets are $8.50 a ticket.
What were the audiences like...
that you played to?
Well, they would all be...
hysterically happy.
So, I mean, you can't really judge much
from saying,
"What would the audiences be like?"
They would all be people who would've
slit each other's throats to get there.
- What a lovely couple!
-Don't make myths. A couple of what?
-A couple of what?
They say ev'rything can be replaced
That ev'ry distance is not near
So I remember ev'ry face
Of ev'ry man who put me here
Joan Baez
and me could sing anything.
We could sing together in our sleep.
As a matter of fact,
lot of times when I was sleeping,
I'd hear her voice.
Yonder down here in this lonely crowd
Is a man who swears he's not to blame
All day long I hear him shouting loud
Crying out that he been framed
I see my light...
Joan was so courageous.
When I first met her, it seemed like
she'd come down to Earth from a meteorite.
And she's never changed.
She always seems like she's just come down
from a meteorite.
You had no reservations
about going on tour?
I mean...
I think it probably sounded like... fun,
but I also had experienced Dylan,
and, you know, how much fun
that can be on any tour or not.
So, um...
But I think, know-- knowing
that it was gonna be a lot of people,
and I was gonna have my own family
with me...
It sounded exciting, you know.
I had my own freedom...
to sing and dance in a way
that I didn't do on my own stage.
Maybe there wasn't enough
for her to do
and she'd begin to go a little stir-crazy.
Started doing, uh...
boogaloo and hanging out with people
maybe she shouldn't be hanging out with,
and, um...
I don't know what happened.
Boy, sitting right next to Bob Dylan, man.
I got a light if you got a smoke.
One time,
I got all dressed up as Bob,
which I would do periodically.
I used to put these little beard markings
all over and have a mustache on.
And then I'd put his hat on
and some whiteface.
All the time you dress so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime...
I walked over with nobody really
paying attention,
and I'd be Bob.
And there was this table of,
like, food and catering and coffee,
and Louie was there, and I said...
"Handsome, give me some coffee."
people got me some coffee like that.
"D'you want this? D'you want this?
You want milk? Do you want sugar?"
And I just had a cigarette in my hand,
going like that,
and they treated me
the way they treat Bob.
"D'you want this? D'you want that?
What can we do?"
It was amazing.
It was amazing
until finally I said something like,
"Oh, for Christ sake, Louie."
And then he realized.
Oh, yeah, and I had a little wig on
with my hair coming out underneath it.
It's like the court of Henry VIII
or something, you know?
Who's Anne Boleyn, you know?
Which one is gonna get the ax, you know?
You know what I mean?
You know, there's that kind of dynamic.
And people are maneuvering to get closer,
and then there are the people
who are using you to maneuver.
David Mansfield wanted to sing a song
with me, uh...
Ugh. God.
That, uh, a drummer did.
I didn't see what the point of it all was.
- What does makeup do for you?
-I don't know.
Just hides, you know, the ugliness
a little bit.
Everyone, of course, you know,
wanted their shot,
wanted their time in the sun.
But we all know that, you know,
you have to...
give for the good of the show.
And it was such an honor to be there,
so that was no problem.
Who were the people
you were closest with on the tour?
I know this sounds funny,
but I felt close to Bob.
I just always felt close to him
from the moment I met him.
Um, I'm sure many people
that feel that way.
I know Mick Ronson told me, however,
when I said, um...
you know, "Don't you love Bob?"
and he said, "I don't know.
He's never spoken to me."
Um, and then once we were
in Massachusetts,
and people were about to arrive.
I don't know who they were,
but not our little group.
Bob and I were alone in the basement,
and Bob said, "Ronee, help."
And I said, "Help what?"
And-- And I felt so bad about that
afterwards because I didn't mean to be...
cruel or thoughtless to Bob,
but I always thought, you know,
I had to treat him
just like a regular person
if I were going to be friends with him.
But later on, I understood a little more
what he might be asking help for.
What was he asking help for?
I think the onslaught of strangers.
Hello, take my picture, please!
Hiya, man.
I was in the park
with another one of my modeling jobs.
Of course, the whole park is full
of everybody doing
whatever they're doing,
and suddenly I hear, "Hey, Kiss,"
and I'm just, of course, mortified.
And then I realize...
that it's him.
So, of course, I'm even more mortified.
I think I met her with her mother.
She was a nice girl.
She was so young, anyway, you know.
But she seemed old for her age.
Everybody wants
to be a movie star...
don't they?
But, you know, when you live
in the middle of nowhere,
when you tell somebody you wanna be
a movie star, they think you're...
She, uh, used to tell me,
uh, someday
she's going to be a famous actress.
Uh, okay.
A couple of days later he said, um...
"You know, hey...
how about if you just
come on the road with us?"
And I thought, "And do what?"
"You know, you could help out
with the costumes
and help out backstage and stuff."
- "Just Like a Woman."
-"Just Like a Woman"?
- Yeah!
-Do we know that song?
- I don't know, we could fake it.
It was one of the first shows.
-I was backstage.
- ...we'll try it.
Joan Baez had asked me to iron her shirt.
A second later I hear, "Hey... Sharon."
And there was this, um,
really decrepit old piano
shoved off to the side,
and Bob was kinda hunched over it.
And he gives me that-- that look.
He's like, "I wrote a song about you."
Nobody feels any pain
Tonight as I stand inside the rain
And then he gets to the line...
And she makes love just like a woman
But she breaks
Just like a little girl
I just broke out crying. You know?
Full-on tears.
I get-- I think T Bone's the one
who told me that the song was...
ten years old.
"Just Like a Woman."
- Yeah!
What's just like a woman?
What's just like a woman?
- Nothin' like a woman.
Do a protest song!
Yeah, here's the one for you.
Oh, sister, when I come
To lie in your arms
You should not treat me
Like a stranger
Our Father would not like
The way that you act
And you must realize the danger
Oh, sister, am I not a brother to you
And one deserving of affection?
And is our purpose not the same
On this earth
To love and follow His direction?
We grew up together
From the cradle to the grave
We died and were reborn
And then mysteriously saved
Oh, sister, when I come
To knock on your door
Don't turn away, you'll create sorrow
Time is an ocean
But it ends at the shore
You may not see me tomorrow
Bob Dylan for president!
President of what?
Was he in a special mode
of singing at that time?
Was he different
than you'd seen him before?
It was-- There was
a Rolling Thunder energy.
That was his invention, you know,
and all these people showed up.
So, yeah.
-What do you got, Larry?
- The tour was very open-ended,
so whatever city they went to,
if there was a local friend and musician,
there would be a slot for them
to come up and play.
For example, uh, in Connecticut,
Joni Mitchell...
came up, did a couple of songs,
and loved it so much that she stayed on
for the rest of the tour.
She just became part of the...
this experience.
How did you two end up on the road?
-I don't know--
-I came through Allen.
She came through Allen Ginsberg.
Um... I had finished a project and...
was, you know,
in a kind of a postnatal state
and wanted to come and see a concert,
and, uh, got sucked into it.
You know, just shelved everything that...
Everything else seemed, uh,
minorly important
compared to this, like, as an experience,
and an experiment in communal existence.
You know?
What do you think?
I think you've gotta come on the stage
right now.
Okay, I'm coming.
Some days, I'd see it
as this kind of allegorical thing
or as this group of pilgrims
on a kind of journey and quest.
Of course, you-- you know, you--
the deal is you find yourself back home,
but you have to take this whole journey.
And then when you open it up to, you know,
here you are in America,
and-- and all the things
that Bob seemed to care about
in terms of these other...
the-- the folk culture
is getting thrown in there.
And that's another weave.
This sort of...
This-- This American yearning for,
I don't know, redemption. be unbroken
By and by, Lord, by and by
There's a better...
Columbus didn't discover America.
There were people here already.
Even though they stole most everything
they could get their hands on.
Our land, children,
women, whatever, they took it.
Left us very poor people.
A lot of our people homeless
in our own country.
But the best things of all,
that they had no value,
was our way of life.
It's beautiful music
when that thunder rolls.
And that's the way I got my name.
I used to scream like a little eagle
is what they told me.
Even when I was a baby in diapers,
run right out in the storm.
Yeah, I love it.
And that lightning flash,
there's a lot of power in it, I tell you.
This tour was named after
Chief Rolling Thunder.
So, it made sense that we go
to the Tuscarora Indian Reservation and...
and play.
We're gonna let our guests get their food.
I was just told it's gonna be
cafeteria style.
Bob was seated
right across the table from me,
and he said,
"You remember Peter's song
about Ira Hayes?"
And even today,
there are things to write about...
for a cowboy, and I'm a cowboy.
An Indian, and I'm part Indian.
Or a human being.
This is a song about a human being,
who is also an Indian.
And if you don't remember his name,
I think you may after this song.
It's called Ira Hayes.
-Where would you want me to stand?
-Anywhere you want. It'll be all right.
Come gather 'round me, people
And a story I will tell
About Ira Hayes, an Indian
You should remember well
From the tribe of Pima Indians
A proud and a peaceful band
They farmed the Phoenix Valley
In the Arizona land
Down their ditches for a thousand years
The running water rushed
Till the white man
Stole the water rights
And the running water hushed
Now Ira's folks were hungry
And their farms grew crops of weeds
But when war came, Ira volunteered
And forgot the white man's greed
Now they started up Iwo Jima hill
With two hundred and fifty men
But only twenty-seven lived
To walk back down that hill again
And when the fight was over
And Old Glory raised
One of the men that held it high
Was the Indian Ira Hayes
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey-drinkin' Indian
Or the Marine that went to war
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey-drinkin' Indian
Or the Marine that went to war
This is a United States
diplomatic medal.
It has-- It has, uh...
an Indian and the first diplomatic team
of-- of the United States,
was given in Philadelphia
on July the 4th, 1776.
Also, been told that there's a possibility
that these could be the same beads,
these, uh, larger ones, that Peter Minuit
traded the--
our people for Manhattan Island.
- Will you accept this?
Thanks for everything.
What do you say, folks?
But somewhere along the line,
something has failed, and...
we hope that this country
can straighten out before too long,
because there are many things
that's going to happen to shape
not only this country but the world.
What you-- You guys still here?
Can I ask just one question?
William Zanzinger
Killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled
Round his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel
Society gath'rin'
And the cops were called in
And his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody
Down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger
For first-degree murder
Yes, and you who philosophize disgrace
And criticize all fear
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
Everything is forgiven
whenever I would see Bob sing.
It is so...
the charisma...
that he has, I've never seen anywhere,
before or since.
And the beauty of those songs...
I don't.
Jack Kerouac, uh, writes like ticker tape.
I used to see you write like ticker tape.
I used to feed you salad and red wine
while you wrote like ticker tape.
Yeah, I remember.
Brilliant stuff. William Zanzinger.
Overlooking the Pacific.
The wild Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, right?
-William Zanzinger.
-Where was that written?
"Hattie Carroll." One of the best songs
I think you ever wrote.
I think it's one of the best songs
you sing.
Thank you.
How come you take it on the stage now?
-'Cause you won't sing it.
Oh, Bob.
Sure, I will.
Just 'cause I screwed up the words.
-Well, it really...
-How do you like my dress?
...displeases me that you--
that you went off and got married
and-- and, uh...
You went off and got married first
and didn't tell me.
Yeah, but--
-You should have told me or something.
-But I married the woman I loved.
I know, that's true.
That's true.
And I married the man I thought I loved.
See, that's what thought
has to do with it.
Thought will fuck you up.
You're right. I agree with that.
See, it's heart, it's not-- it's not head.
Hattie Carroll was
A maid of the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old
And gave birth to ten children
She cleaned up the dishes
Hauled out the garbage
And never sat once
At the head of the table
She just cleaned up
All the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays
On a whole other level
Got killed by a blow
Lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air
And came down through the room
Doomed and determined
To destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing
To William Zanzinger
Yes, and you who philosophize disgrace
And criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
In the courtroom of honor
The judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal
And that the courts are on the level
That the strings in the books
Ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles
Get properly handled
Once that the cops
Have chased after and caught 'em
That the ladder of law
Has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person
Who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin'
That way without warnin'
And he spoke through his cloak
So deep and distinguished
Handed out strongly
For penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger
With a six-month sentence
Yes, and you who philosophize disgrace
And criticize all fear
Bury the rag deep in your face
Now is the time for your tears
But sleep won't come
The whole night through
Your cheatin' heart
Will tell on you
You'll walk the floor
And shout my name
The hours are creeping down.
-We got to get the story.
- I'm getting it!
I'm only up all fuckin' night
when the hours are creeping down.
Well, I mean,
you had two fuckin' weeks, Larry.
To do what?
- To get a story, instead of--
- I gave you a story, I gave you--
That had a lot
of fuckin' holes in it.
- Well, but you're a bureaucrat.
- Oh, bullshit.
-Where do you get that crap?
- You ask--
You are a bureaucrat.
You ask me fuckin'...
uh, Wall Street Journal questions.
- Bullshit.
- Those are the questions--
Everybody in the fuckin' country
wants to know--
You're asking me
music business questions, man.
That's part of it, isn't it?
But that's not
what the kids wanna read.
- How do you know?
- I know kids, man! I ask them.
...and call my name
Rolling Stone magazine
was interested in the economics,
how much are these people getting paid...
You know, why are they playing
bigger halls as the tour went on?
Those were the kind of questions
they were asking,
and I didn't give a shit about that.
I mean, what I was concerned with was,
you know, chronicling this...
this, uh, cultural event.
- Can I offer you a beer?
- Sure.
- There we go.
- Thank you.
There ain't too many Medicis
around these days,
and whether you're out on the road
with a lot of people,
or you're making a movie,
or any kind of creative endeavor
that takes resources,
you need money.
And you gotta go to somebody
who believes
that they're gonna get their money back
and maybe a little more.
So, yeah,
there's always this natural tension
between art and commerce.
Okay, how 'bout--
We gotta cut one of Jack's.
- He says to cut "Muleskinner."
- He wants to cut "Muleskinner."
All right. Okay.
I'll talk to Bob about this.
-All right, Allen's gonna do something?
-Five minutes. Very brief.
You got a whole different audience.
Did you look at those people?
They're not familiar with Dylan or Baez
or anybody else.
If you go up and spill poetry
for any length of time,
they're gonna be, you know, gone,
you know?
Make it two minutes, Allen.
Two minutes is plenty,
I'm telling you.
- What about more cuts?
-Two minutes.
- We're still cutting.
The show was originally
three hours.
Ginsberg, who appeared
in the show originally,
there was not enough time for him
to perform during the show,
so his section was cut.
He and Peter Orlovsky
became the baggage handlers.
We would put our bags outside the door,
and he would take them every day.
You're a fuckin' luggage handler?
-God, yeah, and I give massages sometimes.
-You're a poet!
I make myself useful around, on the, uh...
Uh... helping Chris with the newsletter
and putting out the newsletter.
-You do errands?
-Errands, right.
I can't believe this shit.
What kind of tour is this?
You're a fuckin' great poet, Peter.
I'm learning-- Been practicing banjo,
and I've been sitting every morning...
Uh, tomorrow morning, we're gonna sit
with Allen for one hour.
-To do what?
-After we wake up, sit and meditate.
At a party
at Gordon Lightfoot's house,
Toronto, Canada.
Joni Mitchell, she would go out
and do her new songs.
She wouldn't do any hits.
And the audience reaction
was a little sort of muted
for these new songs,
as it usually is when artists
try to do new songs.
And I remember,
she came off and she said,
"McGuinn, I don't know why
I'm so scared out there. I just don't..."
I said, "You're just doing new songs.
You ought to do something
that they recognize,
and then they'll, you know, loosen up."
She said, "No, no, I-- I can't do that.
I think that's a bad idea."
I admired her for her courage
to do the new stuff only.
Joni wrote this song
about this tour,
and on this tour, and for this tour.
Okay, D-minor now.
Yeah, some dissonance.
I had been loudly proclaiming
that my three favorite male songwriters
were Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen,
and Kinky Friedman.
So, Joni started interrogating me
backstage one day, saying,
"What do you mean, male?
Why do you make that distinction,
male songwriters?
I mean, what about my stuff?
I mean, don't you characterize my stuff,
like, you know,
in the same league as Bob
and Leonard Cohen?"
And we got into
this long discussion about,
well, the male versus female perspective,
and anima-animus,
and, you know, male-female dynamic,
and everything, you know.
But it became this long,
drawn-out confrontation,
and we bonded on that.
No regrets, Coyote
We just come from such different sets
Of circumstance
I'm up all night in the studios
And you're up early on your ranch
Brushing out a broodmare's tail
While the sun is ascending
And I'll just be getting home
With my reel-to-reel
There's no comprehending
Just how close
To the bone and the skin
And the eyes and the lips you can get
And still feel so alone
And still feel related
Like stations in a relay
You're not a hit-and-run driver
No, no
Racing away
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines
On the freeway
We saw a farmhouse burning down
In the middle of nowhere
In the middle of the night
And we rolled right past that tragedy
Till we came to some roadside lights
And a local band was playing
Locals were mincin'
And shakin' on the floor
The next thing I know
That Coyote's at my door
And he pins me in a corner
And he won't take no
He drags me out on the dance floor
And we're dancin' close and slow
He's got a woman at home
One for the night
And now he wants one for the day
Oh, why'd you have to get so drunk
And lead me on that way?
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines
And the freeway
Let's call Hopper, man.
Fuck yeah.
Let me change channels.
Why do you have that?
What are you on, channel 31?
- Uh, give me, uh...
- Okay.
I took my troubles
Down to Madame Rue
You know that gypsy
With the gold-capped tooth
She's got a pad
Down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
Sellin' little bottles
Of Love Potion Number Nine
What poetry is,
the natural object, where we are now,
is always adequate symbol,
so you don't have
to invent romantic myths,
diamond dancers on oceansides.
The scratching of the pen
or the noise in the back of the bar
is part of the music.
She bent down, turned around
And gave me a wink
She said, "I'm gonna mix it up
Right here in the sink"
It smelled like turpentine...
I've never had more faith in America
than I do today.
We have an America
that, in Bob Dylan's phrase,
is busy being born,
not busy dying.
I was very enamored
of Jimmy Carter.
He-- I thought he was a really soulful,
interesting guy,
and he liked me.
So, you know, I maintained
a relationship with him for a long time.
And he's the guy
who got me into the Rolling Thunder
concert that night.
Jimmy Carter.
Which is another story.
I was-- I was one of the youngest members
of the Congress.
And so I was, um...
Yeah, I mean,
I was torn between two generations there.
I was being pulled in both...
You know, you want to get anything done,
you have to get along
with people in the Congress.
You know, you don't get anything done
anymore because nobody wants to, but...
in my day you, you know,
you made an effort
to get along with these guys.
And most of them were considerably older
than I was.
And Dylan was considered the enemy,
really, by a lot of these guys.
I had grown up in this era where,
you know, you wanted to be an adult,
you wanted to drink a martini
with your dad, you know.
And now...
you know, "Never trust anybody over 30."
And I'm caught in the middle of this,
and I'm dealing in the Congress
with all these old guys, and...
You know, it's an interesting conundrum.
My own
interest in the criminal justice system
is very heartfelt.
One of the sources
for my understanding about
what's right and wrong in this society
is from a personal,
very close friend of mine
a great poet named Bob Dylan.
After listening to his records
about "The Ballad of Hattie Carroll"
and "Like a Rolling Stone,"
I've learned to appreciate the dynamism
of change in a modern society.
I grew up as a landowner's son,
but I don't think I ever realized
that the proper interrelationship
between the landowner
and those who worked on a farm
until I heard Dylan's record,
"I Ain't Gonna Work On Maggie's Farm
No More."
So I went to this meeting,
I believe it was in Atlanta.
Jimmy was there,
and he and I spoke about a few things.
And I can't remember exactly
what was left unsaid,
but I told him that I would call him back
that night,
and we were gonna finish
this conversation.
I had to get to the airport.
So I get on the flight,
I'm trying to get home.
And I got caught in a storm,
and we got diverted to Niagara Falls.
And I get stashed
in this cheesy little motel
that the airline put us up in.
I called Jimmy to say
I hadn't reached home,
but we could talk tomorrow,
and he said, "Where are you?"
And I said, "I'm in Niagara Falls."
And he says, "Well,
you just hit the jackpot because--
because Bob Dylan's
doing this Rolling Thunder concert
there tonight, and you can go."
He said, "I'll call him
and I'll get you in."
- Dylan!
Dylan, you're beautiful!
Uncle Sam is going to sing
one of his versions
of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Ladies and gentlemen...
I saw
the best minds of my generation
destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical...
This song about a human being
who is also an Indian.
- "Let America be America again."
- And if you don't remember...
"Let it be the dream it used to be."
No, I'm sorry, you-- you can't...
-Excuse me. You can't shoot in here.
- You need authorization.
You cannot shoot in here, sir.
- Why can't I shoot in here?
-He's running the camera.
What organization are you from?
Do you know
where you're going to?
I don't know. You'll have to ask him.
I'm sorry you had the hassle.
Uh, we didn't know you were coming.
We just happened to be
in the neighborhood.
-I heard it was you.
-I brought a friend if you don't mind.
No, I don't mind, but I'm sorry
you had any trouble downstairs.
Uh, Irwin, this is Bob.
-How are you?
- Good.
But if you're looking...
to help the guy, in effect,
you know, and your purpose is a social one
rather than a record one,
then I think it probably would make sense,
you know, to comment, you know, early.
You know what I'm saying?
I don't know what your motivations are.
You're kind of throwing it out
and I haven't given a lot of thought.
I think there's a Top 40 AM problem.
there may be a lot of black radio play,
for example, in the east.
- Or you make it AM play.
-So WWRL would--
It's a Bob Dylan statement,
that it is unique.
Whoever wants to play it can play it,
but the idea is he wants it
on the streets,
so people can do with it what they want.
But with those caveats,
your motivation is to try to do
what you can for the guy,
then it probably makes sense
to do it as quickly as possible.
-That's the motivation.
- Uh...
Pistol shots ring out
In a barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine
From the upper hall
She sees the bartender
In a pool of blood
Cries out, "My God
They killed them all"...
If they can get it out on the street
in a week that's, you know, that's good.
That's what they were talking about.
Rubin Carter
was an amazing boxer,
who had been framed
for a murder in New Jersey
and was languishing now
in Rahway State Prison.
Bob wrote this incredible song,
"Hurricane," and was very concerned
about getting him out.
I'd written songs about boxers before,
so that was nothing new, but, uh...
I hadn't really thought about,
uh, Hurricane...
because I didn't know about Hurricane.
It never really crossed my path.
I got the book. I read it.
Um, I, you know, made a mental note
that if I was coming east,
or if I was east, I would, uh, visit him.
We were there for, you know,
most of the day,
as far as I can remember.
Uh, we got there in the morning
and then left him when it was dark.
I realized the man's philosophy
and my philosophy were running
on the same road.
You know, and, uh,
you don't meet too many people like that,
you know, that you just know that kinda
on the same path, mentally, you know.
Dylan was different than other people
who came to see me.
I mean, other people would ask
the obvious questions.
"Rubin, are you guilty?"
You know, "Did you commit this crime?"
"Did you do that?" You know.
But Dylan wasn't asking that.
Not at all. It seemed
like he was searching for something else.
It was as if he was saying,
"Who are you, man?"
You know, "Are you what I see?"
I had a friend of mine send me his lyrics
to his songs,
and so I could read his lyrics,
so I can get an-- an idea
of who I'm talkin' to here, you know.
I found something
that was, uh, very interesting. Very...
That really connected us.
Both of us were... were performers
and crowd-pleasers.
You know, me with the vicious left hook,
you know, whose parents grew up
in the Jim Crow South,
and Dylan, uh, you know, with his... uh...
the troubadour.
So you got back, and you had
the germ of an idea to do a song?
- Yeah.
- Why?
I mean, you know,
is this a return to protest...
I mean...
You know,
is this, uh, "Hattie Carroll" revisited?
Um, there's an injustice
that has been done, you know.
And the fact is
that it can happen to anybody.
- Mm-hmm.
- You know?
-And we have to be confronted with that.
- So-- So--
This song is called "Hurricane."
If you got any political pull at all,
maybe you can help us get this man
out of jail,
back onto the streets.
Pistol shots ring out
In the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine
From the outer hall
She sees the bartender
In a pool of blood
Cries out, "My God,
They've killed 'em all!"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done
Put in a prison cell
But one time he coulda been
The champion of the world
Three bodies lyin' there
Does Patty see
And another man named Bello
Movin' mysteriously
"I didn't do it," he says
And he throws up his hands
"I was only robbin' the register
You understand
I saw them leave, though" he says
And he stops
"One of us had better
Call on the cops"
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene
With their red lights flashin'
In the hot New Jersey night
Meanwhile, far away
In another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends
Are drivin' around
Number one contender
For the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit
Was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over
To the side of the road
Just like the time before
And the time before that
In Paterson, that's the way things go
If you're black, you might as well
Not show up on the streets
'Less you want to draw the heat
Alfred Bello, he laid this rap
On the cops
"Me and Arthur Dexter Bradley
Were in here prowlin' around
We saw two men runnin' out of here
They looked like middleweights
Jumped into a white car
With out-of-state plates"
And Miss Patty Valentine
Just nodded her head
Cop said, "Wait a minute, boys
This one's not dead"
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify
The guilty men
Four in the mornin'
And they haul Rubin in
Took him to the hospital
And they brought him upstairs
The wounded man looks up
Through his one dyin' eye
Says, "Why'd you bring him in here for?
He ain't the guy!"
Yes, here's the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done
Put in a prison cell
But one time he coulda been
The champion of the world
Four months later
The ghettos are in flame
Rubin's in South America
Fightin' for his name
Arthur Dexter Bradley's
Still in the robbery game
And the cops are
Puttin' the screws to him
Lookin' for someone to blame
"Remember that murder
That happened in a bar?
Remember you said you saw
The getaway car?
You think you'd like to play ball
With the law?
Think it mighta been that fighter
That you saw runnin' that night?
Don't forget now, you're white"
Arthur Dexter Bradley said
"I'm really not sure"
Cops said
"A poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job
We're talkin' to your friend Bello
You don't wanna have to go back to jail
Be a nice fellow
You'll be doin' society a favor
That son of a bitch is brave
And gettin' braver
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder
On him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim"
All of Rubin's cards were marked
In advance
The trial was a pig-circus
He never had a chance
The judge made Rubin's witnesses
Drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched
He was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks
He was just a crazy nigger
No one doubted
That he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce
The gun
The DA said he was the one
Who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed
Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder one
Guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley, and they both lied
And the newspapers
They all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed
To live in a land
Where justice is a game
Now all the criminals
In their coats and their ties...
"Now all the criminals
in their coats and ties
are free to drink martinis and watch the--
and watch the sun rise."
"While Rubin sits like Buddha
in a ten-foot cell,
an innocent man in a living hell."
I thought that was great.
Because the ballad of the Hurricane...
uh, sent an indelible message
of justice gone awry,
you know what I mean?
So... So...
Dylan doing that
spread the word far and wide.
That's the story of the Hurricane
But it won't be over
Till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done
Put in a prison cell
But one time he coulda been
The champion of the world
Let me introduce you to everybody.
Many of the people who came
to help me were white people,
which must have surprised the authorities,
because the authorities claimed
that I committed this crime
because of my hatred for white people.
But here's all these white folks
coming to help this poor black man
who's in prison for something
that he didn't do,
something that he didn't do.
I mean, it-- it was great.
What happens if the courts
say no, where do you go from there?
Are you gonna go back into the courts
once again?
If the courts say no,
we just keep on fighting.
There's no such--
There's no such thing as no.
There's just yes,
and the road is straight ahead,
and we keep on going.
Bob always been searching.
Every time I see Bob now, and which
we don't see each other frequently,
but every time I see him, I ask Bob,
"Have you found it yet, Bob?"
And Bob says, "Yeah, I found it."
But I know he hasn't,
'cause he keeps searching.
He'd always say,
"Hey, what are you searching for today?"
I'd say, "What?"
He'd say, "I know you're a searcher.
What are you searching for?"
I'd say, uh, "Well, Hurricane,
I'm searching for the Holy Grail."
And he'd say, "What?"
I said, "I'm gonna search until I find it,
like Sir Galahad."
That's what I'm looking for.
- Five minutes. Five minutes.
- Do you think he's a genius?
Is Bob Dylan a genius?
I don't know.
That's a strange word.
I think the most brilliant thing he did
was putting a group of highly motivated
and ambitious people
on a train with no supervision,
and then let them become
the most extreme versions of themselves.
Is that how you'd describe
what happened?
I know that's what happened to me.
- Let's go. Let's go.
Let's go.
So, why did you come here
to speak to me?
Well, to try and, you know, stake my claim
and say, "Here I am, this is me.
I'm the one who made this.
You're using it.
This wouldn't exist without me.
I'm the filmmaker here."
December 4th, 1975, Montreal, Canada,
last scheduled concert
for the Rolling Thunder Revue.
We phantoms are assembled
at the end of the Rolling Thunder tour.
Roger? Let's go. Luther?
We started out
trying to recover America.
We discovered a certain amount of truth
about ourselves.
Old friends who thought
their loves had been lost
were able to get together
and, uh, face each other eye to eye
and sing over an electrical microphone
to please the desires
of myriad young yearners,
who had been seeking some kind
of union and community
and saw therein an image
of that community.
Was the tour a success?
The tour was a disaster,
it was a catastrophe.
- Why?
I told 'em we should be playing
to 20,000-seaters,
but instead, you know, they wanted
to play all these small joints.
Now you've got 16 to 18 people onstage,
and you got 15 people on the back line.
Buses and hotel rooms and catering,
and you're only playing to houses
with 3,000 seats,
so you're gonna hemorrhage money.
We were in the red
before we even got on the road.
No, it wasn't a success.
Not if you measure success
in terms of profit.
But it was a sense of adventure.
So, in many ways, yes,
it was very successful.
Let's go.
Time to go.
- Come on. We're on.
- Yeah, Rob, you look pretty.
What remains of that tour to this day?
Not one single thing.
Mama, wipe the blood off of my face
I can't see through it anymore
I need someone to talk to
And a new hiding place
I feel like I'm knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Mama, I can hear that thunder roll
Echoing down from God's distant shore
I can hear Him calling out for my soul
l feel I'm knocking on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
You who saw it all,
or saw flashes and fragments,
take from us some example,
try and get yourselves together,
clean up your act, find your community,
pick up on some kind of redemption
of your own consciousness,
become more mindful of your own friends,
your own work,
your own proper meditation,
your own proper art,
your own beauty.
Go out and make it for your own eternity.
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin'
On heaven's door
The water is wide
And I can't cross over
I've neither wings
That I could fly
Build me a boat
That can carry two
And both shall row
My love and I
There is a ship
And it sails on the sea
Loaded deep
As deep can be
But not as deep
As the love I'm in
And both shall row
My love and I
- Bob!
Hot chili peppers
In the blistering sun
Dust on my face and my cape
Me and Magdalena on the run
I think this time we shall escape
Sold my guitar to the baker's son
For a few crumbs and a place to hide
But I can get another one
And I'll play for Magdalena as we ride
No llores, mi querida
Dios nos vigila
Soon the horse will take us to Durango
Agrrame, mi vida
Soon the desert will be gone
Soon you will be dancing the fandango
Past the Aztec ruins
And the ghosts of our people
Hoofbeats like castanets on stone
At night, I dream of bells
In the village steeple
Then I see the bloody face of Ramon
Was it me that shot him down
In the cantina?
Was it my hand that held the gun?
Come let us fly, my Magdalena
The dogs are barking
And what's done is done
No llores, mi querida
Dios nos vigila
Soon the horse will take us to Durango
Agrrame, mi vida
Soon the desert will be gone
Soon you will be dancing the fandango
At the corrida, we'll sit in the shade
And watch the young torero stand alone
Drank tequila
Where our grandfathers stayed
When they rode with Villa into Torren
And the padre will recite
The prayers of old
In the little church this side of town
I'll wear new boots
And an earring of gold
You'll shine with diamonds
In your wedding gown
Was that the thunder that I heard?
My head is vibrating
I feel a sharp pain
Come sit by me, don't say a word
Oh, can it be that I am slain?
Quick, Magdalena, take my gun
Look up in the hills
That flash of light
Aim well, my little one
We may not make it through the night