|Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese|
|Directed by||Martin Scorsese|
|Produced by||Margaret Bodde|
|Edited by||Damian Rodriguez|
Grey Water Park Productions
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (or Conjuring the Rolling Thunder Re-vue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, according to the main title graphic) is a 2019 American pseudo-documentary film, composed of both fictional and non-fictional material, covering Bob Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour. Directed by Martin Scorsese, it is the director's second film on Bob Dylan, following 2005's No Direction Home . The bulk of Rolling Thunder Revue is compiled of outtakes from Dylan's 1978 film Renaldo and Clara , which was filmed in conjunction with the tour.
The documentary features contemporary interviews with prominent figures of the tour such as Dylan, Joan Baez, Sam Shepard, Ronee Blakley, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Roger McGuinn, Ronnie Hawkins, Larry Sloman, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, as well as archival interviews with Scarlet Rivera and Allen Ginsberg. It also features fictional interviews of actors portraying characters who were not actually involved in the tour, including Martin Von Haselberg portraying the fictional filmmaker Stefan Van Dorp, Sharon Stone playing a fictionalized version of herself, and Michael Murphy reprising his role as Jack Tanner from the 1988 miniseries Tanner '88 . Rolling Thunder Revue does not differentiate between the fictional and factual accounts, and even Dylan himself refers to the fictional characters in his interviews, leaving the audience to guess which parts of the film are authentic and which are fabricated.
The film opens with a modern-day Dylan admitting he does not remember anything about the Rolling Thunder Revue, saying it happened so long ago "I wasn't even born!" He finds it impossible to get to the "core" of what it was all about because "it's about nothing."
As the bicentennial of the country fast approaches, and with the spirit of America particularly bleak after the country's unceremonious exit from Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, Bob Dylan decides to gather together a group of his friends from the Greenwich Village coffee houses and go on an adventurous tour across New England and parts of Canada. Dubbed the "Rolling Thunder Revue", the tour is documented by European filmmaker Stefan Van Dorp who seeks to expose the hedonistic attitude of the people surrounding Dylan and juxtapose it against the nihilistic mood of middle-class America.
Along the way, Larry 'Ratso' Sloman, a reporter sent by Rolling Stone to write about the tour, tries to ingratiate himself into Dylan's inner circle. A young Sharon Stone is put in charge of costumes after being taken to a show by her mother and becomes convinced the song "Just Like a Woman" was written for her. Dylan starts to wear Whiteface makeup onstage after violinist Scarlet Rivera takes him to see a Kiss concert. Allen Ginsberg tries to refashion himself as a singer/songwriter as the beat poet movement starts falling out of popular relevance. Joan Baez attempts to rekindle her romance with Dylan by singing with him onstage and dressing up in his stage outfit; Dylan visits a Tuscarora Reservation in New York and performs a rendition of "The Ballad of Ira Hayes"; Joni Mitchell joins the tour midway thru and is inspired to write the song "Coyote" about the experience.
During the tour, we also glimpse Dylan's humanitarian side when he takes time to pay an unscheduled visit to record company executives to insure rapid release of his new song "Hurricane", the musician's contribution to efforts to exonerate Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, a celebrated boxer wrongfully convicted of murder. Documentary footage of the meeting is followed by a scene in which actor Michael Murphy, in his signature role as U.S. representative Jack Tanner (in the Robert Altman film "Tanner 88"), delivers a tall tale that credits the fictional Tanner with persuading President Jimmie Carter to intervene on the boxer's behalf. Despite this fictional interlude, as "Rolling Thunder Re-vue" shows, the campaign by Dylan and others would eventually lead to the retrial and release of Rubin Carter.
The tour comes to a stop in Montreal. Van Dorp states the only reason he agreed to be interviewed for this documentary was to stake his claim over the footage from the tour which makes up the bulk of the film. Ginsberg encourages the viewer to follow the example of the performers they've witnessed and go on their own journeys of self-discovery. Bob Dylan continues to tour after the Rolling Thunder Revue, playing over 3,000 shows over the course of 40 years.
The interviewees in the film are given character names in the end credits. Some of the people interviewed were part of the Rolling Thunder Revue, some were not, and some are entirely fictional.
The project came from Dylan's manager, Jeff Rosen, who approached Scorsese with some of the tour's footage shortly after the completion of No Direction Home .The director instantly agreed to do it but was busy with other films at the time. The bulk of the work was done while he was finishing Silence . Once again, Rosen took charge of the interviews and gave them to Scorsese.
The film was released by Netflix on June 12, 2019.Columbia Records also released a box-set album entitled Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings to correspond with the release.
Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese received director-approved special edition DVD and Blu-ray releases by The Criterion Collection on January 19, 2021.
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times says Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese is “at once a celebration and a rescue mission (it draws heavily on restored film footage), as well as another chapter in Scorsese’s decades-long chronicling of Dylan.”It was also picked as one the "Best Films of 2019 (so far)", by The New York Times.
Scarlet Rivera, born Donna Shea, is an American violinist. She is best known for her work with Bob Dylan, in particular on his 1976 album Desire and as part of the Rolling Thunder Revue.
Desire is the seventeenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 5, 1976 by Columbia Records.
Renaldo and Clara is a 1978 American film directed by Bob Dylan and starring Bob Dylan, Sara Dylan and Joan Baez. Written by Dylan and Sam Shepard, the film incorporates three distinct film genres: concert footage, documentary interviews, and dramatic fictional vignettes reflective of Dylan's song lyrics and life.
Hard Rain is a live album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on September 13, 1976 by Columbia Records. The album was recorded during the second leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue.
Eat the Document is a documentary of Bob Dylan's 1966 tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland with the Hawks. The cover photo was taken on the train line between Belfast and Dublin, near Balbriggan. It was shot under Dylan's direction by D. A. Pennebaker, whose groundbreaking documentary Dont Look Back [sic] chronicled Dylan's 1965 British tour. The film was originally commissioned for the ABC television series ABC Stage 67.
The Rolling Thunder Revue was a 1975–1976 concert tour by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan with numerous musicians and previous collaborators. The purpose of the tour was to allow Dylan, who had now become a major recording artist and concert performer, to play in smaller auditoriums in less populated cities where he could be more intimate with his audiences.
"Coyote" is the opening song from Joni Mitchell's 1976 album Hejira and also the album's first single.
"A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" is a song written by Bob Dylan in the summer of 1962 and recorded later that year for his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963). Its lyrical structure is modeled after the question and answer form of traditional ballads such as "Lord Randall".
The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue is a live album by Bob Dylan released by Columbia Records in 2002. The third installment in the ongoing Bob Dylan Bootleg Series on Legacy Records, it documents the Rolling Thunder Revue led by Dylan prior to the release of the album Desire. Until the release of this album, the only official live documentation of the Rolling Thunder Revue was Hard Rain, recorded during the second leg of the tour.
The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack is a compilation album by Bob Dylan. The fifth installment in the ongoing Bob Dylan Bootleg Series, it was released in 2005 in conjunction with the Martin Scorsese PBS television documentary on Dylan, No Direction Home, and was compiled with Scorsese's input. It features mostly previously unreleased material from Dylan's formative years to his rise as an international figure, spanning 1959 to his legendary 1966 world tour.
Rolling Thunder may refer to:
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan is a 2005 documentary film by Martin Scorsese that traces the life of Bob Dylan, and his impact on 20th-century American popular music and culture. The film focuses on the period between Dylan's arrival in New York in January 1961 and his "retirement" from touring following his motorcycle accident in July 1966. This period encapsulates Dylan's rise to fame as a folk singer and songwriter, and the controversy surrounding his move to a rock style of music. The title is taken from Dylan's 1965 single "Like a Rolling Stone".
Sara Dylan is an American former actress and model who was the first wife of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. In 1959, Noznisky was wed to magazine photographer Hans Lownds, during which time she was known as Sara Lownds.
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defying pop music conventions and appealing to the burgeoning counterculture.
"With God on Our Side" is a song by Bob Dylan, released as the third track on his 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin'. Dylan first performed the song during his debut at The Town Hall in New York City on April 12, 1963.
Howard Pyle Wyeth, also known as Howie Wyeth, was an American drummer and pianist. Wyeth is remembered for work with the saxophonist James Moody, the rockabilly singer Robert Gordon, the electric guitarist Link Wray, the rhythm and blues singer Don Covay, and the folk singer Christine Lavin. Best known as a drummer for Bob Dylan, he was a member of the Wyeth family of American artists.
"Simple Twist of Fate", a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, was recorded on September 19, 1974, and was released in 1975 on his 15th studio album Blood on the Tracks.
Larry "Ratso" Sloman is a New York-based author.
"Sara" is a song from Bob Dylan's 1976 album Desire. It is the closing song on the album. Unlike many of the songs on the album, which were written by Dylan and Jacques Levy, "Sara" was written solely by Dylan, as an autobiographical account of his estrangement from then-wife Sara Dylan. It was recorded on July 31, 1975.
Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings is a box set of 1975 live recordings by Bob Dylan, released on June 7, 2019. For this tour, Dylan assembled a loose collective of a backing band called Guam and played across North America for several dozen shows. The tie-in Netflix documentary film Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese was released the following week. A similar compilation was released in 2002 entitled Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue, as part of Dylan's ongoing Bootleg Series. That compilation was re-released on vinyl as a companion to the later release.