Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bob Dylan's birthday

"Allen came to sanctify us", D.A.Pennebaker and Bob Neuwirth joke (no, they're serious!) in this DVD commentary on the famous opening segment of Don't Look Back, Pennebaker's 1967 cinema verite documentary of Bob Dylan's first tour through England in 1965. Shot in a nondescript alley behind the Savoy Hotel in London, Subterranean Homesick Blues is the soundtrack. Allen is far left (that figures!) on the screen, conversing (conversing about what?) with the mostly-out-of-the-frame Neuwirth.

Allen and Dylan visit Kerouac's grave in Lowell in 1975 and muse upon mortality. "Is this what's going to happen to you?, Allen asks, gazing at a stone marked simply "Husband". "No", Bob reassures him, "I won't be in an unmarked grave".

More from The Rolling Thunder tour - A brief moment from Renaldo and Clara - "I'll teach you how to meditate?"

This isn't Allen in the next clip (it's David Cross, one of a string of actors now playing him in the movies) and it's not Dylan either (it's Cate Blanchett), but still...

This is the real Bob and Allen together. "I'm going down to Puerto Rico.."

Martin Scorcese's 2005 documentary No Direction Home can (but, probably, not for very much longer now) be seen in its entirety - here and here.
(Be reminded (as if you needed to be) - via a great filmmaker - of the greatness of Bob).
[2012 update - No Direction Home is, regrettably, no longer available via these links]

"Bob Dylan, the Beat Generation, and Allen Ginsberg's America", chapter two of Sean Wilentz's book Bob Dylan in America, also gives some particular context to the Dylan-Ginsberg relationship.

Bob's seventieth birthday! Three score and ten! The entire world's press have been - and will be - chiming in. For further news and views, consult, as we do, Expecting Rain, and its daily compendium

(and, not forgetting Bob Dylan dot com, too).

Here's a link to Rolling Stone's special issue and here's more fellow musicians and friends celebrating the man.

and we at the Allen Ginsberg Project, of course, add our own wildly enthusiastic voices - Congratulations! (Have yourself a very very) Happy Birthday Bob!

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