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1975 - 1981 Rolling Thunder and The Gospel Years

Wienerworld (2006)
King Kong has indigestion ...

Bob Dylan

As a music DVD this takes the biscuit. And as a DVD about Dylan, it's remarkable in it's complete absence of contribution from the main man, or so much as a snippet of his music.

This is the 'unauthorised' story of Dylan's Rolling Thunder and his late 1970s gospel years. And in a very sad sort of a way it's the story as researched by and told to Joel Gilbert of tribute band Highway 61 Revisited.

The first 25 minutes is an interview with Rubin Hurricane Carter the wrongly convicted boxer. Everyone knows the Dylan lyric 'this is the night of The Hurricane' and this is the story behind that song from the subject himself.

It puts the lyrics of into perspective and while that may be of interest to the anally retentive, it hardly makes for great TV.

And frankly, that's as good as it gets. From there it moves on to the story behind the making of the Desire album and Rolling Thunder Revue as told by many of the participants including Ramblin' Jack Elliot, violinist Scarlet Rivera, bassist Rob Stoner and Claudia Levy.

And from there it moves to another bunch of people you won't recognise (Bob's bible class teacher!) giving us the behind the scenes 'dirt' behind his gospel years.

It's remarkable - a tribute player talking to those who were there at the time telling us what they thought Bob was thinking. Yawn.

And the worst of it is that the damn thing lasts for a King Kong challenging 240 minutes. Those who say the latest Peter Jackson epic is too long should try watching this.

If you would be in the market for Bob's toenail clippings, then you'll probably already have your copy of this DVD on order. For the rest of us, the perfect cure for insomnia.


Review by Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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