Don’t Look Back (1965 Tour Deluxe Edition)

When Dylan headed out on his 1965 tour of England, he was ascending a dizzying peak of creativity. He hadn't yet gone electric on stage, and was a year from being famously branded a Judas. He had a physical beauty and musical irresistibility that brings to mind the Hindu Lord Krishna (whose own flute stylings drove cowherd girls crazy). Dylan was untouchable.

D.A. Pennebaker's feature-length doc of that tour, Don't Look Back, is, of course, one of the all-time great pieces of rock 'n' roll filmmaking. Part of that is Dylan's allure, and part is Pennebaker's formidable filmmaking skills. He weaves black-and-white film footage of concert appearances, press conferences, and chain-smoking car rides to create as intimate a portrait of Zimmy as we're ever going to see. One minute he's jovial and next he's jittery and cranky. A colorful cast of characters surrounded him, including gal-pal Joan Baez, manager Albert Grossman, Allen Ginsberg and chief competition Donovan. He interacts with increasingly frantic fans. Through it all, you see Dylan begin to crack under a pressure no human could handle. It's a great portrait of fame's downside.

The new '65 Tour Deluxe Edition comes with a new hour-long collection of outtakes from the original documentary which are every bit as enthralling as the original film. There's also a book with a transcript of the entire doc and a little flipbook of the cue-card video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues." It's a gorgeous package — heaven for the amateur Dylanologist.

Brian J. Bowe writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].

About The Author

Brian J. Bowe

Brian J. Bowe is a freelance journalist and a journalism professor at Western Washington University. He was the recipient of a 2017 research fellowship from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to conduct archival research on the MC5.
Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.