No Direction Home, Dylan documentary by Martin Scorsese.

This afternoon I rewatched this great film, probably the best documentary on a musical figure I've ever seen. It is not only interesting from a historical perspective, but is also very entertaining and funny, particularly Part 2. Methamphetamine really seemed to enhance Bob's sense of humour. ;-)

The movie contains one segment I found particularly relevant in our current state of affairs. In December of 1963 the ACLU presented Dylan with their Tom Paine Award. He accepted it, but not without making the following statement:

"There's no black and white, no left and right to me anymore. There's only up and down, and down is very close to the ground. I'm trying to go up, without thinking about anything as trivial as politics."

Needless to say, the ACLU was not pleased. Dylan obviously had no desire to be the organization's poster boy, so I then wonder why he showed up at the awards ceremony, and accepted the "award"? IMO, Jackson Browne should have followed Dylan's lead; he hasn't been worth sh*t since he started making political statement albums.

Remember the scene in The Last Waltz in which Band bassist Rick Danko says " We're not trying to save the world, only improve the neighborhood"? Speaking of neighborhood, I am reminded of Dylan's song "Neighborhood Bully". Not explicitly political, but mighty close.

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@bdp24 " The songs you cite were all in his rear view mirror by the time he made that statement."

Not so. Chimes of Freedom (Another side) was written after JFK’s assassination. As were Bringing it All Back Home and Highway 61. Now that I think of it, how about John Wesley Harding, a friend to the poor?

Dylan did not become the ’Voice of His Generation’ by channelling Rock-a-Day Johnny, and singing,
Tell your Ma, tell your Pa, our loves is gonna grow.
Ooh-Wah, ooh-wah.

He had a conscience and used it for good. 
My Back Pages, Bob Dylan

Crimson flames tied through my ears, rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads using ideas as my maps
"We’ll meet on edges, soon, " said I, proud ’neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth, "rip down all hate, " I screamed
Lies that life is black and white spoke from my skull, I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

Girls’ faces formed the forward path from phony jealousy
To memorizing politics of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists, unthought of, though somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now
"using ideas as my maps"

Remembered now by few, and honoured by fewer still.
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I’ve been meaning to watch this doc.  I highly recommend the Quincy Jones documentary on Netflix.