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BOB DYLAN: WORLD TOUR 1966 – THE HOME MOVIES(director/producer: Joel Gilbert/Mickey Jones; cinematographer: Mr. Marshall; editor: Joel Gilbert; music: Bob Dylan; cast: Bob Dylan and The Band; Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; Studioworks; 2003)
“Only for die hard Bob Dylan fans.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A blast of nostalgia, as drummer Mickey Jones presents his home movies taken from Bob Dylan’s 1966 world tour. A cheap Kodak 8mm camera was used. Dylan at the time was sitting on top of the world as the premiere social protest folk singer and acoustic guitarist, but hoped to change the face of music by introducing electric music. Dylan recruited a band called The Hawks to play backup in his venture onto new territory, with Ronnie Robertson being the most famous member of that group. All he needed was a drummer to complete the band, and transplanted Texan Mickey Jones now living in LA tells in full detail how Dylan got him to go on the tour. Prior to the Dylan gig Jones had been a drummer for Trini Lopez for 8 years and for 3 years worked for Johnny Rivers. After Dylan he worked with Kenny Rogers and The First Edition for 10 years.

Jones brought his home movie camera along with him, and was encouraged by the other performers to do his thing. Bob Dylan: World Tour 1966 — The Home Movies compiles Jones’ amateur footage of life on the road (mostly banal shots of busses, cars, airplanes, and castles) and off-stage with Dylan (we learn nada about the elusive singer) and with other crew members of the group (they all seemed like bores!). In addition, Jones who can talk up a storm, shares his memories of the controversial tour, and tells us things about his career before and after working with Dylan, and tells us Dylan is a real person and he’s still a big fan of his even though he switched over to being a television actor (Home Improvement) and movie actor (“Dead Bang” and “Sling Blade”). If you’re expecting a musical video, you’ll be disappointed. This one is a talkathon, with Joel Gilbert off-camera asking Jones a series of questions about his observations of the tour and on what Dylan’s music meant to him. The soundtrack for Jones’ silent footage comes from Dylan tribute band Highway 61 Revisited, with a singer who sounds like Dylan (no official Bob Dylan music is included in this presentation). This was as tedious as watching any family home movie in which you are not a member of and have to sit through all the shots of characters you could care less about mugging for the camera.

The audiences didn’t like the electric music and they were booed wherever they toured. Some of the spots they toured were Hawaii, Australia, Lebanon, Sweden, Denmark, England, France, Scotland and Ireland. Jones maintains that the audience “just didn’t get it,” and that in retrospect that was the greatest rock concert tour ever because it changed how “rock-‘n’-roll” was played forever. But the crowds didn’t want Dylan to make the transition from acoustic guitar to electric and registered their disapproval by loudly booing when Dylan put down his acoustic guitar after his opening numbers and played electric. The music critics in the newspaper referred to the band not by their name, but as The Band. The Hawks laughed off these derogatory comments and changed their name to The Band, as Jones gleefully explains how The Band would eventually move on to becoming legendary in the music world.

The concert at Manchester Free Trade Hall had the audience booing and stomping their feet and one heckler in the audience yelling out “Judas!” and someone else yelling out “Play F***ing Loud!” Jones reports that Dylan didn’t seem bothered, as he was certain they were making good music. But this concert is still alive in Jones’ thoughts, and seems to be a pivotal one on the tour as far as the booing.

This one is only for die hard Bob Dylan fans. It was the second documentary made about the tour, but the other one entitled Eat The Documentary, professionally shot by D. A. Pennebaker, was never released. The bootlegged concert at “Royal Albert Hall” was finally released as a CD, Live 1966, and interestingly enough kept in the boos. It was the only commercial release from the 1966 Bob Dylan World Tour until this DVD.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”