Bob Dylan Was ‘Very Unpleasant’ and ‘Not so Interesting,’ Said a Collaborator


  • Bob Dylan and D.A. Pennebaker have been collaborators on a number of completely different initiatives.
  • Bob Dylan grew to become disagreeable to work with after an accident, in line with D.A. Pennebaker.
  • The movie didn’t air on ABC as they’d deliberate.
Bob Dylan | Bettmann/Contributor through Getty

After working with filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker on the movie Don’t Look Again, Bob Dylan determined to make one other film. Although he would nonetheless be the topic, Dylan wished to direct the movie with Pennebaker because the cinematographer. Almost instantly, Pennebaker confronted issues with the shoot. He stated he primarily bumped into a wall with Dylan after he bought into a motorbike accident. Pennebaker stated Dylan grew to become very tough to work with.

Bob Dylan and D.A. Pennebaker have been collaborators on the movie ‘Eat the Document’

In early 1966, Dylan watched Don’t Look Again, a documentary movie that adopted him on his 1965 tour of England. Instantly after viewing, he requested Pennebaker to make modifications to the movie. After one other viewing, although, he determined that Don’t Look Again was wonderful because it was. As an alternative, he wished to make a new movie the place he served because the director. His objective was to make a film that was “more real.”

The ensuing undertaking was Eat the Doc, a movie that adopted Dylan on his 1966 tour of Europe. Pennebaker stated that Dylan was taking a variety of medicine throughout the filming and that every one he might give attention to was getting onstage and performing.

“One night when I stayed up all night with him,” Pennebaker stated, per the e book The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait by Daniel Mark Epstein, “he was trying to instruct Robbie [Robertson, the lead guitarist], and Robbie wasn’t really accepting it but he was going along with it. Eventually that led to their severance or something. But at the time Dylan was only thinking about the performances and he really loved being on that stage, jumping around with that band.”

Bob Dylan grew to become extraordinarily disagreeable to work with, in line with his collaborator

In 1966, within the midst of capturing the documentary, Dylan bought into a motorbike accident. Accounts of the accident fluctuate — by some, he handled extreme accidents, and by others, he used it as an excuse to step again from the general public eye. Pennebaker visited Dylan a number of days after the accident to debate plans for the movie.

Pennebaker stated that bodily, Dylan appeared wonderful, however his character appeared modified.

“I never quite knew what happened,” he stated. “I found him very unpleasant and also not so interesting. It was like he was caught up in some struggle that he wasn’t doing very well in.”

Pennebaker puzzled if this got here from a lack of endurance on Dylan’s half.

“These guys, same with Norman Mailer, they don’t have the patience to stick with anything,” he stated. “They want it to happen like a stage performance and be done, and that’s it. The thing that he was pissed about was that he thought Robbie had taken out his guitar solos. And put Robbie’s in instead. And this was unfair. He was having some problem with Robbie. And this was reflected in everything he said to anybody. And I thought: that’s not very interesting.”

The movie was not a success

Initially, Dylan meant for the movie to air on ABC, however the community turned it down, saying that it will be incomprehensible to audiences. Even John Lennon, who was within the movie, stated he hadn’t seen it.

“I’ve never seen it but I’d love to see it,” he instructed Rolling Stone in 1971. “I was always so paranoid and Bob said ‘I want you to be in this film.’ He just wanted to me to be in the film. I thought why? What? He’s going to put me down; I went all through this terrible thing.”

Whereas some audiences have seen the movie, Pennebaker’s authentic film bought a a lot wider, and hotter, reception.

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