On the heels of the Super Bowl car commercial, it’s important to be reminded that Bob Dylan doesn’t care what anyone thinks, now and forever. There’s perhaps no greater evidence of this than his documentary, “Eat the Document.”
For those unfamiliar with it, the film chronicles Dylan’s 1966 tour with the Band. Edited by Dylan despite having no prior film experience, it was never released because ABC deemed it incomprehensible for a mainstream audience. In ABC’s defense, it’s clear he was trying to get across something about the disorienting experience of a rock tour at his level, but really, it’s plenty comprehensible.
Highlights: Robbie Robertson’s suit at 21:59, Johnny Cash and Dylan duetting on “I Still Miss Someone” at 23:21, Richie Manuel trying to trade his jacket and a can opener for a pretty lady at 39:56, and John Lennon & Dylan on some potent substances in the backseat of a car at 45:32.
At the peak of my Dylan fandom about 15 years ago, I wanted to see this so badly that I paid $25 for a VHS copy from some guy on ebay. It came with a bunch of bonus footage of that Lennon scene, which you can see here.