In 1966 Bob Dylan began his first electric world tour. It was a landmark moment for Dylan and the history of rock music, and it bitterly divided his audience.
Backing Dylan on stage was an obscure group of Canadian musicians collectively known as The Hawks. In the months following the tour, they would join Dylan during a lengthy convalescence in New York's Catskill Mountains; when both parties re-emerged, Dylan had undergone an artistic transformation that sent ripples across American music, and The Hawks had become simply The Band, one of the most important recording groups of their generation.
This is the story of the relationship between Dylan and The Band, the legendary amateur recordings they made together in Woodstock, New York, their re-invention of American music and their continued albeit sporadic relationship during the 1970s.
The DVD features new interviews with Garth Hudson; Band producer John Simon; The Hawks' 66 tour drummer, Mickey Jones; the man who assembled and tutored the Hawks and from whom they took their name, Ronnie Hawkins; Dylan guitarist Charlie McCoy; Band biographer Barney Hoskyns; Basement Tapes archivist Sid Griffin, Isis magazine's Derek Barker and Rolling Stone's Anthony De Curtis.
It also features rare footage, archive interviews, seldom-seen photos and the music that changed the world, all at once making for the finest program on this element of Bob Dylan and The Band's respective and communal careers yet to emerge.
The DVD can be ordered here.
By the way, over at GuitarAficionado.com, a blogger is ranking 33 of Dylan's 34 studio albums (We're just skipping over Christmas in the Heart, probably a wise choice). Today we're up to No. 16, The Basement Tapes. Check it out right here.