Jonathan Richie BW.tif

First off, congrats to the Webster baseball team on becoming back to back state champions. It is truly an amazing accomplishment. For those that haven’t been to the stadium in Grand Chute, I highly suggest the trip.

It is where the minor league Wisconsin Timber Rattlers play their home games. I have been a number of times when it used to be Fox Cities Stadium, then it was Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium and now it has settled on Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.

Baseball is one of the few expertise I hold, the other is rock ‘n’ roll.

Martin Scorsese made a film about Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue Tour from 1975-76. It’s called a documentary and premiered on Netflix last week. My father is the biggest Bob Dylan fan I know. He explained it pretty succinctly for me.

“Y’know they only have so much footage from those days and they have got to find new ways to repackage it to sell it again.”

It makes sense Dylan is consistently putting out “previously unreleased” music like demos or live performances. He also has his own brand of whiskey and plays over 70 shows a year. Along with the film there is also a companion 14-disc boxset released by Columbia Records.

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese is the films official title. It is a mix of concert footage from the tour along with unused scenes from Dylan’s 1978 film Renaldo and Clara. This is the tour when Dylan painted his face white.

However, the big draw is the new interviews with Dylan and others like Sharon Stone, a filmmaker – Stefen von Dorp, a congressman - Rep. Jack Tanner and the tour’s promoter - Jim Gianopulos.

The kicker is all of the stories told by Stone, von Dorp, Rep. Tanner and Gianopulos are either fabricated or manufactured.

In the film, Stone attends the tour with her mother and while they are having problems with their tickets Dylan himself escorts them in. It is completely made up.

I found it to be a useless addition to the film, but I suppose it helps Scorsese stretch the production to his usual over two hours runtime.

Other fictional stories were backed up with doctored photos and recent narrations over old video.

After thinking about it though, it all makes sense. Dylan is a myth of an artist. He was seen as a prophet in the early 60s and has always been seen as a folk/rock enigma.

In the beginning of the film, Dylan is asked about the tour and he starts pontificating in his roundabout way where just words come out and he’s not saying anything. Then he stops and states, “Oh it’s just all clumsy BS.” Then he tells the interviewer he doesn’t remember anything about the Rolling Thunder Revue Tour.

That all led me to believe it is just another revenue stream for the aging music icon. Which is fine with me, the man is 78 and often sounds like his voice needs a tune up from a lifetime of cigarettes.