Recordings from Bob Dylan’s scorched-earth 1966 tour of Europe, when the singer deep-sixed his folkie image and defiantly kicked out the jams, are among the holiest relics of Dylanology. But countless hours of footage captured by documentarian D.A. Pennebaker (who had shot the seminal Dylan doc Don’t Look Back the previous year) ended up vanishing into what Dylan would call ”the foggy ruins of time.” He had initially agreed to make Eat the Document as an hour-long special for ABC. But when network executives were presented with a rambling, impressionistic series of disjointed scenes — the most notorious showing a bleary-eyed, barely coherent Dylan sharing an awkward limo ride with a bemused John Lennon — they balked. ”Dylan didn’t know how to direct, so the movie just sort of tumbled along,” Pennebaker says. ”Buried in it were incredible performances. But it remained kind of an unfinished film.”
Posted December 3 2004 — 12:00 AM EST
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