Rolling Thunder Revue observations by Rob Stoner, Larry Sloman, Rod MacDonald and my father, Bob Sr
A Father's Day post for the men in my life. Mike Porco did something so noble and good in his lifetime that he is my all time hero. I forgive him for not coming around to birthday parties too much. He was busy at his club getting people together.
My grandfather made his film debut in Martin Scrorses's Rolling Thunder Re-Vue. Look again, you'll see him. Camera A resting on his shoulder like a pirate's parrot, it shows Bobby's face as he greeted his surrogate father on his birthday. BIG KISS on Mike's cheek. A second big kiss on Bob's cheek. Knocks his hat off. Sweet. Sweet!
And then he was gone. Out of picture. But the vibe at Folk City was thickly captured for a couple minutes immediately after. Patti Smith handed my grandfather a tiny horse as a gift. The birthday cake fell on the cabaret carpet.
''What a mess''
What's important is that the moment was used in the film. I'm proud and happy that Mr. Porco was recognized by Martin Scorsese and the look on Mr. Dylan's face was worth the price(s) of admission. The respect shown profusely by Bob Neuwirth is gushing out of the silver screen. Mike has that kind of energy to this day. I think I saw my grandfather lunge at another man in order to kiss him. But I'll have to watch the flick again to see for myself.
'The hug' was the image I was expecting to see when I caught up with the June 12 release. Lincoln Center is a walkable jaunt from my apartment through the Park and I bought two consecutive showings. The first show had much laughter by a large crowd. The second show was curiously quieter.
Like when Dylan says, 'Allen Ginsberg was a great dancer' or that he doesn't remember Von Dorp it's taken as fact because the audience trusts Bob implicitly.
I was hopeful as I watched the rest of the film. Would they come back to Folk City again towards the end, I asked. You'll have to see for yourself. I was not disappointed although I thought they would show Bob and Joan perform at Folk City after midnight of the birthday party. Maybe we heard a bit and don't quite know.
Another wonderful clip Martin Scorsese chose was the scene at the bar.
Do you like my dress?
Why'd you get married?!
Why'd you get married before me!?
Thinking will fuck you up.
THIS MYTH GOES TO ELEVEN
Are we watching touches of Spinal Tap or just an inside joke?
Some Twitterati are upset that there are 4 instances where Martin Scorsese takes poetic license.
Firstly, for those who write reviews of the Revue, ball the critique up and shove it high up. Do these people watch the discovery channel and critique the dusting methods of the archeologist in the pit with the bones? please
I call this clip observations of the birthday party. Before it was a Tour, it had to be-a Birthday Party for someone somewhere with witnesses processing the event. Cool. (That's what I have here for youtube view. I'm even posting my own observations directly to the Google cloud before I save these words. Take it leave it ball it up wait for it in the Positively Porco doc)
Secondly, the slight of hand Martin Scorsese tossed in did not diminish the stunning footage he chose to use. Kudos and many thanks for that.
Scorsese didn't choose any apparent long shots from the back of the hall. Any long shots were from the stage out. The rest of the time, he chose on-stage camera shots and front row shots from under Bob's hat.
Not much else for the songs. Seemingly, 3 or 4 songs were from the same show. Awesome. Count the hairs in the brow. Study.
Many shots punch one in the face from the screen. Mick Ronson sounds so FUCKING GOOD with these remasters. The camera kneels at his feet.
Stoner, Howie Wyeth, Mansfield et al all speak for themselves in the film. So tight it's hard to imagine what supergroup could be assembled with todays players. Untouchable tightness.
Yet the film put us all on the Stage. Right there in plain sight of other camera and sound men. Von DorFP was off that day.
Which also makes me think that it would be silly to ask Mike Porco, or Stoner or Ratso or Scarlet Rivera for a review of the movie. They were inside. I bet they rest easy seeing what 2:22 was used. It took 44 years. Nuff Said.
This clip is part-a something else I've made for the film on Gerdes I'm doing. Patience is a thing.
This small audio talk is about the preamble with a little street action with Dave Van Ronk thrown in. It ends with a note from the Dec 8, 1975 concert. Stoner, Ratso and my father continue on speaking in film in the 'big clip' to discuss the tour and Phil Ochs.
By the way, as far as my observations (not a review) go, I saw Phil Ochs, Grandpa, David Blue, 3rd Street, Highways, byways, friends like Ramblin Jack, Stoner Ratso, Eric Andersen and Scarlet. The emotion and energy in Bob's voice during this period was for all to see.