Thursday, July 21, 2005

Dylan 'Judas' concert to be screened

"The legendary moment when Bob Dylan was heckled with a cry of "Judas" at a 1966 concert is to be shown on film for the first time.

Footage of the incident - considered by many to be one of the defining events in rock history - has lain undiscovered for nearly 40 years.

Now it is to be broadcast in a BBC2 documentary of the singer made by Martin Scorsese for the channel's arts strand Arena.

The documentary, No Direction Home - Bob Dylan, also contains a rare interview with the famously private star, in which he discusses his childhood, his relationships and his music.

The "Judas" moment occurred on May 17, 1966 during a gig at Manchester's Free Trade Hall.

After playing the first half of the gig as an acoustic folk set, Dylan introduced his band and turned electric � to the outrage of some in the audience.

Dylan responded to the "Judas" cry with a blistering performance of Like A Rolling Stone.

Arena editor Anthony Wall described his astonishment at seeing the footage for the first time. "I was just gobsmacked. I thought they would never have captured that," he said.

"To see the moment when Judas is actually screamed at him is quite disconcerting."

He went on: "Every night Dylan would do the acoustic half of the set then bring on a group who later became The Band, and they were very, very loud - at that time in 1966 even the Beatles had relatively small amplifiers.

"50% of the audience every night jeered and booed. He was making the most revolutionary music and it was obviously a very turbulent time."

Several people claimed responsibility for the notorious remark.

The interview with Dylan, now 64, was condensed from a 10-hour discussion with his manager Jeff Rosen.

Remarkably, director Scorsese elected not to meet Dylan throughout the making of the documentary.

“He decided he would give himself a distance,” Wall said. “To people of a certain generation there is something overwhelming about Dylan as a phenomenon or presence. It’s a bit like meeting Nelson Mandela or something.”

The film, which also contains interviews with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, will go out on September 26 and 27.

It will be shown on the same day by the BBC and the public service broadcasting network PBS in the US."

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