He had been most inspired by the songs of Woody Guthrie. “Woody had a sound and said something with his music.” He wanted to meet Woody and thank him for such inspiring songs. Woody had not been well and was being treated in a local hospital. Bob went and saw him and then wrote a “Song to Woody.”
Suddenly, following that visit, as if overnight, Bob Dylan became a household name. He was selling out theatres across America and England. He was referred to as a genius. It has been said that Bob went down to the crossroads and struck a deal with the devil, in order to arrive at such a place. He continued to evolve from the old acoustic folk singer that everyone loved, to a somewhat loud electric rock star. Columbia Records and many of his fans were not happy about this change.
Fans were booing and heckling him at concerts, yet they continued to buy tickets. Bobs electric song “Like a Rolling Stone” from the acclaimed album “Highway 61 Revisited” climbed to number 2 on the Billboard pop charts, second only to The Beatles “Help.”
The central theme to this documentary is a lesson that teaches us to remain true to ourselves no matter what others think. If we are to conform to the labels and beliefs of others, we are bound for failure. Bob knew this, and continues to follow his heart to this day.
Steve Allen of Billboard said: “Dylans poetry is born of a painful awareness of the tragedy that underlies the contemporary human condition.” This is as true in 2010 as it was in 1965. Martin Scorsese captured a moment in time with this project, and the moment he captured is the same.