Down in the Flood, a new documentary chronicling the early collaborative years of Bob Dylan and the Band, debuts on September 25. Making a documentary on these musicians is not a new idea -- we've already seen Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home and The Last Waltz, to name just two -- but given the wealth of their history together, any new document is bound to be interesting.
As Consequence of Sound has it, Down in the Flood
(which takes its name from the 1967 Dylan song of the same name) begins
with Dylan and the Band's controversial 1966 tour and ends with the
Basement Tapes recording sessions. Slated to appear in the film are
archived and/or new interviews with the likes of the Band's Garth
Hudson, drummer Mickey Jones, original Band frontman Ronnie Hawkins,
session musician Charlie McCoy, and producer John Simon.
While Down in the Flood is being purported to look at a period of just a few years,
Dylan and the Band's history spans over three decades. Here is a breakdown
of some of their most momentous collaborations:
Summer 1965: Blues singer John Hammond recommends the Band (then
the Hawks) to Dylan after Dylan expresses interest in playing with a
full band for an upcoming tour.
September 1965: Dylan and the Hawks begin their first run of shows
together. They continue off and on until May 1966, though drummer Helm leaves the tour for three months after being heavily affected by
the criticism the touring received from a certain naysaying sect of Dylan's fans. (Dylan
played his first electric show just months before at Rhode Island's
Newport Folk Festival on July 25.)
January-February 1966: The Band's Rick Danko (a.k.a. Bill Lee) and Robbie Robertson join Dylan for the Blonde on Blonde sessions.
June-September 1967: The Dylan-Band Basement Tapes sessions (as
opposed to the Band-only sessions) take place in Woodstock, New York.
June 1975: As the double-LP set titled simply The Basement Tapes, 24 of the Basement Tapes songs are officially released after years of being bootlegged.
Thanksgiving 1975: Dylan plays five songs, including "Baby Let Me
Follow You Down" and "Forever Young," at the original Band incarnation's
final concert. The concert is released in April 1978 in the form of
Scorsese's The Last Waltz.
October 1992: The Band perform a cover of Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" at Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.
July 1999: The Band release a cover of Dylan's "One Too Many
Mornings" as their contribution to the full-length tribute Tangled Up in
Blues. It is the last song to be recorded by the Band.
Down in the Flood is currently available for preorder at MVD Entertainment Group's website. A trailer, featuring clips of interviews with the likes of
Jones and critics Anthony DeCurtis and Robert Christgau, is available