Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. There most likely will be a Bette Midler cameo.

‘Rolling Thunder Revue,’ Will Debut On Netflix In 2019
Cheryl A. Hoahing
January 10, 2019

Bette Midler and Bob Dylan 1975

Mister D: Now I am just going by memory here, and from what I remember, Bob Dylan did ask Bette Midler to join this historic tour which included a myriad of iconic singer-songwriter artists. However, Bette just felt like she didn’t fit in on this kind of tour. And if you think about it, she did have a point. Of course she could have dropped the glitz and glamour for denim, and could have altered her act with some tailor made songs, but it’s hard to know if fans of Dylan and his fellow artists would have accepted her. So she declined. In this article, it says she did show up for one of the gigs, but I never read anything about her performing.

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese is known for directing classic films such as Taxi DriverRaging Bull, and Goodfellas, but he also enjoys helming a fascinating documentary such as The Last WaltzGeorge Harrison: Living in the Material World, and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.

The Dylan doc, which was released in 2005, focused on the legendary star’s life and music from 1961 to 1966, including his transition from folk to rock music.

Now the award-winning director is examining another period of the musician’s career in the upcoming Netflix documentary Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.

According to Netflix, the film “captures the troubled spirit of America in 1975 and the joyous music that Dylan performed during the fall of that year. Part documentary, part concert film, part fever dream, Rolling Thunder is a one-of-a-kind experience,” reported Variety.

The “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour featured Dylan performing with a caravan of musicians, poets, and writers at theaters in the United States and Canada from the fall of 1975 until the spring of 1976. Participants included Joan Baez, Bob Neuwirth, Roger McGuinn, T Bone Burnett, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Ronee Blakley, Mick Ronson, Scarlet Rivera, Allen Ginsberg, and Sam Shepard. Additionally, the likes of Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr, Patti Smith, Kinky Friedman, and Dennis Hopper showed up for select gigs.

Since details about Scorsese’s film are being highly guarded, it is not currently known which of these artists will be featured in it, but it is likely that many of them will at least appear in concert footage.

Netflix did reveal to Variety that the “Like a Rolling Stone” singer was interviewed for the project, and one of the tour’s participants told the publication that many stars that took part in the jaunt have already recorded brand-new interviews for the film over the past few years with Jeff Rosen, Dylan’s longtime manager, doing the questioning.

Meanwhile, there are also rumors that a boxed set containing material Dylan recorded during the “Rolling Thunder Revue” time period will be coming out later this year from Sony Music as part of the company’s Bootleg Series. This set would be completely different from the 2002 two-disc album The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue, which was a straight-forward live concert record.

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese does not yet have an official release date.

In addition to the Dylan movie, Scorsese is also working on another film for Netflix, The Irishman. The biographical drama is based on the 2004 nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt in which alleged Bufalino crime family hitman Frank Sheeran admits to killing Jimmy Hoffa. Robert De Niro portrays Sheeran, and Al Pacino plays Hoffa. Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, and Ray Romano also star in the movie, which wrapped filming in 2018 and is expected to come out this year.

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One thought on “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. There most likely will be a Bette Midler cameo.

  1. I remember this, because the tour made news about how spontaneous and ragtag it was. Joan Baez’s “Diamonds & Rust” had been released, and the rock press was all over their rekindled “romance.” Their playful duets were a highlight. The tour was a delightful and successful mess, but did not continue beyond the limited East Coast run. As far as Bette goes, I remember reading that she showed up for a performance (“Even Bette showed up!”). I don’t have a clue if she performed.

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