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ICE Magazine

Pete Howard
Editor and Publisher
Santa Monica, California

wpe3D.jpg (6893 bytes)Mickey Jones was Bob Dylan’s drummer during the latter’s barnstorming 1966 world tour, which has been called by credible sources the most exciting and important tour in the history of rock music.  Therefore, the stories to be told from behind the scenes are plentiful and fascinating.  In 1966 World Tour: The Home Movies (Through the Camera of Bob Dylan’s Drummer Mickey Jones), Jones narrates for us his 8mm home movie snippets, comfortably sitting in a film editing studio.  The interviewer (producer Joel Gilbert) stays tactfully hidden off-camera, leaving the entire spotlight to Jones himself.  And the former drummer (now turned successful TV/movie actor) handles the job admirably; he’s articulate, insightful, self-deprecating, witty and, most importantly, has nobody to answer to, so he’s candid and forthright as well.  Where else are you going to hear a musician revealing his back-and-forth negotiations with Bob Dylan about what he got paid and what benefits were included… and in 1966, no less? 

There are plenty of fascinating home-movies scenes - concert footage and candid - and Jones’ personality and stories so enhance the experience that the 90 minutes fairly fly by.  The project is so unique in nature, and involves such an important chapter of rock history, that it would seem to be pretty much “must viewing” for any self-respecting music historian.   In fact, a big plus of Home Movies is that it reaches out beyond the Bob Dylan sphere and includes stories and Jones’ home movie clips of The Beatles, Johnny Rivers, Trini Lopez, Kenny Rogers, and Ann-Margret.  And you'll hear about Jones' and Dylan's encounter with Otis Redding.  It’s more than just a Dylan fan’s backstage fantasy trip; it breathes life as a pop culture document in general, from a period when the music world was exploding with fresh creativity – and naivety.

But there’s no question that Dylan fans will get the most out of The Home Movies, and there’s a great deal of new insights to learn from the man who pounded the skins while Dylan spat out classics like “One Too Many Mornings” and “Like a Rolling Stone” at the famous Royal Albert Hall concert – and at the infamous Manchester Free Trade Hall gig.  Indeed, Jones spends several minutes dissecting the “Judas!” incident, the origin of someone yelling “Play f---ing loud!” (his verdict will surprise you) and the booing that the band faced nightly for the entire tour. 

Jones’ observations are as valuable as the footage itself, and under it all, a musical bed of period Dylan songs is laid down capably by the Bob Dylan tribute band, Highway 61 Revisited.  (It would’ve been fruitless for the producers to attempt to obtain clearance of Dylan’s own performances.)  Jones’ narration is fed occasionally by excellent, erudite questions from the interviewer… there’s not a groaner or dumb question in the bunch (you don’t have to worry about hearing, “Did he really break his neck in a motorcycle accident at the end of the tour?”).

All in all, The Home Movies is a very worthwhile expenditure of time for any interested music fan.  It only makes you wish that more musicians from the ’50s and ’60s had shot home movies at the time… or that they would pull them out of their closets, if they did.  Lucky for us, Mickey Jones was a motion-picture shutterbug – at a time when every frame really mattered.


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