Tuesday 1 September 2009

If Altamont Wasn't Crazy Enough For You...

VIDEO: ‘I Pity the Poor Immigrant.’ Bob Dylan & Joan Baez, Colorado, USA, 1976.
Via Vejatv.com (ignore advert at start).

The Guinness Book of Records entry for Most Bonkers Live Music Performance Ever is held by folk-rock royals Bob Dylan and Joan Baez for this demented spectacle from their Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975-76.

Here we see Dylan, Baez and their ragtag cohorts basically raid the dressing-up cupboard and stage a freewheelin’ bohemian shindig at what appears to be a small church fête.

The reveal comes during the solo while Baez is lost in an acid-dipped maracas dance. The camera pans round and — Oh snap! — they’ve only got THE ENTIRE FUCKING GLOBAL COUNTERCULTURE OF THE 60s AND 70s at the carnival too!

A spokesperson for Guinness advised the record has inevitably been contested by a number of subsequent performance-heavy glam rock acts, but has to-date remained unsmashed for the following reasons:
  • Captivating vocal harmonies and sexual chemistry between singers. 
  • A dangerous bricolage of ethnic, gypsy and piratical artefacts arranged to achieve effortless cool in a manner normally only possible at gas stations on road trips.
  • Dylan’s deft recovery following his poorly-judged “Ha ha!” ad-lib @03:05; a cringeworthy show-spoiler known in the trade as a ‘Does Anybody Remember Laughter? Moment.’
  • The overall who would you fuck first? conundrum, not to mention the what would the children be like? factor.

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