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When Bob Dylan steps up on stage in London's Hyde Park today, his set list will include more than a few songs about the women he loved and lost. Now 78, his creative energy has for decades been sustained by his many affairs and their messy endings.
There have been so many lovers that it's often difficult to decipher which beauty he's singing about in each ballad of infatuation and betrayal. But what is undeniable is that more than a few songs have been inspired by the veteran folk singer Joan Baez, with whom he shared one of the most painful romances in music history. The pair have said little over the years about their relationship, although it has resurfaced in a new documentary about Dylan.
Thunder - Revue - Bob - Dylan - Story
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story, made by Martin Scorsese, focuses on a troubadour-style tour Dylan made across small-town America in 1975 with a motley company that included Baez, singer Joni Mitchell and 'beat poet' Allen Ginsberg.
The film, which mixes vintage footage with new interviews, has attracted praise and puzzlement for its bizarre merging of fact and fiction, introducing a Dylan-esque string of fake characters and fantasy occurrences.
Film - Tour - Dylan - Face - Paint
Partly the film is so weird because, on the dysfunctional tour it depicts, Dylan behaved bizarrely, wearing white face paint and eyeliner and staring manically as he and his friends cavorted. They chose to play tiny venues instead of the huge stadiums they could have filled.
Baez's presence on the tour might have complicated matters for Dylan, as he was going through a difficult separation from first wife Sara Lownds.
Years - Baez - Lownds - Playboy - Bunny
Ten years earlier he had left Baez for Lownds, a former Playboy bunny: and yet here was Baez not only present on the tour, but occasionally dressing up as him, complete with fake stubble, white face paint and flower-decorated...
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