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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I see that it was yesterday, 35 years ago, that the very first edition of my first book, Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan, was published. That was the UK hardback 1st edition, published by Hart-Davis MacGibbon (part of the Granada Group) in London, with jacket design by Peter Bentley. They were in Upper James Street, Soho - as it happens, mere yards from the building in Golden Square where I had to go two weeks ago for the screening of I'm Not There.

And as to films and Bob Dylan, can anyone tell me more about these than is listed on the movie database? First, Paradise Cove, which I saw mention of on Expecting Rain yesterday but had never heard of before - a film by a director with the scarcely credible name Robert Clapsadle, apparently made in 1999 but being released only now - in which Bob Dylan plays the part of Alfred The Chauffeur, and in which Ben Gazzara and the great Karen Black take larger roles. (You can find a bit about it, but not much, at too.)

Dylan, of course, played the part of a chauffeur in the awful video for his Under The Red Sky single 'Unbelievable', and a sort of chauffeur in the one for 'Things Have Changed'.

And second, as I was looking down the vast movie-database list of film and TV titles Dylan has to his credit in one form or another (it lists every film that has used one of his tracks on its soundtrack, for a start) I came upon this tantalising item, for which he is credited as having provided "original music": a UK TV drama called The Man Without Papers, directed by Peter Duguid, written by Troy Kennedy-Martin and with a release date of June 9, 1965. I'm wondering what this was, and how it can have escaped the Dylanistas' radar for over 40 years...


Anonymous jimmy a stringbean said...

The Man Without Papers was in the Wednesday Play series. According to the BFI database: "A stateless young American, on the run from gangsters and police, tries to get papers from his old Korean war comrade, now working at the Home Office". Cast included James Maxwell and Geraldine McEwan. Music was written / played by Seeds, with "special lyrics by" Bob Dylan. Seems likely this is the same band as the one described here:

but if it is, there is no mention of a collaboration with Dylan. Nor is this mentioned on their official website.

One of the TV experts at the BFI might know more.

10:45 am  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Thank you for this very helpful information. I appreciate it, and will now ask the BFI (British Film Institute) for their added expertise.

Geraldine McEwan, eh? She'd have been 22 years and exactly one month old on the date of transmission... Last time I saw her she was playing the evil middle-aged nun in The Magdalene Sisters, one of the world's most depressing films.

3:49 pm  
Anonymous Tom said...

A couple of years have passed and I am still none the wiser. You can even watch the trailer for 'Paradise Cove'at youtube, but no mention of Dylan!

6:01 pm  
Anonymous tom said...

any more info?

7:15 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...


9:12 pm  

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