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ISIS Magazine

Derek Barker
Editor and Publisher
Bedford, England

wpe3A.jpg (6301 bytes)The man who shot the Home Movies (Dylan's 1966 world tour drummer), musician turned actor Mickey Jones, is currently on location in Atlanta, Georgia, making a film for Paramount Pictures. The film, 'The Fighting Temptations,' directed by Jonathon Lynn ('My Cousin Vinny' and 'The Whole Nine Yards'), and staring Cuba Gooding Jr., will keep Mickey in Atlanta from July through to November 2002. The wonders of contemporary telecommunications, however, enabled 'The Home Movies' co-producers Joel Gilbert and Mickey Jones, along with ISIS editor Derek Barker to link up and hold a three-way conversation.

The interview took place on August 16, 2002. The time was 3pm in the sleepy town of Bedworth, in central England; 10am (Eastern Time) in Atlanta, Georgia, and for LA resident Joel Gilbert, it was a rather unearthly 7am.

Derek B: Mickey, Joel, it's nice to talk to you both again, can you tell our readers what this video/DVD project is all about.

Mickey Jones: Sure Derek, you were there when I showed about 20 or 25-minutes of my home movies in Manchester, England, but in reality that was just some stuff that I had edited down from what amounted to close to two hours of footage. When Joel and I hooked up, I sat in with his band 'Highway 61 Revisited' on drums, at one of his gigs, I showed him that 25-minute edit, and he said "do you have any more of this stuff!?" I said "yes, but it doesn't look all that great," because it's old 8mm stuff and there's no sound. Except, of course, there is footage of Bob there, which no one has ever seen before.

So, Joel took all this 8mm footage to a place with a Rank Centel machine and we digitised all of the footage, and my god Derek, it looks like it was shot yesterday; it's pristine. I think you'll be shocked. So, using my Home Movie footage as a focal point we've made a 91-minute documentary about the 1966 world tour. We have also used a number of still photographs in the movie. To that end, I called up Barry Feinstein and he very graciously gave us use of a number of his photos, and we've used one of those on the cover.

Joel Gilbert: We're using about fifteen of his pictures and they are exclusive to us, no one has ever seen them before, plus a few that were published.

Mickey Jones: Yeah, not too many of his pictures have been seen, though some of his stuff was used in the booklet to the official Sony CD release of the 1966 concert.

When we got to the Manchester section in the movie I wanted it to be the real deal. I wanted all those pictures to actually be from Manchester Free Trade Hall, from the Judas concert, and not just some photos we'd found. So everything shown in that section of the movie is truly from Manchester.

Joel Gilbert: As well as Barry Feinstein, we also have permission from Mark Makin to use his photographs from Manchester.

Derek B: These are the photographs that were used in CP Lee's 'Like The Night' book, which were originally attributed to Paul Kelly?

Mickey Jones: Well, allegedly, those are not Paul Kelly's photographs. Kelly might have taken one or two pictures, I'm not sure, but Makin's pictures were used in CPs book, which was a problem, because CP used them in good faith. He had no idea that Kelly didn't own the rights to them.

Derek B: There has even been some talk that the photos might not be from Manchester!

Joel Gilbert: Derek, Mickey and I have both talked with Mark Makin and he told us the story about those pictures and I firmly believe that he's accurate about the venue, because he lived near Manchester and that was the only concert he went to on the tour. Therefore, it's just not possible that he could have confused them with anywhere else. He was simply a fifteen-year-old kid who went to a local concert.

Mickey Jones: That's right. Anyway, we go into depth about play f'***ing loud and all the heckling at that concert. We pretty much cover the entire tour from Hawaii, over to Australia and on to Sweden and Great Britain. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff. There's even footage where I'm shooting Pennebaker while he's shooting Dylan!

I have a gut felling that in the future 'Eat The Document' will be released commercially. And if so, '1966 World Tour, The Home Movies' would be the perfect companion to it. In fact, the release of our movie might just help things along. That was an historical tour. In 1966, when we took those electric instruments out of their cases it changed the face of rock and roll music in America.

Dylan originally made his 1966 movie for ABC television, but when Bob saw the edited film, he said "no," and he set about editing his own version of a 'documentary.' And the end result was so different from any other documentary… because they said "documentaries suck," we're going to call this 'Eat The Document.' That's what Howard Alk told me.

Derek B: Yeah, Pennebaker told me the same thing. He said it was a "nondocumentary." How much footage do you have of Dylan in your movie?

Joel Gilbert: There is excellent live close-up footage of Bob from three or four venues, both acoustic and electric. There is unique unreleased concert footage.

Mickey Jones: I actually went down and sat next to Bob Neuwirth during the acoustic set and filmed that stuff. That was in Australia. I think I gave my camera to Bob Neuwirth and he shot some electric footage, and I shot some footage of Bob on stage from inside the TV truck. Bob is on like six different screens inside the truck.

I have tried and tried to get hold of the footage from that TV show. John Lattanzio has done a search and has been in touch with the TV station in Australia and there is no record of the footage being saved at all.

I thought the TV show was in Brisbane, but I've heard people say it's from Melbourne. (The three songs, all from the electric set, which were broadcast on Australasian television in January 1967, are almost certainly from the Melbourne concert. Ed). Then there is some footage is from Konsert-huset in Stockholm, and I know we have a lot of footage from England.

Joel Gilbert: We think the English footage is either Leicester or Birmingham. Maybe you can help us place that footage sometime Derek?

Mickey Jones: Howard Alk, Bob Neuwirth, Victor Maymudes, Albert Grossman and of course all of the band, are captured on the home movie. Joel edited all the footage chronological so that people will be able to feel like they are on the tour with us.

Joel Gilbert: Oh Yeah, there's a lot of background stuff in there. I guess there is about an hour of the movie where I'm asking Mickey every conceivable question about the tour; the personalities, the relationships between the people on the tour, and towards the end of the movie Mickey gives a very passionate retrospective of Dylan's career since the '66 tour.

Mickey Jones: The glass master is being made now, as we speak, so I guess we should have product available early September. Is that about right Joel?

Joel Gilbert: Even earlier, probably end of August. Both DVD and VHS, in NTSC and in PAL. The film is loaded with photographs; the Feinstein and Makin stuff, plus some photographs that Mickey took. Also there will be some bonus photographs on the DVD.

Derek B: I never read all the Dylan news group stuff. I can honestly say that I haven't looked at a single news group posting for at least seven years; because when I used to check the postings some of them were so way of beam, so inaccurate, it was untrue! I didn't know if I should laugh or post corrections. Anyway, in the end, I realised that if I started correcting all that stuff it would take forever; so I simply stopped reading them. But I had to laugh recently, because a friend emailed and asked if I knew anything about a Mickey Jones Home Movie project that had been on an Internet web page for a couple of days, but had now then been taken down. This was purely coincidental; the guy didn't know that I had just been talking to you about it. Anyway, apparently, because the page advertising the product had been taken down from the net, the talk in the news group was that Dylan's legal people had forced you to pull it! I emailed back and said, "I don't think so! I was just talking to Joel yesterday!"

Mickey Jones: Wow.

Joel Gilbert: Well Derek, it's good to have a magazine like yours that has a sensible approach to these things and can report what really happens.

As you know, if want to do a recording on CD or record of Bob's material, like my band Highway 61 Revisited does, you don't need permission, you just have to pay royalties. However, for any kind of film or video work, you need to get a synchronization license and also to pay royalties. But without the sync license you can't release the product.

Problem was, Jeff Rosen was out of town for six or eight weeks. He was with Dylan in LA, on the set of 'Masked And Anonymous.' And we decided that we wanted to get everything signed up properly before revealing it to the world.

The only reason the web site was up, was because I was programming the credit card ordering system and I needed to try it 'live.' I think Mickey told one person and the next thing we knew the grapevine was working overtime and people actually started ordering the product! Cheques started arriving in the post!

Mickey Jones: The site was up there on test for three days and we had like 1,700 hits! But as for permission, this project has the complete blessing of Bob's manager Jeff Rosen, and we have all the licenses so that we can use ten of Bob's songs in the movie. There was never any problem with Dylan's people! Jeff Rosen wanted to make sure that Bob's likeness was right and that there was nothing negative in the movie. But we assured him that we were only interested in making a very positive movie.

Derek B: Do you have a date for the LA premier?   

Mickey Jones: Because of my commitments on 'The Fighting Temptations' I don't want to commit just yet.   Paramount Pictures own me until the first week of November, but we will premier the Home Movie in LA before Christmas.

The thought we have, is that I'll introduce the movie and after the screening we'll recreate the May 17, 1966 concert, with Joel's band Highway 61 Revisited and with me sitting in on drums. It would be wonderful to take that show on to the road, to bring that whole thing to Australia and Great Britain. If we could make that viable, I'd love to do it…


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