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Rare footage of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez singing in a hotel room, London 1965


Dipping back into the Far Out Magazine archives, one of our readers has sent over some rare footage of Bob Dylan hanging out in his hotel room with Joan Baez and spinning a few tales while singing a few songs. At the time of filming the footage, the Bob Dylan 1965 England Tour was in full swing, captivating hearts and minds all while being documented by filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker. He would later use the footage for his tour film Don’t Look Back.

1965 was a serious time of growth for Bob Dylan. The singer had achieved huge acclaim for his folk stylings and deeply rooted Americana but he was beginning to grow tired of the extra prestige. Dylan’s desire to move out of the genre would be a huge moment in his career and marked the moment the singer became an icon. But as with all icons, underneath it all, they are simple artists. The same can be said of Dylan and seen here in this clip.

At the time, Dylan was dating the Queen of Folk Joan Baez and, as the pair were inseparable during the tour, she accompanied him on the visit to England which included shows in Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester and, on the final stop, two nights in London. The capital had become the swinging heartbeat of Europe and represented a huge opportunity for Dylan and Baez to make a mark.

As well as providing an opportunity to further their acclaim, it was also a moment for Dylan and Baez to enjoy together, living out their bohemian fantasy across the rain-soaked streets of swinging London.

“I couldn’t stop looking at her, didn’t want to blink,” Dylan once wrote of Baez in his 2004 autobiography Chronicles: Volume One. “The sight of her made me sigh. All that and then there was the voice. A voice that drove out bad spirits… she sang in a voice straight to God… Nothing she did ​didn’t work.”

On the final night, Dylan and Baez rented a room in the now-iconic Savoy Hotel and invited a few friends over. With his acoustic guitar in tow, Dylan rolled into a rendition of his 1962 song ‘Let Me Die In My Footsteps’ as Baez looked on. Sadly, the two wouldn’t enjoy a relationship for too long, their romantic connections subsiding to friendship and then to frigid respect.

The footage confirms that, for a time, the pair were inseparable. The film, which many considered to be lost, was later discovered and included as part of the DVD bootleg Joan Baez Sings With Bob Dylan. See it, below.