John Lennon is filmed with Bob Dylan

Reel one:

Bob Dylan: (peering out of a rainy window as the great car rumbles down the road) There’s the mighty Thames. That’s what held Hitler back, the mighty Thames. Winston Churchill said that. Tom, ain’t that right? Ain’t that right, Tom? Tom, I think I’m gonna turn you into Tyrone Power.

John Lennon: Say that again, will you Bob?

Dylan: Tom, I think I’m gonna turn you into Ronald Coleman.

Lennon: That’s better. That’s very much better.

Dylan: Reginald Young. Pee Weedsrom. Or Sleepy John Estes, man. Or Robert Johnson. Go to medical school like J. Carroll Nash…

Lennon: Johnny Cash, or all the rest of them.

Dylan: I have Johnny Cash in my film. Are you gonna shit yourself when you see it. You won’t believe it.

Lennon: Hey! John’s gonna shit again!

Dylan: He doesn’t know. You know what he looks like, right, Johnny Cash? Have you spent much time around him? He moves great. He moves like that. You gotta cut that part of the film, man, ‘cos I really like him. He moves like all good people. Like prize fighters. Johnny!

Lennon: Johnny! Big River, Big River!

Pennebaker: That’s for Johnny, too!

Dylan: Yeah, he’s on film too. He’s incredible.

Lennon: Quite a guy, huh?

Dylan: Quite a guy, John. Oh man, you shoulda been around last night, John. Today’s a drag.

Lennon: Oh really, Bob?

Dylan: Haha! I wish I could talk English, man.

Lennon: Me too, Bobby.

Dylan: (Pointing to Lennon) He can talk American. (To Tom) Hey, Tom, you’ve heard me talk in English haven’t you? But I can’t never do it around John though because (behind back of hand) John’s such a great actor, man, that…

Lennon: …you can’t believe that it’s me.

Dylan: Is this the mighty Thames, still, Tom? [To Lennon] Remember when I played you those tapes? Do you remember what you said to me? I played you a song and you said… what’s he name of your song publishing company?

Lennon: Dick James.

Dylan: Naw, naw. Is that the name of it? That wasn’t the name I heard.

Lennon: Northern Songs?

Dylan: Right, that was it. I said, What’s Northern Songs? And I was never told, man. I had to go and find out.

Lennon: Didn’t they tell you?

Dylan: No, man, they didn’t tell me. Someone said, You wanna be on Northern Songs and you laughed and Paul McCartney looked the other way and talked to Ringo

Lennon: …and Mick Jagger…

Dylan: …blew shit from his nose…

Lennon: …and Rob Roy leapt into the room with a big kilt on and said, Hey, Bobby, have you heard this one?

Dylan: Haha! You haven’t lived in Texas, man. I read in the paper that George Harrison spends a lot of time in the States. You’ve learned a lot from George.

Lennon: Tell me about The Mamas and Papas, Bob. I believe you’re backing them bigly.

Dylan: I knew it would get to that. I knew it would get to that. Naw. You’re just interested in the big chick, right? She’s got hold of you too. She’s got a hold of everybody I know. Everybody asks me the same thing. you’re terrible, man.

Lennon: Do you know Ralph Donner? He’s another great one.

Dylan: No, I only know the lesser known ones.

Lennon: Barry McGuire’s a great war hero.

Dylan: Barry McGuire? He’s a good friend of yours, John, I understand.

Lennon: He met me through you, Bob, remember that. He’s a great buddy, Sergeant Barry.

Dylan: Ha ha! Tell me about The Silkies.

Lennon: Naw. We’ve missed all the good ‘uns.

Dylan: Tell me about this pain in my side.

Lennon: Why don’t you take something?

Dylan: I’ve taken a few milligrams of Silkie once. Barry McGuire tells me he’s a great friend of yours.

Lennon: Well, I hate to say this about Barry, Bobby, but I don’t know him at all personally, but I did have a letter from his manager saying he was very close to you, being on the bosom of the current folk-a-rock-a boom.

Dylan: Yes, yes.

Lennon: That’s the first thing I did hear about Barry himself.

Dylan: But you’ve never really exchanged correspondence… You never did, as one of your friends would wish you, you never did meet the chap. Ha ha!

Reel two:

Dylan: I wanna go back home. I wanna go back home, man, see a baseball game, all-night TV. I come from a land of paradise, man.

Lennon: Sounds great.

Dylan: Well, I could make it sound so great that you wouldn’t have the capacity to speak. Hey, I’m very sick, man. I’ll be glad when this is over, ’cause I’m getting very sick here.

Lennon: With the tremors?

Dylan: Are you getting sick here? Is it pouring yet? Hey, that’s a good shot, but why don’t you bring it back in ’cause it’s cold. Aw! How far are we from the hotel, Tom?

Tom: Five minutes.

Dylan: Oh, wow.

Lennon: Permission to land, Tom.

Dylan: Oh God, I don’t wanna get sick here. What if I vomit into the camera? I’ve done just about everything else into that camera, man, I might just vomit into it.

Pennebaker: It’d make a nice ending, wouldn’t it? Cooking With Dylan we’ll call it.

Dylan: But I never throw up. So tell me John, how long have you had a partnership with Macy’s?

Lennon: The Macy Brothers themselves, we’ve had a partnership of 13, 14 years I guess.

Dylan: And you’re a new cat, a new youngster, from Canada, right?

Lennon: Canada, yes, rootin’ tootin’ Quebec, you know.

Dylan:Aw, I’m very sick. How far are we out of town?

Tom: About 10 minutes.

Dylan: Awww!

Tom: Do you want to head back?

Dylan: Yeah! Hurry!

Bobby Neuwirth: In approximately 15 seconds from now BBC2 going on the air, in approximately 15 seconds from now, an interview with Mr Dylan… Mr Dylan, you must remember me from the Jamaicas, I went to school with Bobby Babwebba Babbabably Bawebbly…

Dylan: Aw, don’t do it to me, man.

Bobby Neuwirth: All the soul brothers from the BBC will be there. The BBC good guys are at the airport. The BBC bad guys are waiting downtown for you when you get there.

Lennon: Do you suffer from sore eyes, groovy forehead, or curly hair? Take Zoomdon!

Dylan: Aw, no, man.

Lennon: Come, come, boy, it’s only a film. Come, come, pull yourself together. Another few dollars, eh? That’ll get your head up. Come on, come on, money, money!

Dylan: Haha! Huh! Where are you, Tom?

Bobby Neuwirth: We’re in Sherwood forest, Rob. Friar Tuck.

Dylan: (Pleading, about to vomit into camera) Please go back to the hotel.

Tom: I’m on the way back now.

Bobby Neuwirth: What’s the altitude in here?

Tom: Two thousand feet.

Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

4 responses on “John Lennon is filmed with Bob Dylan

  1. JustinR

    Do you know what drugs they’d been taking? I’ve seen the video, and it just looks like Dylan is hungover and John seems kinda embarrassed by Dylan’s ramblings. If John was drunk and/or high he hid it pretty well.

    1. Joe Post author

      In his 1970 Rolling Stone interview Lennon said they were both on junk (ie heroin), but I don’t think I believe that. There’s no other evidence to suggest Lennon was using heroin that early (I don’t know about Dylan’s habits); in 1980 Lennon also said he hadn’t seen the drug in 1967, when making Sgt Pepper.

      1. robert

        I’ve always felt that when John said “junk” he just meant a bunch of stupid stuff. It would be hard to believe that Lennon was doing heroin that early on.

  2. Whacko

    I’m sure I read an interview with director Richard Lester, who spoke about some beautiful girl trying to get Paul into heroin during the filming of Help!. He even described it as an “act of calculated cruelty.” Or something. Probably shouldn’t put that bits in quotes!

Leave a reply