The rock documentary was practically invented by filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker when he tagged along with Bob Dylan for his U.K. tour in April and May 1965 and shot fly-on-the-wall footage. Ninety-six minutes wound up in his 1967 film Don’t Look Back, but that was just a fraction of what he shot. He shared priceless outtakes in his 2007 film 65 Revisited and even more in 2015 on a Criterion Collection DVD set.
One of the highlights from the DVD was previously unseen footage of Joan Baez and Marianne Faithfull singing “As Tears Go By” in Dylan’s hotel room. Faithfull released the Rolling Stones cover as her debut single the previous year and it became a hit all over the world. As you can see from this clip that was recently posted to YouTube, Dylan pays almost no attention to the song and instead hammers away on a typewriter and converses with manager Albert Grossman.
This is unsurprising since the Don’t Look Back tour came at a very awkward time in Dylan and Baez’s relationship. She helped launch his career in 1963 by covering his songs and bringing him onstage at her concerts. They co-headlined several major shows in 1964 and early 1965 and even dated, but things were quickly winding down by the time they got to Europe. He didn’t invite her out at a single tour stop and it would be a decade before they played together again in public.
“I just sort of trotted around [on that 1965 tour], wondering why Bob wouldn’t invite me onstage, feeling very sorry for myself, getting very neurotic and not having the brains to leave and go home,” Baez told Rolling Stone in 1983. “That would be the best way to describe that tour. It was sort of just wasted time.”
But Pennebaker’s camera captured all those “wasted time” backstage moments and emerged with incredible footage like this impromptu “As Tears Go By” performance. It may have not been enough to inspire Dylan to turn his head even slightly toward them, but we feel it’s worth watching.