Eat The Document is a documentary of Bob Dylan’s 1966 tour of the United Kingdom with the Hawks. It was shot under Dylan’s direction by D. A. Pennebaker, whose groundbreaking documentary ‘Don’t Look Back’ chronicled Dylan’s 1965 British tour. The film was originally commissioned for the ABC television series Stage ’66.
Though shooting had completed for the film, Dylan’s July 1966 motorcycle accident delayed the editing process. Once well enough to work again, Dylan edited the film himself. ABC rejected the film as incomprehensible for a mainstream audience.
It has never been released on home video and prints are rarely screened in theaters. Some footage from Eat The Document was used in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary on Bob Dylan, No Direction Home.
Including footage from the infamous Manchester Free Trade Hall concert, wherein an audience member shouted “Judas!” during the electric half of Dylan’s set. Dylan’s band during these shows were The Hawks (later to become The Band). Songs from various shows throughout the tour featured in the film include “Tell Me, Momma”, “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)”, “Ballad Of A Thin Man”, and “One Too Many Mornings.”
Other scenes include Dylan and Robbie Robertson in hotel rooms writing and working through new songs, most of which remain unreleased and unpublished. Among these songs are “I Can’t Leave Her Behind”, which was later covered by Stephen Malkmus for the I’m Not There soundtrack.
The film also includes a piano duet with Johnny Cash performing Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”.
Tell Me, Momma
What Kind Of Friend Is This?
I Can’t Leave Her Behind
Like A Rolling Stone
I Still Miss Someone
I Don’t Believe You
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Mr. Tambourine Man
One Too Many Mornings
On A Rainy Afternoon