October 30, Columbia/Legacy -- excuse me, Sony BMG -- will release The Other Side of the Mirror -- Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965, a retrospective DVD that captures Bob Dylan in his finest and most virile moments -- being political, chillin’ (and possibly even frenching) with Joan Baez, plus probably going electric. Ever since his death, Dylan’s influence and mythic power -- as well as his library of releases -- has only grown, much like a delicious fungus on the bleu cheese of rock ‘n’ roll history. Dylan peaks like Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde just wouldn’t be the same if followed by decades of uninspired, tautological drivel. We can only imagine an alternate future where Dylan, with Lennon, Hendrix, and Coltrane, hit the road in some sort of washed-up Traveling Wilder-band, hawking sexy underwear, dropping discs in soulless corporate coffee chains, and releasing sometimes critically acclaimed but ultimately irrelevant albums every few years.
In addition to the DVD, Sony BMG is further milking its posthumous coffers with Dylan, a "best of" to be sold in all sorts of wacky packaging -- an 18-song cheapo edition, a 3-disc perfect-for-the-holidays set, and a "deluxe LIMITED EDITION," which goes so far as to even include much sought after collectable postcards. Next time you’re on vacation, nothing says "I’d send these to you if they didn’t belong to a LIMITED EDITION set" like $40 unusable postcards.
And then there’s I’m Not There: a requiem of sorts, a last scrape of that ol’ Dylan goldmine, a final "Thanks for all the memories, Bob. See you in hell."