This evening we watched Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary No Direction Home. The more Dylanesque will guess that this was in preparation for a forthcoming event. The young Bob Dylan who comes across in his own words and those of his contemporaries was a baby-faced vacuum cleaner, able to analyse and memorise a song in one sitting in a record store booth. He sucked up influences and inflections and produced not only great and memorable melodies but also great and memorable lyrics. His role and influence in the early 1960s is well summed up by a contemporary, Mavis Staples: ‘He was writing inspirational songs. They would inspire. He was writing truth.’ At the end, though, the viewer is left little the wiser about what really makes Robert Zimmerman tick. The old footage in the film includes his ‘notorious’ 1966 concert at Manchester Free Trade Hall, where an angry and frustrated fan shouted ‘Judas!’ because he had gone electric. In Newport in 1965 Dylan had stomped moodily off stage after similar reactions but the Manchester Dylan merely shrugs and gets on with the show.