Ballad of A.J. Weberman

Writer, Bob Dylan enthusiast, and coiner of the term "Dylanology," A.J. Weberman sorts through Dylan's garbage outside of his New York apartment in order to explain his methods of gathering and interpreting Dylan data. Bookended by David Peel & The Lower East Side playing "The Ballad of A.J. Weberman."

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a blue screen.

00:26Copy video clip URL Opening titles.

00:46Copy video clip URL David Peel sings “The Ballad of A.J. Weberman.” Weberman sits on a couch and keeps the beat with a tambourine. This lasts for several minutes.

02:31Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of Weberman examining Dylan’s garbage. Weberman comments on the various objects he pulls from inside of the can. Weberman eventually pulls out a box with a drug needle and cooker.

05:06Copy video clip URL Weberman tells a story about a confrontation he had with Dylan. Weberman was teaching a class on Dylan and decided to take his students on a field trip to Dylan’s home. Upon arriving at Dylan’s home, Weberman and his students began to scream and yell for Dylan, urging him to come outside. Unable to get his attention, Weberman and the students then began to rummage through Dylan’s garbage. After a short time, Dylan approached the group and pulled Weberman aside to speak with him privately. Weberman gives the impression that Dylan was very intimidating.

07:01Copy video clip URL Cut back to more footage of Weberman in Dylan’s garbage. A woman, presumably a domestic worker, steps outside of the building and begins to scold Weberman for rummaging through the garbage. She then tries to convince Weberman that Dylan had moved out. Weberman bemusedly questions the woman and doesn’t waiver despite the woman pressing him to leave. Weberman eventually pulls out the small metal container that holds the drug paraphernalia he supposedly found in Dylan’s trash. This lasts for several minutes.

09:45Copy video clip URL Cut to Weberman in his home. He talks about a pair of underpants he found in Dylan’s garbage and says he believes that Dylan planted them there for Weberman to write about. Weberman then retrieves a bag filled with tooth brushes and a bottle of unused toothpaste he found in Dylan’s trash. He goes on to talk about the symbolism behind the objects, stating that teeth are a symbol for electric guitar in Dylanology.

11:31Copy video clip URL Cut to slow motion footage of Weberman handling the drug paraphernalia found in Dylan’s garbage.

13:00Copy video clip URL The woman from earlier in the tape, along with another woman, begin to scold Weberman. They begin to insist that Weberman and his cohorts placed the bags of garbage, and that they saw him do it before the cameras were rolling. The three have a heated conversation. Weberman maintains a joking attitude despite their seemingly serious anger.

15:07Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of Dylan performing. This is followed by footage of Weberman climbing into Dylan’s garbage can, stating that he just wants to get some rest. Weberman and the crew are approached by a person who threatens to call the police.

17:15Copy video clip URL Cut to the outro for the program. Weberman and Peel close out the piece with “The Ballad of A.J. Weberman.” This is followed by the credits.

18:19Copy video clip URL Tape ends.


1 Comment

  1. Susan Milano says:

    Although I was not given a credit, that is me toward the end of the doc (16:34 onward), crouching then lying down on the ground taking sound. This was the first shoot I’d ever been on. John Reilly and I had been friends for some years and he was kind of luring me into video. Well, the absurdity of this whole scene…Dylan’s house/the residents withholding their garbage/someone writing about it… was so intoxicating and hilarious that at that very moment while we were taping I had an epiphany…”THIS, IS FOR ME”.

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