First let me point out I love Bob Dylan, and there’s no musician I enjoy watching perform more than him. That being said, I’ll also point out that, as great as Bob is, he hasn’t had the best history with music videos. Out of all the music videos he’s been in over the years, there’s only a select few that I’d say are good, such as the Wonder Boys inspired video for Things Have Changed, while the rest run the gamut of so-so to what-was-he-thinking? For example, in the video for his song Must Be Santa he wears a wig that, if you squint your eyes, makes him look like Jennifer Aniston with a case of bed head (if you can get past the Rachel haircut, it’s a pretty fun video).
Nothing though in his ouevre quite compares you for the truly ridiculous video for his 80s single “Tight Connection to my Heart.” This is one of those songs that only true Dylan fans can like. A lot of people will likely find this too cheesy, but I enjoy the song itself. It’s one of the better singles from the slump he hit in the 80s. His lyrics continue to be unique, such as my favorite lines
“I never could learn to drink that blood
And call it wine
I never could learn to hold you, love
And call you mine.”
Instead of simply showing Bob Dylan perform Tight Connection To My Heart, the director of the video has it in mind to construct an entire plot-driven short film around his disjointed narrative. From what I gather, the plot is something like this: Dylan is in Asia, and, as usual, is caught up in a love triangle. Similar to his film Masked And Anonymous, there’s an oppressive government regime never more than two steps away. Somehow or other, a crime is committed, a man in a “powder blue wig” is beaten up, Dylan shacks up with “Madame Butterfly” (rather racist), and… I give up.
The funniest thing about this video is the conclusion. If the video is too long to handle, fast-forward to the last 30 seconds or so. You might be thinking “Bob sure has a problem on his hands…” He’s in love with two women, and, at the climax of the song, they all three meet coincidentally. How does he handle this? Easy. He gets with both of them. Another funny aspect: if you look at the shot where Bob brings them together, they form a literal love triangle as they hold hands.
Is the ridiculousness over? Nope! Right after the lovers’ reunion, it cuts to Bob Dylan doing a Temptations style dance number with two backup singers. The difference between Bob Dylan and The Temptations is that the Temptations liked dancing. Bob, on the other hand, you can tell doesn’t want to spend another minute shooting this video.
In the end, Bob Dylan went on to create music to this day, and has the finest career of any rock musician, apart, perhaps, from his idol Elvis Presley. I can easily forgive him for the Tight Connection To My Heart video.
—-Please do me a favor and check out my book The Madness of Art: Short Stories. It’s available on Amazon in paperback and as an ebook.
Are there any funny music videos you can think of that are as ridiculous as Tight Connection to my Heart by Bob Dylan?