Here’s What’s Fake in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story’
Did a teenage Sharon Stone actually go on tour with Dylan?
Martin Scorsese returns to the 1970s with his new Netflix movie, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story. It’s mostly a documentary about Dylan‘s hallowed 1975 surprise concert tour that relies on new interviews with many involved (including Dylan himself) as well as plenty of fascinating archival concert and interview footage.
While Revue details a real-life story, Scorsese blends fact and fiction in some notably weird ways. Rolling Stone helpfully decided to aid viewers in sorting out what’s true and what’s not.
Here are the made-up parts and some debunkery, courtesy of RS:
1. A teenage Sharon Stone joined the tour after being invited by Dylan
Well, no. That’s all made up, as are photos of young Stone and Dylan together. Additionally, she adds two years to her age for the gag, which you have to admire, given most famous actors would rather lose a thumb than have anyone think they are actually older than they really are.
2. Dylan was inspired to wear white facepaint after seeing KISS in concert
That falls under the “wish it was true” category. It’s not, though. Dylan couldn’t have attended the KISS show in Queens mentioned in the movie anyway, as RS reports the band didn’t play a show there after 1973. Dylan’s stage makeup, which at one point was playfully imitated by his pal Joan Baez, was supposedly inspired by a French art film.
3. Stefan van Dorp directed the original footage of the ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’
There is no Stefan van Dorp. The man playing him in the Scorsese doc is actually Bette Midler’s husband, Martin von Haselberg.
4. Congressman Jack Tanner used his influence with Jimmy Carter to attend a Rolling Thunder show at Niagara Falls
Tanner is a fictional character played by an actor named Michael Murphy. Rolling Stone reports the name came from “Robert Altman’s 1988 campaign mockumentary Tanner ’88, which was written by Garry Trudeau.”
5. Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos was a Rolling Thunder tour promoter
According to RS, Gianopulos wasn’t even in entertainment at the time—he was a law student at Fordham University.
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story is still full of previously unseen footage, and for that reason alone is a major piece of musical history.
It’s been streaming on Netflix since June 11—go see for yourself.