Sometimes you have a bad day. You step in some gum. You miss your train to work. Or you get tackled by police, thrown in jail, kidnapped, beaten mercilessly by thugs and ignored by the girl of your dreams. Oh, and then Bob Dylan walks over the remains of your bruised ego with his posse, all the while singing “Duquesne Whistle” in his legendary sandpaper growl. I suppose it could be worse. It could be raining.
Dylan’s new video starts out with a charming young tramp who falls for a pretty young woman and whips out all the classic love movie tricks to grab her attention. He swipes some roses for her and tries to make her laugh with his exaggerated mannerisms. The happy-go-lucky video turns sour when the woman, unimpressed and a little freaked out by his lighthearted tomfoolery, sprays him with Mace. Then the police arrest him for stealing all of those roses. Then the thugs get him and introduce him to their nice baseball bats. Director Nash Edgerton definitely had his fun with the campy romanticism and violent twists that showcase irony at its best. As for Dylan, he’s just strolling through the streets with his own thugs, drag queen, and Gene Simmons impersonator. Sometimes things keep going wrong, and sometimes you just need a thug posse and Gene Simmons to beat some romantic idealism into a bit of comedy. “Duquesne Whistle” is the first single from Dylan’s upcoming album The Tempest, which is due for release September 11. Check out the video here.