"You're on the edge of your seat the whole time"

Producer Joel Gilbert has done it again. This is a highly entertaining romp through the five-year segment of the legendary Bob Dylan's nomadic touring lifestyle.
The successful formula lays in the charming charisma of drummer Winston Watson (who narrates the whole thing) and Gilbert's crisp production style. It's hard to imagine another Dylan sideman in the 20-year history of the Never Ending Tour being as entertaining, candid, self-effacing and likeable as Watson, who comes up with one fascinating story after another, supported by his own personal videos and Gilbert's clever art direction. Before long, you realize his string of anecdotes has exceeded an hour and you don't want the show to end. Whether it's seeing his home videos of George Harrison and Neil Young rubbing elbows with a cigarette-smoking Dylan backstage, or hearing Watson relate the one chewing-out he ever received from his boss, if you have a Dylan-esque bone in your body, you're on the edge of your seat the whole time. It would sound cliché-ish to label this film “a rare personal peak inside the touring apparatus of a true American national treasure,” but that's exactly what this DVD is. Not to be missed.

Pete Howard
Former Contributing Editor Rolling Stone Magazine


"An anecdotal exposé of the chaos"

Anyone who saw Bob Dylan perform from 1992 to 1996 will remember the energy and free-flying, shoulder-length hair of the drummer Winston Watson. Now, in Bob Dylan: Never Ending Tour Diaries (Highway 61 Entertainment), the latest DVD from documentarian Joel Gilbert, Watson speaks.

The 100-minute film is both an anecdotal exposé of the chaos of non-stop touring and a first-hand account of what it's like to go from being an anonymous bar-band drummer in Arizona one night to playing before thousands of the world's most demanding rock-and-roll fans the next. Highly recommended!

World Magazine - Arsenio Orteza


"Everyone should get ahold of this DVD!"

All in all a highly enjoyable film. The footage shown throughout is a lot of fun, the whole experience is nicely edited and it all falls together pretty well. Winston is a great guy to listen to, and very very humble. I watched the whole thing in one go, even though I just wanted to take a peek and save it for later. Watson was like a kid in a candy store in Bob's band, and that enthusiasm is shown on screen here as well. He holds Dylan in very high regard. Everybody who's even remotely interested in life on the road with Dylan and what it does to the members of the band, should get hold of this DVD!

The Bob Dylan Starting Point - Eric Schoneveld


"Unauthorized Dylan Doc Gets to the Truth"

Joel Gilbert doesn't need a weather-vane to know which way the wind blows: This spring, the filmmaker released his sixth unauthorized documentary on the artist otherwise known as Robert Zimmerman. And while Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home" received full cooperation from the singer-songwriter, not to mention a wealth of fully licensed original tunes and rarely seen vintage clips, there's one huge advantage that Gilbert has over such "authorized" projects like "No Direction": there's no interference or guidance from the notoriously image-conscious Dylan or his zealously protective business handlers.

Gilbert's docs get dissenting views and unvarnished anecdotes from savvy and articulate observers like legendary producer Jerry Wexler or seasoned music pros like Rob Stoner and Spooner Oldham. Their candor and straight-forward recollections from years on the road and in the studio with the mercurial Mr. Dylan prove invaluable.(Click for full article: )

Daily Variety - MELINDA NEWMAN


"An anecdotal gold mine"

It is a fascinating glimpse into the touring life of a mysterious American musical icon... I'm grateful to Watson for giving an inside look at the music making of an American original, and even more so to the filmmakers who recognized the anecdotal gold mine that Watson's memories represent.

Tucson Citizen - Daniel Buckley


"Its appeal can't be underestimated"

Watson is a charming and free-loving presence on screen. From city to city and country to country, Watson recounts what it's like traveling the world in search of a sound. So what we have with Bob Dylan: Never Ending Tour Diaries is one-time drummer Winston Watson's take on life on the road with the Putlizer-Prize-winning troubadour.

This is the kind of DVD title that may go unnoticed by the majority of home theatre enthusiasts, but for anybody with even a marginal fascination in the histories and travels of Mr. Bob Dylan, its appeal can't be underestimated.

- Mike Restaino


"Imaginative graphics and a well-planned interview"

Watson tells us more about "life on the road" than anybody who hasn't experienced it could ever imagine. Imaginative graphics and a well-planned interview, intersperced with period news footage accompany Watson's own home-video-camera work. However you view the Dylan of the 1990's, you could out of Watson's Diaries with renewed respect for his commitment - and that of the people who journeyed alongside him.

Goldmine Magazine - Dave Thompson


(Click Image to Open or Download PDF)

"When a film draws you in, you know it works."

Watson, Dylan's flamboyant drummer in the mid-1990s, performed over 400 shows in five years. This charming 100-minute film quickly won me over. Given the limited resources at his disposal - interview with Watson, the drummer's rough video footage, fan bootleg videos, graphics and footage of their Dylan tribute band - director Joel Gilbert has worked wonders in creating a very watchable, occasionally revealing, documentary.

Watson's an engaging, disarming, likeable character who's walked the walk but is still modest enough to be thrilled by the memories. He was, and is, a big Dylan fan. When a film draws you in like this, you know it works. Bob Dylan: Never-Ending Tour Diaries is enjoyable and informative. Watson's anecdotes and reflections help to flesh out what we know about Dylan the working, touring musician. Recommended. (Click for full article: )

The Dylan Daily - Gerry Smith


An amazing, touching story - I was totally immersed in it. Watson's life touring with Dylan was a dream come true for any musician. I was hooked right from the start and came away thoroughly entertained. Kudos to Director Gilbert!

Fay Kagan - Ojai, California

Just wanted to say that the DVD is absolutely fantastic, moved me to tears at the end. Winston is one hell of a good guy.

Chris McKay - Stanford, California

I just watched Winston Watson's Never Ending Tour Diaries. It was great! Please forward this to Winston with my thanks for a job well done.

John Gauvin - Shady Side, MD

I was very glad to seen this film. Winston Watson is a very gentle and kind person. I really enjoyed listening to him and his insights into the band. You deserve alot of credit for documenting and preserving this material. It is a very well crafted and informative film. MTV Unplugged is one of the most musical performances I have ever heard. Having seen the DVD I am more conscious of Winston. Thank you again for the DVD.

Dennis Smoot - Chicago, Illinois

More reviews coming soon!


"The world of harsh rock reality"

The documentary is buoyed by a colorful, lively presentation of the subject matter and Watson's own agreeable personality makes the journey a pleasant one. It's that bare-all aspect of Never Ending Tour Diaries that helps the production transcend mere fandom and enter the world of harsh rock reality. As with director Joel Gilbert's other Dylan documentaries, the man himself did not actively participate in the production other than appearing in vintage footage and photographs. But Gilbert has learned how to bridge the gap and make the absence of Dylan and his music a virtual non-factor. Each successive release has been more revealing and more satisfying. Here, the storytelling and the presentation quality hit their mark.

Credit must be given where credit is due. For an independent production, the presentation quality here is outstanding. The picture (16:9 widescreen) is top notch, at least in the main interview segments between Winston Watson and Joel Gilbert, creatively presented with a lot of graphic panache. Enjoy the ride as Winston Watson shares his tour diaries then shuffle over to a computer and drill down to the MP3s for some music that's great Dylan-less music.

Moviehabit.com - Matt Anderson


"Home videos a treat"

Winston Watson's diaries are witty and perceptive, and his home video footage is a treat. The DVD production is well-paced and concise. Joel Gilbert has done a great job of editing the footage into a cohesive presentation. I would sincerely recommend this DVD to anyone interested in a first hand account of Bob Dylan, his "Never Ending Band," and a musician's life on the road.

Rob Stoner, Bass Player
Desire Album, Rolling Thunder Revue


"Full of energy and wit, drenched in harsh honesty"

Of all the music videos I've seen over the years, Watson's story proves particularly riveting - full of energy and wit, drenched in dark harsh honesty. Ultimately, Tour Diaries sets out to teach us something about our heroes. And it does so sincerely and eloquently. Highly recommended to all Dylan fans for its honesty and for the wealth of new material it presents from the perspective of an 'insider.' (Click for full article: )

The Electric Review - John Aiello


"The most candid portrait of Bob Dylan since D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back"

The Hollywood Interview


"A fun and informitive romp"

Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries is a blast. Winston Watson is charming, smart and goofy in a way that is totally endearing. It's no wonder Dylan wanted him around on his tours - Winnie has a vibe that is always sweet and upbeat. Joel Gilbert has put together another of his fun and informative romps through the fascinating landscape of Americana owned and operated by Bob Dylan.

Gilbert also made the other Dylan DVDs available from Highway 61 Entertainment. They're all good, entertaining, engrossing and always surprisingly well made. I say surprisingly because the average History Channel documentary isn't as well put together as these small-budget but creatively and intelligently presented documents. (Click for full article: )

Flickhead.com - Nelhydrea Paupér


"Incredible insight and sense of humor"

Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries is an insider's account of life on the road with Dylan from a happy-go-lucky musician who never, in his wildest dreams, figured he'd be backing someone of Dylan's stature. Watson's beaming personality, incredible insight and good-natured sense of humor make him a compelling interview subject, and what emerges is a portrait of Dylan that reveals much about the man, his work and how he interacts with those in his employ. A real picture of Dylan and what he's like on the road really develops in this documentary. Don't miss this DVD!

Goldmine Magazine - Peter Lindblad


"Watson is an entertaining historian"

Fans have their fantasies: What's Dylan like up close? What happens before, during, and after shows? How does he create and recreate his songs? Who better to answer such questions than a fellow musician who spent 5 years on the road with Dylan! Our guide into Dylan's universe is the affable drummer, Winston Watson, who shares the laughable, emotional, and frightful sides of having a musical genius "sign your pay checks".

Winston Watson is thoughtful, perceptive, and funny, and he proves to be an entertaining historian as Dylan's distant demeanor is softened by Watson's stories of Dylan being warm, encouraging, and even fatherly. This film is pure fun. Thanks, Winston, for sharing your incredible journey!

Tony and Kay Johnson
Los Angeles, California


"The audience is along for the ride"

Loved the film. Watson is so genuine that you don't have to be big Dylan fan to really enjoy the film. Story is engaging, well-told and easy to follow with tons of priceless footage. Its an honest and revealing look at the inner working of a Rock Legend on tour through the star-stuck eyes of Watson and the audience is along for the ride as Watson crosses paths with countless rock celebrities. I'd recommend it to any music fan."

Andrew Peers - Panorama City, California


"Watson is pleasantly frank"

Watson is pleasantly frank about his initial "jitters", his struggle to "blend in" musically with Dylan's standing band, and his alarm at eventually discovering that this was not what Dylan expected of him. He also addresses the etiuette of arriving for tour rehearsals, choosing stage costumes, and the difficulty of following Dylan's notoriious mid-song key changes. Watson is also honest abou the rigors of touring and the strain it places on relationships back home. Watson's memoirs provide fascinating glimpses into the little-illuminated mechanics of how a major touring artist sings, maintains, motivates and moves around such a large musical ensemble. (Download PDF)

Stomp and Stammer - Gregory Nicoll

"A fascinating portrait"

A fascinating portrait of what it's like to spend the best part of five years in the inscrutable bard's company. With insight and humour, Watson presents the life of the working musician with all its highs and lows - on the one hand getting to play with a legend every night, travelling the world in comfort and raising his personal profile; on the other, suffering the heartbreak of being away from his wife and kids for months at a time as his marriage suffers, and the insecurity of never knowing whether he'll get the phone call inviting him on the next set of dates.

With lots of tour and stage footage, this is an insider's view of both Dylan and life on the road, with a poignant rags-to-riches-to-rags subplot. (Click for full article: )

Daily Mirror (UK) - Ian Sturgess


"A story very well told indeed"

Winston Watson describes the experience as being in the 'presence of greatness' and for us mere fans his diaries reveal many sides and signs of that very genius. This helps to make this DVD one of the better tour diary releases of its kind.

Watson's stories are well told, amusingly and modestly recounted leaving you wishing you could spend time with him listening to more of these memories. The interview is conducted by Joel Gilbert, of the Highway 61 Revisited cover band, who clearly has a million questions to ask on our behalf. Winston provides some excellent answers making the DVD a worthwhile addition to people wishing to gain a further insight into the mind of arguably the most important musician of a generation.

This 100 minute film tells the story of an unknown drummer who was plucked from obscurity to become part of the extraordinary travelling world of Bob Dylan. It is a story very well told indeed. (Click for full article:)

Blogcritics Review - Jeff Perkins