Episode 12. “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.” The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3. The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Live in 1964. The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos. The Apartment. May 18, 2017. Rainier.
Context: This song first appeared in
The song is a classic and still finds resonance today. “Reds,” of course were one in a long line of boogeymen the United States has sought to make the Other. The Birchers are the real threats to freedom of speech when everything uttered is “communist.”
The song is our first rendition of the “talking blues,” which he’d use often in this period with “Talkin’ New York,” “Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues,” Talkin’ World War III Blues” and “I Shall Be Free,” to name a few (to say nothing of less-talky “TV Talkin’ Song” off Under the Red Moon).
Before going into the history of the John Birch Society, Daniel read Dylan’s 1963 open letter to his friend Dave Glover:
JBS, somehow, still lives on today. It’s main activity in the 1960s, according to Rick Perlstein,
It’s stances are incredible, mainly for being on the wrong side of history on nearly every issue across decades:
Recommendations. Kelly recommended Nick Drake and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 while Daniel listened to Chris Stapleton From A Room: Volume 1.
We also announced our FIRST Supplemental Series episode: No Direction Home. Listen to it below or visit our supplemental site.
Endings. Only 653 songs left. Kelly guessed #319, which would have been “Bourbon Street” off The Basement Tapes. It was #642, “God Knows” off Under the Red Sky.