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Highlights of Bob Dylan’s ‘Bootleg Series’

Highlights of Bob Dylan’s ‘Bootleg Series’

2. “Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues” (Volume 6)

A glimpse of Dylan a couple years later, in 1964, this live recording shows the massive changes undergone by not only himself, but the entire country. Dylan had become the spokesman of a generation; an immensely popular singer who suddenly had the world’s ear. A parody of the Red Scare in the early ‘50s, “Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues” is a rare glimpse of Dylan as a showman. Cracking up the audience with satirical lines like “heard some footsteps by the front porch door so I grabbed my shotgun from the floor/snuck around the house with a huff and a hiss saying hands up you Communist it was the mailman”, Dylan is in top form. As a punch line he sheepishly adds, “… he punched me out,” putting a cherry on top of this wonderful performance.

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