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Bob Dylan song about JFK assassination


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On 5/11/2020 at 10:48 AM, Ron Ecker said:

Well, it's not surprising that Rolling Stone would pick a song about a Rolling Stone as the greatest rock song in history. IMO that song can't compare as rock and roll to "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

 

I have fond memories of dancing to I Can't Get No Satisfaction with my family at Westhampton Beach when it came out.  Just incredible...

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23 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

The modern rock 'n roll use of the term originated with Muddy Waters' song Rollin' Stone (Catfish Blues.)

The Rolling Stones borrowed the name from Muddy Waters.

 

Did not know that. Thanks!

 

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2 hours ago, Pamela Brown said:

I have fond memories of dancing to I Can't Get No Satisfaction with my family at Westhampton Beach when it came out.  Just incredible...

I also have fond memories. I was in the Peace Corps in Arequipa, Peru. On Saturday nights we gringos got together to let off steam and dance to "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." It was also in the Peace Corps that I was introduced to Dylan, as a couple of the Volunteers were big fans and had brought his albums with them to Peru. I thought his music was kind of weird and had to acquire a taste for it like scotch. When back in the states, I worked in the summer of 1966 in a Peace Corps training program in Berkeley. I remember us driving up to the redwoods and hearing "Like a Rolling Stone" on the radio. Quite a bit different from the Dylan I heard in Peru.

It was 1964 or '65 in Peru when we went to Arequipa's North American Cultural Center to see a screening of the David Wolper documenary Four Days in November. We had all swallowed the WC or lone-nut scenario hook, liner and sinker, conspiracy didn't even cross anyone's mind. I remember when back in the states Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment came out. I didn't bother to read it after reading a scathing review of it in that trusty publication Newsweek. Later on I remember seeing Lifton's Best Evidence in the library where I worked. I didn't bother to read it because I knew from the subtitle about "deception" that it couldn't be true (or I didn't want it to be true). That's the critical thinker I was back then. What made the difference for me was reading my brother's copy of Crossfire. Then I went on to read Best Evidence among other books. My years of willful ignorance were then history.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Ron Ecker said:

I also have fond memories. I was in the Peace Corps in Arequipa, Peru. On Saturday nights we gringos got together to let off steam and dance to "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." It was also in the Peace Corps that I was introduced to Dylan, as a couple of the Volunteers were big fans and had brought his albums with them to Peru. I thought his music was kind of weird and had to acquire a taste for it like scotch. When back in the states, I worked in the summer of 1966 in a Peace Corps training program in Berkeley. I remember us driving up to the redwoods and hearing "Like a Rolling Stone" on the radio. Quite a bit different from the Dylan I heard in Peru.

It was 1964 in Peru when we went to Arequipa's North American Cultural Center to see a screening of the David Wolper documenary Four Days in November. We had all swallowed the WC hook, liner and sinker, conspiracy didn't even cross anyone's mind. I remember when back in the states Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment came out. I didn't bother to read it after reading a scathing review of it in that trusty publication Newsweek. Later on I remember seeing Lifton's Best Evidence in the library where I worked. I didn't bother to read it because I knew from the subtitle about "deception" that it couldn't be true (or I didn't want it to be true). That's the critical thinker I was back then. What made the difference for me was reading my brother's copy of Crossfire. Then I went on to read Best Evidence among other books. My years of willful ignorance were then history.

 

 

Wow Ron, that's quite a testimonial.  I've read about it but I googled it, did not realize it was established so early in JFK's administration, 3/31/61.  Thanks for your service. 

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23 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Wonder if Dylan's new JFK song would have generated even more interest if this pandemic hadn't come forth?

Could be argued both ways Joe.  I think the interest & internet hits are a result of these releases being new stuff....rather than particular interest in JFK issues. 

Interesting to read a scrap of paper that Bob wrote lyrics for 'Most Likely You Go Your Way & I'll Go Mine' back in '66 was sold yesterday at Sotherby's in London for £37.5k, more than double the pre-sale estimate!

 

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45 minutes ago, Pete Mellor said:

Interesting to read a scrap of paper that Bob wrote lyrics for 'Most Likely You Go Your Way & I'll Go Mine' back in '66 was sold yesterday at Sotherby's in London for £37.5k, more than double the pre-sale estimate!

 

Reminds me of A. J. Weberman (coauthor of Coup D'Etat in America), who is famous for rifling through Dylan's garbage. (Is Weberman the source of the scrap of paper?) According to Wikipedia, after the 1969 release of Dylan's album Nashville Skyline, Weberman founded the Dylan Liberation Front, the aim of which was "to help save Bob Dylan from himself."

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ron Ecker said:

I also have fond memories. I was in the Peace Corps in Arequipa, Peru. On Saturday nights we gringos got together to let off steam and dance to "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." It was also in the Peace Corps that I was introduced to Dylan, as a couple of the Volunteers were big fans and had brought his albums with them to Peru. I thought his music was kind of weird and had to acquire a taste for it like scotch. When back in the states, I worked in the summer of 1966 in a Peace Corps training program in Berkeley. I remember us driving up to the redwoods and hearing "Like a Rolling Stone" on the radio. Quite a bit different from the Dylan I heard in Peru.

It was 1964 or '65 in Peru when we went to Arequipa's North American Cultural Center to see a screening of the David Wolper documenary Four Days in November. We had all swallowed the WC or lone-nut scenario hook, liner and sinker, conspiracy didn't even cross anyone's mind. I remember when back in the states Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment came out. I didn't bother to read it after reading a scathing review of it in that trusty publication Newsweek. Later on I remember seeing Lifton's Best Evidence in the library where I worked. I didn't bother to read it because I knew from the subtitle about "deception" that it couldn't be true (or I didn't want it to be true). That's the critical thinker I was back then. What made the difference for me was reading my brother's copy of Crossfire. Then I went on to read Best Evidence among other books. My years of willful ignorance were then history.

 

 

        Interesting anecdotes, Ron.  Among other things, your experiences accurately describe the way many of us were influenced by the mainstream media (Mockingbird) propaganda to dismiss accurate criticisms of the Warren Commission Report.

        Until fairly recently in my life, I believed that Oliver Stone was a "quack historian" -- something that I had read over the years in mainstream media sources that I used to trust.

        In fact, when I have tried to talk about Oliver Stone's work (including JFK) in recent years with highly-educated, "intellectual" friends, they often say something like, "I don't trust Oliver Stone's stuff.  He's a quack historian."

        As for Bob Dylan's shape-shifting from his "Free Wheeling" acoustic origins to Rolling Stone electricity, it's the kind of thing that he has done throughout his storied career.

        I think it may have been one of the Clancy brothers who first referred to Dylan as a "shape shifter."

Edited by W. Niederhut
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19 hours ago, Ron Ecker said:

Reminds me of A. J. Weberman (coauthor of Coup D'Etat in America), who is famous for rifling through Dylan's garbage. (Is Weberman the source of the scrap of paper?) According to Wikipedia, after the 1969 release of Dylan's album Nashville Skyline, Weberman founded the Dylan Liberation Front, the aim of which was "to help save Bob Dylan from himself."

 

 

 

Well Ron, the paper has written & typed lyrics that must have been done in a hotel room in Nashville during the recording of 'Blonde on Blonde' in March '66.  Who knows how it got to Sotherby's in London?  If Weberman rescued it from a trash bin he should have kept hold of it!  37 grand is not to be sniffed at.  But Weberman's trawling the trash was a few years after '66 so unlikely he ever had his hands on this.   

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5 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

Well Ron, the paper has written & typed lyrics that must have been done in a hotel room in Nashville during the recording of 'Blonde on Blonde' in March '66.  Who knows how it got to Sotherby's in London?  If Weberman rescued it from a trash bin he should have kept hold of it!  37 grand is not to be sniffed at.  But Weberman's trawling the trash was a few years after '66 so unlikely he ever had his hands on this.   

       Weird historical footnote:  Kris Kristofferson was working as a night janitor in that Nashville studio when Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, Robbie Robertson, et.al. were recording Blonde on Blonde.  Some of those recording sessions were all-nighters, where Dylan stayed up through the wee hours writing and re-writing the songs.  According to some accounts, the musicians smoked some herb before recording their hit single, Rainy Day Woman, ("But I would not feel so all alone-- everybody must get stoned!") after calling in a local trombone player to create the "Salvation Army band" sound of that song.

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4 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

       Weird historical footnote:  Kris Kristofferson was working as a night janitor in that Nashville studio when Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, Robbie Robertson, et.al. were recording Blonde on Blonde. 

I was in Nashville a year after that, in 1967, attending Vanderbilt University. I spent more time on Music Row trying to peddle songs than I did studying. There was a tavern on Music Row called the Tally Ho. I was there one night and this guy was at a table strumming his guitar and singing his original songs for free beer. I liked one song so much, "The Best of All Possible Worlds," that I bought him a beer to sing it again. I had no idea who the guy was. A few years later I knew, buying his album with "The Best of All Possible Worlds" on it. It was Kris Kristofferson.

  

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14 hours ago, Ron Ecker said:

I was in Nashville a year after that, in 1967, attending Vanderbilt University. I spent more time on Music Row trying to peddle songs than I did studying. There was a tavern on Music Row called the Tally Ho. I was there one night and this guy was at a table strumming his guitar and singing his original songs for free beer. I liked one song so much, "The Best of All Possible Worlds," that I bought him a beer to sing it again. I had no idea who the guy was. A few years later I knew, buying his album with "The Best of All Possible Worlds" on it. It was Kris Kristofferson.

  

There's a story in a Johnny Cash autobiography about Kristoffersen and Larry Gatlin, both broke and aspiring going to the Church Johnny and June attended.  Kris had an epiphany after a service and wrote this song if I remember right.

 

Here are those three plus one together, all acoustic.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Johnny+cash+Kris+kristofferson+larry+gatlin&docid=608025699317188531&mid=78136348E966D08DADD378136348E966D08DADD3&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

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2 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

There's a story in a Johnny Cash autobiography about Kristoffersen and Larry Gatlin, both broke and aspiring going to the Church Johnny and June attended.  Kris had an epiphany after a service and wrote this song if I remember right.detail&FORM=VIRE

You may have heard the story about Kristofferson landing a helicopter in Johnny Cash's front yard to try to pitch a song to him. He was working as a helicopter pilot. Cash wasn't home, but he went on to record "Sunday Morning Coming Down." I don't know if that was the song K was trying to pitch, or if the song was inspired by the helicopter coming down on a Sunday morning.

 

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On 5/9/2020 at 9:01 PM, W. Niederhut said:

Interesting blog posts, Pamela, written with due dylagence.

I think you would find Sean Wilentz's book, Bob Dylan in America, quite interesting, especially with your experiences living in the Big Apple in the early 60s.

Dylan is large-- he contains millions-- and I'm amazed by people's differing perceptions of the man and his life work.

For example, you admire the Slow Train Coming album from Dylan' "Evangelical" period-- the only phase of Dylan's multi-faceted career with which I am unfamiliar.

And you disliked Like a Rolling Stone and Rainy Day Woman-- the first two Dylan recordings that I ever heard, over and over, on a Columbia 45 rpm in the 60s.

De gustibus non est disputandum!

As I recall, Rolling Stone magazine has rated Like a Rolling Stone the greatest rock song in history, and not without reason, IMO.

As for the rollicking "Salvation Army Band" single, Rainy Day Woman, from the Blonde on Blonde album, there is a terrific account of how it was recorded (in Nashville) in the Wilentz book. Al Kooper commented that "it's almost like Wilentz was in the room" during those all night recording sessions.

I've just started reading Bob Dylan in America, and I am almost stunned to see how deep his Communist connections went.  I knew that Suze and her family were passionate about that, but looks like Dylan was starting his concerts with Aaron Copland musica as late as 2001 on the Love and Theft tour.  So I need to digest that.

Ironically, that may put Dylan's statements on receiving the Tom Paine award into some sort of context.  

The other insight I had is that Dylan, as a Jew, may have had no initial empathy for JFK simply because Papa Joe was such a strong Hitler appeaser.  

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