Bob Dylan on the death of JFK 

Bob Dylan accepted the “Tom Paine Award” from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee at a ceremony on December 13, 1963, shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. According to those who were there “a drunken, rambling Dylan questioned the role of the committee, insulted its members as old and balding, and claimed to see something of himself (and of every man) in assassin Lee Harvey Oswald..”

Source: JFKCountercoup2: BOB DYLAN’S REMARKS


  1. DG Michael says:

    I’m not sure what to make of his quote about Oswald (and all the rest he said that night) other than it sounds like he did, indeed, have one too many to drink.

  2. FYI – Note that among those of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Union who invited Dylan and responded to the controversary – Corliss Lamont is the author of the pamphlet Crime Against Cuba that Oswald read and handed out and Dylan accepted the award in the name of the students who violated U.S. policy and traveled to Cuba.

    It has been suggested that the serial numbers of the copies Oswald obtained were from a batch Lamont said were ordered by the CIA, though I’m not familiar with the particulars.


    • Ok – I’m convinced it’s unlikely Oswald’s copies came from the CIA batch and I also disagree with DeEugenio’s characterization of Oswald’s stamping 544 Camp Strret on the Corlis Lemong pamphlet as being “stupid,” as I think he did everything for a reason.

      Did the FBI and Army Reserves keep tabs on Dylan like they did on Lennon, Woody Gunthrie and Phil Ochs?

      After giving this speech Dylan took a road trip to French Quarter and Dealey Plaza. He was also pals with Steve K – who allegedly gave Oswsld a ride on his motorcycle to the Cuban embassy.

      So there’s more to Dylan than meets the eye.

  3. kennedy63 says:

    IF taken in context, Dylan appears to rail against intrusive and restrictive policies by “older” people that do not benefit anyone. Such reactive and punitive responses are ineffective and irrational – from Bob’s point of view. Regarding his Oswald comments, Dylan did repeatedly qualify his remarks that he would not have gone to the extent Oswald did (shooting JFK), but that he empathizes with Oswald’s angst toward our leaders, who lie, cheat, steal, and embroil US in affairs for specific interests (usually rich clients), and that the average person is clueless as to what our government is really doing. Finally, Dylan may be inferring that sometimes, individual action (Oswald’s) accomplishes more instantly than does a protracted bureaucratic battle (i.e., Morley v CIA). Remember, Dylan was speaking is 1963. Being African American, I found Dylan’s “Negro” remarks interesting. I listened to Dylan growing up and I knew he participated in several civil rights marches. I like what he ambiguously states about “the suits” that showed up. He may have been referring to the FBI, or the christian “Leaders” of the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was an amalgamation of groups across the sociopolitical spectrum, which the ESTABLISHMENT (embodied in J’edgar Hoover) thought was cavorting with Communist (note how right-wingers of these times abused the term COMMUNISM and labeled everyone with alternative views/actions as COMMUNIST, or COMMUNIST inspired/funded/sympathizers?). They did this to JFK and MLK!

    • Bill Clarke says:

      “I listened to Dylan growing up and I knew he participated in several civil rights marches.”

      I can’t recall any of these marches. Can you help me out here. I can recall pictures of my favorite singer, Joan Baez, at some of the historical marches but not Dylan.

      I believe Dylan was much more the anti-establishment singer than he was a civil rights singer, noting the two were very intertwined in the early 60s. He wrote some great songs and I have many of his recordings in my collection. But I wouldn’t claim he knew much about the JFK assassination.

  4. It has been pointed out to me that the analysis over the CIA origin of Oswald’s Corlis Lamont pamphlet is faulty, and unlikely, and I also take exception to Jim DeEuginio’s characterization of Oswald’s use of the 544 Camp street stamp on the pamphlet was “stupid” as I think Oswald did everything for a reason.

    After making that speech Dylan traveled to the French Quartet and Dealey Plaza.

    Dylan was also pals with Steve K who repottedly gave Oswald a ride to the Cuban embassy on the back of his motorcycle, so there may be more to Dylan than meets the eye. Did the FBI and Army Reserve Intel keep tabs on Dylan like they did on John Lenmon, woody Gunthrie and Phil Ochs?


  5. kennedy63 says:

    Bill Clarke please view the following link to see Dylan circa 1963 “March on Washington D.C. with Joan Baez:

  6. Bogman says:

    This thread put me in mind of the wild story about folksinger Phil Ochs and the JFK assassination:

  7. Mary. McNamara says:

    OMG, I had no idea Bob Dylan was such an ass.

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