Tag Archive for Bob Dylan

The New York Times Evades Bob Dylan’s JFK Challenge

“Bob Dylan Has a Lot on His Mind,” the New York Times reported on June 12.  That’s for sure. In late March, as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down America, the 79 year old singer-songwriter released “Murder Most Foul,” an epic, 17-minute song-poem about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Since “Who killed JFK?” is one of the central questions of American history, you might think that the Times interviewer, historian Douglas Brinkley would ask the Nobel laureate about how he came to compose his dark and brooding take on November 22, 1963. You might think Brinkley, a CNN commentator, would ask Dylan why he decided to release the song as the country and the world reeled from a plague.

You might think wrong.

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JFK,  Dylan, and the Death of the American Dream 

In these terrible days, I got to thinking about Tim Shorrock’s essay/review on Bob Dylan’s JFK opus:

At its most essential level, “Murder Most Foul” marks the collapse of the American dream, dating from that terrible day in Dallas, when a certain evil in our midst was revealed in ways not seen for a hundred years—a day that, for Dylan, myself, and others of our generation is forever seared into our collective memory.

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‘Bob Dylan, the JFK Assassination, and My Frantic Quest to Connect the Two’

“With the stunning recent midnight release of Murder Most Foul, Bob Dylan unequivocally declared his deep distress at the unsolved mysteries surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. I wish I’d known about that sooner. It would have saved me a lot of anguish and embarrassment.

So writes the ingratiating Bob Katz in Bob Dylan, the JFK Assassination, and My Frantic Quest to Connect the Two

It was November, 1975. “Oswald’s November,” as the poet Anne Sexton once branded that gloomy time of year when daylight shrinks, weather turns dank, and hearts feel the chill. Dylan, recently emerged from an extended hibernation, had just launched the now legendary Rolling Thunder Review tour. Nov. 20 at the Harvard Square Theater in Cambridge was among the first dates on the tour. Next was Nov. 21 at the Music Hall in Boston. On Nov. 22, a mass rally calling for a re-opening of the investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination.

Read on Bob Dylan, the JFK Assassination, and My Frantic Quest to Connect the Two

Five Takes on Bob Dylan’s JFK Song

Maybe its his Nobel Prize but Dylan seems immune to the normally outspoken camp of JFK anti-conspiracy theorists. Rather his 17-minute rumination of the assassination of President Kennedy has attracted 2.6 million views while impressing critics and scholars of the case.

A sampling:

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Lyrics to ‘Murder Most Foul’

Twas a dark day in Dallas, November ’63

A day that will live on in infamy

President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high

Good day to be livin’ and a good day to die

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Bob Dylans’ ‘Murder Most Foul’

JFK in living color

From America’s greatest living poet, a low-key rumination on the meaning of November 22, 1963.

Dylan joins Robert Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Charles DeGaulle, Fidel Castro and a majority of Americans in believing JFK was killed by political enemies.

Or you can listen to the warbling of Chris Matthews.

Dylan illuminates two things brilliantly, I think:

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Echoes of Dallas: music inspired by JFK

Did you know JFK’s assassination “produced a mountainous range of forgotten, discarded and ghostly vinyl artifacts?” Some were briefly notorious:  Bob Dylan’ rant about Oswald and Mick Jagger’s sneer, “Who killed the Kennedys?” Others were forgotten but popular music often echoed November 22. Read more

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

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