Old Favourites: Bob Dylan – “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

“The man in the coonskin cap by the big pen wants eleven dollar bills….”

Time for a bit of On This Day trivia, starring the legendary Bob Dylan. OTD in 1965, Dylan inadvertedly created the first proper music video as an artform by filming an introductory segment to the Don’t Look Back doco, which documented his 1965 tour of the U.K. With some hand-written cue-cards and a cameo from friend and mentor Allen Ginsberg, the foundations for what would become the music video some decade or so later were laid down. Accidental genius – is there any better kind?

Done with one camera and little thought process, the video basically revolves around Dylan apathetically running through his cards, which themselves are often littered with puns or non-sequitors (my favourite is the one that reads WHAT? towards the end). It’s such a basic idea; and yet, it was executed brilliantly – as with most things Dylan was doing in the sixties. Everyone from INXS to Anti-Flag have jacked Subterranean’s swag over the years, but nothing comes close to the simple wonders of this clip. Mix up the medicine and enjoy.

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