Click On Title To Link To YouTube's Film Clip Of Bob Dylan's 1964 Philharmonic Concert Where He Performs "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues". As mentioned below this is about as specifically political as Brother Dylan got back in those days, an even this is more of a folk parody than serious political banter.
In reviewing a Bob Dylan DVD "Bob Dylan: 1966-1978: After The Crash, Chrome Dreams, 2006" to be posted on this site as a later date I mentioned the following in response to the question that I posed about Bob Dylan's role as THE voice of my generation, the Generation of '68 after he seemingly 'disappeared' from the scene after 1966.
"...To finish up, I want make a comment on Dylan’s place in the music and cultural pantheon of the late 20th century. Much is made in this film, and elsewhere in other commentaries about the shifts in Dylan’s work, about his seeming hatred for the role of folk oracle/leader/messiah of what we were trying accomplish in the 1960’s. No question the folk troubadour Bob Dylan of the early 1960’s, the one who told us “The Times They Are A-Changin’”, that the answer was “Blowin’ In The Wind” and that we were “Like A Rolling Stone” has something to say , and something that we wanted, in some cases desperately, to hear about. That voice carried us through, rather nicely, the civil rights period and the period of questioning where we wanted to see American power and culture go.
However, when the deal went down and the American government and its various security agencies ratcheted up the heat on us during the anti-Vietnam period of the late 1960’s and Dylan was nowhere to found we did not fall apart in dismay or disorder. We heard other, more directly political voices, all the way from Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy to Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and then on to Karx Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Mao and Leon Trotsky to name a few. Frankly, at least in the circles that I ran in, we did not miss Dylan even if we wondered, off-handedly, where the hell he was. But each man to his calling- “Tangled Up In Blue”, "Idiot Wind”, "Shelter From The Storm” and many other songs from this period still stand the test of musical time. In the end that is what he wanted to do, and that will endure."
Having just recently re-listened to the bootleg 1964 "Bob Dylan At The Philharmonic" CD reviewed on this date I feel even stronger about those remarks. Listening carefully to the stage talk and his interaction with the audience at that early point in his career two things are apparent. One his on-stage demeanor was one hundred times better then when he was young and hungry. He actually made jokes with the audience. Compare that with the off-handedness of his comments on later performances and his essentially non-answers on Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home" which was suppose to be a bouquet to him by Scorsese. Secondly, in 1964, if not earlier, it is obvious that here is a man who wants to have fun making music, performing before an audience and making it to the music pantheon. While Dylan might be regarded as a man of the left as suggested by some of his lyrics it is painfully clear that he wants no part of the political struggle. Those who thought otherwise at the time (including a little, me) were "smoking" something. Bob Dylan did not betray our dreams-there was nothing of him to betray. We will have to look elsewhere for scapegoats for what went wrong with our "sixties" dreams.