Thursday, May 12, 2011

Be Strong And Stand Your Ground...!


Sometimes you have to just do what you think is right and stand your ground!

After weighing all the possible pros and cons, you may feel that your personal integrity is too important to compromise! By taking the position that he did at the time, Bob Dylan turned down a big boost to his career in favor of doing what he thought was right!

Bob Dylan walks out on The Ed Sullivan Show

By the end of the summer of 1963, Bob Dylan would be known to millions who watched or witnessed his performances at the March on Washington, and millions more who did not know Dylan himself would know and love his music thanks to Peter, Paul and Mary's smash-hit cover version of "Blowin' In The Wind." But back in May, Dylan was still just another aspiring musician with a passionate niche following but no national profile whatsoever. His second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, had not yet been released, but he had secured what would surely be his big break with an invitation to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. That appearance never happened. On May 12, 1963, the young and unknown Bob Dylan walked off the set of the country's highest-rated variety show after network censors rejected the song he planned on performing.

The song that caused the flap was "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues," a satirical talking-blues number skewering the ultra-conservative John Birch Society and its tendency to see covert members of an international Communist conspiracy behind every tree. Dylan had auditioned "John Birch" days earlier and had run through it for Ed Sullivan himself without any concern being raised. But during dress rehearsal on the day of the show, an executive from the CBS Standards and Practices department informed the show's producers that they could not allow Dylan to go forward singing "John Birch." While many of the song's lyrics about hunting down "reds" were merely humorous—"Looked up my chimney hole/Looked down deep inside my toilet bowl/They got away!"—others that equated the John Birch Society's views with those of Adolf Hitler raised the fear of a defamation lawsuit in the minds of CBS's lawyers. Rather than choose a new number to perform or change his song's lyrics—as the Rolling Stones and the Doors would famously do in the years to come—Dylan stormed off the set in angry protest.

Or so goes the legend that helped establish Dylan's public reputation as an artist of uncompromising integrity. In reality, Bob Dylan was polite and respectful in declining to accede to the network's wishes. "I explained the situation to Bob and asked him if he wanted to do something else," recalls Ed Sullivan Show producer Bob Precht, "and Bob, quite appropriately, said 'No, this is what I want to do. If I can't play my song, I'd rather not appear on the show.'" It hardly mattered whether Dylan's alleged tantrum was fact or reality. The story got widespread media attention in the days that followed, causing Ed Sullivan himself to denounce the network's decision in published interviews. In the end, however, the free publicity Bob Dylan received may have done more for his career than his abortive national-television appearance scheduled for this day in 1963 ever could have.

It just goes to show that when you stand up for your rights, the effects may be more positive than you think! I'm sure that Bob would have liked to have an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, but decided to turn it down instead!

You have to admire him for not caving in, in spite of the possible boost in his career! Takes a lot of backbone, I think!

Coffee on the patio this morning. I don't expect any rain at all!

10 comments:

Ben in Texas said...

Good ole Dylan, always on the cutting edge. :-) I found the song for ya, just in case you didn't find it.

Bob Dylan

Yesterday's rain moved out so we can sit out on the patio if ya wanna

Sixbears said...

I had an honesty attack during a promotional interview once. Boy, where they mad. Lowest rating they ever gave anyone. Better yet, my written score was so high they had to offer me the position anyway. Even better, I refused it.

I'm no Bob Dylan, but it's a wonderful sense of freedom to stand up and be your own man.

Having a dark roasted Mexican coffee by the woodstove,looking out at the lake.

JoJo said...

I liked his music and still do. He believed in what he was doing and I am sure it brought out plenty in the way the country was thinking and moving.
Sorry you didn't get your rain. But I will sit and have a cup with you. Always my pleasure.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
I appreciate you furnishing the link! I was too lazy to look it up.

He was indeed on the cutting edge for his time!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!


Hey SixBears...
I'll just bet it really hurt their feelings to have to offer you the job, and was a surprise when you turned it down!

Right you are about feeling good to stand your ground! We just don't see it much any more!

Thanks for the visit today!


Hey JoJo...
I like his music pretty well myself!

Yep, we could have certainly used the rain! Mother Nature said no for now, though!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Ted said...

Dylan was inspired by Woody Guthrie you remember (This land is Your Land)Woody came out of the Depression era might be a little before your time.

Dizzy-Dick said...

It is funny how my mind works. Reading your post and the comments got me thinking about the days of "live" TV. Oh what fun. . .

HermitJim said...

Hey Ted...
I remember some of the songs of Woody, even though he was before my time!

Saw a great movie about him at one time.

Thanks for the visit!


Hey Dizzy...
I remember those "live shows", at least some of them!

Some good entertainment came out of shows like the "Steve Allen Show".

Of course, most everything was black and white back then! Still, some pretty good stuff!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Gorges Smythe said...

I've always said that the John Birchers were a bunch of kooks, but that they were right more than they were wrong. I think history, for those willing to take it at face value, is proving that true.

Ted said...

HJ you sure got me thinking of Woody Guthrie funny how a seed can be planted.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

Good for Bob. If more folks would stand on values the world would be a much better place...