John Birch Society Blues 1

Highly Appreciated

Not long after I first got to college at North Carolina State University (probably in late 1969), one of the big record stores in Raleighthe Record Bar (which was within walking distance of the campus) had several tables set up in the middle of the store that were piled high with bootleg albums.  I had never heard of such a thing before, so I snapped up four right away, including two by my man Bob Dylan:  the famous Great White Wonder double-album set, plus John Birch Society Blues (also on the G.W.W. Records label).  
The main reason I got the John Birch Society Blues album is due to the history of Dylan’s second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.  Early pressings of the album included “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” and three other wonderful songs that I got to know on bootleg albums as I bought them:  “Gambling Willie’s Dead Man’s Hand”, “Rocks and Gravels” and “Let Me Die in My Footsteps”.  The fact that the latter song is omitted was even mentioned on the album’s liner notes.  When the John Birch Society song became controversial, Columbia Records pulled back the albums and reissued them with the familiar song set that we know today.  Those first few albums with the alternate songs are worth a fortune today:  A 1998 record pricing catalogue that I have called Records values them at $10,000 to $15,000 in mono and $15,000 to $20,000 in stereo (though the catalogue recommends actually playing the album before ponying up that kind of cash). 
(April 2012)
Last edited: March 22, 2021