Written on shirt cardboards from a laundromat, wily Dylan, in his “give the anarchist a cigaretteBringing It All Back Home prime, flipped a stack full of lyric cue cards for “Subterranean Homesick Blues” for documentarian D.A. Pennebaker on this day in 1965. There’s almost too much awesome in this video to note, particularly the footage being used in one of the finest rock films of all time, Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back. Allen Ginsberg in rabbi garb in the background, Donovan‘s handwriting, a metaphorical alley in London, the list goes on. But superseding everything is Dylan’s acerbic wit delivered in disaffected charm, misspelling “suckcess,” interjecting pun after pun as he deliberately jumbles up the synchronization, that would become arguably the most rock n’ roll precursor to both the music and lyric video decades before its time. Often imitated since, the beat-folk socio-political electric jam – God forbid Dylan go electric – is one of many perfect middle fingers Dylan flipped in the 60s:

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don’t steal, don’t lift
Twenty years of schoolin’
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don’t wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don’t wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don’t work
‘Cause the vandals took the handles