May 8, 1964 - Bob Dylan films the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" video
Shot in a nondescript alley behind the Savoy Hotel in London, the video for Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” served as the opening segment for Don’t Look Back, D. A. Pennebaker's 1967 documentary of Dylan’s first tour through England in 1965. Shot with a nod to the cinéma vérité style of the film, the famous clip shows Dylan hoisting more-or-less corresponding cue cards to his politicized lyrics while poet Allen Ginsberg and road manager Bob Neuwirth chat animatedly in the background.
While in London, Dylan and Pennebaker shot the video in two alternate locations: at a park and on a rooftop. (Martin Scorsese’s 2005 Dylan documentary, No Direction Home, compiles much of this lost footage.) “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was the lead track of fifth album Bringing It All Back Home (1965), in which Dylan first upended his spare folk songwriting with electric instrumentation, and the video shares a similar defiance: initially, Dylan’s cards align perfectly with his lyrics, but as he continues, he lags behind the beat and flashes intentional errors (the card for the line “11 dollar bills” reads “20,” others are scrawled “pawking metaws” and “sucksess”). Don’t Look Back is rife with this attitude: in its final scene, Dylan discovers that he has been labeled an anarchist in the press, and rejoins with the now-infamous drawl, “Give the anarchist a cigarette.”