On this day in 1963, Bob Dylan was told at the last minute by CBS executives that he could not perform “Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues” on the Ed Sullivan Show. He declined to perform. Here he is signing the tune–which somehow seems relevant again–later that year.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.