We differ in that I probably would have aligned myself with the Beatles camp-that's not to say that I don't appreciate The King. Times are different and I figure it's okay to admit I'd rather not be forced to align at all (truth is, I love 'em all).
Like you, I showed up for Johnny Cash (at The Fillmore in '94). I know just what you mean about making shows before it's too late.
Ted Hawkins opened the show with nothin' but his guitar, the voice of a street angel and the signature milk crate upon which he sat. Shortly thereafter I learned Hawkins had died. I can still hear him singin'. Without question his performance was one of the purest (and, obviously, best!) I've ever seen. I hope you know his work.
If not, check out The Next Hundred Years (Geffen Records, 1994).
By the way, Cash wasn't bad either!
Jeanette E. Morris
It's regrettable that so many fans came to Hawkins post-mortem (Ace ran a memorial on the first anniversary of his death, but regrettably it pre-dates our electronic archives). Thanks for sharing the tip with the readers. I can also personally recommend Happy Hour, circa 1986. ~editor
Elvis is still deadand who cares? If you should ever tire of the endless Sha-na-na tribute acts that the minor velvet deity inspired, step out and away from the Holiday Inn lounge and buy a Jerry Lee album and hear what real rockabilly sounds like. Or better yet, give some modern rockabilly bands like the Phantom Chords and Empress of fur a try.
Although their impulse may be good, unfortunately, with the recent news of child abductions escalating daily, their timing may be off for many parents.
You can check out the CDC survey for yourself at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/kidswalk/fact_sheet.htm
Thanks for your guest opinion piece on Bruce Springsteen & Steve Earle. Steve's sister, Stacy, has graced Lexington twice this past year. Stacy isn't quite as controversial as her brother. To both Steve and Bruce, I say: "Rock on!"
The truth is not necessarily an easy commodity to come by, not when there are spinmeisters and PR firms doing their million dollar best to "paint reality."
As an avid student of history (minored in college), I almost cynically resigned myself to the notion that the average American pretty much doesn't care unless someone starts to fly airplanes into buildings. When that happens, the average joe is ready to kill.
Recently in the Herald-Leader, a Vietnam vet wrote in to once again berate the war protesters who spit on those vets, calling them "baby killers." For those who fled to Canada, he had only derision. My older brother, a Marine, died in Vietnam in '68. By the time my number came up, I was ready to head north myself, convinced that our government was being run by liars and thieves, Vietnam being their latest ploy. In the vet's eyes, I suppose I would just be viewed as a "chicken shit."
What he doesn't realize is that I never spit on a Vietnam vet. I couldn't look one in the eye without seeing my brother. I knew they were lied to; we were all lied to and I wasn't buying it; wasn't willing to go to jail for it. I was willing to go to Canada. My dad told me I was a traitor. We had a serious falling out for several years. My position was: "what, exactly, does patriotism have to do with following liars and thieves?"
I lucked out, in that Congress passed a law saying that if any member of your family was killed in an undeclared conflict/police action, no one else in your immediate family could be drafted. With my dad and me, the damage had been done.
I went to college at the University of Louisville, majoring in Political Science.
Someone back then had done an experiment in some large city in the U.S. They typed up the texts of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, without headings, took them out into the streets and asked "citizens" to read them. "What do you think of these?" they asked. The typical reaction was: "This is subversive, communist crap and what are you trying to palm off on me!?!"
Yes, this was the reaction of the common citizen to the founding documents of our nation. Our everyday citizens are vastly ignorant of our nation's history.
Just like now, most of us are vastly ignorant of how corporate-driven foreign policy has quite a few people pissed at the government of the good ole USA. I know how they feel. You see, this is a nation where the vast majority are grossly ignorant of how we got to where we are. You and I, with our tax dollars, have helped to overthrow democratically elected governments that wouldn't do business the way the corporate interests wanted, more than once.
Obviously, you don't have to be a democratic nation to do business with the U.S. I want to ask that Vietnam vet if he shops at Wal-Mart, where much of the stuff is made in Red China. Yeah, my brother died fighting the communists and now people buy their products, produced by cheap prison labor.
I don't know John Walker Lindh, Osama bin Laden, George Bush or most of the people on this good, green earth. I do know that our government lies to us more often than I'm comfortable with. Many questions remain around what happened on 9/11. Far too many for us to go rushing into Iraq to overthrow a dictator. The true patriots want the truth and aren't so willing to risk the killing of innocents, particularly when you realize that thieves and liars are playing major roles in what goes down. To our young people, I urge you to take your citizenship seriously. Dig a little deeper into your nation's history and, by all means, keep asking questions.
Ace occasionally prints topical guest essays from readers. 500-600 words. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.