INDICTMENTS OF AMERICAN CULTURE
Re: Daniel J. Flynn's The Day the Music Died :
While Don McLean's song may indeed be a "surrealistic ode to the tragedy," it involves far more than the Iowa plane crash. It's an indictment of much of American culture, from that 1959 event through Sergeant Pepper. And, of course, for more than three decades, it's kept people guessing.
Was the "widowed bride" Holly's or was she Jacqueline Kennedy? Could Jack Flash be Mick Jagger? Is it Lenin or Lennon? The Manson murders, The Byrds, the threat of nuclear war, even the NFL's decision to stage its games during America's weekend of grief are referenced.
It's a dazzling piece of allegory and metaphor, among the greatest bits of writing in all of pop music, far more than a lament about the passing of rock's first era.
-- Dennis Bergendorf
As a grizzed 'ol graybeard from the days "before the music died"... I'll always keep a warm spot for that era, its new music and the brief blast of youthful energy; often supported by nothin' more than... "three chords and a cloud of dust." It was a point in time that began a pop music trip that has lead us through generations of new sounds, changing styles and occasionally The Archies and bands called...Abba.
Hey, even The Mick struck-out on occasions.
I guess trying to link-up today's rap music to Buddy and company is a long stretch for this old ear, Fact is, I'm reluctant to admit that I might being infected with the dreaded Fud Disease. Truth be told? While Buddy and Diddy may in fact be remotely linked, at my age, I just don't have enough hair to go with the "corn rows" thing. Sadly, I'm probably a better candidate for the Kojak look.
Meanwhile, just wrapping up a 35-year career as an old school radio disk jockey -- I'm reminded on this Iowa anniversery date as to just how brief a career in pop music can be after the hits dry up and "The Love Is Gone."
A few years ago I read a quote from one of the legendary Everly Brothers as to what it takes to stay on top in pop: "Keep crankin'out the hits or they'll forget 'ya." And that's true of thousands who've cruised through the business since "The Day." Frankly, it really didn't long at all before the Donnas, Peggy Sues and Miss Mollys were going ga-ga over the next swingin' pelvis in pink peggers.
As far as Buddy, Ritchie and The Bopper go -- one of the most sobering comments I ever read was from an unknown source who said something like "Yeah, they were good; they just didn't live long enough to...fail."
I guess it's kind of icky, but as far pop legacies go, maybe that's the best way to leave the building.
The event itself is beyond my memory experience...but the music of Buddy Holly became very important to me. Three-chord songs that any stumblebum with a guitar like me could play without trouble...lyrics that spoke to me and the life I was going through...even his appearance. To this day, I wear thick-rimmed glasses...I can say to the clerk that I want glasses "like Buddy Holly," and get what I'm looking for.
It wasn't the movie, it wasn't any of the books...it was the music. I heard that, and then it was the movie, the books, and all the records I could find.
He might've died fifty years ago today, but, because his music can still be heard, original versions or echoes in his rock-musician descendants, he lives.
(By one of those quirks of memory, I can remember the first time I heard "That'll Be the Day." I knew "Peggy Sue" from my mother's record collection...I'd heard about Buddy Holly, and figured out that the first stanza of "American Pie" was talking about him...I'd seen the title "That'll Be the Day" in a couple of lists but hadn't yet heard it. Then I was listening to an AM radio station one evening. The DJ announced that they would play "That'll Be the Day" after the commercial break...they played a couple of commercials, and then the guitar intro began. Sounded nothing like the version I had created in my head...sounded better.)
-- Robert Nowall (former member of the Buddy Holly Memorial Society)
Cape Coral, Florida
A BLACK EYE FOR TEAM OBAMA
Re: Philip Klein's You're Out, Tom:
Philip Klein delightfully exposes another major stumble-and-face-splat for the Obama Administration in the resignation of former senator Tom Daschle from nomination for the post of Secretary of Health and Human Services. To have someone of Daschle's ilk in charge of that area would have spelled huge trouble for the country.
So now, let's see. Tom Daschle...Nancy Killefer...Timothy Geithner...Charlie Rangel...who's next in the "Gee, I forgot to pay my (insert type here) taxes for (insert time frame)." And here,
I thought the Republicans were the "Culture of Corruption." Silly me!
-- Jim Bjaloncik
ONLY HURT THE ONES YOU TRY TO HURT
Re: Eric Singer's Blast From the Past :
Two of the other by-products of the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Act will be; 1) More small business employers will turn to temporary help through temp agencies thus reducing the effective pay rate for women and 2) The larger companies will look to move more operations overseas to not only avoid this debacle but the myriad of new and existant rules and regulations at the federal and state levels and resultant litigation that will result.
As usual those the Democrats claim to help will suffer the most while the deep pocket contributors ( e.g. trial lawyers) will benefit.
-- Stephen J. McCann
NY TIMES, THE NEW GOLDEN CALF
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Limbaugh-Hannity Administration:
The problem remains the domination of the popular culture and educational institutions by the liberal elites of both coasts. For those Americans seeking to appear hip and modern it is still fashionable to parrot the West Coast in-touch-with-your-feelings politics of liberal do-goodism. In this way those spouting the sophistry of their sophomoric creed demonstrate their deep concern for humanity. In turn those worried about their status as members of the elite ruling class are compelled to demonstrate their supposed intellectual superiority by mimicking the New York Times editorial page. These are the same people who are more concerned with the name of the university to which they send their children rather than the actual quality of education their children receive. It’s fine with them if their children are indoctrinated in socialism and secular humanism as long as the institution conducting the indoctrination is named Harvard or Princeton. Obama represented a candidate that satisfied status-seekers on both coasts. This, combined with the in vogue opinion among the elites that Bush was both evil and stupid, resulted in the election win by the current administration. Let’s face it, Limbaugh and Hannity might be right philosophically, but until that philosophy assumes status across a broad spectrum of our national institutions, their influence will be limited.
-- Peter Killie
BECAUSE POOR PEOPLE REALLY NEED...BIKE PATHS
Re: J. Peter Freire's blog post, You Know What America Needs? Bike Paths:
Way to be open minded…I’m sure there are no public spending, like bike paths, in the Republican plan. You’d rather give tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%...like the last 8 years. No, you’re right, bike paths don’t create jobs, they just create themselves.
Also, I’d like to know what polling you’ve seen that states the public is against it, My guess is some Republican pollster who cannot be trusted. You’re a joke. Enjoy being a regional party
-- Chris Cannon
CLICHE IT UP
Re: William Murchison's Authors of Their Own Doom:
To use a cliché, Murchison's piece today is brilliant. Not just about the newspaper angle, but as a societal statement. This is textbook stuff. On the way to defeat totalitarianism, America got sidetracked by totalitarianism. Woodward and Bernstein are examples of the Peter Principle. They were good reporters who were elevated to sages. They were (are) not sages.
One example of lies, dishonesty, unethicality. News people flock to interview Tom Friedman. Tom Friedman is/was a newsman. Communists are now elevated to experts on nature and health. Perhaps it was the drugs, perhaps the communists/anarchists pushed the drugs, but everything became surreal and to a great degree everything still is.
-- Bob Montgomery
Re: Melanie Harmon's Repealing the Bill of Rights:
This is what happens when a state is inundated by refugees from California and other benighted territories: Fleeing the excesses of Liberalism (especially confiscatory taxes), they nevertheless bring their "useful idiot" voting habits with them and soil their new nest.
Migration has consequences!
-- Charles Romer
HOW WERE THE SPECIAL EFFECTS
Re: James Bowman's Valkyrie :
Stauffenberg's son told Tom Cruise to go back to Hollywood. What more needs to be said, what more do you need to know about this movie?
-- Christopher Holland
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