music and politics on radio

Bob Nelson
Sun Sep 19 10:59:29 EDT 2004

>>Who cares what an artists politics are?  You like the song or you don't! 

For awhile some country stations pulled the Dixie Chicks because Natalie Maines said "you know, we're ashamed to be from Texas"
because the prez was from there. (She said it overseas; care to
say that in front of a crowd in Dallas?) People are entitled to
their opinions, and the consumers are welcome to either buy or
boycott as a result.

Country stations later wound up re-instating the Chicks, though
(and some liberal-leaning public radio stations actually added
the Chicks to their playlist during the controversy, like the
folk show at Kent State's WKSU).

Meanwhile, talk host Laura Ingraham wrote a book called "Shut Up
And Sing" which, in part, takes to task musicians and actors
who inject their politics into a concert, etc. What if you like
a musician and pay money to go to a concert and they launch into
a political diatribe for 10 minutes (OK, I'm exaggerating) and
you disagree? You have every right to walk out and perhaps not buy their releases anymore (though in many cases people probably 
agree with an artist's music AND politics; most REM fans are
probably anti-Bush, as lead singer Michael Stipe is).

Ingraham's attitude is: look, you entertain us and leave the politics to the experts. Then again, I'm sure many conservatives
don't mind if someone like Charlie Daniels gets up on stage and
sings "This Ain't No Rag, It's A Flag" or "In America" and
talks about supporting the war...though I guess if a concert
were promoted as also being a "support the troops and President"
rally, people would at least know what they're in for. Who knows.

>From the Contra-Costa Times (SF area):
And speaking of politics ... Hynde is a tad anti-war. She's anti lots of stuff, and isn't afraid to growl about them all every time the music stops.

"Have we gone to war yet?" she asked sarcastically, early on. "We (expletive) deserve to get bombed. Bring it on." Later she yelled, "Let's get rid of all the economic (expletive) this country represents! Bring it on, I hope the Muslims win!"

When a crowd member responded to that inflammatory statement, Hynde stormed the mic, roaring, "Shut your face!" Glaring, she held out the mic toward the fan as longtime drummer Martin Chambers stood up behind her, ready to rumble. "You come up to the mic and say something, smart guy," she snarled. "What do you want to talk about?"

The music nearly became an afterthought for Hynde's issues. ("Did I tell you why I hate sports? Because I hate winners and people who have to win all the time.") 

Note: (me again)--it's unknown how much money Hynde or the Pretenders make out of the use of "My City Was Gone" as the
theme to Rush Limbaugh's show :)

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