Hearsay: Wednesday, April 24, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Free Speech is Overrated

Of the many things allegedly wrong with Natalie Maines’ telling a London audience that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas,” her decision to speak on behalf of her two Dixie Chick bandmates — and the corporate behemoth behind the Chicks — could be the “wrongest.” A united front is one thing, a rebellious — and expensive — aside is another. Maines, as expected, backpedaled a few days later, saying in a statement, “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful.”

Multi-millionaire Maines should know that running an empire (e.g., the Chicks monolith) requires being responsible to not only the customers (e.g., those red-state fans who accounted for $49 million worth of Chick ticket sales in a single day recently) but to the empire itself, including all those studio musicians, wardrobe assistants, and sound engineers who also pledged allegiance to and sweat for the empire. The damage from Maines’ comment is just now being tallied. Since her words were published, originally in The Guardian, a page’s worth of Chicks concert tickets have gone up on eBay. More significantly, a lot of country radio stations stopped playing the Chicks as part of various “Chick-Free” programming specials (Milwaukee-based Cumulus Broadcasting even banned the Dixie Chicks from all 42 of its stations across the country), a likely explanation why the Chicks’ No. 1 song, “Travelin’ Soldier,” has dropped from Billboard’s Top-20 Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

Here in the “country,” there’s at least one country-radio program director who understands the subtleties of navigating art and commerce. Dale Carter, from KFKF/94.1-FM in Kansas City, posted a letter on his station’s web page that read: “Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are over there fighting for our rights — and one of those is our Constitutional right to express an unpopular opinion. The longer this has gone on, the more I had visions of censorship and McCarthyism. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I agree with the 80 percent of you who abhor what Natalie said in London. On the other hand, I believe in the Constitution.” “Travelin’ Soldier” is one of a handful of songs listed under “This Week’s Favorites” on the station’s web site.

Best of What?

Did you see that steaming hunk of shit, the Star-Telegram’s Best of Tarrant County issue? If you thought the Startlegram was dumb, its readers (or at least the ones who voted) are apparently even dumber. Best local rock band? Bombshelter?!?! Who the fuck is Bombshelter? Best local country artist? The Dixie Chicks?!?! Last time HearSay checked, they were from Lubbock.

People who occasionally glance at the Star-T — like HearSay — should hide their heads in shame.

Alan

Support the home team: Local art rock group Alan is playing a showcase for Warner Bros. Records executives this Thursday, April 24, at the Curtain Club in Dallas.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions