Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Grammys and Neil Young v. Skynyrd:

Not a big fan of most of what passes for pop-music. A couple of nice things so far (as I write this, they are not over).

1. The lifetime achievement award given to Led Zeppelin (although it would have been nicer if they had a longer feature);

2. The bone thrown to "Red State" America: The Southern Rock segment. Although I'm not a big fan of country in its "pure" state, I do like it as a "fusion" element -- mixed together with blues, rock, or jazz. As such I like fusion bands that have a country flair like The Dixie Dregs and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. And I dig southern rock as well.

Sweet Home Alabama was the strongest performance. And if anyone doesn't know -- if you carefully examine the lyrics, they are hardcore Red State. Interesting story behind them too. Neil Young, typical leftist hippie lyricist, wrote a song entitled "Southern Man" (and a few others like his song "Alabama"), decrying the South's (and that state's in particular) record on civil rights.

So Skynyrd countered with Sweet Home Alabama, their answer to Neil Young.

Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down.
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
a southern man don't need him around anyhow

But their redneck politics were more explicit than that:

In Birmingham they love the gov' nor
Now we all did what we could do....

The gov'nor was of course George Wallace. And this site even says that "He made the band honorary Lieutenant Colonels in the state militia."

And finally, just to drive the point home that they weren't a liberal hippie rock band:

Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

As the last link details, their quibble with Neil Young was "good-natured fun. They were actually big fans of each other. Ronnie Van Zant often wore Neil Young T-shirts on stage and is wearing one on the cover of Street Survivors, the last Skynyrd album before his death."

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