“I want to walk down the street someday and see young people coming here, writing good songs, proud to be here again. When I first came here, a lot of people were proud to be here. It was a good feeling. It gave you pride. You didn’t give a shit whether the rest of the world liked you or not. And we were the underdogs and the niggers of the music business. Our music was the least respected of popular music, but we had our pride among ourselves. It was like a family suddenly going sour, and I want to have that same pride again. The public can sense–an individual can sense–when something is real and when it isn’t. The people know.
“When we started, people thought we were going to destroy Nashville. Who wants to destroy Nashville? It’s a long way from my mind. But if a guy can’t offer a good, decent alternative, he should shut the fuck up. But if he’s got a good, decent alternative, all he’s got to do is keep doing it, and pretty soon the whole fucking industry will be doing it, because there are too few people in this town that know what the fuck to do. Because they don’t love it; they’re doing it for the fucking salary.”
Who is this quote from?
Hank III ?
Waylon Jennings ?
Tompall Glaser ?
Jason Ringenberg from Jason and the Scorchers ?
Does it even really matter ?
We’re sitting here on the eve of the release of Hank III’s new album Damn Right, Rebel Proud. In fact some people who pre-ordered it already have it, and some have found stores that released it early. This is a pretty big victory, but this is just a small battle in the war.
Right now our culture and music is for sale to the highest bidder. The music of the South and the West, and the poor and the country dwellers has been robbed to entertain urban hipsters and teenage suburbanites. I’m so happy and proud that all of us have been able to make an impact however small, but I can’t help but feel like there is so much more to do.
And I also can’t help feeling like the tide is turning. Nashville has tested the limits of how much ‘pop’ the country music genre can handle, and now they’ve crossed the line. But you see rock n’ rollers and metal heads getting into REAL country. You see punk kids getting into bluegrass. You see teenagers listening to Hank Williams instead of their local Clear Channel Top 40 Country station.
Country music, or at least the genre that used to be defined by that term, has been hijacked by pop. And because of this, the voice of the country, the voice of the people has found and will continue to find new places to be heard.
Folk is the new Rock ‘n Roll.
Country is the new Heavy Metal.
Bluegrass is the new Punk.
Don’t believe me? Just wait. You will see.
Tompall Glaser is whose responsible for that quote above. He made it in the 70’s. But can’t you see Hank III saying that same thing today?
And it’s true; just like Tompall said we don’t want to ‘destroy’ Nashville, just like we don’t want to destroy the Grand Ole Opry for not Reinstating Hank Williams. We love the Opry more than the people who are doing everything they can to run it into the ground.
We want to kick the money whores out, and take back our music and the institutions that we love.
Yes, we will revel in the sweet victory of Damn Right, Rebel Proud for the moment. But not for too long, because there’s so much work to do.
Nashville, take heed. We are on the march.