Thursday, March 18, 2010

Keith Urban, Politics And Music

CMT: The Eagles, Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban Plan Summer Tour

Comments are flying already:

"I've seen the Chicks but that was before Natalie ruined a remarkably successful career with one sentence. I won't see them again until Natalie is replaced with someone like Nikki Nelson, (formerly of Highway 101). Saw The Eagles their last time out and the show was outstanding! In fact, they did their version of "My Girl" which they should seriously consider releasing as a single. Would love to see Keith."


"So every perfomer that steps on a stage should have passed a political litmus test with the fans. How hypocritical you right wingers are. I've seen Trace Adkins spout his politics from the stage and Sheryl Crow tell the audience hers at concerts. But Natalie Mains has to carry her cross for you for all eternity. Pathetic. I agree with citybumpkin, I bet it's just fine for some of you to do up ugly posters and spout hate about our current president. It's music people, get over yourselves and enjoy it."

What's radio to do??

Click here to take survey.

Results on Monday.


Anonymous said...

I don't pay good money to buy a ticket to your show to hear your political beliefs. I didn't buy a ticket to a political debate, I bought a ticket to a concert. I don't think it is appropriate for anyone, Trace Adkins, Natalie Maines, Sheryl Crow...anyone to take advantage of a captive audience who paid good money to be there, to foist their political beliefs. I've paid money to see James Taylor, CSN and Jackson Browne, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even though I have 180-degree, diametrically opposing political views. I still love their work, and am still amazed to observe, first-hand, their talent in exercise. They are amazing people, and I love to watch them do what they do best. THAT'S what I'm paying for when I buy a concert ticket. Here's an idea, let's just leave politics out of it. Do your show and let us enjoy it without the politics. My problem with Natalie Maines is that she said what she did on a foreign stage. Had she said that in Texas, I would have chalked it up to freedom of speech, but you don't go to London and dis the country that has been so very good to you! Ingrate! You would never see people like Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton or Elton John coming over to the states and proclaiming from the stage what a 'bitch' the Queen is! There is a certain level of decorum and protocol. As a certain radio host put it: "just shut up and sing!" That's what you're there for, nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Then can I assume you also criticize Republican minority whip Eric Cantor for criticizing President Obama in Israel?

Andy Waits said...

Jaye, may I say that your survey misses the point.

Rightly or wrongly, the perception among a huge chunk of the audience was that they were anti-American.

The Chicks weren't conspicuous in their absence... only in their airplay. That is, no one noticed that they DIDN'T hear them, only that they did. And that's why so many programmers yanked 'em. Keith Urban suffers no controversy-by-association.

Anonymous said...

If you'd like to publish these comments, I would be honored. Please just don't use my name.

I am now, and I was then, a fairly middle of the road guy politically. I never thought it was just what Natalie Maines said in London or even how she said it. The fact is that a LOT of people on both sides of this industry did not like her. She was not a very nice person.

She never wronged me directly, but she was rude to me the only two times I spoke with her. I try very hard not to hold grudges against artists who are rude, but it after I moved to Nashville I had that image of her reinforced by dozens of other people who had all gotten the same impression.

Most importantly however, I think the vast majority of people have forgotten the whole story. There was more than that one famous quote in 2003.

In 2002, Maines said that 'Courtesy of The Red, White, & Blue' was "ignorant, and it makes country music sound ignorant." The song was #1 when she made that statement. That means it was the most popular country song in America at that time. She was basically calling the people who made the song #1 (radio and record-buyers) ignorant. I vividly recall that our listeners were FURIOUS. Natalie apologized and people forgave her. We even featured the Dixie Chicks as part of our 9/11/02 show in an interview where Natalie addressed the comments and again apologized.

Next, of course, came the famous 2003 comments in London. The mainstream media picked up on the hostility from country radio and country fans, but they were mostly unaware that this was actually strike 2. Again, Natalie went on national TV and apologized. This time she even cried.

Now, here's a little piece of the story no one ever recalls. A lot of our listeners (and I think a good portion of the country audience) were sympathetic. Then, just as I thought the anger was dying down and cooler heads might have prevailed, she stuck out a proverbial middle finger.

Two weeks after appearing on 5 national TV shows and the cover of several magazines, Maines wore a T-shirt that read FUTK on stage at the Academy of Country Music Awards. There was no doubt among country music fans what it meant. They didn't just see it as an unnecessary and untimely jab at a fellow artist. They saw it as a reminder from Natalie that although she's been playing nice lately because she has to in order to save face, deep down she still thinks they're all ignorant morons.

I can honestly say that I gave her the benefit of the doubt on strike 1 and strike 2. Strike 3 was what sent me over the line. It reawakened my earlier impressions of Natalie. She's just not a very nice person. After all, a nice person wouldn't wear that shirt on stage at the ACMs. That had nothing to do with politics. It was just plain rude.

We spoke to Toby Keith a few days after the incident. He shrugged it off, but he said one thing that I still remember. "It's not just one or two things that she's said and it's not just me. This has been building up for a long time. Most people won't admit it, but almost everyone on Music Row has a 'Natalie Maines' story. She's been shooting her mouth off for years and It's finally catching up to her."

Years later, when once again a lot of people had moved on, 'Not Ready To Make Nice' was just more salt on an open wound. Now, The Dixie Chicks weren't sorry like they had claimed. That was all just a lie to try and quiet the controvesy. In fact, they were now pissed off and self-righteous. It was the country fans' fault all along, not Natalie's.

facebook Thread said...

Diane Shannon Hansell

I think a lot of the Dixie Chick brew haha was drummed up to get attention for radio. It was a time when the President was telling people that if you didn't agree with them, you were Un-American. If certain radio groups would not have used Natalie as a promotion tool.... it would have passed. The reaction did not match the actual controversy.

Bill Dodd
Yeah, right. They wanted to get banned by the Country committee for correct thinking!

Dawson said...

This isn't about Keith, it's about the Dixie Chicks and their arrogance toward the country audience. Of course we all love Keith and would go out of our way to see him in concert. Of course no one should/would forward the idea of pulling his music from the air (where did the idea for the poll even come from?).

But it's a weird lineup. And the Maines Chicks are still - at their own doing - extremely reviled by that segment of the audience who were originally offended. About half of ticket buyers.

The girls just shouldn't plan on having as many people in the stands for their portion of the evening.