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10 years later, Dixie Chicks right all along


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  • 10 years later, Dixie Chicks right all along

    CNN) -- Two days past 18

    'He was waiting for the bus in his Army green ...'

    Those are the first two lines from one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard, "Traveling Soldier." If you don't know it, I encourage you to look it up -- unless you're one of those folks who still hates the group that made the song popular, in which case, its beauty might be lost on you.

    It was 10 years ago this week -- as the country was barreling toward war with Iraq -- that Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, stood in front of a packed house in London and said:

    "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence. And we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

    It didn't matter that the evidence to invade Iraq was questionable or that Maines later apologized. The damage was done, and one of the most popular acts in the country became its most hated. Its music was banned from radio, CDs were trashed by bulldozers, and one band member's home was vandalized. Maines introduced "Soldier" with a call for peace, but she would soon find that the group needed metal detectors installed at entrances to shows on its stateside tour because of death threats.

    It was a classic case of freedom of speech meeting the irrational repercussions of that speech. "Soldier" is not only their last No. 1, it's still their last single to chart in the top 30. Officially, they've been on hiatus since 2006, but Maines, who is planning on releasing a solo CD in May, recently said, "I just don't feel like it's the Dixie Chicks' time."

    For anyone who appreciates great music, this admission should be vexing. Prior to Maines' 2003 comments, the group's previous two CDs had sold at least 10 million copies each, and they were singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. In two years, they had won eight Academy of Country Music Awards, including the male-dominated Entertainer of the Year category in 2000. But they didn't reach that level of popularity because of sexy outfits and Auto-Tuned vocals. They are immensely talented.

    If anything, Maines and company should be viewed as prophets, not pariahs, considering that the weapons of mass destruction the Bush administration led the country to believe Saddam Hussein was housing were never found. Or that since 2006, the majority of Americans have felt the invasion was a mistake to begin with.

    And yet, despite all that we now know, the Chicks remain ostracized in the world they came from, as if they were the ones who presented false information to the United Nations Security Council; as if they waged a war Tony Blair's right-hand man now says "cannot be justified"; as if the misguided attack were their fault.

    Before the group was set to do an interview with Diane Sawyer in late April 2003 -- with hopes of stopping the public relations bleeding -- they questioned why they needed to grovel and beg for Bush's forgiveness. In a scene from the 2006 documentary "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing," their own PR rep explains, "he's got sky-high approval. The war couldn't be going better. By the time this interview airs ... the looting will be done; the rebuilding of Iraq will be started. ... Two weeks from now, it's going to be even a more positive situation."

    Soon after, Bush delivered a victory speech on the deck of an aircraft carrier, underneath a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." The war wasn't declared over until eight years later.

    And somehow, folks remain mad at the Chicks.

    Last week, in marking the 10-year anniversary of Maines' comments, Country Music Television asked fans whether the Chicks should be forgiven, and more than a third of responders said "no."

    Which probably explains why their next performances are in Canada



    Free Pussy Riot!.

  • #2
    They sucked then, they suck now. Old group making old news their "controversy" to try to resurrect their career.

    “True unalienable rights do not require one to trample other unalienable rights.”
    ―J.S.B. Morse


    • moonlightin
      moonlightin commented
      Editing a comment

      quickie1 wrote:
      They sucked then, they suck now. Old group making old news their "controversy" to try to resurrect their career.

      That's beside the point.

      Where are the twits who called them traitors? And these idiots that threatened them... obviously they're all for the first amendment. And the: you're either with us or against us and you're not American you're a traitor crowd.  There's gotta be a couple on this board. I wasn't here on this board at that time, I was on another board. I remember the snide remarks. People tried to kick my butt on it too. Of course, I "stood my ground". I'm thinking those particular people are no more aware now then they were then of reality, truth, facts, etc.

    • sporter
      sporter commented
      Editing a comment

      quickie1 wrote:
      They sucked then, they suck now. Old group making old news their "controversy" to try to resurrect their career.

      These ladies are very talented blending a raspy bluesy vocal with some traditional country playing. No suckage, plus they said what a lot of us wanted to say. Good music, good politics, and sexy to boot. 

    • Gromit
      Gromit commented
      Editing a comment

      quickie1 wrote:
      They sucked then, they suck now. Old group making old news their "controversy" to try to resurrect their career.

      Surely you're joking.  'Goodbye Earl' is a fantastic song.

  • #3

    While they were hot and making more money than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Marines had the answer.

    People are making much ado about nothing at all.


    • Grammy
      Grammy commented
      Editing a comment

      So a Marine takes a karaoke version of a Dixie Chicks song and makes a video of his narcissistic self to support his clearly proven to be wrong view and I am suppossed to be moved.  I deeply respect the efforts our military makes on our behalf and honor their service, but not all military people are good people.  Some are idiots and this guy is probably one of them.  Natalie Maines has expressed that one of her biggest concerns is letting people like Cheney and Bush put our military in harms way for their own personal benefit and how we should use the military with great caution.  How is that a bad point of view?

    • Rudolf von Hagenwil
      Editing a comment

      The girls are good, very good !!!

      The guy will never perform outside the US, well, maybe on a military base. I can virtually smell his dumbness..



  • #4
    Not sure for what they need to be forgiven......they were right.


    • #5
      Dixie Chix had guts to speak their minds to a demographic that loves to go to war. Green Day did the same thing with American Idiot, but they got away with it because their fan demographic is somewhat more introspective. the country music establishment are hypocrites, spouting off about freedom and helping destroy the careers of those who are free.


      • #6

        I don't care anymore about the Dixie Chicks' stance on politics than I care about Ted Nugent's stance on politics.  They are musicians (at least the Dixie Chicks are) and they have a platform from which to speak because of it.  Let them speak, if you agree, fine, if not, fine, none of us are forced to listen.

        Just my 2 cents.

        Originally Posted by DrakkarTyrannis

        I'm a drag queen..not Jesus Christ

        Originally Posted by LuckisforLosers

        Don't sound like Korn.