Monday, August 28, 2006

"I Have A Dream"


On this date in history, 1963, Martin Luther King made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. His death, a mere seven and half months later in Memphis, TN was one of a spate of senseless assassinations that spurred the iconic invocation of King as well as two Kennedy brothers and others in pop culture.

Don't know if you remember the pop/folk hit "Abraham, Martin & John" from the 60s, but that may have been among the first to invoke multiple "martyrs." Of course, the Byrds had "He Was a Friend of Mine," and decades later, U2 wrapped themselves in the cloak of America by visiting Memphis, Sun Studios and singing about MLK in their anthemic "Pride, In the Name of Love."

Memphis hasn't been the same since MLK was gunned down there... even those musicians who appear in the short film that begins the Stax Museum tour swear by that.

Back then, even though culture was segregated, music seemed to be integrated.

Why then, was there such a lack of Black presence in rock n roll and especially in punk rock?

Sure, its easy to point to Bad Brains and feel good that you can name a brother in punk. And you can point to Phil Lynott on the straight-up rock n roll side... and its easy to admit that Chuck Berry started it all...

But but...is it only Mick Collins these days? And why isn't he a bigger presence? Why isn't he a house-hold name?

I don't have the answer. I don't know if there is one. But its a question that bears asking on this particular date.

1 comment:

mullett said...

You're point is well taken, however there are such kids in Ohio such as This Moment in Black History that features Laurence, whose surname escapes me, & Lamont Thomas (also of Bassholes fame). In Columbus, Nate Farley (ex-GBV) has started a band with local guitar stud David Glenn who is African American. Dave plays the Jag-Stang with the no. 8 sticker on it 'cause that there dang Intimidator Jr. in that number 8 car is wicked bad.