This is not my photo; I don't know to whom the photo credit belongs, but this is WOODY GUTHRIE. Today is his birthday. He would be 97 years old had he lived, but his message and his music live on.
Pop culture as agitprop wasn't born with Woody, but he was one the phenomenon's greatest instigators. Many of my favorite artists took a page from his performance art - Bob Dylan, The Clash, Billy Bragg, to name but a few.
The sticker on Woody's guitar reads: This Machine Kills Fascists.
Its a slogan that keeps on giving and for me, lived through the Clash and Billy Bragg. If I had that sticker, I'd put it on the back of my camera.
this is what i mean...
July 14 is most famously celebrated as Bastille Day, and that is a fitting coincidence - the birth of the French Revolution back in 1789 denounced the feudal way of life in France and brought the power of Hope to the common people.
Its something to sing about.... People have the power!
Patti Smith sang "People Have the Power
Woody Guthrie wasn't the first protest singer, nor will he be the last. He was however, one of the most compelling. Maybe my socialist roots were planted during the primary school sing alongs of "This Land is Your Land." I certainly took that message seriously! I respect the musicians who carry Woody's torch.
On another somewhat related note, this is Post #999. This blog has been around since February 2005. Thanks for sticking with me.
In a salute to the number, here's the English Oi band - 999