Yeah, the Dixie Chicks still have the #1 country album, so maybe they're not suffering too much. But this little detail, tucked into an article on Pearl Jam, is a bit disturbing:
Things have apparently gotten so bad that Chick Martie Maguire said the musicians now fears for their safety.
"We've gotten a lot of hate mail, a lot of threatening mail," Maguire told reporters in Australia. "Emily [Robison] had the front gate of her ranch smashed in. We have to have security when we get back to the States. It puts my well-being in jeopardy."
The Chicks kick off their mostly sold-out U.S. tour May 1 in Greenville, South Carolina, where a protest is already planned.
That's why I'm still concerned -- they've been out of the country and they're coming back in a month, a fat target. If the Iraqis gas U.S. troops between now and then (using weapons that wouldn't have been used if there were inspectors in the country and troops outside, rather than the other way around), what happens to the Dixie Chicks?
This is the kind of thing I fear could happen again in this country:
People's Artists booked a major concert for August 27, 1949 at Lakeland Picnic Grounds, a former golf course north of Peekskill, New York. [Pete] Seeger and other People's Artists were tapped to warm up the crowd for its featured act, Paul Robeson. Some questioned the wisdom of holding such an event in Peekskill, a notoriously reactionary community that harbored an active Ku Klux Klan chapter. Soon after the concert was announced, the local paper launched a vitriolic attack on Robeson and his political views. The Joint Veterans Council of Westchester County immediately began planning a parade just prior to the concert; most residents knew it was a setup.
Several hours before the show was to begin, novelist Howard Fast arrived at the resort to help set up the public address system. From out of nowhere, about 300 vigilantes brutally pelted Fast, his assistants and other early arrivers with rocks. Fighting its way to the stage, the mob broke chairs and burned songsheets. Police met other concertgoers up the road. telling them the program was cancelled.
Eager to stand its ground, People's Artists boldly rescheduled the concert for the following week. Expecting more potential for violence, People's Artists hired guards from several left-wing unions to protect the grounds. Between 20,000 and 25,000 persons came to Peekskill for the rescheduled concert: most came to show solidarity in the face of local hostility. It was probably the largest audience Seeger and Robeson had faced since the October 1948 Yankee Doodle Rally for Henry Wallace in New York's Madison Square Garden. The concert was held without incident; at its conclusion Westchester County deputies began directing departing traffic to a little-used access road away from the main entrance. It was a trap. Hundreds of angry residents viciously showered the cars with rocks; the police did nothing to stop them. More than 150 concertgoers were injured during the riot, many from flying glass.
Francis Dellorco, a Philadelphia artist who formerly produced filmstrips for People's Songs, captured the angry mob on a primitive wire recorder. "You can hear the crowd say. 'Hey, you white niggers, get back to Russia' and 'Jews, Jews, Jews'," Mario Casetta recalled....
And on the subject of Pearl Jam: Eddie Vedder famously scrawled "PRO-CHOICE" on his arm during the group's MTV Unplugged concert. Vedder contributed a song to the soundtrack of the anti-death-penalty film Dead Man Walking. Vedder campaigned for Ralph Nader. And the new Pearl Jam album has an anti-Bush song, "Bushleaguer." Were the fans who walked out of the show surprised that Vedder was impassioned in the way he expressed his opposition to Bush?