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View Diary: Scott MacKenzie Peacenik - RIP - warning - heavy video (8 comments)

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  •  I saw Chapin @ the Air Force Academy ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... in Colorado Springs, either 1975 or 1976. Weird venue in retrospect. More than 99 percent of the audience were cadets and the commanding officers. I was neither, and really stood out with my shoulder length locks and facial hair and blue jeans. The cadets were dressed in formal clothing as were their dates. They also sat on their hands and didn't applaud or make any sounds, unless the commanding officers did. It reminded me of attending a classical music concert in the stuffiest hall imaginable. And Harry's comments to the listeners struck me as politically right-wing -- at least for that era -- including remarks about how he could see the audience because there was no "smoke" obscuring his vision. He even changed the concluding lyrics to "Taxi" -- one of my favorite tunes -- so that he was no longer flying so high, when he's stoned. He also changed the words to several other songs, in a self-censoring move. It was startling to this fan who'd memorized his albums to that point. The idea I had in my mind about Harry Chapin was not the performer I saw on stage. He morphed into Pat Boone that particular night.

    Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me, "how good, how good does it feel to be free? " And I answer them most mysteriously, "are birds free from the chains of the skyway? " (Bob Dylan)

    by JKTownsend on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:33:11 PM PDT

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    •  just being polite (4+ / 0-)

      he was very liberal, but i'm guessing he felt it pointless to offend people. the specific words weren't the point, anyway, his stories spoke his values, and i'm guessing those didn't change.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:55:59 PM PDT

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      •  I realize that he was being polite ... (3+ / 0-)

        ... and I was careful to note that his performance that night at the academy was atypical. He was playing to his audience, and it was an honor to perform before the cadets. I think he was also reacting from his own distaste at the negative reactions and marginalization that many Vietnam vets experienced in that era. His opening act that evening, BTW, was his brother Tom Chapin, who is a huge talent in his own right.

        Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me, "how good, how good does it feel to be free? " And I answer them most mysteriously, "are birds free from the chains of the skyway? " (Bob Dylan)

        by JKTownsend on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:36:35 PM PDT

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