My first and only article for Rolling Stone. No link, though. Anyone who says the Internet is forever never tried to find a link from 10 years ago. Update! Link found. Click on the pic.
I was a reporter for The Greenville News 10 years ago when the Dixie Chicks came to town for their first U.S. concert since lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
It may not seem like much now since it’s apparently become OK to insult the president here, there and everywhere but at the time, as war loomed with Iraq, it really offended many in the patriotic country music audience. Radio stations stopped playing their music. People drove heavy machinery over piles of their CDS (those things before MP3 players).
The atmosphere was crazy in Greenville as “fans” protested outside what was the Bil-Lo Arena for days and the band was in hiding because their lives had been threatened.
Myself and members of the media from all over the world were there to listen to what the protesters said as the band itself steered clear, except to appear nude on Entertainment Weekly that very same week to protest censorship.
Many critics predicted they’d be booed off the stage but 15,000 true fans were in the audience and drowned out any boos.
“If you’re here to boo we welcome that because we welcome freedom of speech,” Maines told the crowd. Continue reading