In a move reminiscent of its sadly faded historical tradition of progressivism, the State Legislature of Wisconsin has banned the playing of any song from the album "Fly Like an Eagle" by former favorite son Stevie "Guitar" Miller. Wisconsinites have all agreed that the songs were very nice for the first thirty years, somewhat aggravating for the ensuing ten, and have become insufferable.
"But only because of repetition. It's not like we got anyt'ing against Steve. Wisconsin loves Steve," State Legislator Walt Staller stated, adding, with characteristic Wisconsin niceness (and a touch of confusion), "...all Steves, in fact."
Wisconsin radio stations playing songs from "Fly Like an Eagle" will be shut down and then burned to the ground. "It's created a climate of fear," said a radio station programmer, on condition of anonymity. "I mean, can you play 'The Joker' or 'Space Cowboy' or 'Livin' in the USA'? No, it's not safe, because everybody thinks those are from 'Fly Like an Eagle' too, even though they aren't. So one minute you're perfectly legally grooving to 'I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker,' and the next thing you know your station's vinyl archive is a superheated mass of moving goo and you're out in the rain with a fireman's cape over your shoulders and a lady from Community Outreach is pressing a cup of chamomile tea into your hands. What kind of country is this when you can't listen to your favorite tunes on the radio eighty-seven thousand times if you want to?"
The President of the Steve Miller Fan Club in Milwaukee, Ferdinand "Ferdie" McGurk, was unperturbed. "It's not like we don't have all the albums," he said.
When asked if he indeed had all the albums, he said, "No, I just have 'Greatest Hits 1974–78.'"
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Nathan Degargoyle: "Banning any part of the SMB canon would be a global error. This is what made Milwaukee famous! What? You thought that was the watery, gassy excuse for beer? You're so full of Schlitz!"
Bruce K: "No Satire Alert? :-) "
Mike replies: Implied. :-)
Bob Burnett: "Ferdinand 'Ferdie' McGurk probably doesn't have all 16:26 of 'Macho City' from 1981's 'Circle of Love,' the pinnacle of the 'side 2 contract obligation' recording."
Mike replies: Hey, make the sign of the cross with your index fingers when you refer to that! (Note to those who don't know the cut: Do not go to iTunes to listen to the sample. You're welcome.)
Nicholas Condon: "There is similar legislation pending in Indiana regarding John Mellencamp. New Jersey's strict new 'Born in the USA' law is still under review by a federal court of appeals."
Mike replies: You laugh, but my end of the hallway in my freshman dorm nearly came to blows over Paul Nowosadko playing "Born to Run" ad nauseam, and at a later dorm, two girls ended their friendship over a terminal disagreement about how often "Blood on the Tracks" should be played. (One loved it and wanted to play it a lot, the other one loved it even more and thought it should be reserved for special occasions.)
Steve L.: "Nice, Mike, I love it. And I'm really glad Wisconsin loves 'all Steves.'
"The way I see it the problem isn't the music, it's the people who listen to the same thing over and over, year after year. There's great new music released daily, and it's been that way decade after decade. I've been an avid music listener since the mid-seventies, and I've never had a problem finding great new stuff. I even love hearing songs off 'Fly Like An Eagle' because I only hear them once every two or three years (or less) [that's because you don't live in Wisconsin —Mike], and they still sound fresh. Two pieces of advice to folks who get sick of stuff that's blasted at them—stop listening to commercial radio, and make a hobby of 'music finding.' There's more great stuff out there than ever."
Mike replies: Just a few recent favorite songs of mine: "River" by Ibeyi isn't standing up to repeated listens very well, but you owe it to yourself to see the simple but original video:
Next, for some reason I can't quite pinpoint I just love the album "You Had It Coming" by Jeff Beck, which I just discovered even though it came out in 2001. It's not at all the sort of thing I listen to—sort of electronica meets hip-hop with underpinnings of guitar-solo rock structure, and lots of synths and beats—but I love the whole thing and play it repeatedly. Sample "Earthquake" and "Nadia."
Another one I love is Mike Doughty's PledgeMusic-funded song from last summer, "Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future." (As I've mentioned I love songs with banjo parts used in weird ways.) I'm not a huge Soul Coughing fanatic but every now and then Doughty comes up with something I really like. There was a ghoul on the misty moor....
David Parsons: "Robert Plant donated $10,000 to an Oregon radio station to never play 'Stairway to Heaven' ever again."