Sam Moore's not so finest hour
I try to steer clear of politics on this blog - not because I'm not interested but because it's the music that matters. But the inauguration of Donald Trump yesterday left a sour taste in my mouth with his isolationist and protectionist rhetoric (if that isn't too overblown a word for his pathetic efforts at public speaking). I love the US and visit there from the UK a couple of times a year. I find most Americans welcoming, polite and friendly. But this President's inward looking view is worrying. He doesn't appear to have a clue or care in the least for the rest of the world. His catchphrase 'America First' is scarily reminiscent of 'Britain First', an extreme right wing British organisation which is anti immigrant, anti Europe, anti gay etc etc. His policies seem to be much the same as well.
Britain has its own problems as a result of the decision by a narrow margin to leave the European community. Many of those who voted for Brexit share the same narrow, racist viewpoint as Trump's supporters. Theresa May seems determined to push ahead with the hardest of hard Brexits come what may and the Government seems to think that a trade deal with the US will be easy to arrange and beneficial to the UK. Forget it: Trump has made it clear that he doesn't want trade deals unless they put 'America First', so why should a deal with Britain be any different. The sight of the loathsome Brexiteer Michael Gove creeping up to Trump pretending to be the journalist he once was a week or so ago was disconcerting to say the least. Let's not pretend that Trump cares about the UK (apart from his Scottish golf course). He may have put Churchill's bust back in the Oval Office but he's a hard nosed businessmen who is in it for his own interests, certainly not ours and probably not those of the American people. I predict that he will not finish his first term but even if he does there is no light at the end of the tunnel. A lot will have happened by 2020 - very little of it good.
Anyway, back to the music, and I was a little saddened to see the great Sam Moore singing at Trump's inauguration event. His rendition of 'America The Beautiful' was not his finest hour. It's a corny song and he sang it rather poorly I thought. I saw Sam at the Porretta Soul Festival a few years ago and would love to see him perform again. And his combination with Dave Prater produced some of the greatest soul recordings of all time. I saw Sam and Dave on the Stax Tour to the UK in 1967 and they stole the show, despite the presence on the bill of Otis Redding, among others. 'Hold On I'm Coming' lifted the roof of the Fairfield Hall, Croydon. Sadly those days are well behind him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPwSsvqEV0s
Here's a photo of Sam at Porretta in 2001 (actually it was held in Bologna that year).