Saturday, January 21, 2017

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.
Here's a photo of Sam at Porretta in 2001 (actually it was held in Bologna that year).


At 5:43 pm , Anonymous imnokid said...

Your words are too kind. It was an awful performance.

At 1:29 am , Blogger Allen said...

Good points in your article Nick. Sad that a great artist like Sam is performing for the likes of Trump. He's America's nightmare for the next four years!

At 4:13 pm , Anonymous Pete W said...

I agree with every word, Nick - having also seen Sam & Dave at the Fairfield Hall on the Stax-Volt UK tour in '67!
And of course it's entirely your prerogative to comment on political matters - particularly when the situation is as parlous as it is right now. Sadly for us Brits, our crass stupidity in voting for Brexit robs us of the chance of criticizing Americans for choosing Trump (although I know they didn't actually numerically do so). Besides, they can regain their senses and kick him out in four years (if he hasn't been impeached first), whereas we're stuck with Brexit for generations to come. His "America First" mantra in particular sent chills down my spine, not so much for any association with Britain First, but because America First was the actual name of Charles Lindbergh's influential anti-semitic, pro-Nazi organisation in the 30s. I would have thought Trump's advisers were aware of that, even if he wasn't, but I guess they don't care. Similarly with "the will of the people", a phrase used liberally by both Brexiteers and Trumpers, which brings to mind Hitler's harping on "Das Deutsche Volk", and many a dictator's speech since.

Sorry to go off on one! From a kindred spirit, keep up the great work ...


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