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The Kinks
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A Well Respected Man
(The Kinks)
Vietnam Cowboys
(Ray Davies)


[1965]
Brano inedito scritta da Ray Davies.

Fin dall'inizio della loro carriera, i Kinks furono noti per le loro esibizioni infuocate e le "intemperanze" sul palco. Nel maggio del 1965,a Cardiff, poco dopo aver aperto con la celeberrima "You Really Got Me", il batterista Mick Avory rovesciò il suo set insultando il chitarrista Dave Davies che, in tutta risposta, raccolse un hi-hat (il trespolo in metallo che sorregge il piatto crash) e glielo fracassò sulla testa... Non lo uccise, ma ci mancò poco.
E sempre nel 1965, il tour americano della band (si era in piena "british invasion" e i gruppi inglesi erano molto richiesti negli USA) si concluse malamente, con risse televisive, concerti annullati e litigi con i promoter... Risultato: l'American Federation of Musicians bandì i Kinks dai palchi statunitensi per quattro anni.

Questa canzone - ovviamente inedita per ragioni commerciali, visto che nel 1969, l'anno di "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)", i Kinks erano di nuovo in pista a livello planetario - è il resoconto di quell'esperienza, lo sguardo schifato di quattro ragazzi inglesi sulla "terra del gelato e della torta di mele, delle pistole e del selvaggio West"...
America, the land of the free, the home of the brave
That's what I thought before I toured there
You see, I've got myself being seduced by the sheer Americana of it all
and I'd seen their images on television
of Lee Harvey Oswald, John F. Kennedy's assassination
and I thought "America is a violent place"
And America is keen to trap you
like you had giant tentacles that wrapped themselves around you
until you couldn't move and you were trapped
The land of the free, the home of the brave, guns and the Wild West

Hey big fat cowboy, wearing your big Stetson
Hey big fat cowboy, flashing your big six gun
Hey big fat cowboy, singing country & western
Hey big fat cowboy, is this the way that the West was won? Yeah

I found myself in the back of a big Ford Thunderbird
with a slick-looking dude
He looked like a punk from a B-movie,
the sort of punk that would piss everybody off
until Lee Marvin put a bullet through his brain
The punk looked over at me
"Kinks? What kind of a motherfuckin' name is that?"
Then he reached over and picked up the car telephone
"Hey kid, I've got Elvis Presley's phone number.
I've got Ann-Margret's phone number. I've fucked Ann-Margret!"
I knew Mick Avory would be impressed with this, but I was not
And then the punk looked over at me
"I'll dial Elvis Presley" He dialed a number
"Hey, is that you Elvis? I wanna speak to the Colonel.
Jump to it, you mother!"
And then he looked over at me in a menacing way,
reached into the glove-compartment and took out a revolver
He waved the six gun around, menacingly
"You see kid, when I deal with people, they have to treat me right,
otherwise they contend with this! A gun!
Have you ever seen a gun before?"
I hadn't
Then he waved it around, put it back in the glove-compartment
"Welcome to Peoria, Illinois, home of Middle America,
ice-cream and apple pie, guns and the Wild West"

All American wise guy, why achieve that gleam in the sun
Hamburger and a milkshake, all American dude
Popcorn and a t-bone, hot dog with a big smile
and a bad attitude, yeah yeah yeah

Flying across America on a TWA, flying to California
to appear on television, performing our new record Set me free
The Kinks were met by a union man with a contract to sign
and The Kinks didn't like signing contracts
"Hey, are you The Kinks? Sign this piece of paper guys!
I want you to sign this union-document so you can appear on television"
"No thanks mate, we don't wanna sign a contract"
"You have to sign, otherwise you cannot appear"
"We don't want to sign a piece of paper, alright!"
"Listen kid, you sign the piece of paper.
You with your red hunting jackets and your yellow frilly shirts.
Sign the piece of paper!"
"Do you wanna sign it?" He looked over at Dave
"Watcha gonna do kid?" "Fuck off!"
Which is a fairly reasonable thing to say in the circumstances,
but not very wise, you see, the man was a union executive
"Alright. Once I file my report on you guys
you're never gonna work in America again.
You're gonna find out just how powerful it is in America!"
The land of ice-cream and apple pie, guns and the Wild West

Great American union rules with the fist, a smile and a gun
Great American napalm lights up the sky like the sun
Great American eagle swoops down from the sky up above

And I remember the images of Lee Harvey Oswald
appearing on TV saying he was a patsy
A union man is a-framin' The Kinks
while I thought "This is the land of opportunity"
But the Cosa Nostra are everywhere
Land of ice-cream and apple pie

Hey big fat cowboy, wearing that big six gun
Hey big fat cowboy, singing country & western
Hey big fat cowboy, moving that big six gun
Hey big fat cowboy, is this the way that the West was won?
Yeah yeah yeah

And 6 weeks later Robert and Grenville and Larry
were sitting in their office in Carnaby Street
and the letter came from the American government
It was from the American Federation of Musicians Union
"A band known as The Kinks,
the English beat group known as The Kinks,
are banned from America.
Their license to perform has been revoked indefinitely"
Yeah, all the same fuck off
in the land of the ice-cream and apple pie, guns and the Wild West

inviata da Alessandro - 28/12/2009 - 10:13



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