Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Zac Brown, who collectively own 4,281 vests (all Bruce’s), performed a cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic “Fortunate Son” at the Veterans Day Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. last night. It’s a song that’s been played on the radio so many millions of times that it’s easy to forget it’s a vicious criticism of blind patriotism, which is why a TRUE PATRIOT at the Weekly Standard isn’t happy with Springsteen & Co. playing it.
The song, not to put too fine a point on it, is an anti-war screed, taking shots at “the red white and blue.” It was a particularly terrible choice given that Fortunate Son is, moreover, an anti-draft song, and this concert was largely organized to honor those who volunteered to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On a musical level, “Fortunate Song” is not a bad song—that’s one hell of a riff. But the “Concert for Valor,” a Veterans Day event sponsored by HBO and Starbucks, in front of the Capitol Building, was not the place for it. (Via)
One might argue that Starbucks sponsoring a “Concert for Valor” is more offensive than a simple song, but I digress. Here’s what Fox News’ had to say about the “slap in the face.”
“Taking shots at the red, white and blue,” Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt reported on Wednesday. “People expressing outrage on Twitter, saying the song bashes soldiers going to war.”
“Some are going, wait a minute, this is all about the vets, and that particular song was intended to be an anti-war anthem,” host Steve Doocy opined. “Is it really appropriate to be performing it in front of so many vets who volunteered to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan?”
“Yeah, you’re doing this for an audience of veterans, and it’s almost a slap in the face,” co-host Anna Kooiman agreed. “These producers should have known their audience, and known what they were getting with people like Bruce Springsteen.” (Via)
Co-host Clayton Morris was the voice of reason, correctly pointing out, “I’m sort of torn about it because the song really is about the elites, it’s about…written in the late 1960s, when John Fogerty wrote it, it was really about those politicians who he saw their sons and daughters were not going to go off in fight in a war. And that the rest of the country was going to have to fight to save the rest of us, and help the rest of us.” Next time, spare the world some unnecessary outrage, Dave, Bruce, and Zac, and just cover “Travelin’ Band.”
Or would that offend touring musicians?