Protest 100: Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Fortunate Son’

Artist:          Creedence Clearwater Revival 

Song:           Fortunate Son

Album:        Willie and the Poor Boys

Producer:    John Fogerty

Label:          Fantasy

Year:           1969

Notes:
Pres. Trump has been blasting CCR’s ‘Fortunate Son’ as walk on music during his campaign. Its use works like a charm, highlighting the limited comprehension, scofflaw tendencies, and general trollishness that have been highlights of his time in office. Its use has continued despite John Fogerty’s requests that it stop.

Fogerty’s initial response came in a September video.”I wrote the song back in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War,” Fogerty said in the video, as reported by Insider.com “By the time I wrote the song, I had already been drafted and had served in the military. And I’ve been a lifelong supporter of our guys and gals in the military, probably because of that experience, of course.”

Fogerty continued in his video, saying: “Back in those days, we still had a draft, and something I was very upset about was the fact that people of privilege, in other words, rich people, or people that had position, could use that to avoid the draft and not be taken into the military. I found that very upsetting that such a thing could occur, and that’s why I wrote ‘Fortunate Son.'”

He then noted the song’s opening verses: “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag / Ooh, their red, white, and blue / And when the band plays ‘Hail to the Chief’ / Ooh, they point the cannon at you.”

In his video, Fogerty compared the beginning lines of “Fortunate Son” to Trump using federal agents to remove protesters from a June demonstration at Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, so he could stand in front of St. John’s Church and hold up a Bible for a photo opportunity.

“It’s a song I could’ve written now, so I find it confusing, I would say, that the president has chosen to use my song for his political rallies, when in fact, it seems like he is probably the fortunate son,” Fogerty said, ending the video.

Trump received multiple deferments that helped allow him to avoid service in the Vietnam War.

The song hasn’t lost an ounce of its edge. I’ve included a couple of my favorite covers at the end of the post (though nothing matches the intensity of the original).

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’
People with more specialized platforms—law enforcement officials, garbage men, bus drivers, etc.—were compensated more for whatever role they felt comfortable playing.

Lyrics:
Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail To The Chief”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh

But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no
Yeah!

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer, “More! More! More!” Yo

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, one
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no no no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son, no no no

 —

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Tree – ‘Freedom Rock’

Artist:          Tree

Song:           Freedom Rock

Album:        Plant A Tree or Die

Producer:    Don Muscatelli

Label:          CherryDisc

Year:           1995

Notes:
Enviro-core! Boston-based Tree made saving the Earth its main mission. But the group also kept an eye on other aspects of life in America, in this instance conjuring the ol’ “love it or leave it” trope to wonder how it is our leaders can lie with impunity while the rich get richer off the people’s backs. Maybe there’s a connection.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
Freedom of assembly on the part of the nation’s youth was legislated against to the extent that any person wishing to host a group bigger than 100 people 16-years or older had to first register the event and then accept criminal liability for any misdeeds.

Lyrics:
Love it or leave it that’s what they say
Love it or leave it the American way

I love this country I love this land
But tolerance for liars I won’t stand
Not a ring of truth in the political lies
The rich get richer while the innocent die

Love it or leave it that’s what they say
Change it, believe it
It could happen today

If our founding fathers were alive today
They’d all be rounded up and be locked away
Stripped of all the rights that they created
And everything they own would be confiscated

Love it or leave it that’s what they say
Change it believe it
It could happen today

FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE
ALL OF US CREATED EQUAL
RISE!!

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Rage Against The Machine – ‘Vietnow’

Artist:          Rage Against The Machine

Song:           Vietnow

Album:        Evil Empire

Producer:    Brendan O’Brien

Label:          Epic

Year:           1996

Notes:
Want to get scared? Put your radio on the AM and start surfing. Back when there were ownership limits, changing the frequency could change the sound. But now it’s all talk, all the time. And the talk is peddling fear. And the fear is sponsored by those selling the solution. Rights? Yeah, right. Not even over your own body. Throw you in a cage while burning a cross out front. Don’t forget Rodney King. Or Ollie North.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
“The average male would be able to get into his TV set, to live the dream rather than just watching it.”

Lyrics
Turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, turn it off
Turn it off, turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, your saviour’s my guillotine, crosses and kerosene

Merge on tha networks, slangin’ nerve gas
Up jump tha boogie then bang, let ’em hang
While tha paraniod try ta stuff tha void
Let’s capture this AM mayhem
Undressed, and blessed by tha Lord
Tha power pendulum swings by tha umbilical cord
Shock around tha clock, from noon ’til noon
Men grabbin’ they mics, and stuff ’em into tha womb
Terror’s tha product ya push
Well I’m a truth addict, oh shit I gotta headrush
Sheep tremble an here come tha votes
Thrown from tha throat, new cages an scapegoats
Undressed and blessed by tha Lord
Tha same devil that ran around Managua wit a sword
Check out tha new style that Ollie found
I tune in wit a bullet ta shut down tha devil sound
Shut down tha devil sound
Tha program of Vietnow
Shut down tha devil sound

Turn on the radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, turn it off
Turn it off, turn on the radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, your saviour’s my guillotine, crosses and kerosene

Flex tha cerebellum, fire, uh!
Somebody gotta shell ’em
These evil angels lists, hittin’ tha AM playlist
Paid ta say this
That one inhuman, illegal, single woman
Tha one wit out a room
The transmissions wippin’ our backs
Yeah, comin’ down like bats from Stacy Coon
Terror’s tha product ya push
Well I’m a truth addict, oh shit I gotta headrush
Tha sheep tremble an here come tha votes
Thrown from tha throat, new cages and scapegoats
One caution tha mics a detonator unwound
Ta shut down tha devil sound
Shut down tha devil sound
Check tha heads bow in vietnow
Shut down tha devil sound

Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?

Radio, nah fuck it, turn it off
Fear is your only god on tha radio
Nah fuck it, turn it off
Turn it off, turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on tha radio
Nah fuck it, your saviour’s my guillotine, crosses and kerosene

Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god
Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god
Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god
Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Time Zone – ‘World Destruction’

Artist:          Time Zone

Song:           World Destruction

Album:        n/a

Producer:    Bill Laswell

Label:          Celluloid

Year:           1984

Notes:
Another lasting impression from my mid-80s patronage of Numbers nightclub/concert venue in Houston (along with Love & Rockets’ version of ‘Ball of Confusion’), this absolute floor filler by Afrika Bambaataa and John Lydon knew what it was talking about. The KGB was going to get us by way of our own screens and military tactics would be employed to control the nation!

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
“Phillip was just the latest hotshot with a two-bit theory, and they wanted to see it played out.”

Lyrics
Speak about destruction
Speak about destruction
Speak about destruction
This is a world destruction, your life ain’t nothing
The human race is becoming a disgrace
Countries are fighting in chemical warfare
Not giving a damn about the people who live
Nostradamus predicts the coming of the Antichrist
Hey, look out, the third world nations are on the rise
The democratic communist relationship
Won’t stand in the way of the Islamic force
The CIA is looking for other tactics
The KGB is smarter than you think
Brainwash mentalities to control the system
Using TV and movies – religions of course
Yes, the world is headed for destruction
Is it a nuclear war?
What are you asking for?

Eins, zwei, drei, vier
This is a world destruction
Your life ain’t nothing
The human race is becoming a disgrace
The rich get richer
The poor are getting poorer
Fascist, chauvinistic government fools
People, Muslims, Christians and Hindus
Are in a time zone just searching for the truth
Who are you to think you’re a superior race?
Facing forth your everlasting doom
We are Time Zone
We’ve come to drop a bomb on you
World destruction, kaboom, kaboom, kaboom

This is the world destruction, your life ain’t nothing
The human race is becoming a disgrace
Nationalities are fighting with each other
Why is this? Because the system tells you
Putting people in racist categories
Knowledge isn’t what it used to be
Military tactics to control a nation
Who wants to be a president or king? Me!
Mother Nature is gonna work against you
Nothing in your power that you can do
Yes, the world is headed for destruction
You and I know it, ’cause the bible tells you
If we don’t start to look for a better life
The world will be destroyed in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
Speak about destruction
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
Speak about destruction

Time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
Destruction
Destruction
Time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone (destruction)
I’m in a time zone
No
I’m in a time zone
I’m in a time zone

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Power Trip – ‘Armageddon Blues’

Artist:          Power Trip

Song:           Armageddon Blues

Album:        Armageddon Blues

Producer:    (self)

Label:          Dark Operative (2018)

Year:           2009

Notes:
Power Trip has been laying down socially conscious crossover thrash out of Dallas, Tex., since 2008 and ‘Armageddon Blues’ gets almost back to the very beginning. Focused primarily on man’s failed stewardship of earth, the ultimate message is do what you can while you can but be getting your affairs in order in the meantime!

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
“Neither karma nor irony were things Nathan spent much time mulling; except for when he once wondered to himself how he’d ended up getting into so much trouble despite being kind to women.”

Lyrics:
PROGRESSION has ceased!
We’ve doomed ourselves
Armageddon blues cause I can’t fool myself
And though we’d like to pretend that we have the choice
To shape the world without paying the price

Petty obsessions are the least of our transgressions
We’ve raped the land for power and possession
Two thousand years and all we’ll have
Is a planetary toxic deathbed

We’re not blind, we just lost the vision
As the sun remains unrisen
Sewn seeds can never come to fruition
And so the soul remains undriven

THE SOUL REMAINS UNDRIVEN!

You cannot stop the hands of time
You can’t break its wrists because we ignored the signs
In the final hour i’ll do what i can
Despite the futile attempts to stop a violent end
After all, in all that we’ve done
Do you really think we deserve forgiveness? NO!

Light for humanity is looking dim
If there’s a god, we’ve surely displaced him
Existence unfiltered
We took the gift of life only to burn it in return
Haunting reality, apocalyptic end is guaranteed!

Chemical dawn, come on and bring it on!
Find solace in the warmth of nuclear fog…
And let your armageddon blues turn to bliss!

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: The Kinks – ‘Apeman’

Artist:          The Kinks

Song:           Apeman

Album:        Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part 1

Producer:    Ray Davies

Label:          Reprise

Year:           1970

Notes:
This lament of the modern world’s man-made problems isn’t so much a call to arms as a  contemplation of flight. Its laundry list of maladies, however, is coupled with an inescapably catchy chorus, keeping you rooted on the spot. Have some fun while the world burns! It’s not like you’ve got somewhere else to be.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
“His host, however, sprang upright, mouth agape and eyes agog.”

Lyrics:
I think I’m sophisticated
‘Cause I’m living my life like a good homosapien
But all around me, everybody’s multiplying
And they’re walking round like flies man

So I’m no better than the animals sitting in their cages
In the zoo man
Because compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees
I am an Apeman

I think I’m so educated and I’m so civilized
‘Cause I’m a strict vegetarian
But with the over-population and inflation and starvation
And the crazy politicians

I don’t feel safe in this world no more
I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore
And make like an Apeman

I’m an Apeman, I’m an Ape Apeman
No, I’m an Apeman
Well, I’m a King Kong man, I’m a Voo-Doo man
No, I’m an Apeman

‘Cause compared to the sun that sits in the sky
Compared to the clouds as they roll by
Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies
I am an Apeman

I’m an Apeman, I’m an Ape Apeman
No, I’m an Apeman
Well, I’m a King Kong man, I’m a Voo-Doo man
No, I’m an Apeman

I don’t feel safe in this world no more
I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore
And make like an Apeman

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Fever 333 – ‘Made An America’

Artist:          Fever 333

Song:           Made An America

Album:        Made An America

Producer:    John Feldmann, Travis Barker

Label:          Roadrunner

Year:           2018

Notes:
I hadn’t paid a second’s worth of attention to this band until I stumbled upon a Facebook Live (while it was happening) of them performing on a set by themselves in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The power was palpable. Formed from the remnants of three other LA-area bands, Fever 333 played its first show in 2017 in the back of a moving truck parked at a donut shop in Inglewood. The 333 in the band’s name represents the three core views the three-piece band espouses: Community, Charity, and Change. The band’s logo is an homage to the Black Panther Party.

Lyrics:
We are the melanin felons
We are the product of
Plunder and policy that you gotta love
Casinos, amigos on forty acres, uh
They built this shit on our backs
Made an America

Living in terror all while they terrorise
Cover your eyes ’cause people terrified
Fuck all the promises you were promised ’cause
They’re cutting your oxygen ’til you paralysed

Where we land is where we fall (Made an America)
All for one and none for all (Made an America)
No stars dead bodies on the boulevard
Cop cars, true killers, and they still at large
Where we land is where we fall (Made an America)

Home of the big bodies and wide blocks
The government giving ghettos that crack rock
Making quotas off baking soda and mass shock
This ain’t a theory, I saw it happen on my block
The homie Hector selling heroin from nine to five
My brother’s burning down the block when Rodney almost died
We’re giving thanks for measles, blankets, and genocide
They call it “cleaning up the streets”, we call it “homicide”

Where we land is where we fall (Made an America)
All for one and none for all (Made an America)
No stars dead bodies on the boulevard
Cop cars, true killers, and they still at large
Where we land is where we fall (Made an America)

Made an America, we made an America
Made an America, we made an America
Made an America, we made an America
Made an America, we made an America

Ah, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Alright
You built this on our backs
Okay
Show ’em who we is

Where we land is where we fall (Made an America)
All for one and none for all (Made an America)
No stars dead bodies on the boulevard
Cop cars, true killers, and they still at large
Where we land is where we fall (Made an America)

Made an America, we made an America
Made an America, we made an America

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Rage Against The Machine – ‘Down Rodeo’

Artist:          Rage Against The Machine

Song:           Down Rodeo

Album:        Evil Empire

Producer:    Brendan O’Brien

Label:          Epic

Year:           1996

Notes:
This song is steeped deep in the class inequalities bared by the 1992 riots in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles. The message: stop pointing your anger at each other, start pointing it at the people running the show. And don’t forget Black Panther Fred Hampton’s death at the hands of the FBI. Just a quiet peaceful dance!

Lyrics:
Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bangin’ this bolo tight on this solo flight can’t fight alone
Funk tha track my verbs fly like tha family stone
Tha pen devils set that stage for tha war at home
Locked wit out a wage ya standin’ in tha drop zone
The clockers born starin’ at an empty plate
Momma’s torn hands cover her sunken face
We hungry but them belly full
The structure is set ya neva change it with a ballot pull
In tha ruins there’s a network for tha toxic rock
School yard ta precinct, suburb ta project block
Bosses broke south for new flesh and a factory floor
The remains left chained to the powder war

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yes I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bare witness to tha sickest shot while suckas get romantic
They ain’t gonna send us campin’ like they did my man Fred Hampton
Still we lampin’ still clockin’ dirt for our sweat
A ballots dead so a bullet’s what I get
A thousand years they had tha tools
We should be takin’ ’em
Fuck tha G-ride I want the machines that are makin’ em
Our target straight wit a room full of armed pawn to
Off tha kings out tha west side at dawn

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
Make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

The rungs torn from the ladder can’t reach the tumour
One god, one market, one truth, one consumer

Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!

Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we’ll never have
Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we don’t have

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: MC5 – ‘Motor City Is Burning’

Artist:          MC5

Song:           Motor City Is Burning

Album:        Kick Out The James

Producer:    Jac Holzman, Bruce Botnick

Label:          Elektra

Year:           1969

 

Notes:
Originally released by John Lee Hooker in 1967 and recorded by him just two months after the Detroit riots it describes, ‘Motor City Is Burning’ fit like a glove as part of the live set captured for MC5’s debut album, ‘Kick Out The Jams.’ The no-holds-barred narrative-grit of its lyrics could also teach a thing or two to aspiring 21st century protest rockers. Then again, most have yet to get the kind of seat Hooker had:

“I know what they were fightin’ for,” he said. “I feel bitter about that. A big city like Detroit… you know, racial like that. It wasn’t like Mississippi, but… they hide it under the cover there. In Mississippi they didn’t hide it, they just come out with it, and that’s the only difference. It finally got so hot, people got so fed up, that the riot broke out, with all the burnin’ and the shootin’, the killin’. I could just look at the fire from my porch or my window, outside in my yard… I could see places goin’ up in flame, hear guns shootin’, robbin’ stores, runnin’ the business people out of they stores. There was a lotta lootin’ goin’ on, y’know… the po-lice was even lootin’. They like to have burned the whole city down. A kid brought me a new git-tar, a Gibson 12-string. Cost about $1,500… I got it for five dollars. The kid didn’t know what he had!” Hooker laughs in memory. “‘You wanna buy this?’ ‘Oh yeah!’ ‘You got five dollars?’ I say, ‘Yeah!’

“You could see the fire burnin’. You could see the bombs, the smoke, buildin’s goin’ up. You see the people runnin’ out the stores, the business people leavin’ everythin’ in there. Stuff was layin’ in the streets, man. Clothes, brand-new shoes, just layin’ there. Couldn’t tell no-one not to pick it up, and some people did pick it up. Went to jail for stealin’ stuff. Two policemen… found a whole lotta stuff that they done took. They suspended them, and put them in jail. Everybody was lootin’. The white, the black…”

“After that, the whole country went. Watts got burned down. A lotta other places got burned down. Like a cancer. You hear everybody say, ‘Burn, baby, burn.’ That’s what they said. ‘We gon’ burn, baby, burn.’ They was burnin’ three or four blocks over, but they never come down to where I was.”

–(Murray, C.S., ‘Cuttin’ Heads: Motor City Is Burning,” Louder, May 20, 2014)

 

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’ 
“There was a good deal of smoke coming up as a result of the now smoldering bedding, but most of the flames seemed to be burning themselves out. ”

 

Lyrics:

Ya know, the Motor City is burning, babe
There ain’t a thing in the world they can do
Ya know, the Motor City is burning people
There ain’t a thing that white society can do

Ma home town burning down to the ground
Worser than Vietnam

Let me tell you how it started now

It started on 12th Clair Mount that morning
It made the, the pig cops all jump and shout
I said, it started on 12th Clair Mount that morning
It made the, the pigs in the street go freak out

The fire wagons kept comin’, baby
But the Black Panther Snipers wouldn’t let them put it out
Wouldn’t let them put it out, wouldn’t let them put it out

Get it on

Well, there were fire bombs bursting all around the people
Ya know there was soldiers standing everywhere
I said there was fire bombs bursting all around me, baby
Ya know there was National Guard everywhere

I can hear my people screaming
Sirens fill the air, fill the air, fill the air

Your mama, papa don’t know what the trouble is
You see, they don’t know what it’s all about
I said, your mama, papa don’t know what the trouble is, baby
They just can’t see what it’s all about

I get the news, read the newspapers, baby, baby?
You just get out there in the street and check it out

I said, the Motor City is burning, people
I ain’t hanging ’round to fight it out
I said, the Motor City is burning, people
Just not hang around to fight it out

Well, I’m taking my wife and my people and they’re on TV
Well, just before I go, baby, [Incomprehensible]
Fireman’s on the street, people all around

Now, I guess it’s true
I’d just like to strike a match for freedom myself
I may be a white boy, but I can be bad, too
Yes, it’s true now, yes, it’s true now

Yes

Let it all burn, let it all burn, let it all burn

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

 

When live music returns

When live music returns, I’ll be there. It is far and away my favorite form of entertainment and has been since Memorial Day weekend of 1981 when I attended my first concert: Van Halen at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich., early in the ‘Fair Warning’ tour.

I went with a friend of mine whose older brother bought both the tickets and a $250 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser to get us there. There were five of us in that car and we caravanned with a bright blue gear-headed Nova piloted by a hot stoner chick and three of her friends.

Rave (as he was known) and Daze rode up front. They were both named Dave but were inseparable and had taken the alternative handles years earlier so they’d know who was being addressed. The names also suited them.

We stuck to surface roads, as one does when rolling in $250 ride. But even these proved too much for the old wagon. The engine rattled. Steam billowed. The car ground to halt in a small-town church parking lot.

The Nova pulled over and we piled in. Three people sat in front with one of the girls on the lap of the guy against the passenger door. Three more sat in the back, with the other two girls stacked like lumber across us, backs against opposite sides of the car.

Nine people in a Nova crossing West Michigan to see the mighty Van Halen. I was in 15-year old heaven. Pre-mixed gallon jugs of Kalua and milk started being passed around. Doobies too. I was still scared of weed at the time, but the milk tasted great.

Our seats were about 20 rows up off the end of stage left. I was dumbstruck from the moment the lights dropped and the opening five chords of ‘On Fire’ burst from the PA. Nothing I’d ever experienced had prepared me for this. I’m not sure I blinked for the entire set.

We piled back into the Nova and drove home, bodies once again stacked on bodies.

My friend and I declined the older (19-23) kids’ invitation to join them for some purple microdot. My head was already overloaded with sensory input as it was. I had found live music, the single thread that would continue for the rest of my life, binding everything else together.

So many shows have already been cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. My list alone includes: Killer Hearts, Fun Haunts, The Quireboys, Soulfly, Toxic Holocaust, Bongzilla, Geoff Tate, Bayou Vimana, Ween, Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Crowbar, Rival Sons, Testament, Kvelertak, Fu Manchu, Slaughter, Kix, Baroness, Against Me!, King Buzzo + Trevor Dunn, Primus, Wolfmother, and The Sword.

It’s going to take a while to get back to the Spirit of ‘81. But venues are starting to figure out how to reopen. Bookings are being made. We’re on our way.

I suspect others will get back in the swing of things before me. Most evidence to the contrary, I’ve got a wide cautious streak. But eventually some friends of mine will be playing and other friends will be going to see them and there I’ll be, reborn for the 9,000th time.

In the meantime, I’ve been better familiarizing myself with some Houston favorites and invite you to do the same.

See you out there!

 

Loose Nukes

Loose Nukes

Genre: Hardcore (but with some rock n’ roll)

Notable: Released new record, ‘Cult Leaders,’ Apr. 7, 2020

Standout track: ‘MK Ultra’

https://loosenukestx.bandcamp.com/album/cult-leaders-lp

 

Bayou Vimana

Bayou Vimana

Genre: Rock n’ roll (heavy)

Notable: Going into the studio Summer 2020 to record debut full-length

Standout track: ‘Path To Hell’

https://bayouvimana.bandcamp.com/album/origin-sound-southwing-audio-masters-ep

 

Fun Haunts

Fun Haunts

Genre: Rock n’ roll (pop)

Notable: I don’t know why their Bandcamp page says they’re from Seattle

Standout track: ‘Lips’

https://funhaunts.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Man, The Robot

Man, The Robot

Genre: Grind (hardcore)

Notable: Released Vol. 1 of a COVID-19 EP trilogy, ‘The Covid Chronicles: Vol. 1: Clotho,’ May 13, 2020

Standout track:  ‘The Night the Guy Cut the Power at Our Poetry Reading

https://mantherobot.bandcamp.com/album/your-absence-has-been-a-constant-presence

 

Dead Stuff

Dead Stuff

Genre: Grind (thrash)

Notable: More genres emerge during the live set

Standout track: ‘Fuck Cancer’

https://deadstuff666.bandcamp.com/