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Wednesday
Apr222015

For Earth Day...The Last Resort

There was talk somewhere on Facebook today about The Last Resort. Here's a happy little something I wrote up. It's based on something I wrote a LONG Time ago on Prodigy. Anyone remember the legdndary Jesus, people battles of yesteryear?
Anyway...here's my take on The Last Resort
In 1845, newspaper editor and columnist John O’Sullivan published an editorial in which he used the phrase “Manifest Destiny” for the first time.  O’Sullivan was writing to encourage those who were opposed to the annexation of Texas to stop blocking the addition of the new state and thus blocking America’s westward expansion.
 He said,
 “And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.”
O’Sullivan was arguing that it had been mandated by Providence (God) that America extend its borders from sea to shining sea. He believed that it was a moral obligation to acquire and subdue the American west and spread republican democracy from border to border. Thus started a period of westward expansion at any cost. America picked a fight with Mexico to acquire what would be the American southwest. Settlers and government agents trampled on Native American rights under the guise of civilizing the west and making it safe for white settlement. Manifest Destiny fueled our dreams and altered our nation’s borders.
The Last Resort is (in my opinion) all about Manifest Destiny, past and present.  In its nuanced and layered lyrics, Don Henley has interwoven his own experiences as someone who moved west with the progress of the nation.  
She came from Providence, 
the one in Rhode Island 
Where the old world shadows hang 
heavy in the air 
She packed her hopes and dreams 
like a refugee 
Just as her father came across the sea
Notice how the protagonist in the lyrics comes from Providence? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the origin city of the girl being sung about shares her starting point with that of the origin of Manifest Destiny according to O’Sullivan.  I can’t find the source, but at one point, Don said that he based this girl, in part on someone he met in Aspen who was from the Czech Republic (or somewhere like that).  This girl’s story is also America’s story. All of the original colonists packed their hopes and dreams and came across the sea, bringing with them not only wishes for better tomorrows, but also the baggage of the old world…biases, traditions, religion.
As the girl moves west, so does America.
She heard about a place people were smilin' 
They spoke about the red man's way, 
and how they loved the land 
And they came from everywhere 
to the Great Divide 
Seeking a place to stand 
or a place to hide
It makes sense that a young woman searching for herself in the 1960s or 1970s could have been drawn the west…to the Rockies (the Great Divide). Youth culture at the time emulated and appropriated Native American culture…buckskin and fringe, living off the land, nature worship, teepees.  This is what awaited those first pioneers making their way across the Mississippi as they searched for a place either to build a life for themselves (a place to stand) or to get away from some of that old world baggage in the East (a place to hide).
Down in the crowded bars, 
out for a good time, 
Can't wait to tell you all, 
what it's like up there 
And they called it paradise 
I don't know why 
Somebody laid the mountains low 
while the town got high.
There are consequences to Manifest Destiny, though. All of those pretty little mountain towns, Aspen..Telluride…Vail became changed by those who came to them. They laid the mountains low (construction, tunnels, mining, blasting) while the towns were built up to obscure the very views that drew people there in the first place.  It’s a shame that places of great natural beauty somehow have that beauty compromised by people wanting to see it and live there and experience it (anyone ever been to Wisconsin Dells)? I can imagine that in just the few short years that the Eagles knew Aspen (from about 1970 to about 1976 when this song was written), it had changed quite a bit. The people who went there had probably changed quite a bit as well. Communing  with nature gave way to communing with cocaine. Setting a teepee on the side of a mountain to watch the sunrise gave way to glass-walled condos and hot tubs.
Then the chilly winds blew down 
Across the desert 
through the canyons of the coast, to 
the Malibu 
Where the pretty people play, 
hungry for power 
to light their neon way 
and give them things to do
And now the song moves as far West as you can in continental America…to California…to Los Angeles. Don knew those pretty people. Heck, Don was one of those pretty people.  There’s some wonderful layering going on in the lyrics here. How the pretty people are hungry for power. There’s the kind of power that comes from money and fame and inking a movie deal or a record contract, but there’s also the electricity that “…light[s] their neon way”.  Where does Los Angeles get its power? From Hoover Dam which is just another example of people changing and taming nature to fit their own needs. Just like they tore the mountains down in the Rockies, we altered the course of the once wild Colorado River…tamed it into Lake Mead and forced it to do our bidding.
Some rich men came and raped the land, 
Nobody caught 'em 
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and 
Jesus, people bought 'em 
And they called it paradise 
The place to be 
They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea.
Remember when California seemed like an exotic place? Growing up in the Midwest in the 70s, I played with my Malibu Barbie and watched Richie Cunningham and the Fonz  go to this magical place where they put lettuce and tomatoes on a hamburger. The Brady kids were so cool and groovy. They never had to bundle up in snowsuits and everyone was so very blonde. That was our vision of Southern California, of this western “paradise”.  While there is a lot that is beautiful about SoCal, there’s a lot that isn’t. Tract housing and snaking highways. You can almost hear the disgust and bewilderment in Don’s voice as he sings about how he can’t believe that people would purchase architecturally inferior housing. And of course all of those people, heading west and clamoring for Paradise were at the same time somehow ruining it. What makes the sun hazy? That famous Los Angeles smog.
You can leave it all behind 
and sail to Lahaina 
just like the missionaries did, so many years ago 
They even brought a neon sign: "Jesus is coming" 
Brought the white man's burden down 
Brought the white man's reign
California isn’t as far west as we can go, though. America extends into the Pacific, to the islands of Hawaii. Back in the 1800s, missionaries went there to once again “civilize” the natives. They brought their own religion and beliefs and sought to eradicate native customs and beliefs, even going so far as to have the hula outlawed. This is manifest destiny to the extreme. The American government did the same thing to Native American children in the American West, they took them away from their parents, gave them new names and educated them at boarding schools to forget their native cultures.
 Manifest Destiny told Americans living in the 1800s that their culture was the only way…the right way and that they were helping “savages” by teaching them how to act American. Henley clearly understood this due to his inclusion of the phrase “white man’s burden”. This comes from a Rudyard Kipling poem which is commonly interpreted to be about the noble enterprise of colonization, imperialism and civilizing native populations. Don also understands Hawaiian history. This flight west also brought the white man’s reign as the longstanding Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown by a group of American businessmen who replaced the last queen with Sanford Dole (yes…he’s related to the pineapple Doles)
So Don knows his history and his literature, did we ever doubt that?
Who will provide the grand design? 
What is yours and what is mine? 
'Cause there is no more new frontier 
We have got to make it here 
We satisfy our endless needs and 
justify our bloody deeds, 
in the name of destiny and the name 
of God.
That last verse there? That’s Manifest Destiny in a nutshell. The nineteenth century needs for land, for power and for dominance led to the Mexican War, Indian land grabs and slaughter, the near eradication of the Bison and the destruction of native cultures. We transformed landscapes, damned rivers and polluted the skies above “paradise”. That’s what we did with the land that Providence supplied to us. On this Earth Day, I’d like to think we’re a bit more aware. We recycle, we measure our carbon footprint and we take our own bags into the grocery store. Still, though, yet another skyscraper started going up this week here in Austin and there’s talk of us selling off our national parks to the highest bidder.
And you can see them there, 
On Sunday morning 
They stand up and sing about 
what it's like up there 
They call it paradise 
I don't know why 
You call someplace paradise, 
kiss it goodbye
There’s even a bit more of sad cynicism at the end of the song. These days, Don seems almost prophetic as that last place that a good many people are trying to get to “…heaven” seems in danger of the same poison that threatens our Earth. We hear about people of many religions across the globe viciously beheading others, kidnapping and raping young girls, threatening their neighbor, or using their personal religion to legitimize hate, discrimination and bigotry all in a quest to achieve something.
It’s what the girl in the song…
and the covered wagon pioneers…
and the missionaires…
 and the Aspen hippies…
and the young musicians like Don heading west for fame and fortune…
and the little girl putting sunglasses on her Barbie all were hoping to get…
Just a little piece of paradise.
Saturday
Apr182015

Joe at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Joe is in attendance in Cleveland this evening to welcome his brother-in-law, Ringo Starr to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joe will be performing later, but for now, let's check out some pre-show and red carpet action. Lots more photos available on newzcard.com

 

Thursday
Mar122015

History of the Eagles Spring/Summer Tour

“History of the Eagles” 2015 Tour Dates: 

Spring:
5/19/15 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
5/20/15 Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Arena
5/22/15 El Paso, TX Don Haskins Center
5/24/15 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand
5/26/15 Bakersfield, CA Rabobank Arena
5/28/15 Eugene, OR Matthew Knight Arena
5/29/15 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
5/31/15 Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena
6/2/15 Billings, MT Metra Park Arena
6/4/15 Sioux Falls, SD Denny Sanford Premier 
Center
6/5/15 Grand Forks, ND Alerus Center
6/7/15 Green Bay, WI Resch Center

Summer:
7/10/15 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
7/12/15 Greenville, SC Bon Secours Wellness Arena
7/13/15 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena
7/15/15 Hartford, CT The XL Center
7/17/15 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
7/18/15 Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center
7/20/15 Baltimore, MD Royal Farms Arena
7/22/15 Dayton, OH Nutter Center
7/24/15 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
7/25/15 Lexington, KY Rupp Arena
7/27/15 Little Rock, AR Verizon Arena 
7/29/15 Bossier City, LA CenturyLink Center

Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, March 20 at 10 AM local time for the following concerts: Las Vegas, NV on May 24; Bakersfield, CA on May 26; Eugene, OR on May 28; Spokane, WA on May 29; Boise, ID on May 31; Grand Forks, ND on June 5; Miami, FL on July 10; Greenville, S.C. on July 12; Charlottesville, VA on July 13; Baltimore, MD on July 20; and Little Rock, AR on July 27. Advanced tickets will go on sale to American Express® Cardmembers (except for the May 28 concert in Eugene, OR) beginning Friday, March 13 at 10 AM through Thursday, March 19 at 10 PM.

Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Saturday, March 21 at 10 AM local time for the following concerts: Oklahoma City, OK on May 20; El Paso, TX on May 22; Billings, MT on June 2; Sioux Falls, SD on June 4; Hartford, CT on July 15; Atlantic City, NJ on July 17; Buffalo, NY on July 18; Dayton, OH on July 22; Lexington, KY on July 25; and Bossier City, LA on July 29. Tickets for the Green Bay, WI concert on June 7 go on sale at 11 AM. Advanced tickets will go on sale to American Express® Cardmembers beginning Monday, March 16at 10 AM through Thursday, March 19 at 10 PM.

Tickets go on sale to the general public for the concert in Austin, TX on May 19 beginning Friday, March 27 at 10 AM local time. Advanced tickets will go on sale to American Express® Cardmembers beginning 10 AM on Monday, March 23

 through 10 PM on Thursday, March 26 at 10 PM.  

Tickets go on sale to the general public for the concert in Detroit, MI on July 24 beginning Friday, April 10 at 10 AM local time. Advanced tickets will go on sale to American Express® Cardmembers beginningFriday, April 3 at 10 AM through Thursday, April 9 at 10 PM.

 

 

And then of course there are the VIP pre-sales and sales........

Thursday
Mar122015

What Are you Doing This Spring/Summer?

Tuesday
Feb242015

Eagles Kick Off HOTE Down Under

The band is back on the road in Australia. We've got reviews and photos from the first few shows on our Eagles Live page.  Enjoy!