Thursday, May 1, 2008
Bobby Jameson from "Mondo Hollywood" singing "Vietnam"
Mondo Hollywood was released in 1967, as was Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," a song about the riots on the Sunset Strip, which were basically anti Vietnam War demonstrations.
The L.A. PD and Sheriffs had joined forces using the tactic of anti-loitering laws in an attempt to stop, or blunt, the anti-war movement locally.
My song "Vietnam" was in Mondo Hollywood and was about as meaningful to the current situation as a song could have been. But while "For What It's Worth" was given massive airplay, which it deserved, "Vietnam" was ignored.
"Vietnam" was one of the best Goddamned anti Vietnam War songs recorded in the 60's, and other than it being in Mondo Hollywood it was never heard by the general public.
Los Angeles radio at that time was dominated by people like Reb Foster and a bunch of self appointed control freaks that decided against playing "Vietnam" or anything else I recorded. Not only did that piss me off, and still does, but it kept "Vietnam," a relevant work, out of the picture completely.
From 1965 to 1967 I had written and recorded Chris Lucey "Songs Of Protest And Anti Protest" "Vietnam/Metropolitan Man" "Reconsider Baby" "Gotta Find My Roogalator" "All Alone" and "Color Him In" and had gotten no airplay.
When "Mondo Hollywood" came out "Vietnam" still got no airplay, even though the streets were filled with thousands of anti-war demonstrators. I knew it was intentional to keep "Vietnam" and Bobby Jameson off L.A. Radio.
As you might imagine, I was beyond pissed off, and completely fed up with the clique of punks in L.A.'s radio and music scene. Once again, this fueled my attitude problems that were increasingly becoming well known in the localized community of Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.
As I look back on this now, I'm not all that sure that I was wrong in taking on the personality traits of a gunslinger prophet. In my mind there was a concerted effort to thwart all of my work. To this very day Bobby Jameson and Los Angeles have never come to any understanding of each other.
For a place and a person, to have played such a key role in each other's existence in the 60's, I am still at a loss to understand or accept graciously that history.
Country Joe And The Fish, and their absolutely perfect song, "Fixin To Die," about the Vietnam War, was another of the milestone efforts of some, to put words and music to the feeling's of so many toward one of this nation's sorriest mistakes. I personally am utterly pleased that works such as this were not overlooked or unheard.