TRICKY DICK SKIPS THE WHITE HOUSE
ALL THE LITTLE PIGGIES REJOICE
A representational democracy loans the people's power to elected individuals. Despite title and seeming authority, the ideal within the system is that one person does his or her utmost to care for and honor the will and interests of the people who gave them this honor and duty. However, more often than not, power (not just the absolute kind…) usually corrupts and that one person begins to think they know better than those they represent. Such was the case with President Richard Nixon, who resigned from office on August 9, 1974 on the heels of the Watergate scandal.
| Round up those hippies!|
While perhaps not the complete monster he's often made out to be (though it's not hard to make the case based on his order to bomb Cambodia, civil liberties abuses, etc.), Nixon was a hugely flawed guy who utterly failed to uphold the ideals of the highest political position in the world. The U.S. Presidency comes with literal political responsibilities but also moral and ethical duties, and Nixon's black eye is America's black eye, and one the United States has never fully recovered from in some ways, both internally and abroad. Understandably, Nixon's failings, before and after Watergate, were dry gunpowder for musicians of the era. So, in remembrance of Dick's departure we offer the following diatribes and jabs inspired in some way by the man.
We begin with John Lennon's haymaker "Gimme Some Truth," represented by Lennon laying the track down in the studio in 1971.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cry from the bottom of their souls on this version of "Ohio" captured at Wembley Stadium in 1974.
Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson's pointed piano jazz diatribe "H2OGate Blues" from 1973's stunning Winter In America gets a nice fan produced video. Real king size bummer that this one is still so relevant. And check out JamBase's exclusive 2005 interview with Brian Jackson for more on the un-televised portions of the revolution.
Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald offer a melancholy rumination reportedly inspired by Nixon in this live take on Steely Dan's 1974 ditty "Pretzel Logic."
We highly recommend you take a couple hours this weekend and check out the 1999 comedy Dick, which features a young Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams as teenage dog walkers for Nixon that help expose Watergate. Truly hilarious, demagogue defusing stuff. Check out the original trailer here.
The last word goes to Tricky Dick himself, with a truly stunning presidential campaign ad from 1972 and a portion of his televised resignation speech.
Don't forget, you can eyeball video sweetness 24/7 with JamBase TV.