Sat Eye Candy: Nixon Resigns


Round up those hippies!
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.

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.

[Published on: 8/9/08]

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Lord-K. Sat 8/9/2008 11:53AM
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If only our current President and Vice would take a good long hard look at themselves and follow in Nixons footsteps.

Chaloupka Sat 8/9/2008 12:50PM
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^^Won't happen, of course. It'd be great, but they're too arrogant.

metaltje Sat 8/9/2008 01:32PM
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Everyone seems to overlook things like the SALT treaties and Chinese diplomacy. Nixon sucked in a lot of ways, but personally I'll take shady political shenanigans if it means sensible foreign policy. Cool for Jambase to look back at history and the relation of actual events to music many of us continue to enjoy.

Jeff Kash Sat 8/9/2008 05:31PM
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Jeff Kash

Donald Fagen is the man!!!

metaltje Sat 8/9/2008 10:12PM
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^^ That's actually true

blue1971 star Sun 8/10/2008 04:56PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
TheWeight22 star Sun 8/10/2008 06:03PM
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You know with all these corrupt and immoral righty leaders like Nixon it makes me thankful that I can turn to upstanding politicians like John Edwards, Bill Clinton, and Elliot Spitzer...come on Jambase, stick to the tunes, don't turn into Rolling Stone

snappy Sun 8/10/2008 06:16PM
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For the sake of debate, why can't folks just skip things that don't interest them instead of asking that they be banned or suggesting one thing has a place here and another doesn't? I'm just asking. If I have no interest in something or if the first few sentences give me an idea of subject matter or tone or whatever and it isn't to my tastes/interests, well, I just read something else. That goes for JamBase and anywhere else on web or in print. Is that such a bizarre philosophy?

The idea isn't to make anyone feel unwelcome, far from it, but to serve an increasingly diverse community with highly varied interests. The dude who loves electronica and raves is probably skipping Yonder articles, and vice-versa, in endless permutations. No one piece/newswire/review will please everyone but we hope by throwing the net wide we serve a lot of folks well. We try hard. Please believe that. And know, too, the input is always appreciated. Seriously.

blue1971 Sun 8/10/2008 06:49PM
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Thanks for your comments Snappy. Jambase casts a wide net musically which is fine with me. But you don't cast a wide net politically. You push one side, the side you agree with, and the side you want to win. Many music fans don't agree with those views.

What is the old adage, at dinner conversations don't bring up politics and religion? I come to Jambase to read about new music or reviews of bands I enjoy. There are plenty of sites on the web for political views. You had to know that politics would elicit a harsher responses than any musician ever would. You see that on any newspaper website. Comments degrade until it is insult vs. insult.

I also found it odd that on the anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death, nothing was mentioned on your site, but a bizarre article about Nixon was put up, when most people probably had no idea that was the anniversary of the day he resigned. Especially since I would guess that 90% of the readers of your site were either too young to remember, or were not born, when Nixon was President.

Thanks for reading.

blue1971 Sun 8/10/2008 07:03PM
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"You push one side, the side you agree with, and the side you want to win"

Meant to say the side you "presumably" want to win. Not that that Nixon thing is directly related to this upcoming election but it is probably indirectly related based on the first 2 comments to the post. There just seem to be little "digs" towards the right in some posts, interview questions, etc, that are unnecessary.

snappy Mon 8/11/2008 04:49AM
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We had honored Jerry last weekend on the anniversary of his birthday, choosing to focus on that day (while also mentioning his passing) instead of the one where he left us. The weekend columns, Sat Eye Candy and Sun Spin, try to touch on history but not always the most obvious parts. Your concerns about politics on JamBase are worth noting but it's often the musicians themselves that push us into that territory in 2008. It's in the air and understandably, I think, it's on our minds. It's not our main agenda or even an agenda at all, it's just part of the larger, ongoing conversation here. Sadly, comments in general, whether it's a regular show review or something like this Nixon piece, too often descend into baiting, unpleasant squabbles. But real discussion, like this one, is the best hope of the comments section. The point of the Nixon article was to tie music and history together and to remember a piece of history we're still living out. It's not intended to ruffle feathers, and I'd honestly suggest just skipping the more political articles (this one, recent STS9 interview, etc) altogether if it's not something you enjoy. There's 6 features, 37 other newswires, 10 show reviews and 7 CD reviews just on the homepage, and the vast majority of those aren't political. As I said, we're just trying to represent and serve a broad spectrum of tastes and interests. It's a juggling act but we try to keep everything in motion pretty well...