Happy Veteran’s Day (no matter the day you are reading this) to all of the brave men and women who fought and continue to fight to keep the best country in the world, free.
I never served in the military. I am flat-footed and my aim is terrible. The last person you want to run any kind of weaponry is me. My father served as a medic in Germany during WW 2, and my Uncle, Captain John Henry Norton (Jack) was sadly killed in a transport plane crash that happened to be carrying soldiers home at the end of the war.
Another reason to thank vets is because of the impact their service had on music, not just rock but all genres.
Imagine a Classic Rock world without “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” by George Harrison, “Fortunate Son” and “Run Through The Jungle” by CCR, “Ohio” by CSN&Y, “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, or “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones. All widely known as Vietnam protest songs.
Here are some other songs you may not know were written about war, specifically Vietnam.
Rooster-Alice in Chains. The title comes from Alice in Chains guitarist-songwriter Jerry Cantrell’s father. “Rooster” was his nickname in Vietnam, where he fought in the war.
Ball of Confusion-Temptations. Probably the most notable anti-war protest song ever from Motown.
Last Train To Clarksville-The Monkees & Peace Train-Cat Stevens. Both huge pop records, both about Vietnam.
Blowin In The Wind & Hard Rain Gonna Fall-Bob Dylan. Dylan once said about “Blowin In The Wind”, “This here ain’t no protest song or anything like that, ’cause I don’t write no protest songs.”
Sorry, Bob, millions of fans proved you wrong.
Alice’s Restaurant Massacree-Arlo Guthrie. If it weren’t for Alice’s Restaurant Massacree and “The Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler, Turkey Day would get no love at all. This song, all 18 minutes and 15 seconds, takes up the entire side of an album. It is based on a true story about Thanksgiving Day 1965. Arlo and a buddy were arrested for littering. A lady named Alice Brock, with who Arlo and his buddy were supposed to have Thanksgiving dinner paid their bail, and the rest is history. That “arrest” caused the Army to find Arlo “unfit” for service. Even he never figured out why a misdemeanor like that would not make him fit to serve. Alice’s Restaurant has become a radio staple on Thanksgiving Day.
So thank you Veterans, for everything.