The Dixie Chicks: Open Mouth, Insert Foot
Boy, the new Dixie Chicks fluff-u-mentary really sounds like a fab film. Here’s a little preview:
“In one memorable scene, Maines watches news footage of the president being interviewed about the furor that followed the singer’s on-stage comment that she was ”ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas,” which resulted in the group being dropped from most radio stations, as well as protests and plummeting sales. ”The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind,” Bush told Tom Brokaw at the time, adding, ”They shouldn’t have their feelings hurt just because some people don’t want to buy their records when they speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street.”
After watching this footage, Maines repeats the president’s comment about how the group shouldn’t have their ”feelings hurt,” incredulous, and then says, ”What a dumb f—.” She then looks into the camera, as if addressing Bush, and reiterates, ”You’re a dumb f—.”
…When it comes to country radio, most of whose stations stopped playing the group at least temporarily in 2003, Maines says at the time, ”The people that abandoned us, I’m never gonna talk to again. The people that supported us are gonna get more love than they’ve ever seen.” But three years later, she’s the one vehemently arguing against their music even being serviced to country stations that are open to playing the trio, when their manager suggests that the label at least be allowed to make a token effort to work it at that format. ”I just feel like, let country music rest,” Maines says in a group meeting.”
So, the Dixie Chicks insult Bush overseas, get blowback, get mad at Bush for not — what exactly — not encouraging people to buy their records after they insulted him? Then, you’ve got Maines, a singer from a country band who is making clear she doesn’t like country music stations, calling Bush a “dumb f—?”
Has this been a great career move? Not especially:
“…(T)he numbers aren`t in the ballpark of the trio`s 2003 tour, which grossed more than $62 million (tops for country that year) and moved more than 1 million tickets.
…Truth is, the Dixie Chicks` Accidents & Accusations tour has grossed nearly $10 million from the 17 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore so far this year. That`s an average nightly gross of $583,981 and an average attendance of more than 9,000 per night.
…And the Dixie Chicks have in the past sold a lot of tickets to country fans, many of whom obviously aren`t buying this time around. ‘One of the problems we`re having in penetrating the country audience is that country radio won`t even take our money for advertising,’ Phillips says. ‘So, we don`t know if it`s the fans not supporting the Chicks and their music, or not knowing how to support them when they come to town.’
…Regardless, there still appears to be no love lost between the Dixie Chicks and country radio, which introduced the trio to the world. “The fact that country radio won`t even take our money for advertising is a sad commentary on the state of this country,” Phillips says.”
If you ask me, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving trio…