Signing on to do this column twice a month has really thrown me a few curves. This week I found myself on my first real deadline and to make it worse, I had writers block in the worst way. I came up with all kinds of catchy titles, but I just couldn't find the substance to really fill an entire article. However, driving home this evening, I was flipping through the dial when I heard about a mili-second of "I Ain't as Good as I Once Was" and it hit me. God I hate Toby Keith.
Now I know that I am going to get bombarded with hate mail and I will probably be called a communist and young girls everywhere will make up little jump rope songs about mean old Stacie Huckeba. But you know what? I couldn't give two shits, because this guy really bugs me and someone somewhere has to put an end to his boring, tired, overdramatic show.
It's bad enough that he gets overplayed more than John Mayer and Kelly Clarkson combined, but this guy is so egotistical, that he actually wrote a song called "I wanna Talk About Me". This is in addition to such self involved hits as "How do You Like Me Now" and "Who's Your Daddy".
I didn't always feel this way. I remember singing along to "Should Have Been a Cowboy" and I loved the Kid Rock version. I am from Texas after all and if you are from Texas or know someone from Texas, you know this to be the unofficial anthem of the once great Dallas Cowboys Football Team. I used to rock out in my car to that song like it was the damn Stones.
I suppose it all went left for Toby and I, sometime post 9-11. - Yeah, I'm going there. His bullshit all American hymns make me sick. He pulled a George W. and played on the vulnerabilities of a terrified and angry nation to boost his ratings, boost his popularity and make an assload of money in the process. He shoved that lyrically offensive crap down our throats until we bought it; hands over our hearts and all.
I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. I recently read somewhere that after several complaints from peace organizations, regarding his song "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue", Keith is quoted as saying "I never really intended for this to be a song". Bullshit! Then why did you bring in musicians to play on it, record it, choose it for a record and then present it to your fucking label?
For me, it's not so much the violent aspects of the song. For me it's just a really, really, really bad song. C'mon, is drivel like "Cause we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way" really the lyrical genius that we are striving for as a society to convey our emotions about the biggest terrorist attack in our history?
Oh, but Toby couldn't leave it at that, oh no. Just when I thought he could offend me no more with his patriotic plugs to his career, he followed it up with "American Soldier". Here, he plays on the sensitivities of a nation now focused on the troops. And before you start hurling tomatoes, let me just say, I am not knocking the armed forces. I know and love some of the people over there fighting. I've seen friends come back a mere shell of their former selves. I'm all about supporting the troops and I'm all about getting them the hell out of there.
It's the brutal cheesiness of the song that kills me. Predictable metaphors like "Cause freedom don't come free" and "Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be" piped over the airwaves day in and day out, is what pisses me off. I would blow Toby Keith twice a day if it meant getting an Amy Rigby or Todd Snider song on the radio in place of him just once.
I don't watch much TV, but when I do, I usually have a reason. Last November, it was to see Will Kimbrough, Nashville's golden guitarist and pseudo-friend of mine, play with Jimmy Buffet on the CMA's. - Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, but that Parrot Head is a whole other article. Anyway, I sit down to watch Will on TV only to see ol' Toby in the lineup.
There he was, in all of his Angry American glory. I wanted to watch Will, I really did, but I could not take my eyes off the Toby train wreck. Dripping in jewelry, shirt open, big old wristband around his right arm, bandana tied around his head & a white cowboy hat. (Why does he do that? Why does he wear the bandana and the hat together?) I just kept thinking "Holy Denim, Batman!" This guy is so overproduced that he's almost digital.
Nope, there's nothing analogue about Toby Keith. He's completely bland; the only thing remotely spicy about him is his new line of Seasonings. Yes, you heard correct, Mr. Keith has just released his own line of spices and sauce called "I Love this Bar & Grill". But of course, in place of the actual word "love", there is that unoriginal little heart symbol.
MMMM...Toby Sauce...yeah, I don't think so
A mere sixteen bucks will get you insipid blends of salt, pepper and BBQ sauce. Clearly the man did not make enough money with the 2004 hit - and spice collection namesake - "I Love this Bar" which has become an anthem at every dive bar, honkey tonk and nightclub in the nation. Even I, a self-proclaimed Toby hater have found myself three shots of tequila deep with my arm around the stranger next to me slurring out "No Cover Charge, Come as You are?"
And unlike other celebrity recipes and home remedies, there is no charity attached to this cheesy play on titles. No portion of the proceeds go toward the troops he so vocally supports, no donation to the 9-11 victims, not even aid to a little non-profit that he believes in. You just buy it right off the website along with his $120.00 "Warrior Tailgate Package" with 2 chairs, two cozies, two plastic cups and a window decal, his $30.00 "Angry American Chopper" mini replica of his own motorcycle or a $5.00 8x10 photo of Toby in his famous denim jacket.
Yes, I hate Toby Keith. I hate his corny dance moves, I hate his sparkly suit, I hate his big wristbands, I hate the way he wears a bandana under his hat, I hate his open shirt, I hate his "Village People" machismo, and I hate his shameless self promotion. What I really hate is the way he has used bad songs to promote the continuance of fear and hatred in this country and if there were no condiments left on the planet, I would still never buy his 16 dollar BBQ sauce.
Oh, and by the way, if anyone gets really mad or offended by this article, let me just say in advance that I never really intended for this to be an article. Also, please visit the Swag link on this site where for only $1.25 you can purchase an official "Jonez" button. The proceeds won't go to any charity, but you can rest easy knowing I'll never see a dime either.
It's true folks, not one dime.
But we at FIBM will continue to invest the proceeds into our 13 chicken ranches, 7 taco stands
our 24 lemonade stands, scattered across the good ol' USA.
So Buy your JONES Button NOW. -DPJ