Wednesday, May 31, 2006

THE REBELS WHO SHARE A TOUR-BUS TOILET COME TO CNN: We were called sluts, they reveal

(Dateline Pasadena, Wednesday, 6:00, the couch) Natalie Maines and the rebels who share a tour-bus toilet pull into Larry King "live" on CNN. It's not "live" in Pasadena, anymore, but who cares? The rebels have a script and they're going to deliver it to every corner of the country whether I or you like it or not.

Uncle Larry begins pitching his famous trademarked and patented softballs. "Not Ready to Make Nice," the first single off the Dixie Chicks new album is playing. It's the same shtick: About half of America, maybe less, was mean to the rebels. So mean was America that Uncle Larry announces the new Dixie Chicks album at number one in Billboard magazine.

The two not-Natalies profess wide-eyed surprise that after "the incident" they found they still lived in a country where people were going to hate on them for what their friend Natalie said about The Leader. The surprise, the utter surprise of the hatred. People called us sluts, said one of the rebels. The tour was sold out. It's the message and they're on it like stink on you know what. "Here's their first hit," says Uncle Larry. "Wide o-pen spaces...." Commercial.

The "interview" continues. "It's all about not tolerating abuse," says Natalie to Uncle Larry, after another five minutes of the script. Of course it is. Go Natalie, you were born middle finger first. Cue song, and commercial.

Now the Chicks are taking calls. Some woman wants to know about the Chicks' tiff with really big country music star and TV celebrity, Reba McIntyre. One of the not-Natalies says it is/was personally hurtful, or something like that.

Then someone calls in from Hattiesburg, that's in Mississippi, one of the places that supports the President, to say she is still a Chicks fan. Going to commercial again, music playing, sehr gut showcase for the Chicks album, almost better than a listening station at Tower Records because you have to actually drive or walk to that store.

"You had the courage to speak the truth," says one caller from Colorado to Natalie Maines. Doesn't it give you a warm fuzzy feeling about half or a third or something of the country is behind you, the caller asks. Editor's note: My transcription is a bit . . . fuzzy. There are nice feelings all around even though these gals are not ready to make nice.

But then -- slight glitch in the performance. Like Queeg on the stand at the climax of the Caine mutiny, the steel bearings come out of the pocket. One of the not-Natalies still can't get over being called a slut.

Now a caller goes on a little rant and insists Donald Rumsfeld is a coward. ("Ha-ha," mutters Larry nervously. Larry might be nervous because he's thinking that maybe viewers know or think he's on a delay in case someone says something naughty but that the CNN control room let this convenient and dramatic non-sequitur through, anyway. Then he re-asserts control and in a deep voice, asks, "Do you have a question?") Anyway, what do Natalie and not-Natalies think of Rumsfeld? Sidestep. "We have a story and we're sticking to it," says one of them. How true. Everybody laughs.

Now Natalie says the Chicks will play in Iraq for the soldiers if someone asks them to. This was in response to a call-in question, I think, but my mind wandered.

Then someone from from Canada calls in to thank the Chicks on behalf of . . . Canada! Yay Canada! Chicks music, commercial.

". . . [T]he la--a-a-a-a-nd of the free and the h-o-o-m-e of - the - brayyyyve!" sing the Chicks. It's a great moment from the past. Not only does it show the tour-bus toilet rebels can deliver a patriotic song with vigor and enthusiasm in a big stadium full of people cheering them on but that they're Americans, too. That was the Chicks at the Super Bowl three years ago or something, informs Uncle Larry. Some small talk. The tour is coming. Great product placement.

Who is the Dixie Chicks' press agent?! Dick Destiny must have him or her!!!!

Of interest: I was once hated on nationally by Democrats, sort of the reverse of the Chicks, who were hated on by Republicans. I blew my product placement.

All errors in transcription are mine. All errors in understanding are yours. First tear up, then pull down. Or vice versa.

Thanks to I Love Music for involuntarily allowing me its use as a pre-lim scratch pad.

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