February 19, 2007
I couldn’t help but think about how sour grapes can turn into whine when I read this news bit, via City Girl, Country Girl:
Rascal Flatts used their concert in Baltimore on Thursday to take some pot-shots at the Dixie Chicks, who won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year (for which Rascal Flatts was also nominated). The Baltimore Sun reports:
Lead singer Gary LeVox cattily sang the title of the Chicks’ hit “Not Ready to Make Nice” then made a disgusted face.
“The difference is that we love country music,” he said, and the packed house roared.
“How many people were here the last time they were here?” asked bassist Jay DeMarcus. “Oh, the both of you.”
The jokes are easy enough to make. Hell, Country Nation already made the best one, responding to LeVox’s passionate declaration of love for country music: “You should try singing it sometime.” I have trouble even taking seriously the musings of a man who changed his last name to LeVox because it was French for “the voice.”
But the more I thought about it, the more sad the whole situation seemed to me. Here is this band that should be on top of the world. They had the top-selling album last year, ticket sales are brisk, they’re raking in the CMA and ACM and CMT awards. Radio can’t play enough of them. Why be bitter about losing at the Grammys? Heck, you got to sing some Eagles classics with Don Henley himself in the audience. How many kids dream of growing up to be music stars, wishing to be as successful as Rascal Flatts is right now?
Maybe it was reading it at the Dolly Parton of country music blogs, but it reminded me of something Parton wrote in her 1994 autobiography, My Life and Other Unfinished Business:
I have always found it true that the more real talent a person has, the more secure he is in that talent and the less likely he is to be a jerk. Most of the tantrums people throw don’t really come out of anger with others as much as from an insecurity within themselves. Some of the nicest, genuinely warmest people I have dealt with have been those with the greatest talent and success. And some of the biggest jerks have been people on the perimeter of success who have bluffed their way to where they are.
I felt kinda bad for Rascal Flatts when they were invited to announce the Grammy nominations, but ended up listening to the Dixie Chicks rack up the noms in one category after another as they scored only one nomination. But after this rant, I wish to kindly remind the boys that they were lucky to be in that category in the first place. Not only did the Chicks give a better performance, but so did The Wreckers, Little Big Town and The Duhks. If they hadn’t sold so many records, I doubt their Mark Wills cover would’ve gotten even the one nod that it did. After their debacle of a performance of “Hotel California”, I doubt they ever have to worry about gracing a Grammy stage again.
Rascal Flatts, your success has already wildly exceeded your actual talent. You might want to keep your eyes pointed toward the ground and keep your complaints to yourself. Given the actual quality of your music, you should be grateful that anybody is listening to you at all.
Hat Tip: The Widening Geier, for inspiring the title of the post.