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RIP Utah Phillips

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by writing irish, May 28, 2008.

  1. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Utah Phillips has gone to the great hobo jungle in the sky, or something like that. His passing, along with the death of Chicago IWW activist and artist Carlos Cortez back in 05, makes me feel kinda sad that so few from that generation of rabble-rousers remain. Solidarity forever!

    from Democracy Now--

    * The "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest": Legendary Folk Musician,
    Activist Utah Phillips, 1935-2008 *

    Utah Phillips, the legendary folk musician and peace and labor activist, has
    died at the age of seventy-three. Over the span of nearly four decades, Utah
    Phillips worked in what he referred to as "the Trade," performing tirelessly
    throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The son of labor
    organizers, Phillips was a lifelong member of the Industrial Workers of the
    World, known as the Wobblies. As a teenager, he ran away from home and
    started living as a hobo who rode the rails and wrote songs about his
    experiences. In 1956, he joined the Army and served in the Korean War, an
    experience he would later refer to as the turning point of his life. In
    1968, he ran for the US Senate on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. For
    the past twenty-one years he lived in Nevada City, where he started a
    nationally syndicated folk music radio show. He also helped found the
    Hospitality House homeless shelter and the Peace and Justice Center. We
    spend the hour with an interview with Phillips from January 2004.

  2. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    That bio needs some work. How could he have joined the Army in '56 and fought in the Korean War? The Korean War ended in '53.
  3. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Yeah, Amy also fucked up the name of the IWW- she made the common mistake of calling it "International Workers of the World."

    Phillips went to Korea after the truce. He didn't fight in the Korean War.

    "A bard who gives us joy and hope."
    - Studs Terkel
  4. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I guess heaven needed a ... eh, I got nothin'. Never heard of the guy.
  5. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Heaven needed an anarcho-syndicalist/feminist Santa Claus with a guitar.

    He's pretty much unknown except for people familiar with the grassroots labor movements in the US. He gained a little name recognition with the younger crowd when he collaborated with Ani DiFranco on some projects.
  6. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I think I have that CD somewhere.
  7. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    What Irish said. Also, I thought he was way older than 73.
  8. snuffy2

    snuffy2 Member

    I am sad about his passing. He had a stoic humble humor regarding his encyclopedic recall of the labor movement for which many died at hands of early editions of corporate goons. I understand that we have never heard of him in our cleansed selected memories but the labor movement for which he fought in establishing a symbiotic partnership with the oil energy capitalists businesses that fueled the last century was responsible for the rise of middle class Levittown america. The 'middle class' that the labor movement fought for wasn't some intellectual pointy headed invention. It was a sweat and blood fight that empowered tough working people, farmers, machinist, writers, to a level of productivity, sustainability, and community strength which remains as the envy of all the world's nations. That we know nothing of Phillips is one loss but our broader amnesia about what built this country is deadly.
  9. Just to be clear here ... Johnny Utah is OK right?
  10. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Well, he did tear up his knee in the Rose Bowl ...
  11. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    Not to be mean to the dead guy, but the Utah Phillips CD was the only clunker in Ani DiFranco's first 10 or 12 releases.
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