MAN, Does It Feel Good To Be An AMERICAN
:: Byron MacGregor - How Good You Have It In America ::
I love when 25¢ reaps rewards such as this. Byron MacGregor was a Canadian reporter who had a giant chest-thumping hit on his hands when he released his reading of fellow Canuck, Gordon Sinclair's pro-American composition "The Americans." The funny thing is that he didn't have permission to do so, and managed to get his version out before Gordon could. To top it off, it sold multiple thousands of copies. You can't get much more American than that opportunistic screw job. But happily the two orators came to a settlement by which the profits from sales of Byron's unauthorized album would be donated to the Red Cross. That was very Canadian of them.
You can actually get most of this album on CD, should you want to hear it. I am including my favorite piece, How Good You Have It In America, which is the only thing on here he wrote himself, and is not on the CD, and fuck yeah that's how we roll in America - WE SHARE. I imagine its exclusion has something to do with the fact that he spends his entire speech talking shit about Russia. Now that the Cold War is over, it's just not very moving to hear about how much nicer we have it than those poor, miserable Russians. My favorite line is when he mentions that students in Moscow "would do anything just for a glance at some uncensored books." Uhuh, and fifteen minutes without Grandma in the same room, or at least a bathroom with a lock.
Byron died too early, ten years ago Tuesday in fact, at the age of 46, of "pneumonia" from what I can tell. There's awards and stuff named after him, and people who are into getting pumped up by stirring patriotic prose are still listening to The Americans, usually after we get attacked or start a war somewhere.