By Robin Wheeler
While I’m planning to give a more thorough recount of the emotional experience of my weekend in Oklahoma, duty called first. I wrote two pieces for the Riverfront Times in St. Louis about the weekend.
First, a review of Saturday night’s tribute concert in Tulsa, “This Land is Your Land”. A sample:
Guthrie embraced populism as much as individuality. Presenting a song everyone knows – “Pink Houses” - so soon after the uniqueness of the Flaming Lips juxtaposed Guthrie’s complexities of balancing personal innovation with group accessibility.
I also published a recounting of that day’s academic conference, “Different Shades of Red”:
What would Woody think of what’s happening now? He would relate to the downfall of the middle class, having lived through something similar when his father lost everything. This led Guthrie to base his songs on emotions, not intellect.
Please disregard the header that claims Guthrie was a Communist. That was added by editorial, not me. Read the post and you won’t find the word “Communist” mentioned one single time. I’ve asked for this to be changed.
Despite having a photo pass, I didn’t get much that’s usable. Luckily, others did. Here’s a bit of the concert’s finale, with Arlo singing one of “This Land is Your Land”‘s lost verses:
Oh, and I did a little tree-hugging on the site of Woody’s final Okemah, Oklahoma home.