Hello and welcome back to the Baby’s on Fire blog tour and giveaway! For those joining us for the first time, we’ve been looking at some of the rumors, gossip (and in some instances actual documented events) that took place in the glittered and bedazzled seventies music world.
In the previous post we touched on the freedom of speech movement that was being embraced by both punk and glam rocker alike, and how it was (a) being viewed by the public, and (b) being approached by those in the industry. Of course, for all the good and/or forward thinking that can come out of a movement, there will always be those people that take it just a little too far. Make it a little too personal. To quote Alfred Pennyworth: “Some people just want to watch the world burn.”
For some, the ideals behind freedom of speech are simple – they believe they have the right to say anything they want, anytime they want, about anyone they want. But where is the line drawn? What about when that speech is viewed as an attack?
Again, I want to remind everyone that all people, regardless of story or event, are innocent until proven guilty – and even then, in some instances. I will reiterate that while I researched this blog tour, I found that some of the most coveted legends were, according to those in attendance, pure bullshit or complete misrepresentations. Please keep in mind that both media and fans alike, love a good story and they are willing to drum just up anything up until truth becomes legend. It is not my intention to make judgment on, or attempt to make the reader pass judgment on any of these performers. I only ask that you look back on where the movement started (in the early years of the 70s) and see where it went as it grew.
** Please note that none of these posts are indicative of the main characters or the instances in my novel Baby’s on Fire. They do, however, give a very clear indication of what the MCs would have been experiencing both time-wise and with the reactions/mindset of the people around them.
Elvis Costello uses a Racist Slur in Public
On March 15, 1979, Elvis Costello and his new wave band, the Attractions, met up with the more traditional rock group, Stephen Stills and his band at the Holiday Inn bar in Columbus, Ohio. Costello had already been drinking, and quickly drew Stills and friends into a bickering match over America and the American music talent for whom, it is rumored, Costello had very little respect for. During the argument, Costello verbally attacked some of the most revered and respected American talent in the industry, including Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. When Stills went back to his room, Stills’ backup singer Bonnie Bramlett (formerly of Delaney & Bonnie) decided to stay, and the squabbling intensified. It was early morning on the following day, with Costello’s blood-alcohol content somewhere in and around the mark of way-too-fucking-high, that Costello referred to James Brown as a “jive-arsed n—–“, and then followed the statement up by saying that Ray Charles was a “nothing but a blind, ignorant n—–.” Bramlett reacted by backhanding Costello, a small brawl ensued, and the bartender on duty did more than earn his keep by breaking everyone up and sending them back to their rooms.
The story doesn’t end there, though. Bramlett, still furious, decided to go to the press with her version of what went down. Within days Costello had been branded a racist and was receiving hundreds of death threats. What had been a steadily rising career was at risk of collapsing completely. In an effort to salvage what they could, a press conference was called and Costello presented his side of the story: he’d been tired, he’d been drunk, he was not racist. His reasoning: “It became necessary for me to outrage these people with the most offensive and obnoxious remarks I could muster to bring the argument to a swift conclusion and rid myself of their presence.”
Apparently, getting up from his chair and leaving didn’t cross his mind.
Although several articles and blogs refer to the press conference as “Costello’s apology”, in my research I was unable to confirm an actual apology being spoken.
When asked his opinion on the events, Ray Charles merely said that, “Drunken talk isn’t meant to be printed in the paper.” A very classy reaction from a man who’d had some very low-class things said about him, in my opinion.
Later, in 2013, Elvis Costello’s hit song Oliver’s Army (released February, 1979) was censored to remove the very same slur that had got Costello into so much hot water back then.
Picture from: Elvis Costello, March 1977 Album cover shoot, the Keith Morris archives
My huge thanks to Cinderella Stories for having me today, and a special thanks to you, my friends, for joining me. 😀
Until next time!
AF Henley ❤
Baby’s on Fire
In 1974 Gerry Faun gets the break of his life—an opportunity to meet gorgeous, openly bisexual, glam-rock idol Mark Devon. Mark’s world is new, exciting, and Gerry finally gets to explore the side of his sexuality that he’s kept hidden. But the press is everywhere, and when Gerry’s father gets wind of what’s going on behind his back, Gerry ends up on the street. Mark offers to let Gerry come along with the tour and Gerry jumps at the chance. The tour is a never-ending party—and the start of what seems to be a perfect relationship for him and Mark. Until Mark’s manager decides Gerry isn’t worth the trouble he’s stirring up.
In 1994 Gerry is finally coming out of some tough times—he has a job that pays the bills, a car that hasn’t quite broken down, and a small rental in Jersey City. After a decade of barely getting by, if life was as good as it was going to get, Gerry figures he’ll manage just fine. It would be easier if he wasn’t still haunted by the man the media won’t let him forget, the man who stole his heart and then broke it… the man that’s shown up pleading for a second chance.
Gay Contemporary Romance
Copyright © 2015 by A.F. Henley
Published by Less Than Three Press
Please note: Novel contains explicit sexual content.
On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a set of ‘Crystal and Silver’ Glitter Ball Earrings, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Baby’s on Fire. Click through for terms and conditions, further details, and your chance to win! See all the details here:
** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.
ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:
About AF Henley
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
Find more here:
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-F.-Henley/e/B00FIODWSK/
Publisher’s Page: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/author-a-f-henley/