Anti-Chicks Show Planned - Rolling Stone
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Anti-Chicks Show Planned

Marshall Tucker Band to headline South Carolina rally

Predictably, the strongest backlash against the Dixie Chicks
following singer Natalie Maines’ critical comments last month about
President Bush — continues to come from conservative talk radio.
Radio talk show host Mike Gallagher and his organization,
Gallagher’s Army, is putting together a Rally for the Troops
concert for May 1st in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the same day
the Dixie Chicks are planning to launch their U.S. tour for
Home in neighboring Greenville.

Southern rock mainstay the Marshall Tucker Band (which hails
from South Carolina and whose frontman Doug Gray is a Vietnam
veteran) will headline the event, and teenage country singer Ty
Nelson will also perform. According to Gallagher, tickets will run
$35 to $45, with free admission and VIP seating to anyone who comes
to the event with a Dixie Chicks’ ticket. Gallagher’s Army was
started by the talk show host as a charity group to raise money for
food and personal care items for American military personnel, and
all proceeds from the event will go to military families.

“People are irritated, but I think it’s incumbent upon me as
organizer of this thing to keep it very positive,” Gallagher says.
“We’re not going to stand up there and burn the Dixie Chicks in
effigy. It was important to me to know that their concert was
already sold out. No one’s trying to hurt their ticket sales; I’m
not trying to turn this into a witch hunt. I want to take a very
negative reaction that millions of Americans felt and turn it into
to something positive.”

The controversy’s roots lie in a March Dixie Chicks performance
in London, where Maines told an audience, “We’re ashamed the
president of the United States is from Texas.” Maines issued two
statements following the remark, one an attempt to clarify her
comment, the second an apology.

“I think she had every right to say what she said,” Gallagher
says. “But I believe her apology was insincere. It was a good
business decision to apologize. Most of us on our side think it’s
too little too late. I think it would be more genuine if they would
take all the proceeds from their concert in South Carolina and give
them to our cause. That would be a bold statement that shows their
true support for the American military families and troops.”

Gallagher says that if the South Carolina concert is a success,
he may try to schedule similar performances in other cities where
the Dixie Chicks are to perform. The plan will likely be a tall
order, as the Chicks have lined up fifty-nine dates on the Top of
the World Tour that extend into August. The group set an industry
mark by selling out fifty-one of those dates on the first day of
ticket sales.

As for the Maines, in addition to offering an apology to the
president, she explained the impetus for her remark (“We are in
Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of
the perceived rush to war”) and offered her own support for U.S.
troops (“As a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative
exhausted before children and American soldiers’ lives are lost. I
love my country. I am a proud American.”) The Chicks, who are still
in Europe, had no comment on Gallagher’s show, and the band’s
manager recently said that Maines had offered sufficient apology
and justification. “Natalie can’t win,” manager Simon Renshaw told
Radio and Records last week. “If she goes on the
microphone and apologizes, they’ll say she doesn’t sound contrite
enough.”

In This Article: The Dixie Chicks

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