Notable Deaths

Rest In Piss Toby Keith

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“How do you like me now”

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That’s a great fucking story.

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I don’t listen to country. I only know Toby Keith from “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” which I only really found out about from the Lindsey Ellis video about post-9/11 music. This is thankfully not something we imported into europe.

Today I found out about another of Keith’s songs from 2003 called Beer for My Horses. That song is literally pro-lynch-mob and pro-vigilante-justice. How the fuck was that even published? And that song is by Keith and Willie Nelson, who I lost a whole lot of respect for today.

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Oh yeah, Toby Keith was a huge piece of shit, so I’m unsurprised to learn anything negative about him. It’s weird that Nelson would’ve collaborated with him at all tbh; looking online, it doesn’t look like Nelson co-wrote that with him, just performed it? Which isn’t an excuse tbf. Knowing tangentially about his legal and IRS issues, I can see him hopping on a “gotta make this money” wagon.

Idk, it unfortunately isn’t surprising at all to me that it got published in 03; post 9/11, America was just a fucking wasteland of jingoism, and considering his whole deal, I can see people just rolling with it cos he’s the “support the troops” guy, if that makes sense.

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I will note, according to what I’ve read, everyone involved in that story denies it happened.

Not entirely true, it’s a bit more nuanced than that.

Toby, of course, vigorously denied it. Makes sense. Getting read for filth and nearly getting your ass beat by one of the gods of country music, in front of one of the few names held in even higher regard, pretty embarrassing.

Kristofferson, on the other hand, didn’t outright deny it, just said that he didn’t really remember it, and had told Ethan Hawke as such at the time of the article’s publication, since Hawke sent him a pre-publication copy.

But a week or so later, he did an interview with Minneapolis Star Tribune, where he said that it was six years ago and he didn’t really remember it(while making an offhand comment about his bad memory)…but also made an aside that his wife did remember it(As she was also at the party, though not present for the described scene).

This might seem like a small thing, sure, until you put it together with one other fact - this was during a period where he was suffering from Lyme Disease so badly that he misdiagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, so the fact that he couldn’t remember isn’t a suprise, according to his wife there were days where he could barely remember more than his own name.


True or not, that “cashed the check” line sounds like something straight out of a war film.

:frowning: marathon record holder.

Late to the party but I would like to mention that that Waylon Jennings quote has been applied to most country stars of the 90s and 00s, but it’s not clear who he said it about or if he ever said it at all. Waylon wasn’t someone I’d hold up as a progressive force for country music, even less than Merle Haggard, and the quote has also been said to be about Garth Brooks who I would hold up as a progressive force within the industry.

All of this is setting aside the fact that the comparison kinda implies that Waylon would sexually assault women if we didn’t wear underwear.

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I’m not a huge country fan, so I’m admittedly not familiar with a LOT of the backstories of these people; I just know that Toby Keith was a huge piece of shit.

I didn’t necessarily take away that same understanding from the quote, so apologies if that was over the line. No offense was intended on my part, at least. Sorry!

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I know nothing about country music or Toby Keith. I did see that Stephen Colbert put out an interesting video about him, where he says that Keith was more than what most people thought he was:

Apparently Keith wrote some jingoistic song about bombing Osama bin Laden, but was also at President Obama’s Noble Prize acceptance speech.

A man of contradictions?

Yeah, Adeem The Artist, a non-binary left wing country artist who wrote a whole song calling out Toby Keith for his reactionary views and the influence “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” had on the entire genre of country music posted some surprising views on Keith’s passing. They mentioned that they actually had AudioTree remove a recording of that song from a live set they recorded after hearing about the heart condition that eventually killed Keith because they didn’t want him to have to deal with a potential media frenzy under those circumstances. Some other more established artists have posted stories of him being nice on various occasions, including a particularly sweet story involving Merle Haggard.

I don’t think it’s unfair that his legacy will be shaped by his jingoist propaganda fueling an unjust rerun of Vietnam and role in blacklisting the Dixie Chicks for disagreeing, since those actions had greater ramifications than anything else he did by a country mile, but the catharsis I felt when he died faded quickly after reading those.


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1 Like I wanted to bring attention to this passing because he worked in an era not many in this forum were around for.

Back in the 50s-early 80s, some publishers got around the comics code by doing comic magazines (Mad Magazine being the most famous). Warren publishing did such titles like Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella.

He also did the comic strip Modesty Blaise, which became famous worldwide. Sadly, most of his work is not available except through the used market, which is sad because his work stood out.

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Where’s the Geeknights newsletter going to live now that tinyletter is dead?

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I saw the writing on the wall and moved it a long time ago to a self hosted solution. I just haven’t sent a new one since then XD