The Day the Music Died
In a ground-breaking interview on Fox News a spokesperson for the NRA asserted that there’d been no gun violence before the Beatles song Happiness Is a Warm Gun, and that it is music that should be banned, not guns. The spokesperson further pointed out that there is nothing in the Constitution guaranteeing the right to music.
By the next afternoon gun shops across the country, in a display of support for the NRA’s stance, began raffling off assault weapons, and in major metropolitan areas, protesters formed picket lines in front of music stores.
That evening a Congressman from Texas gave an impromptu interview on Fox News in which he declared, “Better dead than red,” and the interviewer, looking gravely into the camera, said, “There we have it, Mr. and Mrs. America. The country’s fate is in your hands.”
A special session of Congress was called and law makers cut their vacations short to return to Washington to do what was needed. In rare across-the-aisle cooperation, a motion was made and passed unanimously to establish a committee to begin formulating a Constitutional Amendment to ban the sale of musical instruments, with the exception of the Steinway piano and the Jew’s harp. This triggered a wave of protest from the Muslim community that objected to the exclusion of the Jew’s harp from the Amendment, and nine mosques were bombed before the week was out. The NRA was quick to point out that a bomb is not a gun, and that strange, dissonant music was heard coming from the mosques in question.
Efforts to reach Paul McCartney for comment were unsuccessful, but Ringo Starr came forward and expressed his opinion that drums and tambourines should also be exempt from the Amendment, a suggestion that met with an immediate rebuttal from the NRA in the form of a saturation TV commercial showing crazed savages in Africa drumming ferociously thru the night while dancing wildly around a pole festooned with shrunken heads, presumably belonging to Western missionaries. One of the dancers was wearing ear phones and was holding what appeared to be an old-fashion Walkman in his right hand; about halfway thru the commercial the camera did a freeze frame on the dancer in question and zoomed in on the hand holding the Walkman, circling it in red and bringing up the caption: “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Rock concerts were canceled and movies such as Dirty Dancing and Zorba the Greek were reclassified as X rated. Jazz musicians who began flying off to Paris and Stockholm in droves were confronted at airports by angry protesters waving plackets with indignant messages scrawled on them: The Beatles killed my son; Shoot the piano player; and America for the Tone Deaf.
President Obama addressed the nation from the White House, saying that the issue was complex and needed further study, but in the meantime, to be on the safe side, all musical instruments and music-playing devices would be banned from the Armed Services to allow America’s fighting men to concentrate on their primary mission, protecting the homeland from terrorist attack.
A great silence fell over the land, punctuated thruout the night by sporadic gun fire.