Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood has written a new op-ed for NPR in which he apologises to fans for the band’s name. “Our name was a drunken joke that was never intended to be in rotation and reckoned with two-and-a-half decades later, and I sincerely apologize for its stupidity and any negative stereotypes it has propagated,” he wrote near the end of the column. “I’m not sure changing it now serves any higher purpose, but I’m certainly open to suggestions.”
He continues: “From the start, the band was fun and rowdy and loud as hell. Our name had an irreverence that befit our style and sense of humor. It was such an absurd band name that I didn’t have to worry about a blues performer in Seattle having the same. I had the privilege of being blissfully unaware. Oof.
I’m not going to, and can’t, claim that those were simpler times. They weren’t. Rodney King was still a very fresh memory, and the forming of my band roughly coincided with the O.J. Simpson trial and all of the racial turmoil that accompanied it. The murders of Tupac and Biggie Smalls were just on the horizon. Everyone in the Atlanta metro area, of which Athens is certainly a part (like it or not) was gearing up for the world’s stage as the Olympics, and with it the juggernaut of short-term jobs and gentrification that accompany such a huge event.
All of this brings me back to my band’s name, and the environment that led me to somehow think it was alright. To not really think about it at all. No one is blissfully unaware of much any more; this can be painful and brain-numbing but it can also, hopefully, lead us to somewhere better.”
You can read the whole piece over at NPR here.
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