Feeling bad ain’t good enough

I have an inordinate affinity for little-known, minor musical artists from the late 60’s to early 70’s. Working for two record companies (you remember “record companies”, don’t you?) during that period only served to feed my obsession. I got to know bands who barely made it out of the warehouse. Most belonged there but some deserved a better fate.

Among my favorite obscurities are Stackridge (produced by the incomparable George Martin), Lindisfarne (pride of Newcastle), Emit Rhodes (the one-man Beatles), Roy Buchanan (the most soulful guitarist ever), and Ralph McTell (troubadour extraordinaire). Others, such as John Kongos, Seatrain, and Andrew Gold, are slightly better known but still vastly underappreciated. I exult in these musical phantoms.

The unfamiliar band that’s been in my brain of late is one McKendree Spring. (I’m not alone in my admiration. Legendary rock promoter/manager/impresario Bill Graham justifiably called them “one of the best unknown bands in the world.”) IMHO their third album, the aptly titled “McKendree Spring 3” is a masterpiece. What all this rambling is leading to is a song on that LP that has captured my attention and won’t let it go. Although included on the 1971 release, the song “Feeling Bad Ain’t Good Enough” couldn’t be more timely. It could have been triggered by yesterday’s news. Or today’s. Or tomorrow’s. Check out the chorus:

Feeling bad ain’t good enough now
For something you ain’t done.
Especially when the crazy man,
He’s reachin’ for his gun.

It has everything but the #enough. Feeling bad isn’t good enough. Nor are your thoughts and prayers, although I believe in the power of prayer.

The early date of the recording and certain lyrical references (“What was that voice from the tower; what was it trying to prove?”) indicate that the song could have been inspired by one of the early mass shootings in this country, that of the University of Texas Austin tower sniper. It’s sad to think that, in the 52 years since that tragedy, we’ve become inured to these events. In fact, we expect them now. A handful of people killed by a lone shooter barely makes a ripple in the mud puddle known as the evening news. In spite of the fact that mass shootings have escalated along with gun ownership, the powers-that-be continue to rant that more guns is the answer. Rather than fight back, our spineless lawmakers grovel before the nation’s largest terrorist organization, the NRA.


I am the NTRA


It’s been accurately observed that toy guns are more rigorously regulated than the real thing. I for one think this is an abomination for our country. It’s time to end the madness.

That’s why I’m announcing the creation of the NTRA: the National Toy Rifle Association to send the message to the Buster-Brown-booted thugs:

Keep your hands off my toy guns!

Adults aren’t the only ones protected by the 2nd amendment. The right to arm toddlers shall not be infringed.

Just because some wimpy, timid housewife told her little boy, “You’ll shoot your eye out”, are we going to live in fear? No! If she’d listened to little Ralphie, her home wouldn’t have been overrun by Black Bart and his gang, known communist sympathizers.

If we give up our toy guns, the terrorists win. Who’s going to defend America then? No matter that a paintball or cap gun won’t do much to protect us from missiles and nuclear devices. This is a matter of principle!

Remember: If they take away your water gun today, they’ll take away your water tomorrow! Super Soakers don’t soak people, people soak people. If you want to keep people dry, we need MORE water guns, not fewer.

It’s time to say “enough is enough”. For those of us who can stand up, it’s time to stand up for our rights. The rest of us will just sit and fuss.

You can have my toy gun when you pry it from my stinky, poopy diaper.