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A shot rang out in the Memphis sky ~ U2 "Pride"
April 3, 2009 7:06 PM   Subscribe

"Early morning April 4..." Memphis. 1968. Life reveals the aftermath of the assassination Of Dr. Martin Luther King in photos never before revealed and not an easy click. MLK May your dreams be realized.

I sang MLK to my children as lullaby. Never knew anything better and it always did the trick.
April fourth is never an ordinary day to me.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents (68 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Martian Luther King?
posted by WalterMitty at 7:18 PM on April 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


Band name!
posted by Bookhouse at 7:21 PM on April 3, 2009 [11 favorites]


U2 "Pride?" The pictures are sad and remarkable, but this post comes off a little odd. I also have no idea what song you're referring to as the one you sing to your kids.
posted by agregoli at 7:22 PM on April 3, 2009


He was shot at 6 p.m. on April 4, 1969, not in the morning. Love the song, but ...
posted by raysmj at 7:24 PM on April 3, 2009


Also, I read somewhere that Bono got it wrong - wasn't the early morning.
posted by Mid at 7:24 PM on April 3, 2009


I also have no idea what song you're referring to as the one you sing to your kids.

The second Youtube Link is to a live performance of the U2 song "MLK", which is their OTHER song about Martin Luther King. It's actually quite a lovely song.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:25 PM on April 3, 2009


jinx
posted by Mid at 7:25 PM on April 3, 2009


Very compelling pics.

The U2 song, while otherwise wonderful, has a glaring error. MLK wasn't shot in the "early morning," he was shot in the early evening. Bono sometimes corrects it in live performances.
posted by amyms at 7:25 PM on April 3, 2009


agregoli, click the second link in the post.
posted by Houstonian at 7:25 PM on April 3, 2009


Martian Luther King?

Well, the poster is called "will wait 4 tanjents". So...
posted by sk381 at 7:26 PM on April 3, 2009


Oh, and Bono does correct himself when they do "Pride" now -- he sings "early EVENING, April 4" when he sings it these days.

Why yes, I am a big uber U2 geeked-out fangirl.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't really get what the song or the personal touch has to do with the post at all, but ok.
posted by agregoli at 7:26 PM on April 3, 2009


(I purposely didn't click it cause it was YouTube and had a moment of dumb - sorry. YouTube doesn't really round out a post for me).
posted by agregoli at 7:27 PM on April 3, 2009


God, I hate U2.

Songs about JFK or MLK are the musical equivalent of an actor playing a mentally handicapped person or someone with cancer or a holocaust survivor. Figures Bono would have to write two of them.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:33 PM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't really get what the song or the personal touch has to do with the post at all, but ok.

The song was written about MLK.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:35 PM on April 3, 2009


The photos are a sobering reminder, though. We should all maybe take a moment to be glad we can afford to sit and bicker about typos & youtube links.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:36 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Songs about JFK or MLK are the musical equivalent of an actor playing a mentally handicapped person or someone with cancer or a holocaust survivor. Figures Bono would have to write two of them.

Yeah, but that was in 1984; Bono was still in his "serious artiste" phase then. I think the 90's for U2 were kind of about everyone getting over themselves a little.


I'll stop now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 PM on April 3, 2009


This is a very powerful post about Dr. Martian Luther King.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:37 PM on April 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


also the post above mine is going to be the best comment in the thread, calling it now
posted by Mikey-San at 7:37 PM on April 3, 2009


yeah, just cause the song is about MLK? Doesn't really make it relevant to the post at all for me, nor does it "round out the post." And yeah, I got that it was about him. Derrr.
posted by agregoli at 7:42 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The person identified as "William" and "Bill" Campbell" is Will Campbell, the only white person present at the founding of the SCLC and a "renegade Christian," a radical preacher, whose views on civil rights are remarkably nuanced and enlightened.
posted by raysmj at 7:44 PM on April 3, 2009


Martian Luther King?
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:46 PM on April 3, 2009


Good lord, that poor man cleaning up the blood seemed about the saddest person in the country at that moment.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Doh! I *did* post Martian Luther.
I am so not worthy of MetaFliter...
(yes I am)
Thank you for all of the corrections. Appreciated.

This is why I love yous all.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 7:59 PM on April 3, 2009


I honestly thought this was going to be some sort of weird parody based on the "Dr. Martian Luther King" bit.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:03 PM on April 3, 2009


..and what ever happened to Marin the Martian.
That was WAYYY before Pinky & The Brain
.. miss me some Marvin

On a serious note:
The post was about the release of the photos.
I realized I was too quick to embellish.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 8:03 PM on April 3, 2009


"MLK" is a pretty good lullaby, and if misidentifying the time of day that Martin Luther King was shot is the worst thing that Bono ever did with a lyric, I'll be willing to eat my socks.
posted by blucevalo at 8:18 PM on April 3, 2009


This is a really, really good post. Affecting, genuine and simple. Everybody should just shut up about the typo.
posted by jbickers at 8:20 PM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Maybe a mod could fix the typo to slow the spread of the unfortunate derail? The pics are worthy, and MLK was certainly worthy. Man, '68 was a sucky year to be a civil rights leader.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:20 PM on April 3, 2009


[I have fixed the "Martian" typo, and also had about the best laugh I've had all week. Carry on, and god bless typos.]
posted by cortex at 8:38 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Classy.

BREAKING NEWS
LIFE EXCLUSIVE! The Day MLK Died
posted by smackfu at 8:39 PM on April 3, 2009


what ever happened to Marin the Martian.

He found some really bitchin' weed in Humboldt County, and we haven't seen him since!

Sorry, Northern California humor...
posted by jonp72 at 8:58 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


April 4 is also the end of the Student Labor Week of Action (which was just a day of action, on April 4, when I first participated in 2000). Thanks for the link to the photos.
posted by newrambler at 9:01 PM on April 3, 2009


Does anyone know what that can in the open suitcase is of, in the last photo?
posted by porpoise at 9:01 PM on April 3, 2009


The caption says it's shaving cream.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 PM on April 3, 2009


Thank you, Dr. King Jr.
posted by cashman at 9:05 PM on April 3, 2009


(Hey cortex, might want to clean up the "martian" tag as well.)

That suitcase photo and the one where the guy is cleaning up the blood are really haunting. Great set.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:09 PM on April 3, 2009


Martin Luthor King is still my favorite MLK typo. He has a dream that we will all overcome our prejudices and stand together, brother and sister, hand in hand, to hate Superman. He also has a giant killer robot. Moving on.

(Good post, ww4j.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:27 PM on April 3, 2009


I sing that song to my kids too, so more power to you, man.
posted by padraigin at 9:28 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


God, I hate U2.

Songs about JFK or MLK are the musical equivalent of an actor playing a mentally handicapped person or someone with cancer or a holocaust survivor. Figures Bono would have to write two of them.


You know what's less artistic or original? Gratuitous pissing on U2.

Especially along with this kind of garbage shallow art criticism like "Oh, dude, they wrote songs about a revered popular guy with ideals that changed a nation who got shot. Lame." Seriously? Anybody who has any kind of handle on insightful art criticism is going to recognize that it's not the use of a touchstone that's problematic, it's the clumsy execution that comes with naive reliance on it. So, you know, if you've got particular criticisms of the execution of either of those songs, go on, show it off, but if not, please refrain from declaring certain subjects out of bounds for real artistic expression. The love poem/song is the most tired hackneyed cliche in the history of art itself but no matter how many clumsy or crappy pieces get hacked up people still manage to produce something new and moving.

U2 has their problems -- heaven knows odd semi-disturbing inanities like "a mole. Digging in a hole. Digging up my soul" stick out like a sore thumb, -- but even considering that, they produced some pretty darn compelling intelligent pop. They earned their fame with the Joshua Tree even if they never did anything after it, and it's pretty likely that people will be singing MLK as a lullabye among to their kids for a long time to come.

If you personally don't like them, that's totally cool, if you like something else, that's great, and hey, if you're just trying to signal to the other cool kids how you're also too cool for school, then maybe that'll work out for you too. But if you imagine you've got the kind of objective handle on U2's relative quality as artists, you either need to step up your game an order of magnitude or two, or you need to realize that the phrase "your favorite band sucks" isn't just something people throw around on the net for lulz, it's a koan you apparently haven't unlocked the meaning of yet.
posted by weston at 9:52 PM on April 3, 2009 [16 favorites]


more than two of you seem to be forgetting that dr. king, jr. changed the world in a much deeper and more positive way than mr. mullen, jr. likely will be able to. i would venture that even mr. mullen, jr. would agree.
posted by the aloha at 9:58 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that guy cleaning up the blood...

My dad died of an aortic dissection. Bled out, via his lungs, on the kitchen floor. Somebody cleaned that up. Hardwood floor, with those seams between the boards. I think it was the fire department guys, but, really, I never asked--it was all gone by the time my mom got home from the hospital.

So, yeah, the guy cleaning up the blood. Damn.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:12 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Songs about JFK or MLK are the musical equivalent of an actor playing a mentally handicapped person or someone with cancer or a holocaust survivor...

Respectfully, I disagree.
James Taylor -- 'Shed A Little Light.'

Dion || Marvin Gaye -- 'Abraham, Martin and John.'
posted by ericb at 10:33 PM on April 3, 2009


Lest we forget -- Dream Academy -- Life in A Northern Town.

But, hey, You Should See the Other Guy, my personal opinion -- you're not an arbiter of taste. Stick with your Upper West Side tastes. They don't reflect much beyond that!
posted by ericb at 10:57 PM on April 3, 2009



All appreciated ------------------
Dear cortex:
Thank you. Much obliged.
I never meant to make Dr. Martin Luther a martian.
I just was trying to post the photos, ya know?
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 1:38 AM on April 4, 2009


Does anyone know what that can in the open suitcase is of, in the last photo?

Spring-loaded snake. Abernathy and King were always pulling shit like that on each other. When someone said King was shot, Abernathy said, "Yeah, right. Pull the other one, Marty."
posted by pracowity at 3:48 AM on April 4, 2009 [1 favorite]



He was shot at 6 p.m. on April 4, 1969, not in the morning. Love the song, but ...
posted by raysmj at 10:24 PM on April 3 [+] [!]


1968.
I confess, as a white person, that when my teenaged self heard that Dr. King had been shot, I started hoping a black guy had done it so black people wouldn't be so pissed off. That's because our little FBI friends had been going around, stirring up trouble whenever Dr. King visited, and I was afraid a race war was on the horizon.
posted by etaoin at 4:17 AM on April 4, 2009


Songs about JFK or MLK are the musical equivalent of an actor playing a mentally handicapped person or someone with cancer or a holocaust survivor.

In fact, Bono agrees with you:
"I looked at how glorious that song was and thought: 'What the fuck is that all about?' It's just a load of vowel sounds ganging up on a great man. It is emotionally very articulate - if you didn't speak English."
I've always felt the same way about the song. I love its soaring, anthemic sound, but lyrically it's a muddle. That's okay; it's a pop song. The lyrics aren't that important. You could say that the song functions like a photograph, conveying the emotions of a moment more than a deeply thought out message.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:19 AM on April 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, it's the anniversary of MLK death, and all we can do is debate the merits of U2? Weird.
posted by scarello at 6:41 AM on April 4, 2009


I second ericb on "Shed a Little Light" - it's a little sappy, but I'm a big fan anyway. Aimee Mann does a good job of it too - I can't find video other than in the background of this West Wing episode (it's a great episode, though!)
posted by naoko at 6:48 AM on April 4, 2009


These photos are so intimate, and bring a national tragedy down to a very human scale.

.



(not gonna get into a debate about U2 or typos)
posted by availablelight at 7:22 AM on April 4, 2009


it's the anniversary of MLK death, and all we can do is debate the merits of U2?

Don't fret; I've debated the merits of U2 on Easter, too.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:25 AM on April 4, 2009


ericb
I am so confused.... please enlighten me. I remember when "Life in a Northern Town" came out. I have always thought it was about Nick Drake. So what does it have to do with MLK and U2?
posted by nimsey lou at 7:27 AM on April 4, 2009


You know what's less artistic or original? Gratuitous pissing on U2.

Hate to break it to you, but I was trying for neither art or originality. It's a comment. On a website.

but if not, please refrain from declaring certain subjects out of bounds for real artistic expression.

Didn't claim that. Wouldn't. Said it was a crutch. Are you denying that films about the handicapped have a .... handicap at pulling one's heart strings? My comment was suggesting songs like this do the same thing. Maybe you disagree. Good on ya. Put a hairbrush to your mouth and crank up Candle in the Wind.

They earned their fame with the Joshua Tree

I don't deny their fame, I deny their talent. Hell, I'd even go so far as denying their sincerity.

ericb wrote: you're not an arbiter of taste

Since when?!

Stick with your Upper West Side tastes. They don't reflect much beyond that!

Well your argument seems to kind of fall of part considering I'm not in NYC. Or America for that matter. Never have been. Thanks for playing, though.

weston wrote: if you're just trying to signal to the other cool kids how you're also too cool for school

Yup, you found me out. You know what's more tired than "Your favorite band sucks!"? "Your opinion is different from mine and the only reason you have it is because you want to be different from me." Westons and ericbs yank that canard out every time someone disagrees with them.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:30 AM on April 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Early morning, April 4. Typo derails post, on a we-eb si-ITE.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:39 AM on April 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember when "Life in a Northern Town" came out. I have always thought it was about Nick Drake. So what does it have to do with MLK and U2?

Obviously, you're examining the song at a deeper level. Please restrict yourself to the surface of the track where Nick mentions JFK in the lyrics.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:49 AM on April 4, 2009


So, it's the anniversary of MLK death, and all we can do is debate the merits of U2? Weird.

Yes, the conversation is lame, but I expected the post to be deleted. Maybe others did, too. It's one-third a link to gruesome assassination photos and two-thirds about a couple of U2 songs and what they mean to the poster. And of all the quotes that could have been pulled from those pop hits, the poster chose a factually incorrect one. And then tagged it as "Martian" Luther King! (Didn't he sing "It's not easy being green?")
posted by pracowity at 9:01 AM on April 4, 2009


Dude, I think that was Kermit.
posted by cj_ at 9:29 AM on April 4, 2009


Hate to break it to you, but I was trying for neither art or originality. It's a comment. On a website.

Cute literalism. Snark as weak as the bleating music "criticism" you've engaged in thus far.

Didn't claim that. Wouldn't. Said it was a crutch.

The likely implication of which is that anybody who uses the topic is leaning on it, in which case, we're back to an earlier point I made.

Are you denying that films about the handicapped have a .... handicap at pulling one's heart strings?

Yeah. I am. You can have a bus full of handicapped people each with their own one-legged puppy with the heart of a champion, and it's still all in the execution, which is why picking on the topic is at least as much of a crutch when a critic does it as when an artist coasts on it.

I don't deny their fame, I deny their talent. Hell, I'd even go so far as denying their sincerity.

Ah. So you're not attempting any act of criticism, you're simply enjoying the opportunity to publicly deny things.
you're not an arbiter of taste
Since when?!


Oops, no, maybe you still think you're a critic.

"Your opinion is different from mine and the only reason you have it is because you want to be different from me." Westons and ericbs yank that canard out every time someone disagrees with them.

It's certainly not a canard, given that it's common enough, so I threw it out as a possibility, but I think I made it pretty clear that there's others, including the possibility you were just being lazy but you could step up your game, or that you can't because you simply don't understand art and music criticism yet. Based on your scintillating followup, I'm leaning towards the later-est.
posted by weston at 9:48 AM on April 4, 2009


I remember when "Life in a Northern Town" came out. I have always thought it was about Nick Drake. So what does it have to do with MLK and U2?

It also references the mid-1960's with direct reference to JFK.
posted by ericb at 12:08 PM on April 4, 2009


He was shot at 6 p.m. on April 4, 1969, not in the morning. Love the song, but ...

Well, technically it was 00.01 in the morning Dublin time.
posted by fullerine at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2009


It also references the mid-1960's with direct reference to JFK.

Once again what does "Life in a Northern Town" have to do with MLK or U2?
posted by nimsey lou at 4:01 PM on April 4, 2009


Once again what does "Life in a Northern Town" have to do with MLK or U2?

Absolutely nothing!

The song/video was cited as a reference to this comment:
"Songs about JFK or MLK are the musical equivalent of an actor playing a mentally handicapped person or someone with cancer or a holocaust survivor..."
posted by ericb at 4:47 PM on April 4, 2009


Correction: "It also references the early -1960's with direct reference to JFK."
posted by ericb at 4:47 PM on April 4, 2009


This argument about U2 was precisely what was in King's mind when he wrote his "I have a dream" speech.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:51 PM on April 4, 2009


there's a link at the end of the gallery to another one Martin Luther King: His Triumphs which makes a nice followup.
posted by sineater at 9:03 AM on April 5, 2009


@pracowity
... expected the post to be deleted?
Nah. I gave cortex the best laugh that week.
Bite your tongue.
Instead he corrected me

I'll take the ridicule.
Not bad for my 5th post ever.

I will do my best to embellish better
..and I learn as I go.
Honest.. I was racing to be the first
but I forget this is not digg
where you have to move quickly and swiftly

(yeah, I deserved that slap)
MeFi has nothing on digg.
Just explaining the mindset.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 11:32 PM on April 5, 2009


I don't know what all y'all are talking about, but I gotta say, "Early morning, April 4th" flows better than "Early evening, April 4th".

So there's that.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:10 AM on April 6, 2009


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