It was twenty years ago this fall that I published the first issue of my long-gone book review magazine. The main feature in that premiere—which came out just before the 1992 Bill Clinton/George H. W. Bush election—was a paired review of eponymous political books: Doug Rennie’s on the newly-published David McCullough biography of Harry Truman and my own of Huey Long by T. Harry Williams (a book published in 1969). Up until just a few years ago, the online version of the Long review was on the top page of a Google search for his name; since the 75th observance of his assassination, it’s been moved down a bit, largely by the establishment of hueylong.com.
I’ve tried to observe the date of Long’s death on this blog since its second year in 2005 in one way or another since 1995, when the 70th anniversary coincided with the aftermath of the flooding of New Orleans and the devastation of the Gulf Coast.
This year, however, I promise to kick it up a notch for 2013. Inspired by Zappadan, the festival that takes place between the anniversaries of Frank Zappa’s death (December 4, 1993) and birth (December 21, 1940), next year, I’ll be figuring out something to do for Hueydan, between Long’s birth (August 30, 1893) and death (September 10, 1935).
September 8 is the date Huey Long was shot in the rotunda of the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. He died two days later.
How could I have missed this song all these years? I tuned into some Harvey Danger through Pandora (it truly is like opening a box of evil) after hearing the snippet of “Flagpole Sitta'” used for the theme of the truly brilliant “Peep Show” series and heard this song for the first time.
People who could buy and sell you
Sharing a joke that they will never tell you
You think you’re dialed in, someone has to win
And you know what that means,
Well then someone’s got to lose
It’s probably you, it’s probably you.
—Harvey Danger, “Only Cream and Bastards Rise”