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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Stephen King reviews Diesel Doug

Stephen King reviews Diesel Doug and the Long Haul Truckers and strikes a chord with me.

But how did a band this good, this tight, fail to make the big time (or even the middle time) in a country where a no-talent, off-key screamer like William Hung could sell hundreds of thousands of records? There may not be any satisfactory answer to this question. We like to say that talent somehow always finds its way; the idea is as American as Mom's apple pie and li'l ole Sun Records down there in Memphis. A truck driver cutting a record for his mama can become a star. An itinerant Greenwich Village folksinger can become the voice of his generation. A struggling boardwalk rocker from New Jersey can release his breakthrough album soon after his label almost drops him (or so the story goes) and be playing sold-out arena shows five years later. You can hear a hundred similar rock & roll stories, and if you widen your field of focus to include books and movies, you can make it a thousand. But you have to wonder how many bands like Diesel Doug and the Long Haul Truckers may have been left largely unheard, except by their small cadre of fans. Worse — how many potentially searing talents may now be pushing paper in offices or teaching band in Ohio high schools? Because sometimes mistakes are made. Sad, but true.


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