The Breakdown: I Walk The Line

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock (1591913a) Johnny Cash Film and Television

From the soft subtle hum of Johnny Cash to the accompanying guitar that can only be described as steady as a train, sharp as a razor,  I Walk The Line hooks you right off the bat with an unforgettable melodic experience. The song has been synonymous with the mere mention of Cash’s name, but there’s much more to it than what lies on the surface. At first listen you pick up quickly on the fact that Johnny is in love with a girl and is willing to do it all to get her. When we dive deeper into the story of Cash’s life the song becomes much more powerful.

Johnny Cash fell in love early on in his career with fellow musician June Carter, while both Cash and Carter were married respectively, an on again off again relationship started to form between the two. When Cash’s marriage ended he had already made up his mind that June Carter was the only woman he wanted to spend his life with. Battling his own inner demons as well as his love for a married woman, Cash turned to drugs and alcohol as a suppressant. From town to town, up and down the road playing countless shows Cash fell further and further down the hole of substance abuse. June Carter was forced to sit and watch as her dear friend and love interest systematically destroyed himself. All of these factors would culminate in June Carter finding Cash heavily intoxicated before a show and claiming that she didn’t want any part of the tour anymore due to Cash’s problems with Alcohol. 

What follows is the creation of one of the most criminally overlooked songs ever written. Johnny Cash would go on to write “I Walk The Line” detailing his overwhelming feelings for June, claiming “because you’re mine, I walk the line”. This is not a metaphor about a tightrope or any other generic trope. This was a vow of sobriety. Cash’s claim is a reference to a field sobriety test where the intoxicated person in question must “walk the line”. Though not without trials and tribulations, Cash would eventually clean himself up with the help of his future wife, June Carter.

The King of the Album Sale

When thinking about the success of an artist, most people will associate this with units sold. In the age of streaming music at the click of a button physical copies sold is more of a feat than ever before. In this regard, there is one man who has outsold them all and did it with a cunning mind for marketing.

If someone were to ask you, “who do you think has sold the most albums in the united states?” You’d be safe to pick an artist that has stood the test of time, a multi-generational household name that everybody and their mother knows. Artists the likes of Elvis Presley, Micheal Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Madonna are all great assumptions however none of them hold a candle to the true king of album sales. 

Netting a total of 148 million units sold, our hats are off to the one and only Garth Brooks. That’s right, the country music icon tops the list of US album sales, even beating out the likes of The King himself, Elvis Presley by approximately 1.5 million units. With this kind of competition one might ask, how this feat is even possible, and it’s quite simple really. In a very controversial move, Brooks elected to not release any of his music digitally. As the way we listened and obtained music changed with the times to reflect a more digital fast paced means of purchase, Brooks stuck to the physical form. With this decision music streaming and downloading platforms such as iTunes, Spotify and Pandora were unable to showcase any of Garth’s work, meaning the only way to hear the country music star was to physically buy his albums. 

In the same light however this decision has also restricted the amount of income he could be making off of downloads and digital sales, but at the end of the day Garth has shown it truly does pay to have Friends in Low Places.

The Good, The Bad, The Best Frontman Replacements

The frontman of a group is arguably the most quintessential part of  any successful band. But what happens when the frontman that brought you to the big game is no longer in the picture. This has been the case for many a band over the course of history, and while sometimes the transition is filled with ease and acceptance, often times the replacements are met with criticism.

While hard to replace the man or woman that brought the band into the light, it is not always impossible. This is evident with bands such as AC/DC, who lost the great Bon Scott at just 33 years of age, and found the perfect replacement in Brian Johnson. When Genesis frontman Peter Gabril stepped down Phil Collins was there to fill his shoes to much acceptance from the fans. Most notably Sammy Hagar stepping in when David Lee Roth lefty Van Halen is seen as one of the most successful replacements of frontmen of all time. Deservedly an honorable mention goes to Myles Kennedy who would front for Guns N’ Roses during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction alongside fellow band member Slash.

On the other side of the coin are those who didn’t receive the warmest of welcomes. This of course is of no fault of the singer but rather the fan ideal of replicating a certain sound. Acts such as Arnel Pineda of Journey, Ronnie James Dio in Black Sabbath, and Blaze Bayley with Iron Maiden have all fallen victim of not being able to pick up the pieces of their predecessors. While they all are extremely talented in their own right, sometimes you can’t force change.

Does a Frontman Have to be The Singer

Typically when you think of the frontman of a group you imagine the lead singer, but is this always the case? When you look up the term frontman on the definition you are given is “a performer, as a singer, who leads a musical group”. From this definition the answer seems pretty cut a dry, the singer of the group acts as the frontman. However, the second definition you are given, “a person who serves as the nominal head of an organization and who represents it publicly” broadens the horizon a little bit.
            While the majority of singers act as the frontman for their respective groups, there is an argument to be made this is not always the case. Groups such as Aerosmith, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and many more are synonymous with their leading front men being the vocalist and typically, the lead singer pulls double duty as either a lead or rhythm guitarist. On the contrary, take a group like KISS for example. While Paul Stanley acts as both the groups lead singer and rhythm guitarist, many associate the image of KISS with Gene Simmons. Another group, where arguably there could even be two frontmen, would be Guns ‘N Roses. While Axl Rose gave “The most dangerous band in the world” a much needed boost in attitude and style, from an outsider’s perspective, Slash is the household name associated with GNR.

            The frontman of a band should not be shackled to the idea of a lead singer. The standout, household name that most people will associate with the band or group should always be the true frontman.

Six Officers Injured in Philadelphia Shooting

On the evening of Wednesday August 14th in Philadelphia’s Nicetown-Tioga section six police officers were shot when a gun fight ensued between the local authorities and an active shooter welding an Ak-47. The gunman was 36 year old Maurice Hill,who along with himself, held two officers and three hostages inside the home. The gun fire started around 4:30pm. and lasted several hours until the hostages were safely evacuated by the SWAT team around 10pm. Hill would later surrender to the authorities shortly after 12am. Six Philadelphia  police officers were shot during the fire fight, and one was rushed to the hospital following a car accident arriving to the scene. All six of the wounded officers have now been released from the hospital with exception to the officer who was in the accident who still remains in hospital care.

Maurice Hill, according to Police Commissioner Richard Ross, has an extensive criminal history. He will likely face six counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault following his release from Temple University Hospital into police custody. 

Man Accused of Shooting 6 Philly Police Officers During 7-Hour Standoff Surrenders 6 Philadelphia Police Officers Shot During Gun Battle In Nicetown-Tioga Section
Man Accused of Shooting 6 Philly Police Officers During 7-Hour Standoff Surrenders

Smackdown Recap: The Big Dog and The Red Wood

  This past week’s Smackdown opened up hot out the gate setting up a great build for Summerslam. The show as a whole followed with a solid build but it was obvious that the main goal of the show was to answer the question that has been circulating for two weeks. Who is Roman Reigns attacker?

                 In an angle occurring on the July 30th episode of Smackdown Live Reigns was seen at the end of the show being run down by a forklift carrying stage scaffolding. This caused confusion among the viewers who were left wondering why this angle had even occurred and why it was shot from the perspective it was. The following Raw seemed to bring the audience right back into it however, showing Roman being intentionally hit by a car while arriving at the show.

           Going into Smackdown this week this angle seemed to be the only thing on the viewers minds. A backstage interview was shown where Roman Reigns addressed that he would vow to find his attacker by the end of the night. After a surprisingly fast paced and action packed group of matches, the night was set to close off with a tag team match putting the Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions, the New Day, vs. Daniel Bryan and Rowen. The matched resulted in a disqualification when Rowen took to the ring steps to dismember the New Day. During the mayhem an odd cut to the back was shown of Roman clearing out the WWE locker-room of everyone except Buddy Murphy. Upon revealing Murphy was present during the first attack, Reigns would attempt to beat an answer out of Murphy, who claimed to have seen Rowen driving the car that struck Roman. In a perfectly set up go home segment, Rowen and Bryan stood motionless in the ring as the show faded to black.

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Analysis from August 6

Smackdown Recap: A Rivalry Ten Years in the Making

This past Tuesday’s Smackdown Live episode saw once again WWE creative throwing anything to the wall to see if it would stick in order to recover ratings. In a pretty average episode with not a lot of standout moments or heavy build, one program seemed to stand tall above the rest.

The Feud between WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and veteran Randy Orton was heavily promoted in a video package as well as on commentary. WWE has a well-known track record for not planning or following through with long term booking but it would seem in a strange twist of fate, WWE has accidently picked up a storyline they had scrapped ten years ago. The initial feud between Orton and Kingston began in 2009 during Kofi’s baby face rookie run. Slated to be the next big breakout star, Creative put him into working a program with The Viper himself. The two began a pretty lack luster rivalry resulting in a handful of scuffles and backstage segment but was ultimately put to an end following a match on Raw. During the match Finish Orton would go to set up the RKO however due to Kofi mistiming the move, Kingston would be thrust down head first rather assertively into the mat leaving a very sloppy finish. In a moment that lives on now in internet infamy, Orton would get visibly enraged and shout “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” at Kingston before leaving the ring, and speaking to creative about not working with Kofi going forward.

After a month of hinting at the idea and a few face to face encounters, it looks like WWE is finally ready to pull the trigger on the match fans have been clamoring for for over a decade. The video package showed this past week on Smackdown recapped Orton explaining the 2009 feud as well as his reasoning behind Kofi becoming WWE champion. In a statement that seemed to tie this whole rivalry together perfectly, Orton closed out this video package by saying, “Kofi challenging me? Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.” The video segment did a phenomenal job setting up anticipation for Kofi vs. Orton at Summerslam and was a much needed boost of excitement for Smackdown as a whole.

WWE Smackdown Review: Let the Mask Hit the Floor