Public Enemy v Buffalo Springfield – Another Unusual Vietnam War Music Crossover.
Above Photo: Fire Exercise at Bien Hoa Airfield, Vietnam, 1966.
One day when I lived in London, I vividly recall wandering along Oxford Street one sunny spring Saturday morning, feeling a bit sorry for myself on account of having recently split up with my girlfriend, as well as labouring under a massive hangover from the night before.
I walked into Virgin Records and heard an incredible Rap song playing, which I liked so much I committed the cardinally naff sin of asking a shop assistant what it was.
“’He Got Game’, by Public Enemy”, the assistant replied, sniffily, and I immediately bought the album, although this was the standout track on it.
At that time I had no idea that the sampled track was Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, which is more commonly known as “Stop Children What’s That Sound”, released in 1967 and which was popular during the Vietnam War. This fact was only revealed to me a couple of years ago when I was researching my Vietnam War-related novel BACK.
This is the Public Enemy version
I’m pretty sure almost every Veteran will hate the Public Enemy version, but I like them both, and this is another interesting example of the recycling of Vietnam War-era music into a more modern musical genre.
This is the 1967 version, by Buffalo Springfield.
And coming back to Public Enemy, I had assumed the below iconic photo was taken on a bridge in New York, but in fact it was taken in Birmingham. And I don’t mean Alabama, but Birmingham, England.
And in case anyone is minded to mock the dated clothing of Public Enemy, I also include a photo of Buffalo Springfield’s attire from the 1960s.
For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War, POWs/MIAs and Adventure Backpackers trekking into the war-ravaged jungles of Asia see: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/
And for POWs left behind in Laos:
See also: Iggy Pop, Punk and the Vietnam War: http://peteralanlloyd.com/general-news/iggy-pop-punk-and-the-vietnam-war/
And: Punk Bands and the Vietnam War: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-1/punk-bands-and-the-vietnam-war/
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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