ANTHEM, Book 3 of the Sixties Trilogy, publishes on October 1. Each of the book’s 47 chapters begins with a song from the Sixties to set the tone, mood, and scene. Every day between now and October 1, come have a listen and read a snippet from each chapter. On October 1, these posts will be archived with a link at ANTHEM’s webpage for #teachingAnthem1969
This is Chapter 43 (day 5):
Written by Clarence “Sonny” Henry
Performed by Santana
Recorded at Pacific Recording Studios, San Mateo, California 1969
Drummer: Mike Shrieve
Barry’s letter sticks in my craw like a swallowed chicken bone I can’t dislodge. I might choke on it. His tone is so cavalier, just like he always is. He expects me to say How high? Every time he says Jump. All my life, I looked up to Barry. I wanted to be like him. I would do — and did — anything for him.
But when I wanted him to help me recruit members for my band, he was too busy. When I wanted him to put together a band and put me in it, he forgot about his promise and said he wasn’t interested in a band. When he wanted me to keep quiet about his whereabouts, or even the fact that he was alive, I did it. Molly is right; I should have told her. I helped break her heart by not telling her he was safe. Barry left her without a good-bye. Because that’s what Barry does. He does as he pleases. Has, all his life. Why do we let him get away with that?
Things are coming to a head in San Francisco, and it’s a toss-up as to which way they will go. “Evil Ways” highlights Norman’s dawning awareness of who his cousin is, and why his family has treated him as the golden child for so long.
And, in this chapter, Norman is a stand-in for the American people who were increasingly coming awake to what they saw as the evils of the war in Vietnam, and to those who wanted to right wrongs in other ways as they worked for equality and justice in America, as Jo Ellen does. (She has come a long — and unsurprising — way from her college days in COUNTDOWN, yes?)
No spoilers here, but a couple more stills from ANTHEM scrapbooks as we hurtle to not only the end of the story, but the end of our #47chapters47songs. (We cut the first photo, but I love it so much, I want to include it here.)
And one that did make the cut:
It was a heady time.
And one more: