Robert Baker comes from a Midwestern farm family. He love books and enjoys the pursuit of knowledge. He likes to make his family laugh. Bob embraces what Russell Kirk called the "permanent things."
"I value my faith above riches and my word is my bond. Of course I am a technophile. If it hums, glows, or blinks I want it, especially if it computes."
Just My Take,
by Robert Baker
April 8, 2003
RBN Entertainment Division
FUTURE LOOKS UGLY FOR DIPSY DUCKLINGS
This is the sixth and final article chronicling the rise and fall of the pop country group, the DIPSY DUCKLINGS.
PART VI: DIPSY DUCKLINGS: THE TEXAS BAR REUNION TOUR
How did it come to this? We now reach the end of our story of this once famous girl band. The group, once the idol of millions of fans across America and around the world, has been reduced to pickup gigs in small Texas bars and roadhouses. The band is now called Roadkill and only Gnatalie (Not in my Name) Dumpler remains with the group. Gnat-Gnot as she was known by her friends in the business in the early years now calls herself Barbie Clueless.
Where did the train jump the track? Back in the beginning (Part I: Dipsy Ducklings Takes Country Music by Storm) the group got its start with their blockbuster hit, Looking Good in the Neighborhood. Grammies, gold albums, and fame followed the group right to the summit of the country music world. The songs the group sang were filled with country melodies and ?aw shucks? lyrics for the growing fan base. Their greatest album, Texas Prisoner, released in 2002, was the very blueprint for country music success. Three songs, Waiting for You Darling, Home is Good Enough for Me, and The Flag and Me, were all number one hits on the country music charts. Of course no one can forget My Heart Belongs in a One Horse Town, which led to their Grammy award, was a number one hit on all the pop music charts and led to their crossover success.
However, there were storm clouds gathering. What most of her fans did not know was that Gnat-Gnot did not share their homespun rural outlook. ?I left Hicksville, Texas,? was one comment I heard over and over. Defying her conservative upbringing, militant left-wing rhetoric began to pop up in her conversations. It came to a disastrous head during a concert in London. The quote heard round the world changed everything. The boycotts, the CD burnings, the cancelled concerts, and the protest marches have all been documented for our readers in Part II: Gnat-Gnot Speaks Out in London.
All these events were devastating but the group?s breakup accelerated when the Dipsy Ducklings arrived to play their first post-Europe concert in Texas. Gnat-Gnot was shocked that the members of the band were arrested at the airport and charged with violation of the National Hate Speech Deterrence Act passed by the United States Congress in 1993. ?When our judge turned out to be a Hispanic friend of the President, I knew that we were at the bottom of the hill and things were flowing thick and fast,? commented one of the band members. The group was sentenced to 5000 hours of community service. The publicist for the Dipsy Ducklings added to their misery when he declared after the trial, ?This is just a right-wing, redneck, gun-toting conservative Republican conspiracy. They can all marry their sisters and take those guns and blow their mindless heads off.? Sales continued to plummet. (See Part III: The Wheels Fall Off for all the quotes and details.)
Gnat-Gnot referred to the next two years as ?the prison years?. The court had required that the community service be completed by giving concerts in the Texas Prisons System. ?As I remember those years it occurred to me that we had a lot of fans in Texas. I recall that some rude cowboy once reminded me they were all in prison.?- Gnatalie Dumpler, Part IV: The Texas Prison Tour. The community service ultimately led to the breakup of the band as the blame game commenced in earnest.
Gnat-Gnot tried the solo artist trick after the breakup. Her recordings of Patsy Cline?s I?m Sorry and Clint Black?s Iraqed and I Roll were technically good but no major label would touch her. She managed modest crowds at free shows offered at county fairs. Her friends tell me that she was on suicide watch during this time. The lurid details are in Part V: The Solo Years.
She changed her name to Barbie Clueless. When asked why she chose that name she was quite blunt, ?I would say it fits wouldn?t you? I am reduced to playing bars with chicken wire around the stage. Lets wrap this up. I have a gig in Waco tonight. I don?t want to disappoint my fans.?
It is a cautionary tale to be sure. A star is born. Blame follows fame. When I asked her if she would like to say anything else this was her reply. ?Bullets and bombs kill people but ill-considered words kill dreams. I think that?s worse. Yeah, words are worse.? She picked up her guitar and walked out of the diner and never looked back. She didn?t want to disappoint her fans.
© 2003 Tocqevillian Magazine