So if you've been reading our news blog, Valley Fever, you probably came across a link to a story about a Tuscon punk band called The Awful Truth who's pissed off the entire town by using a photo of a slain city policeman on the cover of their record, Kill a Cop for God. The Arizona Daily Star, who owns the picture, has now sued the band to stop them from using it.
I won't get in to the hilarity of a newspaper trying to stop what seems to me to be obvious fair use with a law suit just because that use is controversial, but I do find the resulting furor pretty interesting. In case you're trying to track down the band, their MySpace has been taken down (cached version here).
I can't actually find a copy of the picture, and the video I saw covered it up. I also have no connections in Tuscon. So does someone have a copy of the record? A way to get in touch with the band? No truth is too awful for Up on the Sun.
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If you're interested in a different take on the topic, check out Idolator, where Phoenix-based contributor Dan Gibson comments on the matter, suggesting the paper should sue and that the band chose the photo as a cheap publicity stunt:
"Sadly, however, his band The Awful Truth might not be able to capitalize on this sudden burst of fame. Their Myspace page is down, they may still be looking for a drummer, their disc isn't available for sale at the local punk record shop (at least in their online inventory), and if they play a gig anytime in the near future, it's possible there might be an angry mob waiting. Was it worth it, lead singer David Stine, 30? Was it?"
A good question. I feel like seeing the offending image, and hearing the album associated with it, could help me make up my mind. Not that I'm a staunch defender of Arizona's mostly terrible punk scene, or gimmicks in general, but ever since the U.S. Secret Service hassled N.W.A. over a legitimate protest song on the same topic ("Fuck Tha Police") I tend to give artists a little more leeway than most folks on these matters. But, again, this could be ridiculously offensive bullshit. I'm withholding judgment.