Many see Johnny Cash as a symbol of the best parts of the American spirit. He was a patriotic American. Cash understood that our country has its issues. However, that didn’t make him love the United States any less. Listen to his song “Ragged Old Flag,” and you’ll see that. The song is about patriotism in the face of the Watergate scandal. Recently, the southern rock band The Steel Woods used the cover art from Ragged Old Flag in an Instagram post. The lengthy caption of the post stated that they would no longer play venues that require COVID vaccination or a negative test.
Rosanne Cash was having none of this. After Rolling Stone tweeted about their statement, Johnny Cash’s daughter made one of her own.
“THEIR statement, not my dad’s from beyond the grave,” she began. She went on to say that using Johnny Cash’s image for that post was “an irresponsible and thoughtless misuse of the image and beliefs of someone who cannot offer his own opinion.”
Johnny Cash spoke on several issues through his music. However, vaccination was not one of them.
She finished her message by saying, “Please remove his picture from your press release. I hope you all #getvaxxed.”
The Steel Woods posted their message because many venues are beginning to require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend live shows. In fact, LiveNation recently put this in place for all of its events. Artists like Jason Isbell are spearheading the mandate in hopes of keeping live music alive and safe amid a new wave of Delta variant infections and widespread resistance to vaccinations against the virus.
The Steel Woods Removed Johnny Cash’s Image
The band originally posted made their announcement with Johnny’ Cash’s Ragged Old Flag album art. However, shortly after Rosanne Cash spoke out on Twitter, they removed the post entirely. Then, they reposted the message. However, the post currently contains a photo of The Steel Woods.
The new post begins by saying, “We are reposting our message and putting our faces out front and respecting the legacy of Johnny Cash. This is OUR statement that we stand behind,” showing that they heard Rosanne Cash’s words loud and clear.
The post goes on to say that the Steel Woods are “An American Band with American values.” The band goes on to say that they want to play healing music for all those who want to attend. “We believe in an individual’s right to choose what they want to put into their body and that no one should be forced to do anything for their own good in order to go about their lives.”
The band then said that they would be canceling any shows that take place in venues that have the expanded safety measures in place.