Chinese learn heavy metal on U.S. Tax dollars?

By Eric Barger

It would seem that the current U.S. budget deficit would curb questionable, foolish and extravagant spending. Not so! Now the U.S. government is in the business of training the Chinese in the fine art of playing everything from blues to heavy metal guitar.

The United States Information Agency (USIA) funded and sponsored Vic Trigger of Hollywood's Guitar Institute of Technology on a three week lecture tour to teach the Chinese rock n’ roll music theory. U.S. Embassy employees acted as Trigger’s roadies for the tour, in which he instructed thousands of rock n' roll enthusiasts in workshops and concerts.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the focus of Trigger’s tour was to coach less experienced artists though he says he felt comfortable doing everything with them from "bashing guitars with the heavy metal guys to playing Zydeco (a New Orleans style of blues)." (Los Angeles Times 11/3/90, p.F-1)

Besides the misuse of thousands of U.S. tax dollars and hundreds of U.S. embassy employee hours, what redeeming social value is there in teaching the Chinese the "fine art" (a misnomer for sure) of rock guitar? Well maybe there is some redeeming logic to it. Perhaps it’s a plot to subvert Communism. After all, look at what rock music has accomplished in our culture. However, the expenditure of tax money on such a ludicrous project is enough to make one wonder what is next. Perhaps the funding of ant farms in Saudi Arabia? Maybe Hillary is going to chair a secret panel to discuss this too!

1995 Eric Barger

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