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Review: 'Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune' Makes An Interesting Life Seem Average

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • January 8, 2011 3:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Despite fan backlash at his decision to go electric, Bob Dylan has had it pretty good, especially by comparison. Any average Joseph on the street could tell you who he is and probably hum a tune or two, whereas his politi-folk peers were largely forgotten. Dylan was able to transcend; artists like Phil Ochs, subject of documentary "Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune" by "Easy Riders and Raging Bulls" director Kenneth Bowser, were not so lucky and mostly forgotten. Labeled as the "anti-Dylan" not only for his radically different singing style but also for his penchant towards undisguised topical protest songs, something Mr. Zimmerman masked in poetry and eventually outright abandoned. Ochs didn't just sing about Vietnam or his distaste for politicians, he rallied; making activism just as important as his very vocalized opinion.

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