Talk:Phil Ochs

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Good articlePhil Ochs has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
May 14, 2009Good article nomineeListed

How he hanged himself?[edit]

I remember reading in a Stephen King novel somewhere (not sure which novel it was, but I wanna say Hearts In Atlantis) on how Phil Ochs hanged himself: with a necktie. Is that that true or is it just King taking creative license? I tried to look it up, but I came up with nothing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.114.111.34 (talk) 21:13, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

If memory serves, he used a belt. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 02:18, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Joe HIll[edit]

Grutness (talk · contribs) - As far as I know, Phil's connection to songwriter/unionist/social activist Joe Hill rests on his own song {"Joe Hill come over from Sweden's shore...") which he wrote of course with knowledge of the earlier song ("I dreamed I saw Joe Hill...") - which was popularized by Paul Robeson, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and others, but not specifically by Ochs. In my years of attending Ochs performances, I don't think I ever heard him perform the Hayes/Robinson song, am not aware of any recordings by him of it - he was enamored with the story of Joe Hill, a fellow traveler, and wrote his song which told more of the story than the earlier one. So I agree he popularized the story of Joe Hill, but I don't think he popularized the song per se. Do you have reliable sourcing for your assertion? I could be wrong or mis-remembering of course - and will check with Ochs groups - but would appreciate it if you could tell us where you are getting this from. Bragg's use of the Hayes/Robinson song always seemed to me to be an homage to Phil's interest in Hill's story, not an indication that Phil popularized that song. There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation out there about these two songs - as you noted earlier regarding the authorship of the Hayes/Robinson song for example - sometimes mis-naming one or the other song, etc. And to make matters even more complicated, Bragg recorded a cover of Ochs' "Joe Hill" on the 1990 Don't Mourn-Organize!. It's all rather tangled on the web. So please give us your sourcing. Thanks Tvoz/talk 00:28, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

75[edit]

Today, December 19, would have been Phil's 75th birthday. Can't you just see him leaning into the mic, singing a brilliant, ironic song about Donald Trump, and laughing about turning 75? If only. Tvoz/talk 17:07, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

HUGE list of artists[edit]

Please discuss here the reasoning for keeping a list of artists that is WAY too long, in my view. Please don't just blindly revert my removals. If you think a certain artist is more deserving than one I kept, feel free to readd it. But blind reversion isn't the way to go. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 18:15, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Yes, in your view it's "too long"- but there's no policy reason given for it, and references and/or blue links are pretty much standard ways that we determine whether information is notable for inclusion. You also have pretty much arbitrarily removed names and saved names according to your own unexplained criteria. As I mentioned in edit summary and on your talk page, for example, how is Bastro better known than Harry Nilsson or Melanie, in the world of music that Phil Ochs was a part of? Removing names according to one's own what, personal taste? Seems to me that asking for improved references is a better way to approach this, and keeping in names that are notable enough to rate their own articles in the encyclopedia is self-explanatory. Finally, you made a bold edit (which I described as "good faith") without seeking consensus - ok, that's what bold is. But when it's reverted by an experienced editor, with a request for references - so obviously not a "blind" revert (as you characterized mine) - proper procedure is to allow the original status quo to stand and come here to discuss. So I will reinstate the request for reference improvement, and return the text to the way it's been, more or less, for quite some time. I'll look at it and see if there are blatantly unnotable entries or duplicates, and I'll remove them, but if they are bluelinked or sourced, they'll be retained for now. If others agree or disagree, they can comment here. But please respect the return to the status quo ante. Tvoz/talk 04:55, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Please read this and get back to me. Also, please centralize discussion of this article here, and ping me. There is absolutely no need for huge lists of artists like you keep reverting into the article. Format it as prose, with short descriptions of how each artists cover was notable in its own right, and that will be a different story. But to just have a huge list of artists who happen to have covered an Ochs song is just ludicrous. If you feel certain artists' covers are more notable than the ones I kept, add them back and remove the ones you feel are less notable. Even in the state I left it, the list should be reformatted as prose, per the link I gave you above. Now please stop blindly reverting my culling of the list, and work on fixing the problems. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 14:52, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree with this. These long, unannotated lists are not at all useful to the reader. --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:06, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
I have three thoughts. First, I agree that the lists are too long. However, I think the choices about who to delete were arbitrary and capricious, and should be discussed here. Finally, as I wrote at Hallward's Ghost's talk page, every name on the list was referenced, either with a citation after the artist's name or at the end of the sentence. I think that's okay per WP:Inline citation, particularly the sections titled "Citation density" and "Text–source integrity". ("The best distance between the material and the citation is a matter of judgment. If a word or phrase is particularly contentious, an inline citation may be added next to it within a sentence, but adding the citation to the end of the sentence or paragraph is usually sufficient.") — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:45, 12 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree with all of Malik's points, including that the list is too long - my main objection to the initial edit, and the subsequent reversions without discussion, is exactly that the removal choices were arbitrary. And I'd add, Hallward's Ghost, that your approach to this is not very collegial. I didn't "blindly" revert you - I reverted with an explanation and a request for references. You don't agree, so discuss it here. There was no egregious problem that required your making your edit three times when there were objections to it. Tvoz/talk 17:35, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

This discussion seems to have stalled, but I had a thought. What if we created a List of artists who have covered Phil Ochs songs or List of cover versions of Phil Ochs songs? There are a few such lists, such as List of artists who have covered Bob Dylan songs and List of cover versions of Beatles songs. What do others think? — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 12:17, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

I can agree with this - but I would want to see a reasonable summary in the main article. Tvoz/talk 07:08, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
It's going to be a long list, but I've started it at User:Malik Shabazz/List of cover versions of Phil Ochs songs. So far, it only has the contents of the four tribute albums and Joan Baez's hit cover of "There but for Fortune". — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 00:53, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

I finished the list today: List of cover versions of Phil Ochs songs Let's discuss how to/whether to further prune the Covers and updates section of the article or add back any of the names that were there until March. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 13:14, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Masterful, Malik - thank you so much for taking it on and doing such a superb job. I had intended to pitch in but life got in the way (first grandson!). This is a big improvement. When I have a few minutes I'll look it all over and see if I have any tweaks for the main article section, but on a quick look it looks terrific. Thanks again. Tvoz/talk 19:12, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Mazel tov, Tvoz! — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 20:37, 10 May 2016 (UTC) 👍 Tvoz likes this.

Revelant — according to whom?[edit]

Today, User:Jpgordon added an "according to whom" template to the opening sentence of the "Legacy" section of the article, "Almost forty years after his death, Ochs's songs remain relevant." The sentence summarizes the entire section and I didn't think it needed to be attributed to anybody. The fact that people are still making new recordings of Ochs's songs indicates that they're still relevant. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 17:57, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Oh, I'm totally convinced they are still relevant; yesterday being the 40th anniversary of his suicide is what brought me to the article. But we don't get to decide to call him relevant; we need to find a source with this characterization, the same way we need a source for all characterizations. Put it this way -- if we felt he was irrelevant, we couldn't say that either, without a source. Here's a poem a friend of mine wrote about him, by the way: [1]--jpgordon::==( o ) 19:14, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I added a source, although I don't think it was necessary, tbh. Tvoz/talk 06:07, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

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Pertinence of Elvis and Che Guevara pictures?[edit]

To me, they just seem out of place, even though they're both mentioned in the article.

Perhaps they can be replaced (with the album cover of Greatest Hits, maybe?) or just cut entirely. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.81.240.33 (talk) 19:39, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

What's "this country"?[edit]

According to the article, "In the early 1960s, there was a folk music rebirth in this country" (my emphasis). That's a rather odd statement for an international encyclopaedia. 82.28.107.46 (talk) 19:14, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

The quotation your object to is within a blue-shaded text box. What is the meaning of that formatting? Is it part of the article, or a quote from an outside source? (If the latter, I don't see how to determine that.) Otherwise, you have offered a perfectly good reason for making a small edit to the article. Any reason you did not simply make the edit yourself? PDGPA (talk) 19:39, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
Good questions. The paragraph in the quote box is a quote from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. This is how it appeared almost two years ago. At some point, somebody changed the formatting and omitted the source. I've fixed it. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:47, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

Phil Ochs: Counterculture figure?[edit]

(moved from user talk page) Hi, Randy: I am a Phil Ochs fan and follow that page. I question your insistance that Phil was a "Counter Culture of the '60s" figure. A very important anti-war figure, yes, and an important singer-songwriter, of course. But I don't understand the notion of "counter-culture" to encompass all the resistance to illegitimate authority of that era. The Yippies, but not the Weather Underground, I would say. The Fugs were counterculture, and Jefferson Airplane. But how Phil? To put him in that category, it seems to me, defines "counter-culture" too broadly. Your thoughts? PDGPA (talk) 04:50, 3 January 2019 (UTC)

Hi PDGPA, and my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Ochs was a founding "member" of the Yippies, and active in such things as their Pigasus nomination. He could have been a much bigger media star but instead, because of the counter-culture emphasis of his songs and his ongoing support of antiwar marches, Civil Rights Movement actions, and unions (he was more or less the Woody Guthrie of his era, and his archives are thus kept at the Woody Guthrie archives), he and his music were kept off television and radio - the culture of the time. The activists of the era knew of him, almost nobody else did. He is surely a major counter-culture figure of the 1960s and early 1970s. Randy Kryn (talk) 18:48, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Randy. Phil's political activism, testifying at the Chicago 8 trial, unending appearances at rallies and marches - in addition to the content of his songs - all made him a major counter-culture figure of the 60s. I think his inclusion in the category makes sense and in fact it ought to be expanded to include more individuals like him. Tvoz/talk 02:31, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
While I don't have any problem including Phil Ochs in Category:Counterculture of the 1960s, I would point out (1) the category is overly broad and poorly defined and (2) he is already in several subcategories (such as Category:American civil rights activists and Category:Yippies), which means that including him in the higher-level category is unnecessary. (Per WP:CAT, "a page or category should rarely be placed in both a category and a subcategory or parent category (supercategory) of that category".) — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:30, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
Agreed that the category is poorly defined as to inclusion. There are just a handful of individual names included (Ochs, Hoffman, Rubin, etc.), so it's a matter of either expanding it with specific criteria for individuals, as Tvoz suggests, or removing all individual names and slotting them into smaller container categories (with Ochs, for example, being included in a few). If expanded it should keep the subcategories, although adding all individuals could reach into hundreds of entries, many of which will be disputed as the addition of Ochs has been. It's a close call. I'd personally add only the "giants" of the era, but such inclusion is subjective and if disputed could be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Randy Kryn (talk) 11:37, 13 January 2019 (UTC)