Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Coven--One Tin Soldier (1971)

     One wonders if 40 years from now, our children (grandchildren? great-grandchildren) will look at something like the "twilight" series and read about the frenzy that accompanied it and scratch their heads and smile, as they attempt to figure out what the fuss was about.
      I wonder that same thing looking back at the "Billy Jack" series. Tom Laughlin directed, co-wrote and starred in the movie. When a distributor could not be found, Laughlin took the film to theaters himself. It bombed when first released in 1971, but by word of mouth it took on a life of it's own a couple of years later and grossed over 40 million dollars.
     This is not a movie blog, and I am not much of a movie watcher now, but can tell you that on reflection, watching the movie in a drive-in as a 13 year old was a lot more exciting than watching it now. (probably because I didn't reflect on trivial things like a guy who preached peace while kicking bad guy ass. )
     The song that came from this movie actually had it's major success the year the movie bombed. In 1971 it reached number 26 on the charts, and could have possibly been instrumental in keeping the movie alive long enough to reach an audience. The story of the group Coven would probably have made a better film than "Billy Jack". Jinx Dawson, the lead singer of the group had a distinctive voice, striking looks, and was, along with the other band members, true practitioners of the black arts. The group and it's role in the heavy metal scene is in need of a blog post all their own, but if your interested, look them up...it's a fascinating story.
     "One Tin Soldier" actually made it on to the top 100 three times in it's chart life. Coven never had another charting single, and the original  group broke up in 1974, although they have returned in several different forms over the years, with Dawson always the driving force. She has also had a career in modeling and acting as well.


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