In honor of Veterans Day–officially today, but observed tomorrow–we’re sharing a stream of the Red Rippers album track “Body Bag,” a devastating song about the disjunction between a “jungle-bound grunt’s” aspirations to aviation and the brutal occasion for him finally getting “his ride” on high. Red Rippers frontman and songwriter Edwin Dale Bankston, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, shares a dark wartime tale drawn from his own experiences and those of his fellow Vietnam vets. This is the Rippers at their loosest and most battle-scarred, a sobering example of the band’s moving articulation of combat and wartime trauma.
To preview the other tracks on our first-ever reissue of Over There … and Over Here (1983), and to read more about the album, click here. Stay tuned for information on how to pre-order this release, which will be in stores and available to ship on January 29, 2013. We will be donating a share of the proceeds to a veterans’ charity.
Thirty years later, this record–and the issues it raises about veterans’ rights and the nature of modern war–is as relevant as ever. To all our veterans and those currently serving in the military: thank you.