Rock ‘n’ Roll as Educational Tool

I’ve always liked the Black Keys, but I have been getting more into them lately thanks to an early taste, via the uber groovy track “Tighten Up” (not a cover of the Archie Bell and the Drells’ song as I originally suspected), of their new album that’s coming out in May. Dan and Pat are Ohio boys who grew up in Akron, relatively speaking, just down the road from where I grew up. This is sometimes weird and slightly unsettling.

For instance: In doing some TBK fansite reading, I came across a familiar face.

See that big, craggy-faced dude with the feathers who’s lurking behind the amps? I know that dude. I’ve passed him many times throughout my life. Never knew his name or where he came from, but I always gave him a nod and a smile in passing.

Well, not that dude exactly. You see, that dude is a representation (possibly to size) of this dude:

I don’t know how many times I’ve passed him, and I’ve always admired him (especially during my high school years when I was obsessed with American Indian culture), but I never knew a damn thing about him until today. He has a name. Rotaynah. His creator is Hungarian-born Ohio artist Peter Wolf Toth, and Toth has erected at least one monolithic Indian head sculpture in every state in the country (some states have two or three of them), as well as in some provinces of Canada. They each have a name, and, collectively, they make the Trail of the Whispering Giants.

And it only took me twenty-plus years to find that out. Thanks, Dan and Pat!

(Astute observers may have also noted that Rotaynah makes an appearance on the cover of the Black Keys’ album Rubber Factory.)

  • Speaking of TBK, it didn’t take long for “Next Girl” to get posted on the net after it was offered as a tour tickets pre-sale incentive. You can listen to it at I Am Fuel You Are Friends. Though I have already listened to it enough times for all of us combined.
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