NEW YORK — Natalie Maines says one of the death threats she received after criticizing President Bush three years ago was “definitely scary” because the sender “had a plan.”
Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, told a London audience during a March 10, 2003, concert: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” The comment was made as war was looming with Iraq, and Maines later apologized for the phrasing of her remark.
In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to air Sunday (7 p.m. ET), Maines says one threat she received in the summer of 2003 was different from the others.
“It was definitely scary because it seemed so — it wasn’t just somebody wanting to write a hate letter,” she says. “It was somebody who obviously thought they had a plan.”
Emily Robison, who plays banjo and guitar in the Texas trio, says, “There was one specific death threat on Natalie. [It] had a time, had a place, had a weapon. I mean, everything. ...‘You will be shot dead at your show in Dallas.”’
The band flew into Dallas, “went straight from the police cars to the stage and straight from the stage back to the police cars and back to the plane,” Maines says. “So, you know, it was all surreal. But at that stage, everything was surreal.”
Her London comment angered many country music fans and caused radio stations to pull Dixie Chicks music from their playlists. The Chicks said they received death threats, leading them to install metal detectors at their shows.
Today, the Chicks refuse to apologize to fans who were upset by Maines’ comment.
“We don’t make decisions based on that,” Maines says. “We don’t go, ‘OK, our fans are in the red states, so I’m going to play a red, white and blue guitar and put on my I Love Bush T-shirt.
“We’re not like that because we’re not politicians. We’re musicians.”
The band, which also includes fiddle and mandolin player Martie Maguire, echoes that sentiment in the song “Not Ready to Make Nice” on their latest album, “Taking the Long Way,” slated for release May 23.
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