OK, settle down, the photo caption above is just a joke, people. It’s inspired by the antagonism directed toward JT Hodges by local musicians. In some folks’ opinion, Fort Worth native and Nashville songwriter Hodges is unworthy of a key to the city since (1) he no longer lives here, (2) he’s changed his name and musical style several times, (3) superior musicians can allegedly be found under every bar stool, (4) yadda yadda yadda plus tax.
Not since Dallas honored convicted dog-torturer Michael Vick has a ceremonial key caused such a fuss around these parts.
I’m not sure how Hodges, who is nominated for an Academy of Country Music award that carries some real clout, could be criticized for receiving a key that carries no clout and is a ceremonial blip on the radar.
If you’re thinking Hodges can take that key and go get free steak dinners all over town, think again.
“It doesn’t get you free drinks or free parking,” city spokesman Bill Begley said.
Readers who commented on yesterday’s blog post were concerned about the waste of time and resources on the Hodges key presentation. The time investment amounted to Mayor Betsy Price taking 10 minutes out of her day to hand Hodges one of the cheap keys that the city buys in bulk for such occasions (the keys cost $6.35 each). The presentation was done privately in her office and didn’t involve other elected officials or city staff.
The city, as one reader suggested, could offer a key to a more deserving musician such as T Bone Burnett. But since Burnett’s already won Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, and just about every other significant national award in the the entertainment business, think he’d be interested in flying to Fort Worth to fetch a cheap key that won’t even get you a free lap dance in this town?