“Thank You Daniel Ellsberg” is a warm blues tune given in tribute to the man of the same name. It was featured on the 1972 Bloodrock LP “Passage” as well as the B-side to their single “Help Is On the Way.”
Henry Kissinger once called the famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower “the most dangerous man in America.” (Others would joyously credit Ellsberg with ending the Vietnam war.)
Bloodrock also released a brassy updated version as a single in the summer of 1974 – the only vinyl appearance by the final lineup of the rapidly-evolving band. (It has never been issued on CD.)
According to composer and keyboardist Steve Hill: “We decided to release it as a single, and to beef it up a little. We were feeling more political due to the impending resignation of Nixon – plus we played it on stage a lot since it was written and felt we did it better. It was the last Bloodrock 45.”
Singer Warren Ham adds, “We were making political statements at the time.”
Rick Cobb, the lyricist and drummer, said: “I don’t know if Daniel Ellsberg ever heard his tune but I’d like to think one of his many assistants heard it and whispered in his ear that it existed and at some point he snickered.”
As it turns out, Daniel Ellsberg didn’t hear, or know about, the tune until now – March 2004.
After hearing both versions, he said: “My thanks and congratulations to the author and musicians!”
And everyone from the Bloodrock world returns the thanks – and wishes Dan a very happy birthday this April 7th. Keep fighting the righteous fight!
See also Steve Hill’s site: