This is a parody I composed to address the head of MAXXAM corporation, which is a parent holding company for Kaiser Aluminum Corporation. MAXXAM is also the parent company of Pacific Lumber Company. Hurwitz (a corporate raider) took over these companies through leveraged buyouts with junk bonds during the eighties. He defaulted in the savings-and-loan business, but was never brought to trial. He saddled both companies with enormous debt. After taking over Pacific Lumber he changed their policy of "selective harvesting of trees," and began a campaign of clear-cutting the old-growth timber in the Redwoods of Humbolt County in northern California. After taking over Pacific Lumber he found a loophole in the retirees pension fund agreement, and helped himself to their savings. The United Steelworkers Of America to which I belonged before I retired have joined forces with Earth First! an environmental activist group. The Steelworkers are presently on strike against Kaiser and Hurwitz for their failure in providing an adequate labor package. I used the song The Gambler written by Don Schlitz, and sung by Kenny Rogers as a basis for this parody.
On a warm summer's evenin' on a plane bound for Houston,
I met up with Charles Hurwitz. We were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin' out the window at the clear-cut,
'Til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.
He said, "Son I've made a life out of stealin' peoples wages,
And knowin' what their wallets held by the way they winked and smiled.
And if you don't mind my sayin,' I will put you through your paces.
For a waste of your money I'll give you some advice."
So I handed him my wallet and he took out my last dollar.
Then he bummed my dignity and put me out on strike.
And the crook got deathly quiet, and his heart lost all compassion;
Said, "If you're gonna rape the Redwoods, you gotta learn to rape 'em right."
"You got to know how to cut 'em, know how to sell 'em,
Know how to log the trees until there all gone.
You lev'rage your money when you're chairman at the table.
There'll be time enough for stealin' when the buyout's done."
"Ev'ry raider knows that the secret to connivin'
Is knowin' who to screw each day, and knowin' just how deep.
'Cause ev'ry con's a winner, and Kaiser's the loser.
And the best that you can hope for is to buy 'em dirt cheap.
And when he finished braggin,' he looked out through the window,
Cashed out the corporate fund raided by that creep.
And somewhere in the boardroom the raider he spoke evil;
But in his crim'nal ways I found a jail for him to sleep.
"You've got to...." (Chorus)