The boxer Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) prepared for a rematch against Sonny Liston in May 1965. “They gonna talk about me like a dog when I lose, so when I win I let them all know it,” Ali said to the press. There is an earlier, less-popular “she talks about me like a dog” citation from 1961; the term “treat (me/him/her) like a dog” dates to at least the 19th century.
About a year after Ali’s fight (1966), guitarist Jimi Hendrix wrote the song “Stone Free,” containing the lyrics: “They talk about me like a dog.”
U.S. President Barack Obama gave a Labor Day speech on September 6, 2010, further popularizing the line by saying: “And they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. That’s not in my prepared remarks, it’s just—but it’s true.”
Wikipedia: Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is a former American boxer and three-time World Heavyweight Champion, who is widely considered one of the greatest heavyweight championship boxers of all time. As an amateur, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. After turning professional, he went on to become the first boxer to win the lineal heavyweight championship three times.
Originally known as Cassius Clay, Ali changed his name after joining the Nation of Islam in 1964, subsequently converting to Sunni Islam in 1975 and more recently to Sufism. In 1967, Ali refused to be inducted into the U.S. military based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges, stripped of his boxing title, and his boxing license was suspended. He was not imprisoned, but did not fight again for nearly four years while his appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was successful.
Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these are three with rival Joe Frazier and one with George Foreman, whom he beat by knockout to win the world heavyweight title for the second time. He suffered only five losses (four decisions and one TKO by retirement from the bout) with no draws in his career, while amassing 56 wins (37 knockouts and 19 decisions). Ali was well known for his unorthodox fighting style, which he described as “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, and employing techniques such as the rope-a-dope. He was also known for his pre-match hype, where he would “trash talk” opponents on television and in person some time before the match, often with rhymes. These personality quips and idioms, along with an unorthodox fighting technique, made him a cultural icon. In later life, Ali developed Parkinson’s disease. In 1999, Ali was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.
In the rematch with Liston, which was held in May 1965 in Lewiston, Maine, Ali (who had by then publicly converted to Islam and changed his name) won by knockout in the first round as a result of what came to be called the “phantom punch.” Many believe that Liston, possibly as a result of threats from Nation of Islam extremists, or in an attempt to “throw” the fight to pay off debts, waited to be counted out (see Muhammad Ali versus Sonny Liston). Others, however, discount both scenarios and insist that it was a quick, chopping Ali punch to the side of the head that legitimately felled Liston.
14 December 1961, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pt. 4, pg. C7:
Dear Miss Hurley: My best girl friend and my current boy friend used to go steady. I didn’t date him until they’d broken up. Now she talks about me like a dog. My friends say she’s jealous and wants my boy friend, but he can’t stand her and she knows it. How can I get her to stop talking about me?
Dear Wondering: Your friends get the pitch and when she she realizes her chatter can’t upset you either, she’ll find something else to talk about.
5 May 1965, Lawton (OK) Constitution, pg. 32, col. 2:
Clay Keeps Mouth Shut
Early In The Morning
By MILTON RICHMAN
CHICOPEE, Mass. (UPI)—You have to get up early in the morning to catch Cassius Clay with his mouth shut.
Back at his training quarters, Clay had a leisurely breakfast and then lounged until a press conference was scheduled in mid-day.
“...They gonna talk about me like a dog when I lose, so when I win I let them all know it,” he bellowed, his eyes rolling wildly.
OCLC WorldCat record
The 1969 Warner/Reprise record show
Author: Neil Young; Geoff Muldaur; Maria Muldaur; Doug Kershaw; David Blue; All authors
Publisher: Burbank, Calif. : Warner Bros. Records, 
Edition/Format: Musical LP : Multiple forms : Popular music : Rock music : English
Stone free (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Jimi Hendrix - Stone Free lyrics
EVERYDAY IN THE WEEK I’M IN A DIFFERENT CITY
IF I STAY TOO LONG PEOPLE TRY TO PULL ME DOWN
THEY TALK ABOUT ME LIKE A DOG
TALKIN’ ABOUT THE CLOTHES I WEAR
BUT THEY DON’T REALIZE THEY’RE THE ONES WHO’S SQUARE
AND THAT’S WHY
YOU CAN’T HOLD ME DOWN
I DON’T WANT TO BE DOWN I GOTTA MOVE
STONE FREE DO WHAT I PLEASE
STONE FREE TO RIDE THE BREEZE
STONE FREE I CAN’T STAY
I GOT TO GOT TO GOT TO GET AWAY
The Wind Cries Barry
September 7, 2010
Posted by Scott at 6:24 AM
Students of the work of Jimi Hendrix will recognize Barack Obama’s complaint that “They talk about me like a dog.” It obviously derives from Hendrix’s “Stone Free,” the first song that Hendrix wrote after arriving in England in 1966. “Stone Free” was released as the B-side to “Hey Joe,” the first Jimi Hendrix Experience single. “They talk about me like a dog,” Hendrix observes, “Talk about the clothes I wear/But they don’t realize they’re the ones who’s square.”
CBS News - Poltiical Hotsheet
September 7, 2010 12:05 PM
Obama: “They Talk About Me Like a Dog”
President Obama employed dramatic language over the weekend to mobilize a listless Democratic base and cast Republicans as special interest shills standing in the way of economic recovery.
At the Milwaukee Laborfest in Milwaukee, Wisc., the president promoted a plan for $50 billion jobs initiative. His administration, Mr. Obama said, has been focused on strengthening the American middle class, in spite of strong corporate opposition.
Rebuilding the middle class, he said, has “meant taking on some powerful interests—some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time.”
“And they’re not always happy with me,” Mr. Obama added. “They talk about me like a dog. That’s not in my prepared remarks, it’s just—but it’s true.”
Barack Obama’s Get-Even-With-’Em-ism is a Historic Failure
September 7, 2010
RUSH: Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.
CALLER: I’m a musician. I’m a bit of a music historian. I love music trivia. When I heard the quote from Obama about talking about him like a dog I immediately recognized that as being a line from a Jimi Hendrix song, Stone Free.
RUSH: Jimi Hendrix song, Stone Free. That was never true in Hendrix’s case.
CALLER: They talk about me like I’m a dog, they talk about the clothes I wear, but they don’t realize they’re the ones who’s square. (laughing) I just got a kick out of that.
RUSH: (laughing) You sound like a guy that would be into Jimi Hendrix.
CALLER: I love Hendrix, one of the great guitarists. I’m a drummer myself, but I can’t deny the talent that Jimi had.
RUSH: No question. Crosstown Traffic.
RUSH: Great tune. Crosstown Traffic. Well, he brought it up again. Obama said of his opponents, what did he say, talking about him like a dog? Like a dog. All I can tell you is that we all love our dogs and nobody’s talking about how they love Obama, that’s not what he meant. I know that’s not what he meant. We all love our dogs. “Every day in the week I’m in a different city. If I stay too long people try to pull me down. They talk about me like a dog, talking about the clothes I wear, but they don’t realize they’re the ones who’s square.” That’s the lyric from the Jimi Hendrix song.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, September 07, 2010 • Permalink