City of Reno approved plan to demolish classic Reno recordings

April Fools! The stories in this week’s feature package contain satire, exaggeration and outright misinformation … or do they?

The Reno City Council recently approved plans by Colorado-based record label Jacobs Recorded Entertainment to destroy every known vinyl copy of Johnny Cash’s recording of his song “Folsom Prison Blues.”

The song, first recorded by Cash in 1955, contains the classic lyric, “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.”

The City Council also recently approved similar demolition plans for the Grateful Dead song “Friend of the Devil,” which also mentions the city, and the entire discography of iconic Reno punk band 7Seconds.

“Those songs are just incredibly old-fashioned—it’s time for a fresh coat of musical paint!” said Jacobs representative Slick Tinears. He added that he’d like “reassure music fans” that those songs will be replaced by new recordings by Las Vegas-based “alternative rock” band Imagine Dragons.

“We’re really excited about that,” Tinears said. “Imagine Dragons are just incredibly innocuous. It’s the kind of music that you wouldn’t even notice unless you were ready to turn it off.”

Mid-Century Musical Modernists, a coalition of local activists, music fans and historians, have expressed concern that the destruction of all those records is totally pointless.

“Well, I don’t know what people are complaining about,” Tinears said. “We’re just going to destroy every known version on vinyl. Those recordings will still be available in highly compressed digital transfers on YouTube. We wouldn’t be able to track down all the digital copies of those recordings for demolition. Although God knows we wish we could.”

At a press conference announcing the planned demolition, a reporter asked Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve if she thought the demolition was “disrespectful to our city’s cultural legacy.”

“Our what?” Mayor Schieve replied. “Our cultural legacy? I’m sorry—I don’t know what that means.”