Shades of D.B. Cooper
“What’s really hurt the guy in terms of turning it into a PR coup, another D.B. Cooper, is his name’s so dull. Philip Johnson. Even I can’t remember it,” says Al Wells, who wrote a song about Johnson’s heist for a Jacksonville, Fla., radio station.
Twenty-six years ago, Cooper parachuted from the airliner he hijacked with exactly 1% of what Johnson stole. Cooper struck on Thanksgiving eve, dropping into a stormy night with his $200,000 ransom somewhere between Portland, Ore., and Seattle. He may have survived. He may not.
Wells figures that what Johnson’s heist lacks in flamboyance it makes up for in economic theory. He hears in it a deep rumble from the growing gap between America’s rich and poor.
Seven dollars an hour, that’s what Philip Johnson made
Driving a Wells Fargo truck, he handled millions every day
But you can’t be much of a player on 56 bucks a day
Seven dollars an hour, that’s what Philip Johnson made.
--”Seven Dollars an Hour,” by Al Wells (Fat Chance Music)
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for the L.A. Times biggest news, features and recommendations in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.