The Republican National Convention is going on this week. I think. I think I heard something about it.
I quit watching the news a while back. I actually feel better, and would suggest you do the same.
But if that is the case, it only means one thing….
The Democratic National convention will be coming up soon.
Let me get a couple of things out-of-the-way. I’m not going to tell you my political thoughts personally. This is not a political blog, and I don’t want to write one.
All I’ll say is this: We apparently have two parties.
That’s only one more than Cuba.
I’ll also say this: Choosing a president has been for a while like choosing “Beastmaster one” on HBO and “Beastmaster Two” on Showtime.
I do think this is an important election, but I’m here to talk about rock stars and politics.
It’s been around for a long time. Elvis Presley steered clear of “publicly” coming out with his political views, although if you know the story of the King staying up for several days wacked on amphetamines to meet Richard Nixon to ask the president if he could become an official narcotics officer….well you know which way he leaned.
The 60’s changed all that. It was a time of upheaval and protest. The war in Vietnam wasn’t popular with rockers or the public and it was time to change the world.
Rock and roll did that. Well, it helped anyway.
See, Rock by default is about rebellion. So, given the right cause it’s beautiful.
John Lennon might have looked foolish laying in bed for peace, but it was needed. With “Give Peace a Chance” he became a poster child for peace.
Then in the early 70’s he fell in with the likes of Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. Radical leftists who were ready to fight and protest just about anything.
Lennon recorded an album during that time called “Sometime In New York City”.
Do you own it? Probably not. Lennon himself later distanced himself from the whole movement AND record. He felt “used” by these guys to further their agenda of making themselves famous.
And Lennon learned a lesson. His music suffered. It wasn’t universal.
I have no problem with anybody at all speaking their mind. But people have to remember, these are rock stars. Just musicians. They are not always the most informed citizens. They are artists. And by nature artist usually “feel” things more than they “think” about things.
So it’s my opinion anyway that when a rock star gets involved in a “social” cause, it can work. Like the USA for Africa. “We are the world” and all that. It rose awareness and money.
Bono does it right. He doesn’t pretend to play politics, he plays humanitarian.
When Lennon sang “imagine” it was a big concept, and it worked. When it’s embracing all on a human level it can be spine tingling.
It’s when they get into telling you who to vote for that things can get tricky. The problem lies with aligning yourself with ANY candidate nowadays is dangerous. See…politicians promise just about anything to win. And it is a media/ promotional / spin/ numbers game. So who is using who? A rock star can be posing for his own “promotional” efforts just as much as that big smiling politician the rock star is posing with.
It can also piss people off.
The Who came out with the best line about politics (and it wasn’t just about politics) when they sang “Meet the new boss….same as the old boss”.
Bruce Springsteen has endorsed Barack Obama.
Joe Perry endorsed Ron Paul.
Kid Rock just came out and endorsed Mitt Romney. In this day and age that really IS being a rebel.
And Ted Nugent just wants to shoot something. You gotta love Ted, just remember to duck.
But as Alice Cooper once said: “If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are.”