Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"a change gonna come"

general bonkers:
I missed a phone call while trying to navigate my way through all the SPD cars, news vans, and Secret Service vehicles at Showbox Sodo last night.
Once I’d found a parking spot, I returned the call. It seemed appropriate that the person on the end of the line was DV One, given the fact that I was standing in front of the club and surrounded by cops.

DV’s sentencing date is this Friday and we had a couple few things to discuss. His state of mind is real solid and I know that, no matter what happens, he is going to be ok. A number of folks have stepped up and submitted letters of support, which will be included in the pre-sentencing report given to Judge Canova. I hope it helps. We’ll see.

I couldn’t talk for long — I needed to get inside, before one of the many sign-waving Ron Paul supporters lining the sidewalk pushed me over the edge. The Republicans were out in full force last night and I was surprised at how young and “alternative” they were. I bet they all attend the Mars Hill church.

A dude in street wear whizzed by on a skateboard, waving his Ron Paul placard like it was something to be proud of. Another guy, no older than 30 and sporting tattoos, came up and asked me for a cigarette. I looked at his sign and then straight into his eyes.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I said. “You’re gonna stand there with a Ron Paul sign and ask me for something?”

“Well, it’s worth a shot,” he answered. The smarmy grin on his face pissed me off.

“You want a shot?” I asked. “Go do some shooting in Iraq, in that inexcusable war that you and your buddies are so fond of. Get the fuck away from me.”

The SPD officers standing near me looked amused. As I turned and walked into the venue, one of them smiled at me. It was a sincere smile, like dude was on my side. It was the warmest I’ve felt toward the police in awhile.


Barack Obama was in town last night, raising money for his Presidential campaign. I was impressed with the turnout — the $100 ticket did not deter supporters and the room was filled. I think Chad told me that there were at least 1300 folks in the house, and that didn’t even include the Secret Service.

Man, there was a lot of security. Steichen and I reminisced about when Bill Clinton was in town campaigning and had a rally at the Market. I worked at Sub Pop at the time and we had sharpshooters on the roof of our building. It was exciting to see. Those guys will take a motherfucker down.

Obama was scheduled to take the stage around 9:45, with two bands playing before his thirty minute speech. There was a lot of shit talking over on The Stranger blog about the bill, which I found amusing.

Bands and artists that participate in such things are, first and foremost, making a statement. They are aligning themselves with a candidate or issue they believe in. Sure, they’re gonna put on a good performance but, come on. If you are bitching about paying $100 to see the Dusty 45’s, you are missing the point.

And, you know what? The Dusty 45’s did a great job last night. I had never seen them until I booked Chop Suey and, as I told Billy Joe last night, they remain as one of my favorite bands to have worked with at that club. They pack the room, they’re nice guys, their fans drink a lot, and they put on a good show. Not cool? Not hip? Who the fuck cares. I’m there to holler at Obama.

Quite honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to either band. The lounge was filled with interesting people and good conversation and that’s where I spent both of the opening sets. When Obama gets Radiohead or Stevie Wonder to open up for him, I’ll pay attention to the music. Last night was about sharing ideas and discussing life.

You know Pearl Jam always gets asked to play these sorts of things, all the time, and for good reason. With the exception of their Nader gaffe, the band has a solid track record of offering support for a wide variety of causes and political candidates I believe in. Those guys talk the talk and walk the walk. My admiration for their organization is heartfelt and sincere, even if I don’t ever want to hear “Evenflow” again, for the rest of my days.

Pearl Jam didn’t play last night, but they were well represented by Brad, which is led by Shawn Smith and has Stone Gossard on guitar, Regan Hagar on drums, and Mike Berg on bass. So good to see those dudes last night. Real old-timer fun afterward, all of us hanging out in the lounge and talking, talking, talking.

I’m always inspired by the conversations that take place at political events and last night did not disappoint. People get fired up by a good politician and it brings out opinions, discussions, and points of view you don’t necessarily get to hear when you bump into someone at the club.

We solved the world’s problems and talked about days gone by and days to come, all of us going back years and years as friends. Leigh Anne shocked me by telling me that she and Regan are living with a 12-year old boy. I remember the day their eldest was born. I was the first non-family member to hold that little baby they brought into the world, in a home birth filled with love.

Now, he is almost a teen-ager. Man, getting old is crazy.

Barack Obama didn’t break any new ground with his speech last night, but that was to be expected. He’s a dynamic speaker and was funny, smart, and charming. He definitely challenged my support of his candidacy by claiming to be “Sleepless in Seattle,” but I’ll let it slide this time. The crowd loved him. It was nice to feel optimistic about politics for a night.

There is audio of last night’s speech available here, if you want to give it a listen. Again: it’s nothing new if you’ve been paying attention to his bid. We are still early in the game and there’s a lot that needs to be played out between Obama and Clinton. Barack is still my first choice but, ultimately, I am going to support whichever candidate gets the Democrat nomination.

We are long overdue for a change.

I would love to see Obama bring it, even though Shawn told me that he’s got little hands.



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