Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Not the Boss of Me 

Via Zemblan patriot J.D.: The legions of "hardcore" rock fans who always sing along with the Kinks but somehow never figure out that Lola is a man, baby, are stunned and disappointed by the news that Bruce Springsteen has suddenly gone political:
The grumbling began as soon as the Boss said he would, for the first time, stump for a presidential candidate. "This is a sad day for me," a fan wrote on the Bruce Springsteen Internet newsgroup. "After 25 years as a hardcore Bruce fan, I'm officially done with him."


Because Springsteen announced last week that he and a like-minded clutch of rock stars -- including Dave Matthews, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty, and John Mellencamp -- would hold concerts in nine swing states to support Democratic nominee John Kerry. The Vote for Change tour, set to kick off in October, is the latest news in a campaign marked by unprecedented fund-raising efforts by musicians. And it has roused complaints from an often underappreciated chunk of the listening public: Conservatives.

"I don't want my money going to these causes," says Jeff Raymond, an R.E.M. fan from Worcester. "I have a severe problem going to a concert that's going to be directly funding these things I don't believe in."

Raymond isn't alone. Other Bush supporters pledged not to go to the concerts, some of which include a potential musical dream pairing of R.E.M. and Springsteen.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty opened his weekly radio show Friday with "Born to Run," but followed by saying he was "heartbroken" that Springsteen had gone partisan.

"I really appreciate his music, but I wish he wouldn't interject his music with politics," said Pawlenty, cochairman of Bush's reelection campaign in Minnesota. He said he was "going to have to miss" the planned Oct. 5 show in St. Paul where Springsteen and R.E.M. are slated to play.
Messrs. Raymond and Pawlenty should be pleased to know that Toby Keith will be kicking off his "Awe, Shocks" comeback tour any minute now. Tickets are abundant.

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