The unusual, highly effective marriage of politics and music



It’s a really private alternative, so far as what you want (similar to politics).

In carpool — age 12ish — my good friend Alexzander Harrell (now a profitable chef in New Orleans; wassup Alex), placed on a Europe tape for the group — you recognize, the “Last Countdown” band.

I promptly declared: “Europe sucks.”

Mother stopped the automobile and mentioned: “By no means make enjoyable of somebody’s musical style.”

Good lesson, we might all use slightly extra of Mother’s recommendation as we as a nation appear to have a tough time respecting anybody’s opinion that differs from our personal.

Final evening, I used to be listening to a man on Instagram I knew in Atlanta discuss his first live performance, Kiss, and the native document retailer in Cartersville, Georgia, the place as a child he found Van Halen I and plenty of different gems.

The publish was a tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen (and thanks, Butch Walker — former Atlanta rocker and good friend now a Hollywood super-producer). Eddie was completely different, he was a motion, he was a guitar god.

Would like to say I received on the VH prepare in the beginning, however I didn’t catch it till the “1984” album — like a lot of the identified universe.

One hearken to “Panama” and it was like “MOOOM sorry for making enjoyable of Alex/Europe. I would like an electrical guitar … please.”

No joke, it was similar to that.

Mother received me the guitar and, man, I used to be horrible at it. However I cherished it, these early influences even paved the best way for me to take a stab at working in The Biz years later.

Eddie was past legend and an enormous affect. I believe this New Yorker piece can be a pleasant tribute. Thanks, Mr. Campbell, for sharing it.

Again within the day: Tallahassee, Vinyl Fever. I might spend hours in there.

Like Butch, I fondly bear in mind my childhood document retailer.

Within the 80s, my pal Quinn Borland and I (nonetheless buddies in 2020. Lately, we nonetheless catch exhibits collectively: Motley, Ozzy, Kiss, Maiden), would run throughout 4 lanes of visitors in Dothan, Alabama, to hit Liverpool Information on Ross Clark Circle.

We might spend hours testing the most recent cassettes from Kiss, Weapons and Roses, Motley, Ozzy, Tesla, Def Leopard, Van Halen, Dokken, Poison, Cinderella, and so on.

These albums and songs had been the soundtracks of firsts for me. First girlfriend, first live performance, first beer, first time doing one thing actually silly (I’ll give no examples, you get the image).

Later, in my teen years, after transferring to Florida, there was in fact a tremendous data retailer additionally; Vinyl Fever in Tallahassee; that they had bootlegs, data, CDs, shirts, all of the goodies you wanted in 1990.

I positive miss spots like that.

Right here in 2020, I do know all music lovers have been streaming all their favorites in lockdown for months, however what are the political strategists on the market doing in regard to music? Are they discovering methods to sway the vote utilizing music?

You’ll be able to guess your KISS ALIVE VINYL LP they’re.

Pulling on standard artists, childhood reminiscences, something which may get you of their nook. Granted, many people wouldn’t be swayed by an advert or an advert with a track.

Voted some time in the past, however these hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in advertisements are simply in search of that small group on the fence.

In Florida, each Presidential Campaigns have launched movies that includes Puerto Rican rapper, Unhealthy Bunny. Within the spirit of steadiness, I’ll checklist each of them right here.

The aim is to seize the Hispanic votes and you’ll determine if these are efficient.


That wasn’t the one Florida music feud between the 2 as they battle for the White Home. Final month there was a spar over Joe Biden utilizing one other Spanish language pop track in a speech intro, some cherished it some bashed them after which President Donald Trump fired again when his personal model.

Music can definitely be politically weaponized for elections.

You can read more about that here.

Across the nation, presidential campaigns have all the time leaned on rockers to assist get the message out. George W. Bush cherished to crank up “I received’t again down” by Tom Petty.

Ross Perot when making his run, selected the Patsy Cline monitor, “Loopy,” as a marketing campaign track (attention-grabbing alternative Mr. Perot).

And who can overlook Invoice Clinton blasting Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Cease Pondering About Tomorrow.”

Trump used “Had been Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister fairly a bit final time round, whereas his opponent, Hillary Clinton, cherished “Believer” by American Authors.

Former President Barack Obama jammed to Bruce Springsteen after his 2012 acceptance speech on the Democratic Nationwide Conference, particularly enjoying the track “We Take Care of Our Personal.”

One of many bands I managed again within the day was requested to play the Republican Nationwide Conference, and the boys from Dexter Freebish rocked the home.

There’s a nice video of that efficiency (love the Gilleys shirt, Kyle):

Oh man, the web is ripe with unusual memes. Both facet ought to be capable of smile at this one, though I’m positive somebody will rant about it being offensive.

Music and politics, a wierd however highly effective marriage, certainly.

As we head into the ultimate leg of the presidential marketing campaign, I believed I might attain out to native occasion members from all sides to get their ideas on the topic. They will need to have one thing else happening that’s extra essential than my column, as neither the Democratic Celebration of Florida nor the Republican Celebration of Florida responded to my emails.

The underside line is that this: Music is part of our tradition from protests to cocktail events and make no mistake it should all the time be a part of politics, too.

Thanks for studying, please get again to your faculty soccer watching now. Don’t overlook to vote and for the document, I used to be proper in carpool (sorry Alex, Europe sucks ?).


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Enterprise Applied sciences, the host of the Biz & Tech podcast and he will be reached at

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