Sunday, 20 March 2011

Rock The Vote?

Nero didn't actually fiddle while Rome burned if only because the fiddle hadn't actually been invented yet, but he no doubt did play the lyre and pan pipes rather well. England's King Henry VIII (even before he had a terrible Herman's Hermit's song named after him) aspired to be the perfect Renaissance prince, writing poetry, and playing musical instruments like the lute, recorder, harpsichord and virginal, an affectation he passed on to his heirs Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Founding father Thomas Jefferson played the violin, harpsichord and clavichord and later president John Tyler played the violin as well. However in more modern times few political leaders have shown and musical talents, having spent most of their lives as lawyers and running for office, they probably never had the time or inclinations. Today we live in a time when people are expected to specialize early. Here are a few notable exceptions of musical leaders, some of whom should have kept their day job, or night job, whichever;

William Aberhart ~ The Social Credit Premier of Alberta in the 1930's started off as a radio preacher nicknamed "Bible Bill" who played piano and organ in a stately gospel style. His loyal successor Ernest Manning, who would hold power for 25 years, also came from a white gospel background and played the fiddle.

Roy Acuff ~ The country music legend once ran for governor of Tennessee in 1948 as Republican. He originally ran in the Republican primary in order to raise money for use against the sitting Democrat who had publicly insulted Acuff as a "hillbilly", but when Acuff surprisingly won the actual nomination he ran for the governorship itself, using as his campaign platform the ten commandments, and lost.


Alexander III ~ The second last Tsar of Russia from 1881 to 1894. A notorious reactionary who famously censored artists and writers, he had little patience for the traditional balls and dances of the Romanov court. To cut short these concerts one of his favorite tricks was to summarily dismiss the band one member at a time until there was nobody left but a piano and a violin, the guests usually got the point by then. Oddly Alexander himself was actually a trained musician having learned the trumpet and trombone. He could in fact play and read music well enough to occasionally join in band and play along when in a good mood. It's not known if the band found this more disturbing then being dismissed.

Charlie Angus ~ Guitarist for Toronto post punk band L'√Čtranger, who recorded two albums in the 1980's and the country rock band The Grievous Angels in the 1990's. Currently a NDP Member of Parliament for Timmins in Northern Ontario. His former L'Etranger band mate Andrew Cash was elected as and MP for the NDP as well. (see below)


Herbert J. Anslinger ~ The head of the Federal Narcotics Commission who ruled with a Hoover-like iron hand for forty years with a special hatred for musicians actually was a pianist himself who worked in his youth providing accompaniment for silent movies.

John Ashcroft ~ Governor of Missouri from 1985-93 then senator from 1995-2001 when he was famously defeated by Mel Carnahan a candidate who happened to have been dead for a few weeks. As senator he was one of a group of Republicans calling themselves "The Singing Senators" who frequently sang at public functions as a barbershop and gospel quartet. This included an appearance with the Oak Ridge Boys The other members included Trent Lott of Mississippi, Larry Craig of Utah and Jim Jeffords of Vermont. After his defeat he became George Bush's Attorney General. Among his more noteworthy accomplishments was singing a melodramatic anthem called "Let the Eagle soar" on television. Ashcroft actually had written the song and had even recorded a few independent gospel albums in the 1970's, one along with a Missouri Democrat Max Bacon. Ashcroft is now a lobbyist for the National Association of Broadcasters. As for the other members of the Singing Senators, Jeffords switched parties and became a Democrat, Trent Lott became Republican House Leader before having to resign as leader after praising segregationist Strom Thurmand (Lott also chose not to run again) and Larry Craig was forced out after a sex scandal.


Lee Atwater ~ Not actually elected to anything (but neither was Nero), Atwater ran the campaigns for the elder George Bush. He also played blues/rock guitar, including a guest shot on the Letterman Show and recording with BB King.

Tommy Banks ~ An Edmonton Alberta based pianist, conductor, arranger, composer and broadcaster starting on local radio in 1960 then on CBC television on CBC on the "Tommy Banks Show" from 1968 to 1983. He also recorded and toured both as a pianist and big band leader. He was given the order of Canada in 1993 and in 2000 appointed to the Canadian Senate by Jean Chretien were he still sits.


Charles Barron ~ A firebrand New York City councilman since 2001 and former Black Panther who has also run for mayor in 2005 but dropped out, then ran in the Democratic congressional primary in 2006 and lost. He then formed his own Democratic Freedom Party to run for Governor in 2010 and lost again. In his youth he was also a steel drum player and has said that he would like to return to the drums in the future.

Lulu Belle ~ A popular star of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930's to the 1950's as half of the duo Lulu Belle and Scotty with the original version of "Have I told you lately that I love you", along with the pro-McCarthy ditty "I'm no Communist". She later served in the North Carolina House as a conservative Democrat in the 1970's.


Silvio Berlosconni ~ The popular conservative prime minister of Italy and all around buffoon throughout the 1990's to 2011. He's also a businessman and media tycoon who owns most of the television and newspapers in Italy. However he started out as a bass player and cruise ship lounge singer in the 1960's.

Jello Biafra ~ Singer for the infamous San Francisco punk band The Dead Kennedys took time out to run for mayor in 1979, coming in third to Diane Feinstein and prompting a change in laws to ban future candidates for running under assumed names. His real name is Eric Boucher in case you were wondering. In 2000 he ran for the for the Green Party's presidential nomination losing to Ralph Nader. After losing he campaigned for Nader and did so again in 2004 and 2008.


Ruben Blades ~ The Grammy Award winning Panamanian salsa star and actor ("Once upon a time in Mexico", "The cradle will rock", "Predator 2") wrote the unofficial national anthem ("Patria") and is highly popular throughout Latin America. He is also a lawyer with two legal degrees and a degree in political science and a well known activist who ran for President of Panama in 1994 on a nationalist/reformist platform and finished a respectable third place to the American backed candidate who was later implicated in numerous corruption charges. In 2004 Blades was appointed as minister of tourism by President Martin Torrijos, however he still finds time to perform and act.


Tony Blair ~ The British prime Minister from 1997 to 2007 originally wanted to be a rock star and promoter, singing and playing guitar in a short lived and unrecorded punk band named Ugly Rumours after he moved from Scotland to England in the late 1970's. One band mate was Mark Ellen, who would later become a rock journalist and television emcee for "The Old Grey Whistle Test". Blair was apparently considered a pushy self-promoter and was generally disliked in the scene.

Wayne Bledsoe ~ A regular Renaissance Man in more ways than one. Dr Bledsoe has been a fixture on the Missouri Bluegrass scene for decades as a musician, radio show host, writer, editor of Bluegrass magazine and President of the International Bluegrass Music Association. Besides that he was also a professor of Ancient and Medieval History at the University for 32 years and served as Chair of the Department of History and Political Science. Oh yeah and he also ran for the State House in 2008 as a Democrat when he lost to the far less interesting Republican.

Jon Bon Jovi ~ New Jersey's second biggest rock star (after you know who) was appointed to the President's new White House Council for Community Solutions by President Obama in 2010. No I don't know what he does either, but he does do a lot of charity work and has campaigned heavily for every Democratic Presidential ticket since Gore. And if that seems trivial keep in mind that Schwarzenegger's political career started out in much the same way. Actually forget I mentioned it.


Sonny Bono ~ The short half of Sonny and Cher and before that a songwriter with Phil Spector. Even during the 1960's Bono was known as an anti-drug conservative. After Cher dumped him he had an abortive solo and acting career before opening a restaurant in Palm Springs, California. After a dispute with the city council he ran for mayor of Palm Springs as a Republican and won, serving from 1988 to 92 and then ran for and won election to U.S. congress from 1994 to 98 when he died in a freak skiing accident.


Amando Boudou ~ Argentina Finance Minister and successful Vice President candidate in 2011. As a university student he earned extra pesos busking with his electric guitar and promoting rock concerts on campus. He still drags out the guitar an campaign stops.

Bob Bratina ~ A popular liberal talk radio host in Hamilton and Toronto. Ran for Hamilton City council and later became mayor in 2010. In the 1960's he was a member of Wally Mack Orchestra a well known old time party band with at least one album, and later the Balkan Strings Folk Orchestra. As mayor, while neighboring Toronto has been talking about cutting arts grants and closing libraries, Bratina has been increasing them.

Elton Britt ~ A popular yodeling cowboy star from the 1930's when he replaced Stuart Hamblen (see below, in the Berverly Hillbillies a popular western stringband, he also ran briefly and surprisingly for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960 against JFK, LBJ, Hubert Humphrey Stuart Symington and Adlai Stevenson. Somewhat less surprisingly he lost and quickly dropped out.


Robert Byrd ~ The octogenarian Democratic senator from West Virginia since 1959 (and elected to other offices since 1947!) was also a respected Old Time Country fiddle player who recorded an album with The Country Gentlemen in 1978 and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry and "Hee Haw". Unfortunately he had been unable to play for many years due to tremors in his hands and old age when he died, still in office in 2010.


Andrew Cash ~ Former singer with 1980's Canadian post punk band L'Etranger and later solo folk-punk singer elected as a Member of Parliament for the NDP in Toronto in the 2011 election, his former band mate Charlie Angus is already the NDP M.P. for Timmins.


Jean Chretien ~ Liberal Prime Minister of Canada during the 1990's and M.P. since the 1960's. Chretien played the trombone when younger and as P.M. was part of "True Grit", a Dixieland jazz band made up of Liberal M.P.s including Don Boudria on guitar and Roger Gallaway on piano.

Bill Clinton ~The U.S. president from 1992 to 2000 and before that governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 92 was also well known as good sax player who's first ambition was to be a professional musician. As a teen he played in a jazz combo with Randy Goodrun who would later become a Grammy Award winning songwriter. Clinton later decided he would be more successful as a politician but he frequently played in public, most famously on the Arsenio Hall Show during the 92 election and during his endless inaugural parties. He would later be invited to play at a Czech jazz club by President Vaclav Havel.


Calvin Coolidge ~ U.S. President from 1923 to 1928 and before that Vice President and governor of Massachusetts; the second Jazz Age president was more sedate than the first (Harding; see below) in more ways than one, and played the harmonica.

Bill Cornett ~ Known as Banjo Bill, was a respected Old Time Country player who recorded for Smithsonian/Folkways while still serving in the Kentucky State Legislature as a Democrat in the 1960's.

Gary Crawford ~ A current rookie Toronto City Councilor from Scarborough elected in 2010, Crawford is also billed as a former musician as a drummer in a rock cover band and painter who had served on various boards of arts groups and who ran promising to support arts funding. He had previously run as as Tory candidate provincially and lost.

Mike Curb ~ The owner of Sidewalk Records and later the modestly named Curb Records, Curb was also the manager of MGM and Verve records starting in 1969. He also was a writer, arranger and producer for such artists as Roy Orbison, the Osmond Family, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis, Jr, Solomon Burke and Davie Allan & The Arrows as well as his equally modestly named Mike Curb congregation a terrible example of Up With People type muzaky 1970's pop. A Republican crony of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, in 1970 Curb announced a purge of "drug related" artists as part of a morality purge. While Curb bragged that he would be willing to risk losing chart topping artists the only artists actually dropped were the non money making Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa. Curb was largely ridiculed for his grandstanding. Zappa himself pointed out that his contract was up anyway and he wanted out. Another money making MGM artist, Eric Burdon, publicly bragged about his drug use and dared Curb to fire him. He didn't. Then another MGM artist, The Grateful Dead, released an album of drug related psych-rock and Richie Havens released another album with some drug references without complaint from Curb. A Velvet Underground "Best of" was also released with songs like "Waiting for my man" and "Heroin". Curb later ran for Lieutenant Governor of California in 1978 and won. After he lost nominations in 1982 and 1986 he returned to the music business with his own Curb Records in 1994, where his company records for mostly country artists artists such as Wynonna Judd, LeAnn Rimes, Hank Williams, Jr., Hank III, Tim McGraw, Kimberley Locke, Sawyer Brown and Jr Brown. Curb is also an equity partner in the gospel music company Word Label Group. Hank III has since had an acrimonious departure from Curb after complaining that his attempts to record hard rock was being stifled. Curb has remained a vocal critic of what he deems to be offensive rock and hip hop, especially any drug references, although to be fair he has also been a vocal proponent of gay rights within the Republican Party.

Jimmie Davis ~ Governor of Louisiana from 1944 to 1948 and again from 1960 to 1964 was also a major country music star with his biggest hit being the classic "You are my sunshine". During his second term he pardoned Freddy Fender who had been sent up for a long prison term after a pot bust.


Charles K. Dawes ~ U.S. Vice President under Coolidge from 1924-28; in his earlier years he was also a pianist and composer who wrote "Melody in A Major" which would later have lyrics added to it as "It's all in the game" which would become a huge hit several times in the 1950's and 60's being recorded by Tommy Edwards, Brook Benton, the Four Tops, Cliff Richard, Nat King Cole and Van Morrison. Dawes didn't live to see (or hear) this however since he died in 1951. He probably never jammed with Coolidge either since the two men thoroughly hated each other.

TOMMY EDWARDS ~ "IN THE GAME" (co-written by Charles K Dawes);

Andrew Ian Dodge ~ A high profile organizer and spokesman for the Republican Tea Party in New England, Dodge is also a long-haired, goateed, tattooed and pierced aspiring amateur rock singer and songwriter who has written some no doubt catchy songs about limited government and states rights which have oddly not become hits. Dodge is also an aspiring science fiction writer. In the run-up to the 2012 election Dodge was musing about challenging sitting moderate Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine in 2012 as not being conservative enough for his liking. In the end she decided to retire and Dodge did not run.

Fredrick Douglas ~ The great American Abolitionist and Civil Rights Leader began life as a slave before he learned to read (largely self taught), escaped and became a world famous Anti-Slavery advocate. He also learned to play classical violin and was reportedly quite talented. His son Joseph would go on to become a well known and respected concert violinist.

Clint Eastwood ~ The classic movie tough guy and sometime mayor of the small town of Carmel California in the 1980's was also a talented amateur pianist and an enthusiastic fan of jazz and blues. He would later make the definitive jazz film bio of all time with "Bird" and still later a more bare bones documentary for Martin Scorsese's series on the blues. Eastwood got into local politics after a fight with the Carmel council over a zoning dispute. After winning the mayorship he promptly fired the officials who had ruled against him and he also kept an election promise to allow a ice cream parlour to set up shop. A moderate Republican, Eastwood also promoted environmental causes as well. He served only one term but has occasionally made news by endorsing or refusing to endorse various Republicans before he famously did a bizarre speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Pierre-Claver Zeng Ebome ~ Popular Gabonese singer in the 1970's and pro-democracy activist who entered politics as "The Crooner Politician". He got elected became a cabinet minister and advocated for canceling third world debts until his death in 2010.

Edward VIII ~ Before he became the disgraced former king of England the Crown Prince was a popular figure of the Jazz Age where he was known for appearing at Dixieland jazz clubs and sometimes sitting in with the bands and playing the drums and banjo at which he was apparently quite good.

Queen Elisabeth of Belgium ~ Elisabeth of Bavaria(1876-1965), Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, was the Queen escort of Albert I of Belgium, she was raised with a deep love of painting, music, and sculpture. Because of her love of music and an accomplished violinist, the original Ysaye International Music Competition is named after her as - "The Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition".

Rahm Emanuel ~ Chief of staff for President Obama and previously a congressman from Chicago, recently elected mayor of that city. Emanuel was in his youth a trained ballet dancer who won a scholarship to the Joffre Ballet but turned it down to attend Sarah Lawrence College, after which he got into politics. His mother, who encouraged his dance aspirations, had previously run a rock and roll club.

Sam Ervin ~ A veteran Democratic senator from North Carolina who became famous for chairing the committee investigating the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy and later possible impeachment of Richard Nixon. He capitalized of his fame by recording an album in which he told folk stories and sang a few songs in his distinctive broad southern drawl. Including a version of "Bridge over troubled water" which has become something of a classic of terrible versions of pop songs. He died in 1985.

Ed Fast ~ A current Canadian Conservative MP from B.C. is also a pianist for a white gospel group with his three daughters called Father's Daughter who have toured and recorded even while he was sitting as a MP, and have in fact won a Gospel award. Since he has now been promoted to cabinet after re-election in 2011 he may have less time for this.


Kinky Friedman ~ Infamous humorist country music rebel with his band the Texas Jewboys and songs like "The ballad of Charles Whitman" and "Ride 'em Jewboy". He ran as a independent liberal/libertarian candidate for governor of Texas in 2006. His campaign got much publicity, raising plenty of money and at times leading the Democratic candidate in the polls but he finished a disappointing fourth in the end, losing to Rick Perry. He has since announced that he would be running again in 2010 as a Democrat. However Friedman announced on December 14, 2009, that he was leaving the gubernatorial race and would instead seek the Democratic nomination for Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 2010, but lost the nomination to rancher Hank Gilbert in the state's primary on March 2, 2010. He switched parties in 2011 to endorse Texas Governor Rick Perry, noting among other things that Rick Perry was a drummer who had once sat in with ZZ Top.


Lenora Fulani ~ A left wing activist in New York since the 1980's, Fulani has run for public office several times including presidential runs as leader of The New Alliance Party in 1988 1nd 1992 becoming the first black woman to do so. Originally from Pennsylvania who's father was a singing baptist preacher, she played piano in his choir.

Roger Gallaway ~ Canadian Liberal MP from Sarnia, Ontario from 1993-2006. Was also a pianist who played with the Sarnia/Port Huron's International Symphony, and was the narrator of a "Child's Introduction to the Symphony". As MP formed a jazz band called "True Grit" made up of fellow Liberal MPs including the Prime Minister Jean Chretien. In 2010 he ran for mayor of the small town of Point Edward Ontario but lost.

Alan Garcia ~ Right wing president of Peru from 1980-85 and again starting in 2006 to the present. While studying in Paris and Madrid made extra cash as a guitar playing street busker.

Peter Garrett ~ The bald and over six foot tall singer for the Australian post punk band Midnight Oil from 1973 to 2002 was also a lawyer and activist for peace, native rights and the environment, running for the Australian Senate in 1984 unsuccessfully as a green candidate before switching to the Labour Party and winning election in 2004. He is currently the Minster of Environment, Heritage and the Arts.


Gilberto Gil ~ A popular Grammy Award winning Brazilian singer/guitarist who has been doing his mix of rock, reggae, bosa nova and funk since the early 1960's, Gil has also been a prominent pro-democracy, anti-poverty and environmental activist who was arrested by the military junta in 1969 and deported along with his collaborator Caetano Veloso. He returned in 1972 and continued both his musical and political activities. In 2003 President Da Silva appointed him to the position of Minister of Culture where he brought in changes to copyright laws that allowed sampling and challenged American copyright laws. He stepped down in 2008 and resumed his musical career.


Joseph Goebbels ~ Unlike most of the Nazi leaders who were thugs and cretins, the Minister of Propaganda was actually (like Hitler) a frustrated artist with a novel to his credit as well as being a trained amateur pianist. After 1939 when all works by Polish composers were banned, the works of the great piano composer Fredric Chopin were specifically excluded from the ban as Goebbels was a fan, although Hitler was not.

Steve Goof ~ AKA Crazy Steve, the singer for Toronto crusty hardcore punk pioneers The Bunchofuckingoofs (AKA BFG) sine the mid 1980's. Steve Goof also ran for municipal office in downtown Toronto a few times as well.

Tipper Gore ~ The wife of Vice President Al Gore became famous as the founder of the PMRC and their crusade to clean up music, making her enemies of a wide spectrum of musicians including Jello Biafra, Frank Zappa, Dee Snider, John Denver, Donny Osmond, Public Enemy, Ozzy and Judas Priest. She always denied she was anti-rock however and was in fact a competent rock and roll drummer. Al Gore claimed to be a fan of Zappa and Denver as well.

Princess Stephanie Grimaldi De Monaco ~ The younger daughter of Prince Ranier and Princess Grace had her own career in the 1980's as a model and pop singer even scoring a few hits in Europe which thankfully never translated to North America which had one of it's occasional bursts of good taste.

Princess Stephanie De Monaco ~ "Flash";

Jack Grisham ~ Singer for Los Angeles punk band T.S.O.L. who recorded several albums in the 1980's, he also ran during the California recall election for governor in 2003 which was won by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Previously known as a fiery anarchist in his early TSOL ("Property is theft") days he evolved into more of a social democrat and ran a serious campaign based around health care but had little money and got few votes. TSOL has since reformed.

T.S.O.L. ~ "I'M TIRED";

A. Oakley Hall ~ Republican Mayor of New York from 1868 to 1872 who was implicated but acquitted for involvement with the notorious Boss Tweed Ring's corruption trials in the 1870's. Known as "Elegant Oakley" he had earlier been a prominent lawyer who also found time to moonlight as a poet and songwriter writer including writing a then popular Christmas song "Old Whitey's Christmas Trot". After his political career was ruined by the scandal he resumed his legal practice including defending the anarchist Emma Goldman who considered him a defender of freedom of speech. He died in 1898.

John Hall ~ A member of 1970's pop group Orleans, who's 1976 hit "Still the one" has been used as a campaign song by various politicians over the years. Hall got into politics himself and ran as a liberal Democrat for local offices successfully before getting elected to Congress in New York in 2006. He lost a re-election bid in 2010.


Stuart Hamblen ~ One of the first of the Hollywood singing cowboys of the 1930's appearing with such other stars as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and John Wayne. Hamblen had a long and successful career on radio and recording star as well, first as a member of the Beverly Hillbillies and then solo. As a songwriter he had such credits as the classic hits "This Ole House" and "Open up Your Heart (and Let the Sunshine in), which was later covered by the Flintsones. He also wrote gospel songs which became hits for singers Eddy Arnold, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb. Originally from Texas he decided to run for congress in 1938 in California as a Democrat and only narrowly lost. In 1949 he had a religious conversion with Billy Graham and joined the Prohibition Party becoming their candidate for president in 1952 losing again. He would continue on with the Billy Graham crusade and as a gospel singer until he died in 1982.

STUART HAMBLEN ~ "IT'S NO SECRET " (with Billy Graham intro);

Warren Harding ~ U.S. president from 1920 to his death in office in 1923; the first Jazz Age president loved to drink, smoke, gamble and womanize and he also played the cornet and trumpet.

Hagood Hardy ~ Toronto based jazz pianist who had a huge 1975 easy listening AM radio hit with "The Homecoming theme" ran as a candidate for the Liberal Party in the Ontario provincial election in 1995 but lost to NDP leader and Premier (and amateur pianist, see below) Bob Rae.


Stephen Harper ~ Canada's Conservative Prime Minster is a reasonably competent pianist. Famously known for his contempt for "white tie galas" and the arts he recently impressed a white tie gala dinner (including Yo Yo Ma) by playing and warbling a flat version of "With a little help from my friends". He later got to "fulfill a dream" by jamming with Bryan Adams.


Orrin Hatch ~ Republican Senator from Utah from 1976 to today and a devout Mormon, Hatch is also a successful part time gospel singer and songwriter who plays piano, violin and organ, with many recordings. One of his songs was played at George Bush's inauguration while another was used by Billy Graham and another has even appeared in the Steven Soderberg film "Oceans Eleven" while Hatch himself appears in another Soderberg film "Traffic" in a cameo. Hatch has reportedly made over $65,000 as a singer and songwriter. Before becoming Senator Hatch also managed a few Mormon rock bands in the 1970's.

Leanne Haze ~ A Toronto based singer in a goth/metal band named Haze as well as a Wiccan priestess who ran for the Green Party in the same election as Hagood Hardy and Bob Rae.

Ted Heath ~ British Conservative Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974 was a respected classical conductor and pianist who conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and others in the U.K and U.S.A even while still in office and won honorary music degrees. After losing the Tory leadership to Thatcher he stayed as an MP for the next twenty years (long enough to get his revenge by voting against Thatcher when her leadership came up) while cooling his heels on the back benches he recorded albums and wrote a book of Christmas carols.

Bill Hefner ~ Definitely no relation to the Playboy King, This Hefner was a singer with the Harvester's Quartet, a gospel vocal group through the 1950's and 60's before becoming elected as a Democratic congressman from North Carolina for 1972 to 1999.

A.P Herbert ~ Humorist for Punch Magazine in Britain and a light opera librettist for Cochran, was also a lawyer who ran for Parliament in the 1930's on a platform of liberalizing divorce laws, and lost.

Mike Huckabee ~ The Arkansas governor from 1996 to 2007 and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and probably again in 2012. Like his fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton is also a rock musician, albeit a bassist, frequently playing at his own rallies and fundraisers as well as on TV.


Jon Huntsman ~ Republican Governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009 when he was made Ambassador to China by President Obama, now a candidate for President. Huntsman is a keyboard player and a fan of prog rock band Dream Theater for whom he once proclaimed a "Dream Theater Day" in Utah and he has also joined REO Speedwagon on stage for a few songs. Republican insiders state that this musical history will help him win over young voters. Ummm...with REO Speedwagon?

Wyclef Jean ~ The Haiti born rapper was a member of the hugely successful hip hop group The Fugees in the 1990's and later had a solo career including a duo with Shakira. He also busied himself with charitable works for his native Haiti, especially after the earthquake of 2010. In July of that year it was announced that he was considering running for the presidency and had filed the paperwork for this, however his candidacy was rejected by Haiti's election commission for not meeting residency requirements, he also speaks little French. Jean would later endorse another candidate, fellow musician Michel Martelly and while campaigning on his behalf would be shot in the hand.


Ben Kerr ~ Toronto 1960's folk singer who became a well known street busker and perennial mayoral candidate running in every election from 1985 to 2003 going to debates with his guitar and singing his theme song "The Fringe Candidate". Kerr died in 2005 and has a street named after him but he never actually recorded.

John Kerry ~ Democratic senator since 1985 and Democratic presidential nominee in 2004 was also played bass in a garage band "The Elektras" who recorded an album in 1961. Unlike Clinton and Huckabee he hasn't played in public since however. After he won the Democratic nomination the old Elektras album was re-released on CD.

Joey Keithley ~ Singer and guitarist for the Vancouver punk band DOA ran for the British Columbia parliament as a Green Party candidate in 1996 and 2001 getting a respectable number of votes. He recently announced his intention to retire from music entirely and run as an NDP candidate in the comming B.C. election expected in 2013.

D.O.A. ~ "WORLD WAR 3";

Khalifa Hamaas Abdul Khaalis ~ Born as Ernest McGee was a jazz drummer in the post war New York scene before he was drafted into the army then discharged for mental instability. He became an early follower of Malcom X and the Nation of Islam before leaving in a dispute when he decided they were not Muslim enough for his liking. He started his own fundamentalist Hanafi sect which attracted followers like Kareem Abdul Jabar and Amiri Baraka until they left deciding he was too extreme for their liking. Khaalis wrote an open letter attacking the NOI after which Khaalis' home was attacked and his family killed, Khallis blamed the NOI for this. In 1977 he turned to terrorism and captured the New York offices of the Bnai B'rith to protest the showing of the film "Mohammed the messenger of God" in spite of the fact that the film was made by a muslim film maker funded by Muamaar Qaddafi and had nothing to do with the B'nai B'rith. After a police officer and a journalist were killed the hostages were later released and Khaalis was carted off to prison where he died in 2003.

Kim Jong Ill ~ North Korea's batshit insane dictator claimed to have written seven operas, which is pretty impressive. Mind you the official party line is that Kim is also the worlds most prolific author with more than 15,000 books to his credit as well as being the worlds greatest golfer with no less than 11 holes in one, which is better than that amateur Tiger Woods. So there.

Warren Kinsella ~ Strategist, spin doctor and unsuccessful candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada, Kinsella is also proud of his musical knowledge having been the bassist in a punk band called The Hot Nasties in the 1980's. He still occasionally plays in a part time band. He also wrote a memoir about his punk years.

Fela Kuti ~ The most famous African musician of his time was also a well known political dissident in his native Nigeria famous for his stinging attacks on the government in music and in print. When the first free elections in a decade were called in 1979 Fela formed his own party and announced his candidacy for president, however his candidacy was disallowed by the government. Fela continued to agitate for democracy and was arrested on trumped up charges in 1984 but released twenty months later after much international pressure. In 1993 he was arrested again but Nigeria's dictator Abacha died the next year. By this time Fela was probably already battling the AIDs that would kill him in 1997.


Kuupik Kleist ~ The current prime minister of Greenland and head of the island's independence movement was formerly known as a guitarist, songwriter, record producer and record company executive in his native Greenland and Denmark.

Vytaulas Landsbergis ~ The first president of an independent Lithuania from 1990 to 1992 was also a well respected concert pianist who taught at the Lithuanian Conservatory and recorded several albums of classical music.

Lyndon LaRouche ~ The fascist/socialist/conspiracy theorist nutbar is actually a respected (if controversial) opera critic who has written extensively on Verdi who he loves and Wagner who he hates.

Wilfred Laurier ~ Canadian Prime Minister from 1896 to 1911 was a famously cultured dandy who also played the flute.

Jack Layton ~ Current NDP leader and previously a longtime Toronto city councilor now Leader of the Opposition. Also a well known ham has been known to break out the guitar and harmonica and busk to fundraise for various causes. He also played the piano and a little saxophone. He died of cancer in 2011.


Lillian Lenton ~ One of the most radical of the British women suffragettes of the early 20th century as well as the most beautiful, Lenton started off as a trained dancer before being radicalized by the issues of woman's equality. As a radical suffragette she was noted for acts of vandalism and arson for which she was arrested several times upon which she went on hunger strikes and was force fed once almost leading to her death when food was forced into her lungs by mistake. Eventually she escaped to Europe where she served as a nurse during World War 1 and was awarded with medals. After the war she became an advocate for children and animals. She died in 1972.

Vladimir Lenin ~ Before he became a full time revolutionary Lenin came from a well educated middle class background as a lawyer and part-time time musician who could read music and play classical guitar and balalaika. Oddly one of his favorite composers was the bombastic Wagner, also the favorite of his arch enemy Hitler. He also had the typical Russian love of poetry. However after his older brother was executed for plotting against the Tsar Lenin dedicated himself to revolution with such single minded focus that he gave up all other interests, including music. Later after he became Soviet President he began to take an interest in music again, at one point even inviting Leon Thermin to teach him how to play his new invention, the theremin. According to Thermin, Lenin was a good player.

Rodney MacDonald ~ Tory Premier of Nova Scotia from 2006 to 2009 is well known as a Cape Breton fiddler who has recorded for Smithsonian/Folkways as well as two albums of his own.


Ashley MacIsaac ~ The flamboyant Cape Breton fiddler has long been an advocate of gay rights and the environment and done some charity work. In 2006 he announced that he was planning on running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada only to drop out a few months later.

Thad McCotter ~ Current moderate Republican congressmen from Michigan and long-shot candidate for the Presidential nomination for 2012. McCotter was formerly the guitarist in a band called "The New Flying Squirrels" who now plays in a band with a few bi-partisan congressmen called "Second Amendments" and often plays songs at his rallys. He also announced his candidacy at a rock concert.


Michel Martelly ~ Also known as Sweet Mickey, Martelly is probably the most popular musician in Haiti with several hits to his credit as well as appearing in collaboration with Wyclif Jean and running a successful night club. He has long been outspoken in his support of various figures from Haiti's ruling class (who often hang out at his club) and for his opposition to President Aristide. In 2010 he announced that he would be running for the presidency of Haiti as did Jean. This would have been the first time two pop stars faced of against each other in an election, however Jean was disqualified as a candidate. As it happened Sweet Mickey didn't win either but finished a strong third in an election that was widely dismissed as rigged. Both Martelly and Jean would jointly protest the results and the second place candidate would surprisingly drop out allowing Martelly to stay in for a second runoff round which he surprisingly won in April 2011.


Blair Martin ~ The singer/guitarist for Toronto punk band The Raving Mojos ran for mayor in 1982 against Liberal Art Eggleton and finished well back with 1,800 votes.


Pleasant Moberley ~ Also named "Plez", an Old Time Country singer from Kentucky who once ran for Congress riding a mule from town to town and playing a guitar.

Donnie Munro ~ Singer for popular Scottish Celtic Rock band Runrig since 1974, Munro was also the Rector of Edinburgh University from 1991 to 1994. He suddenly quit in 1999 to run for the British Parliament for the Labour Party only to narrowly lose to The Liberal Democrats. Munro subsequently returned to scholarship and Gaelic music. Fellow Runrig band member Pete Wishart would also run for office with better luck (see below).


George Murphy ~ Well known as a song and dance man in several big budget Hollywood musicals like "For me and my Gal", Murphy was elected as a Republican senator from California from 1964 (when he defeated Pierre Salinger) until 1970 when he was defeated. A conservative Republican, Murphy was a mentor to his friend Ronald Reagan.


Alessandra Mussolini ~ The granddaughter of Italian dictator Benito and niece of Sophia Loren, started out as a model and actress who made a number of mostly B movies in Europe. One of those films in which she played a minor role was however nominated for a foreign language Oscar and won a Golden Globe in 1977. As a model she did photo shoots for Playboy. She also found time to record an album of Euro-Pop called "Amore" in 1982 which was however only released in Japan. She later quit showbiz to join the other family business, running for election to the Italian parliament as a neo-fascist in 1992 where she has sat ever since. She also ran for mayor of Naples but lost. As for her grandfather Benito; he played the violin and son Romano became a fairly successful jazz pianist.

The Naked Cowboy (real name Robert John Burck) ~ A well known New York street busker famous for wearing cowboy boots, a stetson a guitar and little else. The Naked Cowboy has been a prominent (if probably chilly) fixture at Times Square for several years. He announced he would be running as an independent Tea Party candidate for president in 2011. He had previously announced runs for Mayor on 2009 only to withdraw.

Pablo Neruda ~ The great Chilean poet/revolutionary was elected to the senate in 1945 as a communist but was forced into exile when the party was outlawed in 1948. He continued to campaign for various causes in exile, returning to Chile in 1952 he was invited to run for the senate again but declined. In 1970 the Communists invited him to be their candidate for the presidency but he decided to instead support and campaign for the Socialist candidate Salvador Allende who won and appointed Neruda to be ambassador to France. Neruda was suffering form cancer and was hospitalized immediately after the U.S. backed coup in 1973 dying days later. Despite a ban on public demonstrations by the new junta Neruda's funeral was attended by thousands who lined the streets in tribute. As Latin America's most honored poet he has had many of his works adapted to music by both classical composers and folk and prog rock bands both while he was alive and afterward, including the Canadian band Red Rider.

Richard Nixon ~ The U.S. president played the classical piano in a predictably stiff but competent style . He did however also compose a few pieces.


Krist Novaselic ~ Bassist for grunge founders Nirvana, after that bands breakup he has been deeply involved in politics as a lobbyist for censorship and copyright issues and encouraging the youth vote. He currently sits as an elected Democratic State Committeeman in Washington and had announced his intention to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2004 and County Clerk in 2008 but withdrew both times. He has said that he still intends to run for office at some point.


Will Lee O'Daniel ~ Governor of Texas from 1939 to 1944 and Senator from 1944 (when he defeated Lyndon Johnson) to 1948. Was famous as the host of a popular radio show called which was set up to promote "Light Crust Dough" with a combination of bible stories, recipes and western swing music courtesy of a band that included later western swing legends like Bob Wills and Milton Brown and the Light Crust Dough Boys. O'Daniel nicknamed "Pappy" acted as emcee and wrote many of their songs and occasionally sang. Pappy O'Daniel used his radio show to campaign as well as hitting the road with his band and a special touring bus to barnstorm the state. In power he was very right wing opposing unions, teachers and communists, he had promised to opposed a sales tax, poll tax and capital punishment but reneged once in power. During his time in Washington as a Southern Democrat he opposed the policies of Franklin Roosevelt and was marginalized and unhappy, and chose not to run for re-election. Instead he ran for Governor of Texas again in 1956 and 58 as a segregationist, failing to get the nomination badly both times. When he died in 1969 he was largely remembered for his musical involvement with Wills and Brown than for any policies. He is one of the inspirations for the governor character in the film "Oh Brother where art thou".

Martin O'Malley ~ Current Democratic Governor of Maryland and possible future presidentail candidate, O'Malley was previously a fixture on the Baltimore folk-rock scene starting in the 1980's as a solo and act and as the vocalist/guitarist/songwriter of Celtic rock band "O'Malley's March" from 1988 to 2005.


Beto O’Rourke ~ Elected to Congress in 2013 as a Democrat for El Paso Texas. O'Rourke started out as guitarist for Post-Hardcore band Foss before becoming a web entrepreneur.

Johnny Otis ~ (real name Ioannis Alexandres Veliote) 1950's R&B singer/band leader who played piano and drums. As his real name shows he was Greek but with his dark complexion he passed for mulatto and most of his legion of mostly black fans assumed he was. After playing in the 1940's with swing bands led by Harlan Leonard, Wynonie Harris and Charles Brown he formed his own band and wrote the classic hit "Willie and the hand jive" in 1958 which inspired Bo Diddly with it's distinctive beat and was hugely influential. Also had hits with "Harlem Nocturne'" in 1946, and produced and/or co-wrote such records as Big Mama Thorton's original version of "Hound Dog", "Roll With Me, Henry" for Etta James and "Every Beat of My Heart", first recorded by The Royals in the 1952 but later a hit for Gladys Knight. As a band leader and A&R man for King Records Otis discovered singers like Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard, Little Willie John, Mel Walker,Little Ester Phillips and the Robins (later the Coasters) sax man Big Jay McNeely. As a session man he backed Johnny Guitar Watson. Otis hosted his own TV show in Los Angeles in the 1950's. His son, Shuggie Otis also had a career as an R&B band leader in the 1960's & 70's. In the 1960's he later also entered politics and ran for California State Assembly under his real name as a Democrat and lost then becoming chief of staff to another assemblyman. He was also a church pastor. He died just three weeks after his 90th birthday.

Johnny Otis ~ "Willie and the hand jive";

Jan Paderewski ~ The first prime minster of an independent Poland in 1919 was also a concert pianist and composer and probably the most famous musician of his era known for the crowds of swooning fans who attended his world tours. He used his fame to promote Polish independence in the 1900's and briefly served as Prime Minister but disliked the job and soon returned to music. During WW2 after Poland was invaded he again resumed his role as a promoter of Polish independence and fundraiser until he died in 1941 at the age of 81.


Sarah Palin ~ As a contestant in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant in 1982 the young Miss Palin played the flute as part of the talent competition. Ironically the song she chose was "The Homecoming" written by Canadian pianist (and future Liberal Party candidate, see above) Hagood Hardy. She came in third.


Rick Perry ~ Texas Republican governor and 2012 presidential candidate was an amateur drummer in his youth, as governor he once got to sit in with ZZ Top on stage.

Elvis Aaron Presley ~ An Elvis impersonator from Canada's Yukon Territory who has performed with Chubby Checker. Born Gilbert Nelles, he legally changed his name after encountering a UFO. The King has also run for the Legislature twice as an independent and he also ran for the leadership of the Yukon Liberal Party in 2005 finishing last with five votes.

Bob Rae ~ Canadian MP from 1978 and NDP Premier of Ontario form 1990 -1995 currently serving as a Liberal MP in Toronto. One of his hobbies was playing piano and singing flatly, including at party fundraisers. Famously wrote a mawkish theme song "We're in the same boat now" which was cordially disliked by all. Lately he has challenged Prime Minister Harper to a piano playing contest which Harper declined to respond to.


Jason Rapert ~ Current far right Tea Party Republican member of the Arkansas State House who has made a name for himself with his total anti-abortion stands and inflammatory racist rhetoric may be a total hate filled nutjob but he is is also an excellent Old Time Fiddle player.


Martha Reeves ~ Singer for the Motown group Martha & The Vandellas with such classic hits as "Dancing in the street" and "Nowhere to run" later served a couple of terms on Detroit City Council until 2009.



Condoleeza Rice ~ The U.S. Secretary of State from 2000-08 was also known as a talented classically trained pianist who sometimes performed at White House during her tenure. Afterwords she also played at various charity events with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Yo Yo Ma.

Tex Ritter ~ Cowboy singer and actor from the 1920's to the 1950's with hits like "Goodbye Old Paint","Do not forsake me oh my darlin" and "Remember the Alamo" and a series of movies. Also the father of actor John Ritter. Followed in the footsteps of Roy Acuff by running as a Republican for governor of Tennessee in 1970 only to loose the nomination.


Eugene Schmitz ~ Mayor of San Fransisco from 1902-07. A professional concert violinist and conductor who headed the Musician's Union, he ran at the head of the new Union Labor Party and surprisingly won election as mayor. Called "Handsome Gene", the urbane, elegant Schmitz used his performing experience to his advantage on the campaign trail winning over voters with his ability to give speeches from memory and project his trained voice without the use of microphones, unlike his bland opponents. Unfortunately while he was personally popular he was also unlucky and was saddled with dealing with the great San Fransico Earthquake in 1905. His administration was also notoriously corrupt, which might have gone unnoticed if not for the funds for rebuilding after the earth quake that went missing and he was impeached and arrested in 1907 and sent to prison. Acquitted on appeal in 1908 and again in 1912 he ran for mayor again in 1915 and 1919, losing both times while still getting a respectable number of votes. He did get elected to the Board of Supervisors however from 1921-25 and died, still popular, in 1928.

Carl Schurz ~ Missouri senator and one of the founders of the liberal wing of the Republican Party from 1868 to his death in 1906. Schurz was also a classically trained pianist who sometimes entertained at the White House often accompanied by President Rutherford Hayes, his wife Lucy and Vice President Wheeler who were tee-totaling amateur hymn singers.

Rose Simpson ~ Bassist for the 1960's British psychedelic/folk group the Incredible String Band. After quitting music she settled in the Welsh town of Aberystwyth where she was appointed Lord Mayoress as a Liberal Democrat. After serving her term she retired and still lives in the town.


Andy Starr ~ An eccentric 1950s rockabilly and country journeyman from Arkansas who turned to God in later years and became a preacher, he also made a unsuccessful run for the Idaho State House in 1974. Failing this he set his sights on the presidency in 1976 again in 1992 against fellow Arkansan and musician Bill Clinton with even less success.


Valentine Strasser ~ As a young 25 year old captain in the Sierra Leone army and champion disco dancer Strasser led a small protest in 1992 against the government over lack of pay and equipment. Fearing a full blown coup the unpopular president resigned and fled the country, upon which Strasser then declared himself president. A charismatic figure known for his flamboyant clothes and Ray Ban shades as well as his youth as the worlds youngest generalissimo he was initially popular, including in the west, but his regime became more brutal and led to more unrest. Strasser held power until he was in turn overthrown in another coup in 1996. Strasser then fled to England to study law. His brief rule is mentioned in the Super Furry Animals track "Placid Casual," from the album Radiator. He has since been threatened with trail for war crimes and deportation.

Screaming Lord Sutch ~ British shock rock pioneer from the early 1960's who claimed to be a hereditary English Lord (which he was not) and who became a famously perennial candidate in forty British elections from 1963 to 1997 as the leader and founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, occasionally getting more votes than some of the "serious" parties. His campaigns were good matured but nonsensical and best known for his flamboyant costumes. In 1990 he got more votes than the SDP led by former foreign secretary David Owen which promptly disbanded weeks later. After Sutch got several hundred votes in Margaret Thatcher's riding the rules were changed forcing candidates to pay a larger fee to run, but Sutch simply staged more fund raising concerts and kept on running until he killed himself in 1999.


Jimmy Swan ~ A 1940's and 50's Honky Tonk singer from Alabama who had played wit Hank Williams and Hank Locklin as well as solo recordings scoring a few hits. He was also a radio DJ until he retired from the music business in the late 1960's and involved himself in right wing politics in Mississippi. Running as for Sheriff of Hattiesburg and then Governor losing both times.


Glen Hearst Taylor ~ Idaho senator from 1945 to 1951 a liberal Democrat and also Vice Presidential candidate for the Progressive Party in 1948 (against Harry Truman), later unsuccessful in reelection runs. He began as a touring preacher and country western folk singer known as the Singing Cowboy. As a politician he brought his guitar to speeches and sang left wing folk songs. Although he performed on radio he never recorded. Ironically he is one of the inspirations for the fictional right wing character "Bob Roberts" which probably would have appalled him.

Arturo Toscanini ~ The famously temperamental Italian conductor was an early supporter of Benito Mussolini and ran as a Fascist candidate in 1919 and lost. However he soon publicly broke with Mussolini and refused to display his portrait and refused to play the Fascist anthem as required even when government ministers were in the audience. This resulted in his being assaulted by Blackshirts and had his passport revoked until international outcry forced Mussolini to back down enabling him to travel to America and perform. Toscanini fled Italy in 1939 and did not return until the end of the war to a rapturous welcome, however he remained in the U.S.A. largely until he died in 1957.


Bobby Lee Trammell ~ An Arkansas Wildman rockabilly singer from the 1950's left a series of minor hits (including "The Arkansas Twist") along with an even longer series of trashed stages, motel rooms, and at least one radio station that got him banned from California. He also dared to get into a brawl with Jerry Lee Lewis of all people which resulted in The Killer's piano being turned to kindling just before a gig. Not surprisingly this sort of thing got him blacklisted from all but the most small town stages and radio stations in the south and cost him his record deal. He would continue to record for small independent labels and was even offered a distro deal by Warners which he turned down in a typical burst of self-destructive pique, he had previously walked out on a possible deal with Sun Records. He would continue to slog away as a country artist for years but his days as a possible rock start were over by 1961. In later years Trammell would sober up enough to run for the Arkansas State House and amazingly won and served from 1997 to 2006. He died in 2008.


Harry S Truman ~ President from 1945 to 1952; in spite of his homespun image he had formal piano training as a child and was a good amateur player who had once dreamed of a career in music.


Guiseppe Verdi ~ The great Italian composer was also a famous supporter of the Italian Unification led by Garibaldi and Cavour and served as a member of parliament from 1861 to 1865 however he quickly grew to dislike politics and stepped down to resume his musical career. In 1874 he was appointed to the senate anyway.

Queen Victoria ~ While a young girl the eventual queen got the finest education that was thought appropriate for a woman, that is little or nothing about politics, history, math or science. But she did learn about literature and music, playing several instruments then thought appropriate for women. Mostly keyed ones such as piano and harpsichord.

Jimmy Walker ~ Mayor of New York during the 1920's Jazz Age; known as Dandy Jim, Beau James and The Night Mayor due to his love of night clubbing and partying. In his previous life he had been a sports journalist, vaudeville song and dance man and Tin Pan Alley song plugger who wrote the hit song "Will You Love Me in December (as You Do in May)?" which became his theme song. His two terms in office ended when he fled town to escape indictment in various scandals. He later returned and remained a popular figure in New York night life.


Joe Walsh ~ The former Eagles and solo guitarist ran a joke campaign for President of The USA in 1980 even though he was not actually old enough to assume the office according to the constitution. His campaign included a promise to change the national anthem to his own hit "Life's been good to me so far" and a promise of free gas for everyone. Surprisingly he still lost. In 1992 he declared his candidacy again, this time he set his sights lower and campaigned for VICE President, and still lost.


Larry West ~ A 22 year old aspiring thrash metal musician and graphic artist who ran as a candidate for mayor of Philadelphia in 2007 and got a fair amount of press coverage both for his mohawked and pierced appearance as well as for the fact that his young age actually disqualified him to run for mayor at all, forcing him to run as a write in candidate after he was unable to raise the funds to challenge the law in court. Has said he will probably run again and maintains a website.


Woodrow Wilson ~ The American President from 1912 to 1920 and before that Governor of New Jersey was a bookish intellectual with a fine classical education who also played the violin. He also liked to sing and at Princeton University he became a tenor in the then prestigious Princeton Glee Club.

General Wiranto ~ The Indonesian strongman (like many Indonesians he has only one name) until 2009 is also a lover of karaoke and even recorded an album of love songs called "For my Indonesia" when he wasn't busy racking up human rights abuses in East Timor.

Pete Wishart ~ A Scottish National Party member of the British Parliament for the Scottish riding of Perthshire since 2001, Wishart was previously known since 1986 as the keyboardist for the popular Celtic Rock band Runrig, before that he had been in a lineup of Big Country, one of Scotland's biggest bands of the 1980's. Wishart in fact did not quit Runrig until he was elected. He was also not the first member of Runrig to run for office as singer Donnie Munro had already done so for the Labour Party with less success (see above). Wishart was re-elected in 2010.

Frank Zappa ~ The king of post-psychedelic art-rock was largely apolitical in the 1960's being critical both of the government and war and the hippie drug scene. However he became more involved with politics after in opposing Tipper Gore's P.M.R.C. and he considered running for office. He was also a popular figure in the Eastern European intelligentsia like Czechoslovakia's Havel who invited him to become a consultant on trade, culture and tourism. However the American state dept. put pressure on Havel to rescind to appointment, Havel made Zappa a Cultural Attache instead. Zappa died of cancer not long after wards.


In spite of the widespread belief that artists and musicians are largely liberal or left wing, our totally unscientific survey shows a fair spread of the spectrum from Marxist Left to Fascist Right.

By the way King Sunny Ade is an actual Nigerian Prince (and not the internet kind) and genuine royalty. However King Oliver, King Tubby, Queen Latifa, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lord Melody, Lord Tamano, Lord Buckley, Prince Buster and Prince are not.


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