In a hilarious response to Mitt Romney’s hidden camera 47% video, folksinger Tom Rush released a clip of him singing the delightfully sarcastic “What’s Wrong with America” at a mock fundraiser. “I am shocked and mortified,” Rush wrote on his website. “I was at a fundraiser, simply making some off-the-cuff remarks to a few of the high rollers, trying to explain my position on the state of the country. Well, it was captured by a hidden camera – the scallywags have no shame! I was being perhaps a bit too candid and now the whole thing’s been posted on YouTube. Very embarrassing! I probably could have expressed myself better, but there you have it.”
I’m off to the West Coast next week – it’s been a while. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends out there, and refreshing my frequent flier portfolio.Well, I am shocked and mortified, and hope you will be too. I was at a fundraiser, simply making some off-the-cuff remarks to a few of the high rollers, trying to explain my position on the state of the country. Well, it was captured by a hidden camera – the scallywags have no shame! I was being perhaps a bit too candid and now the whole thing’s been posted on YouTube. Very embarrassing! I probably could have expressed myself better, but there you have it. We just have to hope it doesn’t “go viral,” as the kids say. (I probably could have forged a link between the Club 47 and the 47%, but it didn’t occur to me until later.)
P. S. – I’m still working on firming up the list of guest artists for the Symphony Hall show on December 28th. As soon as that’s done – by mid-October, I hope – we’ll have tickets on sale at the Symphony box office, and the Kickstarter supporters will be notified. Thanks for your patience!
Quotes of the month: “A fool and his money are soon elected.”- Will Rogers
Also, “Anyone in the world wanting to understand American music could well start right here”- Pete Seeger, speaking of “Bossmen: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters,” by Jim Rooney, now back in “print” as an e-book on Kindle at Amazon, Nook at Barnes & Noble and as an Apple iBook.
I’ve been studying what Old People do with the idea that I could learn from their example, so that I could fit in better, but problems keep cropping up. I don’t get golf, for instance (what’s up with those little waterfalls and windmills, anyway?), and shuffleboard is just plain boring. Napping, on the other hand, seems to be something for which I have natural talent, as I’ve discussed in a previous missive, and telling the same story over and over again is something that I’ve never seen a problem with, so perhaps there’s hope. I will report back from time to time on my progress.
Speaking of the perspective of age, the upcoming show at Passim on Sunday (the third and final installment in the series on my 50 years on stage – each one has dealt with a certain time period) will be on Modern Times and will focus mainly on the last 10 years or so, road stories and material from the “Trolling for Owls” and “What I Know” CDs. I’ll also be introducing a new song, written by my buddy Josh Brackett. It’s called “The Poor Have Too Much Money,” and could easily change the course of the upcoming election. (The documentary crew that will be shooting the show will try to get a YouTube clip out of this one, so here’s your chance to go viral, if that’s something that appeals to you.)
I’ll also be introducing you to a youngster I think has a lot of talent, Ms. Hayley Reardon. Be there if you can. If you can’t, be there virtually via ConcertWindow.com. If you’re on my Twitter list I’ll be sending out a reminder-tweet about an hour before the show goes up at 7:00 PM.
Enjoy the Fall!
Quote of the month: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”- Mark Twain; and, “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” – Kurt Vonnegut
It’s been a while. The last time I wrote to you, nearly 2 months ago, I was apprehensive about chaperoning a 7th and 8th grade “Semi-Formal” dance – and I’ve left you hanging in suspense. I hope it hasn’t ruined your summer!
It actually wasn’t as difficult, or as dangerous, as I’d feared. The worst part, really, was the “dancing,” so called, which consisted of them all jumping straight up and down more or less in unison, more or less in time with the music. When they were all “dancing” at once I did worry a bit about the structural integrity of the building, but it seems to have sustained only minimal damage.
I didn’t get to use the cattle prod – though I was eagerly looking for opportunities – or the air horn. The referee’s whistle was deployed on a couple of occasions, during the slow dances mainly, but I found the most effective device for keeping our daughter in line was to threaten to get my guitar and sing some songs for her friends.
Speaking of guitars: back in the late ’60s in Cambridge I bought an Epiphone Texan for $179, brand new, with case. I figured it was cheap enough to take to beach parties, and if someone stepped on it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world … but then I kind of fell in love with the thing.
I started fancying her up – mother of pearl trim and whatnot. I asked a young lady named Chris Hayward to inlay a reclining nude entwined with a snake (Hey … it’s a Biblical theme!) on the neck. Well! She caused quite a sensation from the very first day, and was tagged “the Naked Lady.” I can tell you that when the roadie yelled to the stagehand, “Tom needs the Naked Lady in the dressing room right away,” heads would turn! Sadly, she burned up in a house fire in 1990 and I have missed her terribly for the past 22 years.
But wipe away those tears, children – there’s a happy ending! John Marr of McKenzie & Marr guitars contacted me asking if they could produce a “signature” guitar with my name on it. He brought me some samples of their work and I was very impressed. The discussions wound along and at some point I worked up the nerve to inquire if the top-of-the-line model could have a naked lady with a snake on the fingerboard. Yes! I’ve been playing the prototype on stage now for some months, and she’s a honey. Feels great, sounds great and looks … well, stunning! The production models have just arrived and they’re every bit as good. (There were also a few made without the inlay, for those shy persons out there.) In my mind this is a $5,000 instrument, but M&M are selling them for less than half of that. Check her out!
Shows coming up:
Thursday, August 10th at Infinity in Norfolk, CT. A wonderful hall with some real history. (Mark Twain stood on that stage!)
Friday, the 11th at the Rubin Museum in New York City. This should be fun! No amplification at all – no plugging anything in, no sound system. And I’m supposed to do at least one song that ties in – in my mind at least – to one of the artworks they have on display. We’ll see how that pans out.
Saturday, the 12th at the Stephen Talkhouse way out on Long Island in Amagansett, a great little club. I haven’t been there for some years and I’m looking forward to this!
Sunday the 13th at 4:00 PM at the Turning Point in Piermont, NY, just over the Tappan Zee Bridge. A Matinee! And in what is probably the most intimate venue I ever get to play.
And on Friday and Saturday, the 24th and 25th, the glorious Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA. These are close to sold out, so don’t dawdle.
Come on by. If you can’t attend, send a friend!
All the best,
Quote of the Month: Regarding the dilemma of having to ride herd on a 13 year-old girl, the best advice I got came from a Texan, via Steve McCarty: “When the boys start swarming around, just shoot the first one … the word gets around.”
PS. I’m still rounding up guests for the Symphony Hall show on 12/28. The tickets will go on sale soon after I’m done with that, hopefully in September. Those of you who were part of the Kickstarter campaign already have your seats secured – they’ll be mailed out as soon as the show goes public. TR
Tom features in a new segment of Growing Bolder, where he talks with reporter Bill Shafer about his career, the surprise youtube sensation “The Remember Song” and putting out his first new album in 35 years “What I Know”. He also talks about a few of his many side projects like the “Fish Story Song” a story book and video for children.
Shown on many PBS stations, The Growing Bolder TV show reaches 97% of the country.
I’ve been pounding you pretty hard lately, and I apologize. There’s been a lot going on, with a lot of deadlines. After this I’ll go tend my garden and give you a rest for a while!
Last callfor theKickstarter campaign for the Symphony Hall show on December 28th – 48 hours to go. It closes at 1:23PM EDT on Saturday, May 26th. There will then be a short hiatus before the remaining tickets go on sale at the Symphony Hall box office, where they will be charging an additional $6.25 a ticket. Ticket prices for some sections will also go up, and most of the incentives will no longer be available (though you’ll still be able to get tickets, posters, shirts and CDs on the open market.) But the special seats where you can join the band on stage for the finale (one left), the private concert (one left), and the bundles of seats + posters + tee shirts will be gone forever.http://tinyurl.com/7oar2qq
First call for my show at Passim on Tuesday, June 12th. You have a 48-hour head-start, starting now, and there are only 80 seats. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at noon on the 26th. This is the second in a series of three shows dealing with various stages of my 50 years in music. (The first one, back in March, on The Early Days sold out in a matter of hours.) This show will focus on My Middle Ages; Eric Lilljequist and Dean Adrien will be joining me to talk and sing about the Elektra and Columbia years, and all the madness of the ’70s – or as much of it as we can remember. http://tinyurl.com/7hnc8xj
That’s it! Thanks so much to you Kickstarter supporters – can’t wait to see you at Symphony Hall in December!
All the best,
Quote of the Month: “Gardening is not a rational act.” – Margaret Atwood
Spring Break for the 12 year-old, and yesterday we were in a huge mall somewhere and got split up. Recalling that the Kid said something about bras (it’s unsettling when your little Pumpkin Seed sprouts hairy legs and cleavage – it happens very abruptly), I wandered over to the lingerie section. When Renee called on the cell to ask where I was, I announced, loudly and brightly, “I’m in Women’s Underwear.” Caused quite a stir among the ladies within earshot, the highpoint of my day!
The Kickstarter campaign to fund the Symphony Hall Club 47® concert is off to a great start, thanks to the way you guys jumped in – check it out! I’m optimistic enough that I’ve started building the foundation for the show, recruiting artists who are also great sidemen – the ones who can brilliantly back up other artists when the occasion arises.
So far I have lined up David Bromberg, Buskin & Batteau, Eric Lilljequist and Dean Adrien. Trevor Veitch, my guitar honcho for all those wild years in the ’70s, will be winging in from the West Coast to dazzle us with his sensitivity. The next step will be to expand the list to include some other alumni/ae from previous Club 47® extravaganzas. There will be, of course, some brilliant new faces as well, because this is the heart and soul of the Club 47® experience. Go to the Club 47 web page for an idea of who’s been on board in the past and to get a feel for the history of our Club 47® shows.
The Kickstarter campaign is really the best way to get tickets to this show – better seats, lower price. The Symphony Hall box office will be adding a $6.25 surcharge per ticket once it goes on sale to the public. (If you can’t come to the show, there are still some other compelling goodies to tempt you on board.) If you’re so inclined, it would also be very helpful if you’d post the video on your Facebook wall.
Also in the news: some shows coming up this weekend. Marblehead, MA at the Me & Thee on Friday, 4/27 (they’ve had to reduce their seating capacity to make the Fire Marshal happy, so don’t dawdle on this one); Saturday, 4/28 at the Iron Horse in Northampton (close to sold out last time I talked with them); and Alumni Hall in Haverhill, NH on Sunday, 4/29 – back on my home turf!
Enjoy the spring!
Quote of the month: “Adolescence is when girls experience social pressure to put aside their authentic selves and to display only a small portion of their gifts.” – Mary Pipher
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