Inaugural Pay For Play


There are reports that Donald Trump is having a difficult time getting major names to play his inaugural. In the past such A-list musicians as Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Jessica Simpson, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, and Beyoncé. So far Donald Trump only has Jackie Evancho booked to sing the national anthem.

I’m getting to that age where I’ll see a headline about a celebrity I’ve never heard of and I’m assuming that’s why I’ve never heard of Evancho until now. Her claim to fame is that she was a runner-up on America’s Got Talent five years ago. Most of America’s talent doesn’t want a damn thing to do with Donald Trump.

Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli was booked but has pulled out after receiving backlash from Trump haters on the internet. Evancho has also claimed to be receiving hate for her willingness to sing for Trump. There’s no word on whether Kanye will use the event to stage his comeback.

There was another story last week that the people booking performers were told they could get whatever they want from the Trump administration if they could land some big names. Even ambassadorships. Ambassadorships often go to people who financially supported a candidate and they’re plum posts. I think Ted Nugent would make a great Ambassador to Turkey.

They could always go with the open mic format. Build a stage, stick a microphone on it and see who shows up.

I used to host an open mic. It was a lot of fun in addition to being a lot of work. You would have great performers most nights. The kind of people who enjoyed playing a few songs in front of a crowd for free. A lot of times the accomplished performers would use the open mic to work out new material or to showcase a cover they had been working on. They were usually very easy to work with as they had played a lot of shows and knew how it worked.

Then you had the people who only knew “Brown Eyed Girl,” or “Margaritaville,” or “Sweet Home Alabama.” That’s some brutal stuff. You’d also have the folks who’d show up every single week and play the same songs they had played the week before. These people were the quickest to complain and the biggest divas as nothing would be to their liking and they’d swear they were being persecuted against because everyone was jealous of their talent. The sound wasn’t right, their spot in the order discriminated against them, they weren’t allowed to play more songs than everyone else, or you just looked at them funny.

We’d get the rappers. Some of these guys were pretty good but often they’d show up without any music and just wanted to rap. You’d never know when to stop them as you weren’t sure how long the rap was supposed to go. We’d also get the comedians and I never heard a good comedian at an open mic. But those guys weren’t as bad as the “spoken word” freaks.

Ugh, “spoken word.” What’s spoken word? I asked that same question when this guy, who had once told me he was writing an autobiography about himself” signed up and told me he was doing spoken word. He told me it was him reciting his thoughts and words he had written on paper. So it’s poetry then, right? No, it’s not poetry, it’s words I’m speaking. Aren’t all words coming out of your mouth “spoken words?” Do we really need a pretentious term for bohemians and hipsters to refer to poetry? Apparently we do.

The worst was the woman who wanted to deliver a political rant on stage (Republican who got angry at a liberal singer) and in the process ended up wetting herself and getting it all over my microphone. From then on I reserved that mic for the “spoken word” guys. You’re welcome, Thelonius.

In the spirit of healing and coming together I’m willing to donate that microphone to the Trump Inaugural committee. Let the Nuge use it.

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  1. Sweet Home Alabama seems fitting, I’m hoping the entire country doesn’t resemble Alabama by the time he’s done, but I fear that it might. The only thing worse would be is if it resembles Kansas (but that seems to be the model they are working towards). Maybe as a last resort, they could just set up an open bar and have a Karaoke night (Karaoke, I’m convinced, is Japanese for drunken screeching)


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