Last night, I came across an article online that described the scheduled activities associated with the Presidential Inauguration next week.
The day before the Inauguration, the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect will visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and pay their respects. How nice, I thought idly. Paying tribute to our military while paying no taxes to support them.
Then I saw what followed that evening, Inauguration Eve: A Welcome Concert to be held at the Lincoln Memorial.
That took me aback for a second, but then I realized that I remembered a similar, very robust event that was held shortly before Barack Obama took the oath of office in 2009. When I say it was “robust”, I mean that I remembered U2, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder performing.
So I did some research to better remember that evening in January 2009 (as an aside, I do want to say how I love that we can call “research” what is basically 30 seconds of Googling – and, sorry, Microsoft, but I will never say “Binging”).
January 18, 2009 was indeed star-studded and dynamic. Billed the “We Are One” concert, some 400,000 people braved a very rainy, cold day to watch not only Bono, the Boss and Stevie perform, but also Pete Seeger sing “This Land Is Your Land”; performances by Beyonce, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend, Shakira and James Taylor; a duet between Sheryl Crow and will.i.am; historic readings by Tom Hanks, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington, Jack Black and Steve Carell, which were given particular resonance by virtue of having occurred at the Lincoln Memorial.
So Obama’s pre-Inauguration concert was a really big fucking deal, to paraphrase Joe Biden.
Can Trump measure up?
Here’s the problem I see for Team Trump: It’s been news pretty much since the election that no A-list star will perform at the Inauguration – something to do with self-respect. I mean yeah, he’s scored some singer who won (I think) some reality show competition. He’s got the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And he’ll have some complement of Rockettes. Marie Osmond volunteered yesterday to sing at the Inauguration. And the Inaugural Ball being hosted by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was able to book – wait for it – “The B Street Band, America’s No. 1 Springsteen Tribute Band.” Obama had New Jersey favorite sons Springsteen and Bon Jovi (and probably would have had Sinatra, had he not been dead and everything), and Trump gets a Springsteen cover band?
Maybe he shouldn’t have lashed out at people who are leaders in the entertainment industry. Just an idea.
So if they’re scrambling to find warm bodies to perform at the main event, as it were, who the hell are they going to have perform at this “Welcome Concert”? Can Meat Loaf and Ted Nugent entertain a crowd of dubious size for an extended time period all on their own? And can Ted refrain from grabbing his crotch, making threatening gun references and hurling misogynistic and racist invective for more than 20 minutes?
I tell you, I’m worried. Okay, I’m really not. But I do have a possible solution for the Welcome Concert:
Karaoke could solve all of this – and it has the added benefit of being participatory. Remember all the people who voted for Don the Con because they felt overlooked by the political party that actually gave a rat’s ass about their economic situation, wanted to continue their health insurance options and give them free college educations? Well, these folks won’t feel overlooked by the guy who’s going to take all that away from them when they can grab a mic and perform at the President-Elect’s Welcome Concert … it’s a WIN-WIN!
And, after all, Trump tweeted that he wanted “the PEOPLE” to participate in his inauguration, so this is like harmonic convergence, am I right?
I checked on Amazon, and a pretty nice karaoke set is available for $326.14:
We can go with a cheaper version – and let’s face it, Don likes gaudy crap – that has a built-in light show for just $65.99 … and for that price we could throw in a disco ball for $13.87. And I do believe that Don would hang a disco ball in the Lincoln Memorial if he, I don’t know, missed his Versailles-from-Hell home or something.
These things are all available via Amazon Prime, so we can have it all delivered to the Lincoln Memorial well in time for the hootenanny Thursday night!
Anybody think crowdfunding would work for this?
I will even throw in the songs listed below to really help get the party off to a rocking start – I can’t guarantee that printed or screen displayed lyrics will be provided, but what the hell. They seem appropriate, and wouldn’t a song list personalized just for
this asshat the President-Elect, fall under the category of “it’s the thought that counts”?
And it’s not like Don’s ever cared about using copyrighted work without permission before or in the face of cease-and-desist letters, so none of these should give him pause:
“Abraham, Martin and John” (Dion)
“American Idiot” (Green Day)
“Back in the USSR” (Beatles)
“Big Shot” (Billy Joel)
“Career of Evil” (Blue Oyster Cult)
“Crumblin’ Down” (John Mellencamp)
“Disease of Conceit” (Bob Dylan)
“Dick in a Box” (Incredibad …. we probably need the video as well as the pre-loaded karaoke song)
“Ego Music” (Pet Shop Boys)
“Everybody Hurts” (REM)
“Evil Hearted You” (The Yardbirds)
“Fool on the Hill” (Beatles)
“For the Love of Money” (The O’Jays)
“Four Dead in Ohio” (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
“Ghost of Tom Joad” (Bruce Springsteen)
“He’s Messed Up” (Jo Dee Messina and I swear this is really a song)
“I Was a Teenage Hand Model” (Queens of the Stone Age)
“I’m A Loser” (Beatles) **
“It’s the End of the World As We Know It” (REM)
“Material Girl” (Madonna)
“Mercedes Benz” (Janis Joplin)
“No No Song” (Ringo Starr)
“Nothing In Between (aka ‘The Bitch Song’)” (Meredith Brooke to prepare Trump for the Women’s March!)
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” (U2)
“Shame Shame Shame” (Shirley and Company)
“Strange Fruit” (Billie Holiday)
“Sympathy for the Devil” (Rolling Stones)
“Take the Money and Run” (Crosby and Nash)
“When the President Talks to God” (Bright Eyes because, seriously, WTF is this?!)
“You’re So Vain” (Carly Simon)
I don’t want to go out on a limb here and do this alone. This could basically save his inauguration – everything is portable, so he could set it up on the steps of the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony if not enough Rockettes show up or something. I hear Orrin Hatch showed Bono some songs he’d written, so he presumably doesn’t sing horribly. Maybe he could step in with a rousing rendition of “When the President Talks to God” or something.
Ultimately, this could be an important bury-the-hatchet gesture from a crowd of Hillary voters to the President-Elect. To save his
godawful inauguration with our gift of music, augmented with thoughtfully selected American music. Except for the Beatles tunes. Oh, and U2 and the Stones and Yardbirds. And maybe some others.
Is anybody with me?
** I honestly could have made the entire list from Beatles songs. In what world do ‘I Am the Walrus’, ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ NOT mean Donald J. Trump? I could easily be persuaded to believe that ‘Norwegian Wood’ is an episode from Trump’s youth
or a wild trip to Russia, depending on the intelligence source. ‘We All Live in a Yellow Submarine’ – have you seen the interior of Trump Tower? It’s like gold got sick and threw up. Copiously. Lennon/McCartney might have seen this whole Trump thing coming, which scarily attributes precognitive skills to them previously seen only by Charles Manson. George Harrison’s songs, though, like ‘Here Comes the Sun’ definitely don’t apply to Trump – although Trump may be the reason George’s guitar gently weeps.
PHOTO: By Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GDFL, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5765975