You may think Senator Bernie Sanders is little more than a crazy, wild-haired Socialist. But that doesn’t change the fact that this wild-haired Socialist clearly wants to run for president in 2016. And if he does, you can expect plenty of the gems from his past to resurface just in time for his inevitable showdown with Rodham.
By “gems,” I normally mean nutty political speeches gleaned from YouTube. But in this case, it’s something a heck of a lot better. Introducing the Bernie Sanders folk music album!
Seven Days, an independent blog out of Bernie’s home state of Vermont, has just released the delicious recordings, which were taken from a cassette tape that was tracked in the late 80’s, and which has now been digitized for permanent posterity. Take a few moments to read the blog post, which explains how Burlington-based author/photographer/musician Todd Lockwood called up Bernie’s office (back when he was still the mayor) and asked Sanders if he’d like to cut some tracks. What Lockwood didn’t realize at the time was that Bernie had/has very little musical talent…so when he said yes, everyone was in for a surprise.
“As talented of a guy as he is, he has absolutely not one musical bone in his body, and that became painfully obvious from the get-go,” Lockwood explained. “This is a guy who couldn’t even tap his foot to music coming over the radio. No sense of melody. No sense of rhythm — the rhythm part surprised me, because he has good rhythm when he’s delivering a speech in public.”
To make a long story short, Lockwood ended up bringing in a bunch of Vermont singers to pad the tracks, and then allowed Bernie to perform a sort of Spoken Word Stew over the recordings. A bit like Slam Poetry, Sanders-style. You simply must hear it to believe, and you can check out five of the cuts above. My personal favorite is “The Banks are Made of Marble.”
Ironically, this became one of the most popular tapes the label released that year…since hundreds of conservatives bought them as gag gifts. Now if we could only get some more photos from the recording sessions. Bernie seems to resemble Woody Allen on the cassette sleeve.
Does it beat the late Senator Robert Byrd’s “Mountain Fiddler” LP? Probably not. But I’ll still be jamming this one on my car radio while I do 75 down the expressway. It’s definitely better than Bernie’s audiobook.
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