Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Willie Nelson, “Vote ’em Out”

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Just Vote

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Willie for Beto, Beto for Texas

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Willie for Beto, Beto for Texas, Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Willie for Beto, Beto for Texas

Monday, October 29th, 2018

#JustVote

Willie Nelson, “Vote ’em Out”

Friday, October 26th, 2018

“The biggest gun we’ve got
Is called the ballot box.
So if you don’t like who’s in there
Vote ’em out.”

— Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson’s new single VOTE ‘EM OUT.   Available now:

https://willienelson.lnk.to/vote

www.post-gazette.com
by:  Randy Lewis

Like many celebrities, Willie Nelson is doing his bit to motivate fans to participate in the upcoming midterm elections.

But with his latest song, the veteran Texas maverick musician and country outlaw isn’t serving up some soft-sell public service announcement.

“If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out,” he sings in the appropriately titled “Vote ’Em Out.” “That’s what Election Day is all about.”

The idea, he said, came to him in the course of talking with young people at a benefit for March for Our Lives in Maui in spring, where he performed with a longtime friend, singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, and several other musicians.

“It was right after the Florida shootings, and a lot of young people out there were doing protests against the guns and all the lobbying and everything, and so we did this benefit over there,” Mr. Nelson, 85, said on his tour bus this week while in Hollywood to tape a segment for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” scheduled to air Tuesday.

“I was talking to the kids about well, you know, if you see something you don’t like out there, you vote ’em out of it,” he said. “I started thinking about it — It took about three minutes to write the whole thing.”

It’s aimed at all Americans, Mr. Nelson said, but he’s particularly focused on the population of young people who will vote for the first time next month.

“There’s a group of folks coming up to vote that ain’t never voted before, and they are very excited about it,” he said. “I think all the activity on both sides of the parties up there have shook ’em up a little bit. They’re saying, ‘Well, maybe we’re important,’ and, of course they are, and they’re going to go out there and prove it, I think.”

A few minutes later, backstage just after performing “Vote ‘Em Out!” for his segment on the show, Mr. Nelson met and spoke with Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was among the 17 people killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting — an emotional meeting for all concerned during which Mr. Nelson and Mr. Kimmel thanked Mr. Guttenberg for his activism.

“It don’t take aim at anybody,” Mr. Nelson said. “Whether you’re on one side or the other, whoever you want to vote in or out, it’s something to talk about. If you like who’s in there, leave ’em in. I think it’s important now to take a stand and vote.”

Mr. Nelson’s politics, however, are no secret.

He introduced the song a few weeks ago at a political rally in Texas for U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz. Such politicking, however, isn’t something Mr. Nelson typically does at his own shows.

“My shows are as nonpolitical as you can get,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re a Christian, an atheist, a Baptist or Methodist. I don’t care who you are or what you are: If you like our music, that’s cool. Come on out. We’re not going to bore you with politics. But right at this particular time, I think it might be a good time to say something.”

One reason Mr. Nelson avoids delving deeply into political issues at his shows is that he sees music as a unifying force in this era of extreme divisiveness and political partisanship.

“I’ve always believed that music was the equalizer, you know?” he said. “Everyone can relate to music. You don’t have a choice. Once you hear the melody and the words, it goes right into your soul, and you either like it or hate it, turn it on or turn it off, but you can’t ignore it.”

Some projects close to Mr. Nelson’s heart involve political issues. Those include the annual Farm Aid benefit shows in support of family farmers who struggle to survive in the age of agribusiness, and his budding operation selling medicinal and recreational marijuana under the brand name Willie’s Reserve. But he leaves the political dimensions of those operations to others.

“It’s something they have to deal with. I don’t have to deal with [anything],” he said.

Willie Nelson for Beto O’Rourke

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

“Vote ’em Out”

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

 

“The biggest gun we’ve got
Is called the ballot box.
So if you don’t like who’s in there
Vote ’em out.”

— Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson’s new single VOTE ‘EM OUT.   Available now:

Indian Country ally Willie Nelson releases political parody song #VoteEmOut

Monday, October 8th, 2018

https://newsmaven.io
by: Vincent Schilling

Willie Nelson sings that if people don’t like the politicians in office now, #VoteEmOut!

Earlier this week the Twitter account @MoveOn posted a fun jingle by Indian Country ally and award-winning country and folk singer Willie Nelson titled Vote ‘em Out.

@MoveOn tweeted “.@WillieNelson debuts his new song, “Vote ’em out” and it’s officially our favorite song of this election season. #VoteEmOut.”

Willie Nelson has been a longtime ally to Indian Country issues and has often appeared and performed at concerts benefitting Native peoples as well as showing his support at presence to the water protectors at Standing Rock.

Roughly 55,000 people showed up for Beto O’Rourke’s rally in Austin! This video was shot on Sept 29, 2018, as the crowd began to pour into Auditorium Shores around sunset. The event didn’t begin for about an hour later. Don’t forget, early voting begins Monday, October 22, 2018.

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Thousands turn out for concert and Rally headlined by Willie Nelson in support of Beta O’Rourke in Austin last night

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

www.kxan.com
by: Chelsea Moreno

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thousands flooded Auditorium Shores Saturday night for a concert and rally headlined by Willie Nelson in support of Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke.

The KXAN crew at the concert estimated there were between 15,000 and 20,000 people who attended.

The event began with speeches from elected officials and other Democratic candidates, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Congressman Lloyd Doggett. Some of the performers that followed were Leon Bridges, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones and Joe Ely.

The O’Rourke campaign also had voter registration booths set up around the concert grounds, and volunteers were working their way through the large crowd with sign-up sheets. They’re hoping to increase turnout for the upcoming midterm election and get as many people who attended to register to vote.

The concert is Nelson’s first “public” concert held in support of a political candidate, a spokesperson for the folk singer said.

“My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto, and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” Nelson said. “Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”

Willie Nelson, “Vote ’em Out”

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

https://thehill.com

Country music icon Willie Nelson debuted a surprise political anthem during a rally for Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the state’s Democratic Senate nominee.

Nelson, who performed at O’Rourke’s rally on Saturday night in Austin, finished his headlining set with a premiere of “Vote ‘Em Out,” a rallying cry to get voters to the polls.

“Election Day is coming ‘round again,” Nelson sang, urging attendees to cast their ballots to vote out this “bunch of clowns you voted in.” The audience enthusiastically sang along with Nelson during the performance.

The country rock star has made political statements before, with a Trump-inspired song “Delete and Fast-Forward” released last year.

Nelson faced backlash from many fans for headlining a rally for O’Rourke, who is running to defeat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), but said earlier this month that he doesn’t care.

Polls have repeatedly shown a tight race between Cruz and O’Rourke in the red state, which has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in decades.

 

Leon Bridges joins Willie Nelson and supports Beto O’Rourke

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Willie asks you to vote #WilliesReserve

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

“What the heck is the deal with Texans boycotting Willie Nelson?”

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

www.TexasMonthly.com
by:  David Courtney

Q: What the heck is the deal with this boycott of Willie Nelson thing I’ve been seeing pop up on my social media accounts recently? Did I miss something?

Colt Johnston, Los Angeles, California

A: Well, hello there! My, it’s been a long, long time. How are you doing? The Texanist hopes you’re doing fine. How’s your new love—

Whoa! Please excuse the Texanist—he was lost in song for a moment there. And what a song! The Texanist bets he’s listened to that one a million times, and it still gives him goosebumps.

So, okay, you asked the Texanist a question, didn’t you? Right—Willie Nelson, social media, boycotts. Got it. OK, here’s the deal: the topic at the heart of your query, the news stories about all those upset Willie fans calling for people to stop listening to his music, is a great big load, nothing more than another minor road rage event on a desolate shoulder of the information superhighway.

Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, Fox News, HuffPost, People, and a slew of other outlets reported on the supposed kerfuffle. But beneath the eye-grabbing headlines— “Willie Nelson Fans Furious Over Announcement That He’ll Headline a Rally for a Dem Candidate,” “Willie Nelson is Playing a Political Concert for Beto O’Rourke. Some Fans Are Abandoning Him”—virtually all of the articles noted that the surprising thing about the reaction was that there was a reaction at all, which is exactly what surprised the Texanist and caused this thing to get stuck in his craw.

All Willie fans know that he’s been a first-rate country act since way back in the 1950s, having written and recorded enduring classic upon enduring classic; and that he bucked the Nashville system and moved to Austin where he grew his beard and hair and started cavorting with the hippies; and that he pioneered the “outlaw” movement in country music; and that he’s had ups and downs in his personal life; and that he’s created a sound and persona totally unto himself, including but not limited to having duetted with the likes of Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, and Snoop Dogg, among many others, and even going so far as to release a reggae album; and that through the years he’s become known as an avid partaker in the martial arts, golf, jogging, and marijuana. And these same fans, even the most casual among them, would surely also be well aware that Willie is known for his activism and occasional stance taking.

What Willie fan, after all, isn’t familiar with his advocacy for American farmers, via his 1985 founding of Farm Aid; his boosterism of alternative fuels, via Willie Nelson Biodiesel; his support for LGBTQ rights, via the release of “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other”; his endorsement of the legalization of marijuana, via his very public usage; and his allegiance to America, via his championing of liberty and the pursuit of happiness? And what Willie fan worth their salt doesn’t also know that he’s openly backed numerous politicos, D’s, R’s, and I’s, going all the way back to his support for Tex Ritter, the Murvaul-born country singer and actor who fell short in his 1970 Tennessee Republican Primary bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Al Gore, Sr? Everybody know this, fans and non-fans (if there even is such a thing) alike.

Just as most of the news reports reported, a person who knows all this would have to be crazy—crazy for feeling so outraged, crazy for feeling the least bit surprised by such an announcement. The Texanist was left completely flummoxed by the whole mystifying thing. What the disparagers were thinking, he does not know.

A few of the stories, such as a fine one penned by the Texanist’s colleague Dan Solomon for the Texas Monthly website, used the incident to comment on the current hyper-polarized state of our public discourse, which does at times resemble a broken-down heap on the aforementioned shoulder of the information superhighway. The Texanist, though, a glass half full type, has managed to find a glimmer of hope amidst the wreckage. The way the Texanist sees it, the country’s opposing sides seem to have finally, at long last, sunk all the way down and hit the rockiest of rock bottoms when it comes to the quality of our political dialogue. There simply is no level lower than the one at which folks see fit to besmirch Willie Nelson for being Willie Nelson. The Texanist welcomes the return of simple civility, mutual respect, and general level-headedness that will surely follow, preferably while that classic 1974 Willie album, Phases and Stages, a real fan favorite, plays in the background. Boy, that is a good ‘un.

For his part, Willie responded to the hubbub in the Williest of ways, with aplomb and his signature wry humor. “I don’t care—they’re entitled to their opinions and I’m entitled to mine,” he told the hosts of the television talk show The View. “I love flak. We’re not happy ’til they’re not happy.” The Twitter account for his cannabis company, Willie’s Reserve, responded to calls for the burning of Willie’s records by tweeting, “If you’re going to burn something, burn Willie’s Reserve.” And later in the week, Willie, similarly unfazed, brushed off the dustup on an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert before promoting this year’s Farm Aid Concert, Willie’s Reserve, and his brand new and aptly titled album, My Way.

Thanks for the letter, Mr. Johnston. Now, in the words of that great American icon of iconoclasm, let’s pretend it never happened and erase it from our minds. Onward and Upward!