Larry Kissell has provided many of us with the inspiration to do more than just hope things will change in Washington. He's inspired us to do what we can to make things change. He's also inspired some pretty well-known people in the music industry to band together to make music. It's pretty heady stuff, but it's true.
You can listen here to "Have you had Enough?", and then read the story below the fold.....
Here is the story from Howie Klein:
I want to tell you the story, at least from my perspective, of how "Have You Had Enough?" came together (before I forget the details). Every Saturday at 2PM (Eastern time), members of the Firedoglake, Music For America and DownWithTyranny communities get together for a live blog session with a progressive candidate at Firedoglake's Blue America.
On June 24th our guest was Larry Kissell , an excellent Democrat running against the ultimate rubber stamp bozo, Republican incumbent Robin Hayes. You can check out the archive of the session here. That day over 50 members of our communities contributed around $1,500 to Larry's campaign. The first couple dozen donors "won" Eric Clapton CDs, which I mailed out on Monday morning.
A week later I got an e-mail from a community member who identified himself as Tom Maxwell, formerly of the late, great Squirrel Nut Zippers. Tom, a North Carolinian excited about Kissell's candidacy, wanted to thank me for the Eric Clapton CD and also offer his help. This led to a discussion that went on for a week or so during which we decided that he would adapt one of his SNZ hits, "Put A Lid On It" (recognizable from the 1999 Superbowl) as a campaign song for our Blue America candidates.
Tom and his partner Ken Mosher, another former Squirrel Nut Zipper, worked on the lyrics and the 3 of us started exchanging files and e-mails every day. I loved the dynamic process and how enthusiastic and cooperative these two guys were.
Before they totally finished the lyrics they asked me what I thought about finding a woman singer to trade off lines with them. Judging from the music it only took me one second-- literally-- to come up with the perfect singer: a friend who I worked with when I ran Reprise who is a very dedicated political activist and true believer, Rickie Lee Jones.
Rickie was on tour at the time but we communicated by e-mail and she loved the 45 second file I sent her and agreed to do it. After that I called producer/musician Andy Paley, an old friend. I thought of Andy because I had been so impressed with his production work on similar music for the Dick Tracy movie soundtrack on which he worked with artists as diverse as Madonna, k.d. lang and Ice-T.
But Andy has also worked on the Shag soundtrack about the North Carolina beach music scene and with Brian Wilson, the Ramones, SpongeBob SquarePants, Jerry Lee Lewis, Deborah Harry, NRBQ and LaVern Baker. We were doing this whole project with absolutely no money at all and Andy was happy to help out and even got Dusty Wakeman at Mad Dog Studios to let u use his awesome and historic facility gratis.
A few days after she got back to L.A. from her tour Rickie Lee drove over to Mad Dog. Basically she nailed it on one take. Everyone's jaw just dropped! She did a few more takes for good measure but Rickie's voice was just made for this song!
The next day Tom and Ken had mixed it and sent it to me. We want to get it out to as many people as possible and, of course, we want to send it for free....... Meanwhile, enjoy the music and send it to everyone you know. -Howie Klein
It's long, but it's a wonderful story. There will be a little more coming out about this. You may even be hearing it on your local radio station. I love the music. I really do. And, I love the fact that people who haven't even met Larry Kissell can be this inspired by him to pull something so completely awesome like this together.
Enoy! You will be seeing me link to this a lot and you'll be hearing this story again.