If you don’t have a very strong grasp on the wheelings and dealings of American politics back in the early ’90s, then you might not be aware of just how amazed everyone was when Bill Clinton appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show to play saxophone.
In hindsight, it seems like a rather inconsequential event, but it showed just how relatable the politician was, and is considered as one of the moments that helped him win the 1992 election.
Fast-forward 26 years, and now there are theories that a past musical career just might help get Beto O’Rourke elected into the US Senate.
As Rolling Stone recently reported, Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke is currently the Democratic nominee for the 2018 Texas Senate race, and it turns out he had a rather interesting musical career as well.
A native of El Paso, Texas, O’Rourke returned to his hometown in the early ’90s after being away at boarding school when he happened to fall in love with the city’s burgeoning music scene. While frequenting a local venue called The Campus Queen, O’Rourke happened to run into Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who would later find fame as the frontman of bands such as At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta, and Antemasque.
“I’m a junior in high school, and this guy is like a freshman, and he’s singing in this amazing band,” O’Rourke noted. “He had long black hair and everybody wore the black wristbands.”
Pretty soon, the pair teamed up with Arlo Klahr and Mike Stevens to form the group Foss, who would go on to release a handful of independent records together. During this time in the band, the group managed to tour the US and Canada, where they reportedly befriended Leslie Feist, who would later become a member of Broken Social Scene, and a successful solo artist thanks to hits like ‘1234’.
“My memory is [she] didn’t have any money to get in and so she traded, I believe, her brother’s lock-picking set and a T-shirt or a tape and then we traded her a ticket to get in,” O’Rourke recalled. “And then when we came through next year, she had a band called Placebo that we played with.”
While Beto O’Rourke has made no attempt to hide his musical past, it appears that the Texan Republican Party have tried to use it against him, recently Tweeting out an image of the Foss’ The El Paso Pussycats in an attempt to mock him.
Maybe Beto can’t debate Ted Cruz because he already had plans… pic.twitter.com/LdqKTh3yK4
— Texas GOP (@TexasGOP) August 28, 2018
While it remains to be seen whether or not the Texan Senate will indeed elect Beto O’Rourke, it wouldn’t be the first time that a musician (or former musician) has attempted to break into the world of politics, with musical identities such as Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic and Kid Rock expressing their political desires in the past.
Of course, none can compare to when Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett entered the world of Aussie politics, but we can bet anything that these musicians might at least be able to name an AC/DC song when asked.