Larry: Can’t speak for Byron York, but don’t think for a moment he can’t cover contemporary rock. On August 3, 2000, from the GOP convention in Philadelphia, he filed this on rockin’ Joe Scarborough for TAS online:
Ooooohhh. Last night at the Republican National Convention was so…partisan. If one reads the day-after commentaries, this is what happened: After two days of carefully hiding their mean, intolerant character behind a smiling, racially diverse face, the Republicans gathered in Philadelphia Wednesday night revealed their true, nasty selves in the person of…Dick Cheney.
Fine, fine, fine. The pundits have been pushing the “nastiness in disguise” story for days now. But what they really should be talking about is this: After three days of drowning their gathering in ’50s and early ’60s golden oldies — J.C. Watts and the Temptations, Trent Lott and Dick Clark and the Shirelles and the Four Tops and Bobby Vee and God knows who else — the GOP delegates on Wednesday night actually moved a bit forward on the rock evolutionary scale. At least a decade or so.
The evening’s entertainment — not counting oozy Latin crooner Jon Secada — was Regular Joe, the on-and-off band fronted by Florida representative Joe Scarborough. Asked by convention organizer Ed Gillespie to play for the convention, Scarborough, a sometime songwriter, penned a new tune, “Together in America,” for his moment in the spotlight.
And guess what? Even the song took a shot at Bill Clinton. After RNC-friendly lyrics like “Makes no difference if you’re black or white,” Scarborough broke into a Clinton impersonation to sing, “I still believe in a place called…AMERICA!”
No Hope here. The line got a decent ovation, even though Scarborough can’t actually sing in the traditional sense of the word. And then at the end, the congressman jumped in the air like those old videos of Pete Townshend and the Who — a classic Classic Rock touch. “I made sure to put an ending on it,” Scarborough told TAS, reviewing his performance, “so I did the whole ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ thing. You know, bamph… bamph… bamph… bamph… bamph.”
So what if it was kind of old. Most of the music in Philadelphia seems old. Even Johnny Rotten and Jello Biafra, who have come to town for unspecified purposes, are twenty years past their primes. And at least the Republicans aren’t playing that awful Fleetwood Mac stuff from the ’70s.
As for Scarborough, he says he’s getting good reviews from his many fans and groupies, just like in rock’s Golden Days. “I don’t know if you saw those pictures of the Beatles back in ’64, when they couldn’t get out of hotel rooms,” Scarborough says. “It’s the same thing now.”
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