Rockers aren't known for their love of authority, so it stands to reason that when they do turn their attention to politicians they aren't easily impressed. And mostly, they're disgusted. I'm no fan of people in charge either. Mostly because when it comes down to it, I don't like the word "no." And growing up, I heard a lot of it. Why couldn't I put firecrackers in the neighbor's mailbox? Why couldn't I blast the stereo till the wee hours of morning? Who cares if Mr. Greco has to get up for work the next day? Why can't I have a Hershey bar for breakfast? But it's President's Day! A day without mail. And a day for us to celebrate in that List Of The Day kind of way!
"Bushleaguer"--Pearl Jam: Pearl Jam have recorded so many albums at this point that I've lost track. For the kids in the audience, PJ were this band of malcontents who stopped making videos before the music video channels stopped playing them. While today it would be futile to make a video and expect it to be shown anywhere, back in their day, Pearl Jam had an actual venue to better expose themselves and they said, "no, thanks." Their management must've been stoked! I'm sure the fellas in the band are glad we have term limits here in the U.S.
"Reaganomics"--DRI: In the 1980s, you couldn't be in a punk band unless you wrote something against then President Ronald Reagan. Most bands poked fun at his spaceman-like gaze and his weird friendships with people on the religious right. But DRI took on his economic policy, which from what I've read was good for business and not so good for people. Though it did come as advertised: trickle down economics really did trickle down to the people at the bottom.
"Bonzo Goes To Bitburg"--Ramones: Like I said, Reagan got a lot of tunes tossed his way. But then sometimes it was as if he was looking for it. Just to show you how little the Ramones paid attention to each other, Johnny was a Reagan-loving Republican, while Joey was not. They didn't speak to each other for the last decade of their career, so there was never any discussion about the songs. So when Joey decided to write "The KKK Took My Baby Away" and people inferred the KKK in question was Johnny, it was never brought up at a band meeting. Likewise this song that looks unfavorably upon Reagan visiting a German cemetery where German SS officers were buried only got changed to the less inflammatory song title "My Brain is Hanging Upside Down" once Johnny realized that "Bonzo" was code for Reagan. Is this how it happened? Who knows? They weren't talking about it.
"That Was The President"--Phil Ochs: Odd to think that a political protest guy like Phil Ochs would actually pen a sweet tribute to a President, but then the President in question, Kennedy, had been assassinated and nothing makes it easier to feel bad for a person than after they've been killed. You can't even complain about them anymore because they can't hear you anyway!
"Postcards From Richard Nixon"--Elton John: We file this one in the "a little bit late" category. Elton John released his album The Captain And The Kid in 2006, as a follow-up to his 1975 album Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy. That's 31 years in the making and John made a lot of albums in between. What was he waiting for? I guess he needed time to gain perspective or something. Anyhow, the album opens with this song. Nixon couldn't even hear it himself since he's been dead since 1994. Unless there's a special technology where ex-Presidents get a premium Bose system in their casket and their preferred music is piped in. I wouldn't mind that. Sounds kinda nice. But would Elton John be Nixon's preferred music? I think he's more of a Pat Travers Band fan.