I was perusing the Craigslist Musicians Wanted ads looking for open mic opportunities for a vocalist friend when I stumbled upon an ad placed by a singer-guitarist looking to round up some talent for his Trump-inspired MAGA band.
The gentleman, who responds to comments on his YouTube posts as “Billy and the Cool Whips,” is looking for “a few good patriots.” The band will be named ’55MAGAton.
I would respectfully submit that Billy is also going to need a few good security guards if he finds a complement of musically inclined Trumpservatives and takes this show on the road. We’re talking Portland, Ore., and leftist activists will not be receptive to this brand of entertainment. I see the potential for some very dicey Patriot Prayer/Antifa confrontations if Billy’s homage act starts playing the circuit. I would counsel him to round up a couple of his biggest, most sadistically inclined tavern buddies and station them stage left and right at ’55MAGAton’s debut concert, just to be sure.
And at every concert thereafter, unless he somehow hits it big and ends up opening for The Oak Ridge Boys at Branson. Branson has good security.
PJM reached out to Billy—it turns out Billy Cool is his stage name and he’s cool with the designation—and asked about his musical background. “I’ve been playing music since I was a kid, the whole high school music thing,” he said. “I was a percussionist in marching band, orchestra, etc. Learned guitar, kept at it, played with some hippies, and later went into the cover band scene to make a buck.”
Credit due, Billy seems to understand the inherent perils of his rock and roll brainchild. He starts his ad saying, “Let me start out by saying, I’m not even sure I want to do this.” That’s quite different from the usual Musicians Wanted ads, which often include verbiage like “Shredding death metal band looking for killer bassist. Influences: Immortal, Behemoth, William Shatner” or “Finnish folk band needs mandolin player, must love dogs and be able to read music.”
Billy elaborated on his mixed feelings about the dangers he may face if his plans to form a MAGA band come to fruition. “The obvious potential hazard is the radical left,” he said. “The response I have received is predictable: lots of support from patriots, plenty of hate from the entitlement crowd. It’s a shame that the current political climate essentially limits free speech.”
“Playing live just seems like a problem waiting to happen,” he lamented. “Everything you hear so far was written and recorded by me in my basement.”
So, how good is ’55MAGAton’s one-man iteration? There are two songs linked to in the ad: “God is a Gun” and “Trump Train.” Long story short, the songs and the musicianship are pretty good. Billy can play and sing. I would describe the music as straightforward, heavy-ish rock and roll, with a southern rock flavor. If Billy is looking to expand his list of original Trump-inspired songs, may I suggest “Sweet Home Mar-A-Lago?”
Proving he has a good grasp of the skill set needed to get the word out on a start-up band, Billy can put together a pretty good green-screen video too. Here’s “Trump Train”:
The handful of comments on the posted vids (Billy’s songs have received about 3000 page views so far, apparently generated solely by the Craigslist ad) are generally positive. “Good job” and “Count me in” are representative of the reception. I must correct one commenter, however, who posited that the band’s success is probably ensured because the president will likely take note and tweet about ’55MAGAton. Although our commander in chief has been known to tweet about matters of less-than-earthshaking importance, my sense is that the upcoming government shutdown, the immigrant caravans moving inexorably toward the border, the Korean nukes-watch, and new reciprocal trade deals with China will keep President Trump too busy to take note of a fledgling tribute act that is just now dipping its toes in the creative waters.
Waters that will soon include left-wing sharks with frigging laser beams attached to their heads.
But if ’55MAGAton makes it to Branson or any reasonably high-profile Red State county fair, they might just get the presidential nod that puts them over the top.
There’s a thought: perhaps the band should deploy a “southern strategy.”
Here’s “God is a Gun”:
Billy describes his material as “satiric [and] pro-Trump,” and I believe him. God only knows what a virulent Trump-hating rock group (Impeachable Offense—White Russian?) would come up with.
Here’s an important fact that I’m sure Billy has already considered. You’ve got to tour and sell merch to make real money in a contemporary music industry where, thanks to the internet, every song is available to the listening public free. You’ve got to get out there.
Will Ozzy’s time-honored exhortation, “Let me see your cigarette lighters,” morph into “Let me see your ‘Build the Wall’ signs”?
PJM’s final question for the potential future ’55MAGAton frontman was to ask what exact instrumentation he’s looking for in placing the ad. “If I were to form a real live band,” says Billy, “I’d need a full rhythm section with drums, bass, and guitar. I’d welcome an old-school B3 player too though!”
The question becomes, if Billy finds the requisite personnel to perform live and does a MAGA show in Portland (or more likely, Vancouver, the Washington State’s town across the river where men that Portland women won’t date live), will I go?
I hereby vow that won’t just go to the show, I will cover the show.
If Billy Cool’s brave foray into what AC-DC called “Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation” happens, and you don’t hear back, just assume that the show didn’t go well, for me.