NY Press write-up: Rev. Billy, Joan Baez and Jason West

NY Press is a mainstream media outlet. They have a story about the Reverend Billy Talen for Mayor fundraiser. The article includes political commentary and music reviews. Interestingly, NY Press tagged the story as “theater” and “religion/faith”, as well as the expected tags.

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A Night With Reverend Billy

…A volunteer collected signatures for Reverend Billy’s candidacy (he needs 20,000 to be on the ballot)…

With his high pompadour and guerilla theatre tactics, it’s tempting to dismiss Reverend Billy as an entertainer with a few good points, but the Green Party’s widespread support suggests there might be something more to his foray into politics. Earlier, he spoke about his “500 Neighborhoods” initiative to revitalize New York’s communities against the threat of gentrification and “that demon monoculture.”…The “Saints” listed on his home page are community organizers, preservationists, writers and artists…

Joan Baez and her band were worth the wait though! She was introduced by Jason West, the first elected Green Party mayor of New York state, who is notorious for marrying 25 same-sex couples and facing prosecution for it. Baez came on in a silver brocade jacket. She said she would sing for us, “cause you’re working very hard, and organizing, and sacrificing, and that’s what this song is about”—a lovely version of the classic “Joe Hill.”…” The benefit concluded with Rev. Billy bringing everyone back onstage to join together in “We Shall Overcome”—which began soberly, but after a verse, exploded into an upbeat rally song, driven by John Doyle’s guitar. The alternative arrangement of a traditional song brought the benefit to a close with an alternative, yet tradition-preserving candidate.

Video of “We Shall Overcome” with Joan Baez and Reverend Billy: here.

Related story with photos:
Time Out New York also has a post-event story with several photos: here.

7 thoughts on “NY Press write-up: Rev. Billy, Joan Baez and Jason West

  1. upstartgreen

    Last night I dreamed I saw Joe Hill and he was holding a sign that said: ‘ Vote for Rev. Billy.

  2. Kimberly Wilder

    To Richard Cooper:

    Maybe Joseph Dobrian should get a pompadour? Or a choir?

    😉

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    The media blackout of third parties is unfair. And, I think there are a hundred deliberations made such as who is the most dangerous, who the editors/decision-makers think will take votes from who, etc….

    But, also, it is sometimes worth trying to do things so wonderful or wild that you get their attention despite themselves. Joan Baez was pretty impossible to ignore. And, the Greens were lucky to get her!

  3. Kimberly Wilder

    Yeah, the “We shall overcome” video is awesome. You can go through the above link to Green Change, or go straight to youtube at Rev Billy’s own youtube site…

    Rev. Billy, Joan Baez, et al sing “We Shall Overcome”, upbeat version:

  4. Dave Schwab

    Rev. Billy is amazing. The reporters come, thinking they’ll see a Naked Cowboy-style spectacle. When they leave, their heads are ringing with good ideas and great music.

    CHANGEALLUJAH!

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