Greetings from Arizona! As you’ll no doubt remember from half a decade ago, I have a long history with this state. It all started when—

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—which brings us to the present day!

Actually, “the present day” should’ve been two years ago yesterday, because that’s when I promised Tucson musician David Ragland that I’d share two bootlegs he’d sent me by that point. But that’s the beauty of being a once-and-possibly-future politician: you can put off doing anything forever, and the only explanation you have to give people consists of one word: “Politics.” If you want to add a frustrated eye roll or sigh or death rattle, that’s up to you, but with that one word, your constituents are powerless to call your bluff. Besides, deep down they know that making promises you have no intention of keeping is the mark of a true leader.

But now that my schedule is free and clear of anything more interesting, what better time to announce a new policy initiative than a Saturday morning that doubles as a federal holiday? And now that you’re quietly seated in front of your desktop computer and logged on to AOL, let’s begin …

The following is a conversation that took place on June 24, 2013, between myself, David Ragland, and Jeff “the Junk Food Slayer” Giles. It has been condensed and edited for content and the sake of my own attention span.

DR: I went to Cyndi Lauper’s show in Tucson last night and taped it. It was an incredible show: the She’s So Unusual album in its entirety, plus two other songs. She went into great detail about the writing process for the songs and was very funny.

Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly were in attendance, which I’m sure will make the local papers in Tucson today. Lauper also turned 60 yesterday, so there were a lot of fans yelling “Happy birthday.” If this is something you’re interested in for Popdose, let me know and I’ll edit the show this week. If not, no worries.

JG: I think that’d be really cool, David, and I appreciate you reaching out to offer it to us. I don’t know why Robert Once the Mayor, Always the Mayor Cass hasn’t responded yet. He must be a jerk.

RC: Thanks, David! I still have the Ben Folds concert you sent from early 2012, one year after Giffords was shot, that benefited the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding. Maybe the two concerts could be combined in one Bootleg City post.

Is Lauper now a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winner? She was at least nominated for an Oscar for Vibes, right?

Oh, and speaking of civility, go f**k yourself, Jeff.

JG: See, David? I told you he was a jerk. How rude.

RC: Rude to add the mention of a Best Actress nomination to Lauper’s Wikipedia page? No, Jeff — classy.

JG: You’ve put a hole in my heart that goes all the way to China, Cass Mr. Mayor.

DR: I’d be okay with combining both shows — however you want to present them is fine with me. Maybe this series of e-mails could accompany the post.

RC: Are you suggesting that I lazily cut-and-paste a bunch of e-mails instead of writing an inspirational message about how you should never sell yourself short, no matter what, because it ain’t over till it’s over? I don’t know, David. I’ll have to think about it. On the other hand, sold!

DR: I thought Lauper won that Oscar for Vibes. Didn’t Jeff Goldblum win Best Actor as well?

RC: One second as I refresh Wikipedia … You’re right! Wow. What a terrific year for quirky thespians.

I think I read once that when Chariots of Fire producer David Puttnam took over as the head of Columbia Pictures in the mid-’80s, he tried to blackmail Dan Aykroyd into starring in Vibes, threatening that he wouldn’t make Ghostbusters II if Aykroyd didn’t commit. But now that I’m actually checking the facts, I see that Aykroyd left the project when Puttnam insisted on casting Lauper as the female lead. Hey, who are you to judge, Doctor Detroit?

Did you guys know that Hot to Trot, starring Bobcat Goldthwait and John Candy as the voice of a racehorse, won Best Picture the year Goldblum and Lauper won for Vibes? Truly an all-time high for the cinematic arts.

JG: Poor David Puttnam, fired in 1989, the same year that Oscar winner Vibes was released.

RC: No, Jeff, you’re confused — Vibes was released in ’88, but it didn’t receive its 12 Oscar nominations and 5 Oscars until ’89. Crucial difference.

I didn’t know until now that Vibes was cowritten by frequent Ron Howard collaborators Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Did you guys know that Mandel is the half-chimp brother of Howie Mandel? The comedian and game-show host adapted his brother’s story for the big screen in 1987 as Walk Like a Man, in which Howie played a man raised by wolves. (God, I love lying. Which is why I entered politics in the first place, of course.)

David, when you say you could “combine” and “edit” the two shows, what do you mean? There would still be separate tracks for each song and banter-filled “interlude,” right?

JG: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What is this, an interrogation?

RC: You’re not offended, are you, David? You live in Arizona, after all. I’m sure you’re profiled by the cops any time you spend more than an hour in the sun. Even the horse from Hot to Trot would get pulled over at the track in Tucson — because he’s a racehorse, get it? Thank you.

DR: I was thinking I would edit the two shows together so that you hear them playing at the same time: a Lauper-Folds collaboration, if you will. I’ve always wanted to hear a “Brick”/”Time After Time” mash-up.

RC: Brilliant! I’ll get the two concerts posted before the July 4th holiday. [See what I mean? Politics. —Ed.] Folds has been saying for a while that he wants to write a Broadway musical, and he recently participated in a 24-hour workshop to create one, according to The New York Times. But unlike Lauper, he doesn’t have a Tony, obviously. Keep reaching for those papier-maché stars, Ben.

Ben Folds at the Fox Tucson Theatre in Tucson, Arizona, January 15, 2012

intro
Best Imitation of Myself
interlude #1
All U Can Eat
interlude #2
Fred Jones Part 2
interlude #3
Effington
interlude #4
Still Fighting It
interlude #5
Gracie
interlude #6
interlude #7
interlude #8
Brainwascht
interlude #9
Zak and Sara
interlude #10
Picture Window
Landed
interlude #11
Narcolepsy
interlude #12
Army
interlude #13
Not the Same
outro

Click here to download the bootleg.

Cyndi Lauper at the Fox Tucson Theatre in Tucson, Arizona, June 23, 2013

Money Changes Everything
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
When You Were Mine
Time After Time
interlude #1
She Bop
interlude #2
All Through the Night
interlude #3
Witness
interlude #4
I’ll Kiss You
interlude #5
He’s So Unusual
Yeah Yeah
encore intro
Shine
outro
True Colors

Click here to download the bootleg.

So, where will this ex-mayor of Bootleg City wind up next? Well, up until a few months ago I’d never heard of Newbridge, New Jersey — no, really — but there’s also a little town you may have heard of called Springfield. In fact there are at least 30 of them in these United States, and I’m sure at least one is in the market for a new mayor. Or a monorail, if worse comes to worst.