As election day approaches, it’s important for a political candidate like myself to line up celebrity endorsements. One of my opponents, David Byrne, has the support of famous people-slash-political activists like Jane Fonda and Danny Glover, while another opponent, Bob Marley, has lined up a bunch of dead celebrity endorsements, including Robert Palmer, Nina Simone, Mickey Rooney, and John Lennon, who would’ve turned 69 today. How am I supposed to compete with—

… My sources have just informed me that Mr. Rooney is still alive. I’m sure they’re wrong, but I don’t want to embarrass them, so I’ll check Wikipedia after I get home.

So far the only endorsement I’ve gotten is from Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, who made the trip to Bootleg City only after I convinced him that I’d gotten my hands on the world’s oldest instrument, a 35,000-year-old flute discovered by archaeologists in Germany last year. Once he arrived, I explained that my e-mail contained a few extra zeros, not to mention a gratuitous three and five.

Mr. Anderson wasn’t thrilled about traveling thousands of miles to receive a brand-new flute made in the Little Germany neighborhood of Bootleg City, but he did seem to enjoy the flute whipping he gave me, which was apparently a first. I was inspired to create a new tourism campaign with the following tag line: “Bootleg City: Experience the Unexpected (Just Be Prepared for Some Violence).”

I convinced Mr. Anderson to stay and give a talk to all the children of our city about the consequences a rock musician faces when he continues to play flute solos into his 60s. I left the City Auditorium during his speech so I could send my condolences to all the former Mrs. Mickey Rooneys of the world, but when I returned, the children were gone.

Some of these kids’ parents are still waking up from that disastrous Wizard of Oz screening. What am I going to tell them? “Sorry, folks, but a modern-day Pied Piper whose band won a Grammy in 1989 for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Vocal or Instrumental, has run off and taken every child in the city with him. It’s a mystery as to why. I mean, everybody knows that award should’ve gone to Metallica.”

My opponents are going to have a field day with this one, especially Matt Wardlaw. He didn’t provide me with today’s bootleg — which was recorded for WMMR 93.3 FM at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on November 25, 1987 — but I’m sure he’ll get a good laugh at my expense from the second song on Jethro Tull’s set list.

Then again, I’ve gotten lots of good laughs from the fact that Mr. Wardlaw’s sole celebrity endorsement, Simon Le Bon, ran off to Rio last week for some easy Olympics tie-in money as soon as the IOC made its decision about the 2016 Summer Games.

So sad, Matthew. Maybe Warren Cuccurullo is looking for someone to get behind this fall? It never hurts to ask, you know.

Songs From the Wood
Thick as a Brick
Steel Monkey
Farm on the Freeway
Heavy Horses
Living in the Past
Serenade to a Cuckoo
Budapest
[instrumental]
Wond’ring Aloud
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day
Jump Start
Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die!
Aqualung
Locomotive Breath
Wind Up

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners, and in 2013 he spearheaded 'Face Time, a collaboration with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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