Poor old Donald Trump, struggling to get any of those liberal whack job musician types to take part in his inauguration celebrations this week. But maybe The Donald has missed the ace sitting right there in his deck all along, says Pete Douglas.
Unless you have been living in a cave or have been mercy killed in the last couple of months, you will probably be aware that on Friday 20 January 2017 (or Saturday 21 January local time) reality TV star and alleged golden shower enthusiast Donald John Trump will be inaugurated as the For-The-Love-Of-God-How-Did-This-Happen-To-Us? 45th President of the United States of America.
One of the few bright points amongst the great wailing and gnashing of teeth accompanying the lead up to this day of utmost dread and terror has been the futile, and frankly pitiful, attempts by Trump’s camp to get together a music lineup of any note for the event.
Initially, things looked promising for team Trump. They seemed wholly convinced that Sir Elton John was just pretending not to be a fascist lunatic, and would totally be keen to play. Between Elton, and the hip, happening and now pairing of Celine Dion (critically reconsidered after that Carl Wilson book) and Andrea Bocelli, Trump would have a decent middle of the road lineup to appeal to his bile-spewing, bigotry-laden fanbase.
Being actual human beings with souls, all of these performers denied ever being interested, or backed out of performing, and since then the efforts to get somebody (Please! Anybody!) to play for Trump has snowballed into a wretched, desperate trudge through the little black book of scumbags who Trump might have some tenuous link to in the world of music.
As a not so great man tweeted many, many times: “SAD!”.
Things started to look up again for the President Elect when it was announced a couple of multi-platinum acts had been added to the bill, but when the acts were revealed as being faceless post-grunge bores 3 Doors Down and sometimes jingoistic country star Toby Keith, it simply meant an even greater deluge of mirth was unleashed on Twitter at the expense of the short-fingered vulgarian.
The final humiliating blow in this circus was delivered earlier this week, when America’s leading Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tribute group, The B Street Band, pulled out due to both the controversy around their mooted appearance, and as a show of solidarity with their hero, who has previously described Trump as a “moron”.
All of this leaves the entertainment lineup for Trump’s inauguration in tatters. But, a little like a (totally fictional) blackmailed political candidate, groomed for years by the Russians to do their bidding when he finally rises to power, the answer to Trump’s problems may have been sitting in plain view all along.
To most observers, when he’s not being beaten up by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith’s wife, or desperately trying to reignite some kind of career, Scott Baio is a washed-up, idiotic, Trump-supporting former heartthrob of ’70s and ’80s TV shows such as Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi and Charles in Charge.
But what many people are unaware of is that Baio is also washed-up, idiotic, Trump-supporting former heartthrob who released two pop albums at the peak of his personal popularity in the early 1980s, one of which even somehow scraped the lower reaches of the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
Back in the heyday of major label record company excess, money was basically no object and taste was often an optional extra. That meant actors like Baio could be given record deals on the off-chance that something might fluke its way onto the charts, or that the star’s hardcore fanbase would blindly buy enough product to make the investment pay off.
Modelled on the hugely popular Rick Springfield (whose own ‘Jesse’s Girl’ is an unimpeachable power pop classic – but let’s leave that for another day) Baio half-heartedly works his way through cheesily produced rockers and ballads, the ’80s sheen of the tracks belying his particularly weak vocals.
It’s desperate, hollow music, and I can think of no more fitting way to ring in the reign of Trump than with this terrible, cardboard cutout, corporatised, cut-rate guitar pop. Maybe Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke could jump up and duet with Scott on ‘The Boys are Out Tonight’? Perhaps together Baio and Trump acolyte Kellyanne Conway could re-create the notorious opening sequence of Joni Loves Chachi?
If Trump’s team have any sense, they should use their best asset and get Baio out there with his guitar for the inauguration. Your country needs you, Scott Baio. It’s time to Make America Great Again just like the good old days, when a lack of talent was no obstacle to an entitled man pursuing his misguided musical dream. God bless America!
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