It was all Chris Christie could do to keep from using snippets of his hero Bruce Springsteen in his keynote address at the Republican National Convention Tuesday.
As it was, a signed guitar in his office (which he probably purchased) appeared in an introductory film and he dropped the title “Darkness at the End of Town” in his speech.
Music played a role at the convention, albeit an odd one (Christie’s entrance music, hilariously, was “I Want Candy”).
An obscure country artist, Lane Turner, sang something about blood, sweat and freedom. The returned to obscurity rock band 3 Doors Down topped Christie’s speech. “America’s Got Talent” winner Neal Boyd, an opera singer, did a terrible job on the inevitable Lee Greenwood “God Bless the U.S.A.” (lest you think “America’s Got Talent” winners can’t get jobs. But it might be killing two stones: Boyd’s a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives).
C-SPAN viewers may know that the house band for the Republican convention is G.E. Smith, pictured above, the longtime band leader for “Saturday Night Live” who also played guitar in Bob Dylan’s band for more than a decade.
He mostly stuck to wedding band soul songs, with “Shout!” and the song that happens to be Michelle Obama’s stated favorite, “Signed, Sealed and Delivered.” “My Girl” played after Ann Romney read her speech and there were some selections that were ironically fitting: “Standing on Shakey Ground” to be sure, but also “I Want You to Want Me,” the Cheap Trick anthem that seemed to speak so shamelessly directly to independents and undecided: “I Want You to Want Me.”
Can’t fault Smith for taking a paying gig. But he hasn’t been sitting round, having finished a half dozen big shows in Roger Waters’ band doing “The Wall.” That, in face, may be where he got a taste for this kind of rhetoric. Hey teachers (unions), leave those kids alone!