Every once in a while boredom strikes and I get a weird idea to liven up my day. Yesterday, I was sitting around watching Maiden, England for the 60,000th time and it occurred to me…Why don’t I try to book Tipper Gore to speak at a heavy metal festival???
It seemed like getting in touch with her would be a difficult task, but a quick internet search brought me to the Henry Welker Booking Agency. Apparently, this agency handles everyone from Dick Cheney to Shaquille O’Neal. They also are the contact people for one Mary Elizabeth “Tipper” Gore, the woman who single-handedly tried to destroy heavy metal in the 1980s.
After being shuffled from person-to-person and listening to 10 minutes of unbearable hold music (“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”….Twice), I finally got ahold of this smarmy ghoul named Howard Robinson (who told me I could call him “Howie”)
Me: The promotional company I work for is putting together a special event and we’d like to book Tipper Gore to speak at it.
Howie: Sure. Sure. Well, I need to tell you that the former first lady (there was a pause where I was expected to chuckle at this)…I mean, of course, Ms. Gore usually books her speaking engagements about 3 months ahead.
Me: Perfect. I’m looking to book her towards the end of December.
Howie: And, just so you’re aware, we handle top-flight talent. Ms. Gore gets a minimum of $25,000 per speech along with travel and other expenses. Depending on what you are looking for the cost might run as high as $150,000.
Me: No problem at all. I have a sponsor who is quite willing to put the money up for a good cause like this.
Howie: Great! Well, let’s get started. What sort of an event are you looking to book Ms. Gore for?
Me: Alright. You are going to think this is kind of strange because of her anti-heavy metal stance back in the 1980s, but I’m looking to book her at a metal festival in Clearwater, Florida. The festival is called Values Fest 2014.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t your garden-variety festival. It’s one that will feature positive heavy metal bands who are using music as a platform to educate our young people about important issues like homelessness and global warming.
Howie: Uhm.. Okay…You have to understand, this is a pretty unusual request. I really have to run this by Tipper. What would you need her to do?
Me: Well, she would be speaking before a few of the headlining bands. Kind of like an emcee. She’d basically be talking about how music should be about promoting good things and not the awful, evil stuff that is out there now. I mean, things have gotten far worse since the 1980s as I’m sure you can imagine.
Howie: Sure…sure. You say you have a sponsor for this. I need to tell Ms. Gore who the sponsor is to make sure that her values are similar to the person paying the tab.
Me: He doesn’t really want me to use his name.
Howie: It’s pretty critical to the process.
Me: Okay, but this can’t go past you, myself and Tipper.
Me: Donald Trump contacted me about a week ago. Apparently one of his grandkids is into a Satan worship cult thanks to listening to heavy metal and he wants to help the wipe the nation clean of the stuff. He’s putting up serious money for this but, does not, repeat, does not want his name linked to the project.
Howie: Well, she’s not a huge fan of Mr. Trump, but they are on the same page here. Because of the nature of this project we’d need about $200,000 to do this.
Me: Fine. No problem. Honestly, Trump is pretty into this idea. You could pretty much name your price.
Howie: Okay! I also need to communicate with her the names and a little bit about the bands she’d be introducing.
Me: Okay, well, it is a three-day festival. On Friday night, she’d be introducing a band called As I Lay Dying. The band name sounds pretty crazy, but I can assure you they are Christian and talk a lot about family. The name is actually a reference to a William Faulker novel about overcoming the pain of loss. They are also very interested in renewable energy.
Howie: Okay. I’m not sure she’ll go for that, but I certainly can ask.
Me: Stryper will also be playing that night. They were so inspired by Ms. Gore in the 1980s they started playing value-friendly metal, as we like to call it.
Howie: I’m sure she knows them and would be glad to do that.
Me: On Saturday, she’d be introducing a band known as Exodus. They’re lyrics are based on The Book of Exodus and they talk about living a Christ-centered life as well as how to deal with mental health issues like depression and pica. Their big song is called Toxic Waltz. It’s about individuals standing up to large corporations that spray toxins into our air.
Also, she’d be introducing a band known as Testament. Again, very spiritual. They do a lot with history, particularly the plight of disenfranchised groups like Native Americans. I could send you this song called “Trail of Tears” that I’m sure would deeply move Ms. Gore.
Howie: Sounds reasonable. Go ahead and send me the song. Who would she be introducing on Sunday?
Me: I’ll prepare you up front, the next one is going to sound strange, but there is a band known as Rotting Christ…
Me: It’s not what you think. It’s meant to be ironic. They are talking about how people’s faith has rotted away over time and they no longer value the positive parts of the world we live in. They dedicated a whole album to denouncing the treatment of women in Afghanistan. Another of their records deals with the importance of recycling.
Howie: I really don’t know if she’ll go for that. I mean…that’s a little…well…I don’t know…
Me: Okay, let me see what I can do about that. There would be a band that plays traditional Irish music called Celtic Frost that day. Nothing controversial there. She’ll really enjoy them.
The headliner would be a band called Burzum. The name is Norwegian for “kindness”. Very positive band. Great message. Varg Vikernes, the fellow who writes all the music, is interested in promoting diversity and tolerance.
Howie: Well, this is a pretty intriguing proposal. Of course, I’ll have to get the specific dates, run it by her and get back to you.
Me: Great! I’m really thrilled. She’s always been a hero of mine. Thanks for your time, Howie. Have a blessed afternoon.
Howie: Take care.