PEACE QUEER / Todd Snider

 

 

 

 

 

PEACE QUEER:
THE BLURT BLOG

Mis Spellers Of The World Untie

 

 

I would like
to take this gracious opportunity that the fine people of Blurt have given me
to tell all of you about the night I was abducted by and later escaped from the
International League of Peace Queers.

 

I remember East Nashville was in the middle of a two-week kind bud drought that had set our neighborhood into a small state of
confusion, chaos and tension. I was recording a song called “Last Summer At Band
Camp I Did It With This Chick” with my so-called friends Eric McConnell and Kevn
Kinney, when a crash through the control room door brought with it two large
and heavily armed men identifying themselves as members of an International
League of Peace Queers They were looking for me. Not Kevn, not Eric, but me.

 

They asked if
I had written “Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican Straight White
American Males.” I tried to deny it. The next thing I knew, I was
blindfolded and stuffed into a small closet, where I was forced to listen to
early Phil Ochs and Joan Baez material.

 

I was also
brutalized beyond what I consider an acceptable level of sanity. I remember
saying over and over that I was already for peace, but they claimed I wasn’t,
quote, “for it enough.” They demanded I write songs for an album that they
boasted would easily outsell Thriller.

 

Fortunately
for me, I already had a batch of songs similar to what they were looking for,
so I assumed things were going to work out splendidly… or at least easily.

 

I could not
have been more wrong. Later that night, I was forced to sing “Beer Run” until I
vomited, and yet sadistically, every time I played it, I was electrocuted by
some sort of device they called The Peace Keeper.

 

Then I
realized not only were there a lot of them, but I recognized many of the
voices. I couldn’t put an exact name to the voices, but I knew the voices. They
taunted, they mocked, they emasculated and they spat — many of them screaming
that “Beer Run” had set back the movement at least a million years.

 

I was forced
to smoke weak
marijuana and pretend to care about the world. It upset me. I called
them folk Nazis and was beaten heavily for it.

 

But I gotta
tell you, as much as I love hockey fights, I did eventually grow sympathetic to
the cause, and I recorded the album for them. After the album was completed,
they took off my blindfold, and it was then I learned that my captors had been
a loose assortment of Americana
shit storm artists that I like to call my peers.

 

Last year I
was nominated
for Unsuccessful Country Artist Of The Year at the AMA awards, and I lost to none
other than high-ranking I.L.P.Q. member Patty Griffin. It was Patty, in fact,
who told me that on my next mission, I would be trusted on my own to walk to
the Three Crow Bar for a short interview to promote
‘Peace Queer,’ the album.  She said this
interview would be for “Peace Queer,” the bio, so I set out for the
Three Crow.

 

On my way, I
spotted an old nemesis from the Nancy Kerrigan camp
who dated back to my Oregon years. This all
would have been fine had he not spotted me, too, but he did, and his attitude
toward me was egregious. I thought it smart to run, which I did. But by the
time I ditched the guy, I thought I might be late for my interview. Luckily, I
wasn’t.

 

At the Three
Crow, I was poured a glass of wine and introduced to a kindly old gentleman
named Cokie Roberts. I found his questioning style a bit aggressive, but in the
end, felt I charmed the pants off him. We said our goodbyes, and I was headed
back to Camp Peace Queer when it occurred to me that I didn’t have to head back
if I didn’t want to. It was my chance to escape the Peace Queers, and I took
it.

 

Golly, you
hear a lot of strange and unnatural things about people these days, and with
that very thought in mind, I’m personally just happy to have my old life back.

 

And I must say
that while I will never forget that glorious creative summer with Patty and Kevn
and the other Peace Queers, I will never, for the life of me, understand the
beatings.

 

 

(Todd Snider lives in East Nashville
where he writes songs, whoops it up and pisses off self-righteous people every
chance he gets. His new album, sensibly titled
Peace
Queer, is due Oct. 14 and will be a
vailable
as a free download at ToddSnider.net from October 11th to October 31st. It’s
the followup to 2006’s
The
Devil You Know and represents, as far as
we are concerned, a big-ass MISSION
ACCOMPLISHED. Keep a rockin’, Todd. BLURT loves ya.)

 

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