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Bush Declares Monday "Journey Appreciation Day"
WASHINGTON (CAP) - At the urging of Congressional lawmakers and aging fans seeking what they call "necessary respect" for a band celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, President Bush has declared Monday to be Journey Appreciation Day. Political insiders say it's Bush's attempt to regain relevancy as his ratings continue to tank.
"This isn't about politics. This isn't about me desperately looking for something to hang my hat on," Bush said as he made the declaration. "This is about the masterful guitar work of Neal Schon, the rocking keyboards of Jonathan Cain, the lyrical stylings of Steve Perry."
Reaction from the blogosphere has been mixed, with critics pointing to Bush's reference of Steve Perry as an indication the president ceased being relevant some time ago, since the group has gone through three lead singers after Perry left in 1998. Scott Lapatine of the popular music blog Stereogum said just having a tour with the likes of Heart and Cheap Trick does not make a band relevant.
"This is a band who claims Randy Jackson among its many alums," said Lapatine. "And a president who claims Alberto Gonzalez and Donald Rumsfeld among his many alums. Do you follow where I'm going here?"
Band members who have been with Journey the longest fondly remembered their first Appreciation Day, a 1976 event seen as a last-gasp attempt by President Gerald Ford to sway the younger vote away from Jimmy Carter in the November election. It didn't work, and now Ford is dead but Journey lives on.
"I appreciate the appreciation day," said founding member Neal Schon. "But these days, I appreciate it more when that appreciation shows up in my wallet, if you know what I mean. Wanna buy a t-shirt?"
Some House members remain hesitant to approve the president's declaration, even as a symbolic vote, afraid it will "open the floodgates" for other bands seeking one more shot at the limelight. Rep. John Hall (D-NY), former lead singer of the '70s band Orleans, has been particularly vocal.
"Listen, I love Def Leppard as much as the next guy, but I'm not advocating they get their own holiday," said Hall. "Just a drummer with two arms. It's bad enough these old groups think we want to see their wrinkly asses on tour, let alone devote a whole day to them."
President Bush's declaration is for 2008 only, but word out of the White House is that he is working with members of Congress to introduce a bill to make it an annual event, in the hopes that Journey Appreciation Day will become his lasting legacy.
- CAP News Staff
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