A million or so years ago I agreed to play bass for Michael Barclay – the brilliant blues guitarist, songwriter, and all around consummate musician.

Michael had been complaining that the bass players available to him all wanted to “funk” it up with thumb popping displays of virtuosity.

Poor Michael just wanted someone to hold down the bottom so that he could play the blues.  I suggested that he call his band “Mikey Likes It!”  — and the deal would be that if someone wanted to do things other than the way that Mikey would like it, they could go start their own darn band!

He agreed, and his first question back was “OK!  Will you play bass?”

How could I refuse an opportunity to play music with a guitarist of such excellence and pure blues power?  I might even learn something!

Boy did I ever.  I learned what it is to really become the rhythm section, and hold down the bottom — plus I got to meet and play with stellar musicians like trumpet master Peter Welker, and sax man Al Garth (who also had a gig with the Eagles!).

One of the coolest people I got to know was the keyboard player – Doctor Joel Rudinow — Doctor of Philosophy, and Professor at Santa Rosa Junior College.

This dude could seriously play that crazy boogie woogie!  And, what fun for me, learning New Orleans styles, while arguing Nietzsche vs. the Amorists.

Another thing I appreciated about Dr. Joel was his unswerving dedication to improving the life and lot of everyone involved in the educational system.  He was, and is, a brilliant individual –  who has for well over 20 years been responsive, plugged in, turned on, and a vital part of every benefit and cause that has needed care and feeding.

Now, Dr. Joel, with a coalition of California musicians, is advocating putting the California Democracy Act on the ballot. This measure needs to collect thousands of signatures by April 5th, and many California musicians are helping this campaign by providing free downloads of their music from now until the signature-gathering deadline.

If you go to www.myspace.com/tyrannyminority

you will find a link to a page that includes not only one of Dr. Joel’s songs, but lots of other very cool music in a variety of styles.  

The featured musicians include world fusion pioneers Ancient Future, Paraguayan harpist Carlos Reyes and his Electric Symphony, an historic collaboration between Raga Maestro Ali Akbar Khan and Bollywood superstar Ashe Bhosle, funky rhythm and blues by Dr. Joel’s band, Rude Notes Galore, didjeridu master Stephen Kent with his groups Baraka Moon and Australian Bebop Ragas, and many others.

There’s literally something here for everybody, and you’ll never get a better chance to discover some new and exciting music.

These musicians are donating their music because they want to encourage you to go the website that explains why this issue is so important. This site also provides downloadable petitions that can be printed out and mailed directly to the campaign office, and forwarded as an email attachment to other California voters.

I agree that that once you learn how the 2/3 rule has been destroying California’s Infrastructure, you’ll want to help support this straightforward measure consisting of fourteen words:

 “All legislative actions on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote.”
To get your free music downloads, go to:



 Musicians have always been the ones called on to donate their services to help raise money after some sort of disaster hits our community – in this case, the disaster of “politics as usual” has already hit — and we’re all seeing the catastrophic results of the corrupting power of lobby’s to dictate the course of our state government.

It’s time for us to take the pressing needs of our state seriously – it’s time to throw the corrupt partisan politicians out!  And finally, it’s time for some common sense, along with real care for our shared future, to determine our course of action.

That’s a philosophy I can get behind!  Thank you Dr. Joel!  And thanks to the contribution of our musical community.  Check it out – and you decide if this is the time to take action!

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