Even though Dee Snider and Tom Morello won’t be representing at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida this week, there will still be some rockin’ going on. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jack Blades of Night Ranger/Damn Yankees and 3 Doors Down are all part of the festivities but only one band will head to Florida to make some big, big bucks to take part in a private Mitt Romney fundraising event.
TMZ reports that the veteran rockers will receive an incredible $500K payout for appearing at the event this Thursday night (Aug. 30) in Tampa. The group will reportedly play a 90-minute set for those in attendance. The group don’t feel they are making a political statement either way by performing at the event, and plan on treating the show like it’s just another gig. Neal Schon‘s girlfriend, Michaele Salahi, who first came to fame for gatecrashing a White House shindig with her ex-husband, will also be in attendance.
Jack Blades, bassist, lead singer and front man of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees is also participating in the 2012 Republican National Convention, performing “Back in the Game,” the lead track from his latest solo effort, Rock ‘n Roll Ride, and make appearances in support of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and other GOP candidates today (Aug. 28).
“This country was built on the hard work of individual Americans who took a chance and pursued a dream,” says Blades, who has sold more than 25 million albums throughout his remarkable career and performed in front of millions of fans worldwide. “Too often today I see that sort of initiative being discouraged and punished. We can do better. That’s why I’m honored to have been asked to be involved in the convention.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd is made their third appearance at a Republican Convention in their career with a performance at a private fundraiser on Sunday, followed by playing Monday as Ann Romney was introduced to convention attendees. The band members have some opinions on the state of the country with Gary Rossington telling BW&BK’s “Everybody’s got a right to their own opinion, you know? I think the country is kind of on a back road now. I would like to see some changes about certain things, but you know, I don’t know what we can do. We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band. We’re more music and rock ‘n’ roll than politics.” Rossington says he considers himself more conservative than left wing, but he feels out of place talking about politics.
Instrumentalist Rickey Medlocke added, “I agree that America, first of all, is very deeply divided. One thing I don’t like is how everybody is making a racial thing out of this whole political arena that we are in. I’m Native American, so the racial thing kind of hits home with me. To be honest with you, man, I’m sick of politics here. I’ve been browbeaten by it until I’m sick of it. I’ve been slammed in my face about it, and honestly, I don’t perceive anything getting any better. I don’t know. I hope it does.”
Medlocke goes on to add, “I find that America is moving toward a certain type of government that everybody else is moving away from, and I find that very upsetting to me … I gotta tell you, Rickey Medlocke lived in some of the most magical years in this world’s history. I lived in the ’60s. I lived in the ’70s, right into the ’80s, and man it was bad to the bone.”
Medlocke says that politics is similar to rock in that everything has already been written and there’s nothing original anymore. He adds, “Politics are the same old thing. We elect people, we put them in office and guess what they do? They sell us out. They sell us down the river and we pay for it. So we try to tread lightly on the politics, although we can be very outspoken about it.”
3 Doors Down are in Tampa performing tonight at the convention. Here’s a picture of voaclist Brad Arnold from the floor earlier today.