A Pocket Guide to Republican Rockers
The few, the proud, the right-wing dudes with guitars: An exhaustive search by Rolling Stone's research team has found the rockers who actually cop to voting conservative, from Kid Rock to Ted Nugent and beyond. Read on for a guide to a few stars who probably won't be invited to D.C. if President Obama gets a second inauguration.
The Motor City Madman has made more headlines with his provocative far-right views than his music recently. "If the coyote's in your living room pissing on your couch, it's not the coyote's fault," Nugent said at an NRA convention in April. "It's your fault for not shooting him." Context suggested that the "coyote" in question was President Obama and his administration. The comment earned the Nuge a meet-and-greet with the Secret Service.
After Mitt Romney made a pilgrimage to Kid Rock's Michigan home to secure the rap-rocker's coveted endorsement, Rock sang "Born Free" at a Romney rally – then played a fundraiser at a country club in Romney's hometown, where he was joined onstage by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. "Look at this creator right here," Ryan said, praising "the fruit of his labor."
When longtime Republican Mike Love brought his version of the Beach Boys to a fundraiser for John McCain in 2008, the candidate sang an ill-advised take-off on the band's 1965 hit "Barbara Ann": "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran." More recently, Beach Boy Bruce Johnston blew up at fans who asked him about President Obama at an autograph session. If he's reelected, said Johnston, "you're fucked."
The Kiss member argued that America should be run as a business when he appeared on Fox and Friends in August to plug his new restaurant chain, Rock and Brews. He also spoke out in support of Romney's economic policies: "No matter how much bellyaching everybody does, if you can't afford it, you shouldn't do it."
Early this year, Megadeth's frontman suggested that he was leaning toward Rick Santorum during the GOP primaries: "He could be a really cool president, kinda like a JFK type of guy." Mustaine went full-on birther in a Canadian TV interview, where he announced, "I have a lot of questions about [President Obama], but certainly not where he was born. I know he was born somewhere else than America." He also floated a horrifying conspiracy theory that Obama was somehow behind the mass murders at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
"I'm a definite old-school Republican," the Aerosmith guitarist declared recently. Then again, in the same interview, Perry said he was fed up with both political parties: ""Now it's all meshed together and you can barely figure out one side from the other."
The late Ramones guitarist was a staunch Reaganite. After Joey and Dee Dee Ramone wrote 1985's "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg," a swipe at his beloved president, he insisted that they change the name to "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down."
Hank Williams Jr.
When President Obama played a round of golf with Republican House Speaker John Boehner last year, the country scion outrageously compared it to "Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu." The indelicate comment cost Williams his longstanding Monday Night Football gig, but it didn't stop him from continuing to air his extremist positions: this summer, he told an Iowa crowd, "We've got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!"