When asked to write an article for the newly launched Breitbart.com, of course I agreed; but, in the wake of Andrew’s tragic passing, what to write?
Two experiences proved instructive.
The first experience occurred when another of Andrew despondent friends expressed their appreciation for an episode of View from the Capitol (hosted by Ms. Katherine Amenta and yours surly): “It brightened my day at a dark time.” This kind remark clarified for me how after Andrew’s passing we’re all “heavied out”; and how it’s unhelpful to add a few more ponderous ounces of despairing prose onto the weight of the world that has fallen upon the shoulders of Andrew’s family, friends and fans.
But, while determined in this article to avoid a “heavy” subject, what would constitute a fitting topic?
The second experience was listening to Andrew’s tributes and testimonials: Universally, those who loved him knew Andrew Breitbart was (and is) a creative soul who loved music and laughter; and, as Jon Voigt poignantly expressed at Tuesday’s gathering, “brought like energies together.”
Ergo, the topic – Andrew Breitbart, Our Conservative Movement’s Creative Connector.
One of my fondest recollections of Andrew’s full creative genius was how it resulted in a session and a song – the Screaming Lemurs American Faith (which I wrote for a long ago discarded GOP Presidential flop’s campaign). That master conservative strategist and activist Andrew Breitbart inspired and facilitated this tune will strike some people as improbable, but so those in the know, for as The Army You Have bassist and vocalist, Shelli Eaton, noted: “There was never an awkward silence around Breitbart.”
No, Andrew was a human sea of creative cacophony. Indeed, if not for Andrew Breitbart, the conservatives who combined to make American Faith would never have met. As Shelli’s husband and musical collaborator, Gary Eaton, recalled:
“Well, for one, without our boy, Breitbart, [McCotter] and I would never have met that cold rainy night in Sherman Oaks, when we talked about guitars and music…Breitbart reignited my creative flame. He was my muse, as it were. His punk rock/DIY attitude pumped me up and gave me hope that we, conservative artists, could make a difference with our art; and he inspired me to do my art well.”
Even my own brother Dennis “Dinky” McCotter, who hates all politicians – no exceptions – was impressed by Andrew the night they met at American Heart singer/songwriter Jon Kahn’s pad for a recording session. Truly, Dinky being fond of Breitbart was most unexpected, especially as Dinky had been waiting over an hour for the return of Jon’s bass, which Andrew had borrowed for his son. After Andrew arrived, tendered the bass, and concluded an hour long discourse on Pigford, Dinky shuffled back, breathed deep, and muttered: “That cat is as intense as his hair!” Though himself estranged from hair and no stranger to intensity and rants, this constituted Dinky’s highest possible praise for a political figure.
Later that year, when an impromptu, eclectic Screaming Lemur ball assembled to record American Faith, Andrew was present in his full conservative, creative, connective spirit. In light of his passing and having discussed a proper tribute, those who met and created that night as a result of Andrew’s efforts – Gary Eaton (vocals, lead guitar, drums), Shelli Eaton (vocals), Dinky (bass, back up vocals), Melody Marie (back up vocals) and me (electric and acoustic guitars) – all readily agreed that to fully and fittingly commemorate his memory we’d debut American Faith in honor of his continuing inspiration; and, if you like it, offer you a chance to download the ditty with all proceeds going to Susie and the kids.
We “Breitbart Conservatives” hope you join us in the cause of remembering Andrew and comforting his beloved family – for, as Dinky sez succinctly: “He ain’t heavy, he’s my Breitbart!”