Tonight, the Beastie Boys and Tenacious D play the Fillmore Auditorium on behalf of Rock the Vote, an organization dedicated to, well, rocking the vote. But several hours prior to the gig, the five stars of the show -- B-Boys Mike Diamond (aka Mike D), Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and Adam Yauch (MCA), plus D-sters Jack Black and Kyle Gass -- met the media at the venue for a press conference about, well, rocking the vote.
Black -- who's seen posing above with a photo of Tenacious D at a previous Fillmore appearance -- wasn't at his most talkative. Speaking into a microphone that either hadn't been turned on or wasn't working, he blamed a stumble he'd taken during a similar event in Milwaukee on November 2, which can be found, he noted with something less than pride, by searching for "Jack Black falls" on YouTube. (We've saved you the trouble. You'll find the video below.) As for the Beasties, they were pretty serious for the most part -- particularly Mike D, who talked at length about the band's involvement in the Rock the Vote project and the reasons young people in particular really need to cast a ballot. Thank goodness, then, for Gass, who truly was one.
Mike D started off the conversation by talking about the small number of votes that decided the 2000 election -- at which point Gass jumped in with a series of deadpan comments. "I think that election was stolen!" he said, as if the thought had just occurred to him. He then added, "This is nonpartisan. I'm not going to get passionate... But if you come to our show, I think we know who you're going to vote for." A member of the press corps responded by noting that as an older white guy, Gass should be in John McCain's camp. "Yes, I like Sarah Palin," he declared with maximum mock-defensiveness. "So what?"
After that, seriositude returned, Beastie Boys style. Horovitz suggested that the last two elections might have turned out differently if more people had voted -- to which Yauch added, "And if the voting machines worked the way they're supposed to." Then, following Yauch's impassioned pitch for voters not to bail if they're faced with long waits in line, Rock the Vote rep Kim Rogers refuted a reporter's contention that young voters don't participate at especially high levels: She said 81.6 percent of registered voters between the ages of 18 and 29 made their voices heard in 2004. "Once again, the young people get the bad rap," Gass muttered ruefully.
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Shortly thereafter, Diamond and Yauch kinda/sorta confirmed that they'd spend tomorrow in Boulder urging voters to head to the polls -- and possibly even knocking on doors as a way of doing so. They said they'd voted absentee some time ago, unlike Horovitz, who was flying east after tonight's gig to cast his ballot in his home precinct. Why? He wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder with his neighbors -- and besides, there's a really good cheese shop across the street from the polling station.
Final question: A wiseass inquisitor asked Gass and Black if they were going to use Tenacious D's special relationship with Lucifer to influence the election. "Yes," Gass said, "we've made a deal with the devil." As for whether it's going to work, he went on, "we'll find out tomorrow."
Hail, Satan -- and look below for the Jack Black falls clip. -- Michael Roberts