Musicians Take Sides

Election '04

In one of the most heated election cycles in decades, Americans are focusing on the economy, the war in Iraq and health care to determine their vote for President. How quaint. And so, like, West Wing.

We've taken it upon ourselves to shed some light on what really matters when you punch your ballot: namely, which celebrity musicians are supporting which candidate. Forget veterans' benefits or prescription-drug plans; we wanna know who Kid Rock's voting for (Bush), and we'll make our decision accordingly. Here's a peek at who's backing whom. Choose or lose, dudes.

Kerry's Crew

Bruce Springsteen – When the Boss enters partisan politics for the first time, after 25 years of stumping for the working class without specific appeals to the left or right, you have to pay attention. Especially when you consider the lack of hyperbole with which he's doing it. "I think it's important to speak in a measured voice," Springsteen told the Los Angeles Times recently, about his decision to participate in a series of concerts for the Democrat-leaning America Coming Together. "We want respect for the office of the presidency. We don't want to be Bush bashers. We are Bush questioners."

Al Jourgensen – The Ministry frontman isn't real big on measured tones, preferring instead to marginalize his views with overstated ranting, as if he were Bill O'Reilly with a bad weave. "I think he's gonna go down as bad or worse than Saddam Hussein," Jourgensen told of George W. Probably not, Al, though on the strength of the last two Ministry albums, your band could go down as bad or worse than the Skatenigs.

Jon Bon Jovi – Politicos, beware: If Jon Bon Jovi takes a dislike to you, you're in for a wickedly incisive verbal smackdown. At a concert in Melbourne in 2002, Bon Jovi referred to the commander in chief as "George W. Lunatic." Good one, Jon. Later in the show, he allegedly called the President a "doodie head" and a "turd burglar."

Emmylou Harris – Bush tends to be as beloved in country-music circles as gun racks and Skoal, so it takes particular conviction to come out against the President in Nashville. Especially if you're a woman. Props to Emmylou, then, who's respectfully come out in support of Kerry despite the potential for another monosyllabic meltdown from Toby Keith, whose ass is as red as his neck.

Bush Backers

Ted Nugent – It's hard to argue with the Nuge's anti-Kerry sloganeering, mainly because doing so could have you dodging flaming arrows and bison dung. Yeah, he's nuttier than chipmunk droppings, but you gotta have a grudging respect for a guy who pledges to "eliminate the obstacle course of stupidity" from political debate while sporting a zebra-striped cowboy hat.

Jessica Simpson – A pop star who thinks buffalos have wings seems like an auspicious match for a President who thinks Africa is a country. Simpson, who has voiced support for her fellow Texan in recent months, could lose a debate to a tire iron. During a spring tour of the White House, she was awed by Interior Secretary Gale Norton. "You've done a nice job decorating the White House," Simpson gasped.

The Vandals – Liberalism has become as synonymous with punk rock as extreme sports, extreme soft drinks, and extreme corporate patronage, but not when it comes to the Vandals. Asked whom he'd vote for this fall, frontman Joe Escalante said Bush and Cheney. "It's simple," Escalante quipped, "Dick Cheney invented the Mobil Speedpass. I defy anyone to find anything so kick-ass on anyone else's resume, anywhere, at any point in our history." And lest you think the Vandals don't take politics seriously, dig some commentary from their anthem "Anarchy Burger": "America stands for freedom/But if you think you're free/Try walking into a deli/And urinating on the cheese."

Clint Black – Too bad the smart bombs this country crooner sings of on the pro-war/pro-Bush anthem "Iraq and Roll" haven't rubbed off. No matter what camp it comes from, jingoism is an insult to everyone's intelligence. "I rack 'em up and I roll/I'm back and I'm a high-tech G.I. Joe," Black warbles. Uh, no, dude, you're a millionaire hick who only fires off his mouth.

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