With his impeachment trial underway in Springfield, IL, Governor Rod Blagojevich ditched town for NYC to make a series of uneventful television appearances. Not exactly the most inspiring politician to come out of Illinois recently.
Chicago's David Lineal begs to differ. On the website for his avant-pop troupe Bird Names, Lineal explains, "Blagojevich fascinates me because he is not a man but rather UNADULTERATED FORM". In 2005, Lineal devoted three days to a bizarre work of auditory fan fiction, and this entirely imagined, unreciprocated relationship with the governor begat the following six songs:
FOR THE LOVE OF ROD (.zip) w/ liner notes [.txt)
1. Rod's Theme (mp3) | 2. Ride Rod Ride (mp3) | 3. We Toast To The Governor's Hair (mp3) | 4. Sadie Hawkins Dance (mp3) | 5. Rod At Leisure (mp3) | 6. The Great Rod Inside (mp3)
When the seat-for-sale story broke, Lineal made the mp3s available at the Bird Names' music page along with this Note About FOR THE LOVE OF ROD (txt). The tracks will also be released on cassette by the Really Coastal label. You can read more about this recording in the Chicago Reader, where Lineal was interviewed by Bird Name'r Liam Warfield.
David Lineal's Note about FOR THE LOVE OF ROD
in may 2005 i quit my job working at a hotel and immediately wrote a short album ABOUT and FOR the illinois state governor, ROD BLAGOJEVICH. inside three days i completed the album (with help from naomi) and mailed it to him with a letter.
the letter explained that i understood that we (rod and i) had a complicated relationship but that he (rod) did not know this (since he was busy with other stuff) and so i would sing our relationship to him. i was pretty amped to get the music to him as fast as possible, that he should know freshly such inspiration as he made in me.
the letter explained each song to him (especially the closing "the great rod inside," which talks about him being governor of heaven someday, because i didn't want to get arrested or put on some list) and the music, if pretty crude, was sentimental and extremely sympathetic.
i received no response.
today rod was arrested for a list of things that an evil cartoon governor would do (i.e., trying to sell obama's senate seat). blagojevich has been a man of rich mythic textuality. i knew little about him then except (mostly) for this weird resonance that i think people can still really feel.
but i want to give to you today this album, FOR THE LOVE OF ROD, so that we can all remember the man and governor he was once imagined to be.