In inaugural circles, it’s known as the Brawl on the Mall — the Jan. 17 America’s Reunion on the Mall concert, which will feature many rock and pop acts. And for at least one of the performers, the rowdy connotation makes perfect sense. ”He’s the first rock & roll/jazz president,” Little Feat guitarist Fred Tackett says of Bill Clinton, ”and he’s the first one I’ve been older than!” Tackett, 47, has a deeper appreciation for the President-elect than most musicians, having played trumpet alongside him in the 1963 Arkansas All-State Band.
Besides Little Feat, baby boomers will be represented during inaugural week by the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary and Judy Collins (after whose version of Joni Mitchell’s ”Chelsea Morning” the Clintons’ daughter was named). Youngsters will be served with an appearance by Raffi; and country music, which George Bush embraced with gusto, will go Democratic with Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, and Trisha Yearwood. Representing jazz will be Kenny G, who received a handwritten note from the President-elect saying he was ”looking forward to (their) first jam session in the White House.” (Incidentally, artists are being reimbursed for hotels and expenses but are not being paid to perform.)
After many weeks of rumors — or should we say Rumours — Fleetwood Mac announced it would indeed be reuniting (with its star lineup of Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie) to perform ”Don’t Stop,” the 1977 Mac hit that Clinton adopted as his team’s unofficial feel-good theme. Reports of a Bonnie Raitt appearance, however, proved unfounded. Despite receiving invitations to more than a half-dozen inaugural events since late November, Raitt won’t be appearing, due to scheduling conflicts with her band.
Of course, adding a touch of Hollywood glitz to the events will be Barbra Streisand, who is reportedly set to sing ”People” and ”Happy Days Are Here Again” — but not, with any luck, ”You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”