The Rock the R3volution Tour Was Supposed to Galvanize Ron Paul Supporters -- Then It Fell Apart

Danny Torgersen and Trevor Denton are two very different guys. We're huddled around a table at Cartel Coffee Lab in Tempe on a busy Tuesday night. Torgersen is firing off rapid-fire statements, punctuated by a unique laugh, akin to a cackle, one that half endears you to him and half freaks you out. "I got coffee earlier, but I just can't help myself," he giggles. "I'm at a coffee place." Denton is more reserved, slouching in his chair, keen to observe more than interject.

We're talking about "Rock the R3volution," a cross-country tour featuring rapper KRS-1 and local bands in each city, spreading the Libertarian message of Ron Paul. Weeks after our interview, the tour was canceled, leaving Torgersen and Denton, who helped organize the event at Club Red in Tempe, to sort out exactly how to proceed.

In a statement, former tour organizer Zak Carter says: "While I was very successful at both putting together an amazing team and finding liberty artists, I was admittedly terrible at fundraising and only raised a little over $1,000 in donations . . . I hope someone else takes up the cause of the tour, the Rock the R3volution Tour was never about me; it was all about freedom and Ron Paul. I'm very happy to know that several of the planned shows are still going to happen, thanks to the resourceful regional coordinators in Buffalo, Kansas City, Dallas, and Phoenix."

Trevor Denton and Danny Torgersen
Trevor Denton and Danny Torgersen

Location Info

Map

Club Red

1308 W. University Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85201

Category: Music Venues

Region: Mesa

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Sun Ghost and Captain Squeegee are scheduled to perform Thursday, November 3, at Club Red in Tempe. Visit www.phxmusic.com for an extended interview.

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Torgersen and Denton opted to go ahead with the show, despite the lack of support from the national organization. Their bands, Captain Squeegee and Sun Ghost, respectively, will join Property Six, Per Capita, Voice of Independence, Rise, Concise, and Krooked for a free show at the venue. With genres ranging from the prog/ska of Captain Squeegee to the blues pop of Sun Ghost to the rap-rock, hip-hop, and metal of the other bands, the concert offers a diverse, scattershot idea of what the "typical" Ron Paul supporter looks like.

"We asked other bands to be involved," says Torgersen. "And they turned us down. They didn't want to be associated with it. I won't name names, but . . ." he trails off.

Music and politics long have been bedfellows, but pairing up rock 'n' roll with the conservative, free-market leanings of Ron Paul represents a strange shift. Is this the face of right-wing rock 'n' roll?

Not exactly. Neither Torgersen nor Denton identify as conservatives. Both voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election. "If he had actually done half the things he said he'd do, I'd still be agreeing with him to some degree," says Torgersen. "I was moved by his anti-war [stance] . . ."

"But now he's proven that he's still willing to carry on the nation-building and the world-policing," Denton says, concluding Torgersen's sentence for him.

Paul's stances — anti-war, pro-legalization of marijuana, against the "corporate stranglehold on politics" — make the Texas congressman stand out from the GOP pack.

"To me, Democrats should really pay attention to Ron Paul," says Denton. "I'm more of a Democrat than I am a Republican, and I consider Ron Paul the top candidate, mostly because of the anti-war stance, and the [stance on] lobbyists. It ties into the Occupy Movement; it's not the point-by-point things we should be arguing about. Disagreeing on issues is putting the cart before the horse."

Both Denton and Torgersen have attended Occupy Phoenix rallies.

"We were there. We went. I gave a speech," Torgersen says. "The complaint is that [the Occupy movement is] convoluted with complaints, but the fact that everyone is being allowed to say their complaint in an open forum is already a step in the right direction. I don't think there would be a lot of people at Occupy Phoenix if there weren't a whole series of problems."

"People are dying for [the right to protest] in other countries," says Denton.

But despite his rock 'n' roll-friendly stance on weed and war, Paul remains a hard sell to many people who view the financial crisis as an example of the economic deregulation Paul espouses.

"People say, 'Look what the free market did to us now,' [but] I don't think that's a fair criticism," says Denton. "[It's not free-market capitalism] when you answer that kind of deregulation with bailout money. I mean, that's where things went wrong. I won't say that the free market isn't to blame at all, but it's not to blame as much as the corruption . . . [the bailouts] stink of paying back favors [and] continuing the circle jerk."

Torgersen says that Paul's economic policies make sense to him and that the strict divisions between "left" and "right" hold back the national conversation. "I think there are a lot of young people who are into the idea of dropping the paradigm," he says. "We've had the left/right thing for so long. Now we're looking a top/bottom thing coming [laughs] . . . it's conservative or progressive or libertarian or fascist. So there are all these people wanting libertarian ideals, [and] the opposite of libertarian is fascist. A lot of Germans had no idea what their country was doing. I think that this is the time for everyone to look into this."

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6 comments
TigersBearsLions
TigersBearsLions

If you base the intelligence of people off an article written by someone else then you just made your first mistake. Tell me Josh Brueggen do you base all your assumptions of people off of what you read in the media?

Rick Duffin
Rick Duffin

Tevor and Danny, you guys rock for taking on a serious topics - endless wars and mounting debt - and trying to explain them and get people fired up. As an over 50 guy that was heavy into Pink Floyd, I am pretty charged up about the young people on campuses all around the country that "get it". Specifically, it was NOT the free market that led to the housing boom/bust, but our corrupt government and Federal Reserve (banksters) along with governments Fannie and Freddie that worked WITH Wall Street to create this mess and then bail the crooks out. It is not easy to explain. You can't do it in a sound-bite and it sounds almost counter-intuitive. For those that want more government, just better government, keep on wishing. I'm heading to Buffalo to see The Madeliene Haze (from Philadelphia) on Dec 3rd. and am really looking forward to meeting the liberty minded of the younger generations.

Rick DuffinCleveland, OH

Independent Thought
Independent Thought

Wasn't expecting the phrase "circle jerk" to come out of left field like that.

Joshbrueggen
Joshbrueggen

So basicially these two fell for obama hook line and sinker. Just goes to show how powerful the message of freedom is that it can even penetrate these two guys who honestly don't come off as all that bright. Luckily most of Pauls supporters are a little more on the up and up than these two, but I guess they need the message more than most do. Could be the beginning of a real education for them, best of luck on that.

Mace Ooo Jam
Mace Ooo Jam

Great article. The free market is you. Not a corrupt government in kahootz with limited options. People that call themselves liberals or conservatives are just cheese that all has the potential to stink... and does. Ron Paul offers, with a genuine track record, your freedom of choice. And if you don't have a better solution than true capitalism, that's what you need to use your own mind in, and choose. Otherwise Bush/Obama... more of the big con. Anyway, good luck from New Zealand.

T C
T C

"People say, 'Look what the free market did to us now;;"

You can't fix stupid.

 
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