Assembled on the curb in front of the Beltway Courtyard Inn’s spectacular tropical indoor enclosure, many of them sans their big-boy pants and wearing new Zappa t-shirts, several congressional Republicans participated in a closed session ZAPPADAN celebration. Standing, Michael Steele, James Risch, Roy Blunt, John Kyl, Eric Cantor, Tom Coburn, Joe Lieberman, Saxby Chambliss; curbside, Jeff Sessions, Peter Hokstra, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John Ensign, and the partially decomposed John McCain. If you want to keep it greasy, you must click it.
Love [of music] is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves as well a
dark [and desolate] house and a [weepy minority] whip as madmen do.
As You Like It III · 2
WASHINGTON D.C. — THE LOVE OF MUSIC can make for strange bedfellows now and then, and this Saturday afternoon saw more than a dozen congressional Republicans convened at the exclusive Beltway Courtyard Inn to celebrate “Zappadan ’09,” a little known annual musical holiday homage to the late American composer, guitarist, music and film producer, Frank Zappa.
Republican Whip Eric Cantor was characteristically tight-lipped about the event, saying it was a casual closed door session and purely social in nature. Reporters suspected that wasn’t far from the truth as late this afternoon a few of the boys were singing on the curb as limos were being fetched.
Jeff Sessions, Peter Hokstra, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner had apparently consumed cans of “Old Chub” beer at the curb, with Hokstra and Sessions drawing a small audience by singing loudly and repeatedly, “Fuck me, you ugly sonofabitch!” and, ” Don’t get no jizzum on the sofa, sofa!” Cantor remained apoplectic even after the valet parking attendant explained they were singing lyrics from the Zappa classic, “Stick It Out.”
Nevada Senator John Ensign spoke briefly with reporters about his introduction to Zappa’s music, saying he had a roommate who played “Zappa music constantly.” Asked if there was any of Zappa’s work he particularly enjoyed, he chuckled and said, “All of it.” Ensign abruptly ended the conversation and walked away when he was asked if he had a favorite kitchen appliance.
We caught up with Tom Coburn and Saxby Chambliss as they left the Beltway Courtyard Gift Shoppe, wearing new Zappa t-shirts (see above), and asked them what they thought of Frank Zappa and his music. Coburn said, “Zappa’s a good ‘ole boy; play’m all the time.” Chambliss nodded in agreement, and added, I still have his original eight-tracks.”
After the event, Ohio Representative John Boehner sat quietly on the curb, and was asked about the playlist at their celebration— what music was played at the gathering; he shrugged and continued looking skyward and said, “You know, I don’t think it wass, there was any.. uhm, there wasn’t, there wash no funnnctioning musical equipment in our meeting room.” In coherent English, no music was played at the Republican ZAPPADAN celebration.
When asked why “Independent” and sometime Democrat caucus member Joe Lieberman was there, Senator Mitch McConnell said with a straight face that he thought Lieberman had “been a Frank Zappa fan for a couple of days now,” and was “demonstrating true nonpartisanship” by being there.
Chairman Michael Steele, sporting a nylon stick-on Zappa goatee, was his unusual loquacious self, and said “the Zappadon [sic] celebration” was his first, but wouldn’t be his last, as he had a “really good time.” Asked for his favorite Zappa tune, he responded with a rambling three minute monologue on Zappa’s career and contribution to the music of hip-hop, without ever naming an actual song or album by Zappa. Yeah bring it, dog.
The curbside photo session ended on a sour note when photographers and reporters were asked to leave by Whip Cantor, after Sen. Jeff Sessions began loudly insisting that Party Chairman Steele bring Session’s car “around,” and asked Steele “What the hell do you think your job is, anyway?”
Cantor said he could neither confirm or deny if there were plans to make the event an annual gathering.