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AUSTIN, Texas. Suzee Bullens was one-half of the group Kid Sister, which scored a gold record in 1987 with “Love Like Totally Sucks”. “For awhile there I had everything going for me,” she says as sips her chai tea at Stash, a coffeehouse here. “Now, whenever someone downloads one of my songs at 99 cents a pop, I send them a thank-you note.”
So Suzee, like many other washed-up rock musicians of the ’80’s, is hoping that Republican Party nominees John McCain and Sarah Palin will use one of her songs so that she can make a very public objection and thereby boost her record sales.
“I’ve seen what Jackson Browne did when they lifted ‘Running on Empty’, and now everybody’s talking about Heart because the Republicans played ‘Barracuda’ for the hockey mom woman,” Suzee says of two artists whose refusal to allow the GOP to use their songs has rekindled fan interest. “I figure if I could get them to play Love Like Totally Sucks at a VFW hall in a swing state like Ohio, I’ll go totally ballistic and maybe get back in Rolling Stone.”
Other artists have gone so far as to re-name some of their older works in the hope that the conservative GOP ticket will take notice. “We had this one song on our first album called ‘Rock it ’til You Die’,” says Gene Ammons of the group Volcano. “We’ve tried out ‘Lower Taxes are Fun’ and ‘Oil’s There for the Drilling’ but so far the Republican National Committee hasn’t bitten.”
For their part, the Republican candidates say they are just trying to create jobs in depressed industries, saying unemployment claims by former Big Hair Metal workers have reached levels almost as high as laid-off Glam Rock beauticians. “Governing is about choices,” Palin told a cheering crowd of NRA supporters. “I can’t decide which I’d rather live without, Iron Maiden or Metallica.”