Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Little Bit of Fun With Ben Nelson

by Kyle Michaelis
In my lifetime, I can't say that I ever expected that I might one day see a headline reading "Sen. Ben Nelson: Crazy Stones Fan." Yes, the "Stones" in question are none other than The Rolling Stones - those ageless rock gods who might be the only thing other than cockroaches to survive the next Ice Age.

Ben Nelson a Stones fan? The same Ben Nelson who sings indescribably catchy country songs about his love for Western Nebraska? The same Ben Nelson whose musical choice I was forced to defend last October when he told the Lincoln Journal-Star he "likes Sousa marches"? THAT Ben Nelson listens to the Rolling Stones?

Well, that's what we're supposed to believe if the Washington Post's headline writers and behind-the-scenes political blogger know what they're talking about.

The Post's The Sleuth "reports":
Just how big and crazy a Rolling Stones fan is Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)? So big and crazy... that he's linking to the legendary rock band's European tour schedule on his official Senate web site.

The Benator, as his staff calls him, has one of the more fun-for-Congress Web sites....It has a "Benformation" news ticker, where you can plan your Summer trip to the nation's stinking hot capital. Or learn about the "Budget Vote-O-Rama" on the Senate floor. Or... keep up to date with the Stones' concert schedule.

The Benator's ticker provides a hyperlink to the official Rolling Stones Web site touting its "A Bigger Bang" summer tour through Europe....

Nelson's site also features a 10-second riff off Keith Richards's acoustic lead-in to the Stones' hit song "Factory Girl" off the band's 1968 "Beggars Banquet" album....

Nelson...manage[d] to score tickets to the Stones' first show in Omaha in close to 40 years last January. (Yes, it was Nelson's first live Stones' concert; He's not exactly a live-music kinda guy.)
To think, it's not even April Fools Day yet. Sadly, it seems Nelson's website has been rearranged since last week, when the above article was published, and I've been unable to find any trace of the Stones' tour schedule or Keith's "acoustic lead-in." The always handy "Benformation" does, however, mention its being featured in the Washington Post - with a link - so at least some remnant remains of whatever ridiculousness previously occupied the page.

I'm just sorry I missed it. Not the biggest Stones fan - more of a Who man myself. But, I'm glad Nelson's staff has found such creative ways to amuse themselves, and the New Nebraska Network salutes the Benator's efforts to broaden his musical horizons.

Skip the Zeppelin, check out some Bowie, and I think this could be the start of something beautiful.

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