Democracy Not Fade Away

Monday night was probably one of the biggest turning points in the history of HeadCount. We held a private fundraising event at a Washington D.C. home where special guest Bob Weir met with a wide variety of people and performed a short set.

HeadCount was born out of the music scene where it is well known, and well regarded. It has been our goal recently to reach out to a broader audience and gain recognition in different realms within the political and philanthropical world. Monday night’s party did exactly that. The guest list of about 100 people included three Congressman, political commentator Tucker Carlson, FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Union heads, Foundation chairs and several other D.C. V.I.Ps.

Bob spent most of the night meeting and greeting the guests, discussing politics, the importance of young people voting, and everybody’s “best Dead show ever.” It was a great opportunity for the people of D.C. to meet HeadCount staff and volunteers and really get a feel of what the organization is all about. I answered several questions throughout the night related to our field operations, form processing, database techniques and the overall goals we aim to achieve. I got great feedback from everyone I spoke with and it seemed as though everyone there was excited to be involved.

The obvious highlight of the evening was Bob Weirs brief but emotional performance. He lead off with a passionate speech on the importance of democracy, insisting that if we are not careful, democracy as know it will slip from within our reach. He talked about how the decisions being made today are going to effect young people for the rest of their lives. He urged the audience to join HeadCount’s cause in registering voters and help save democracy as we know it.

Then just as Bob was about to start playing, he stopped and said “I’m sorry, I can’t play tonight, I really want to, but I just can’t.” He had been talking to guests for over two hours and sang the national anthem earlier at the Orioles game, his voice was shot. It was a scary moment, this was basically what everybody at the event had paid good money to see, and it could have been disastrous for HeadCount. Since he couldn’t sing as loud and clear as normal, Bob chose to lead a sing-along to the Grateful Dead staple “Ripple.” It was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever witnessed. Just imagine over 100 D.C. elites in suits and formal wear swaying and singing along with Bob Weir to one of the greatest songs ever written. I’m pretty sure I saw tears in at least a few eyes. He finished it off with another sing-along to “Not Fade Away”, getting everyone excited and leaving on a high note.

This climax was a perfect example of the true nature of HeadCount, which is music and musicians bringing people together to discuss important issues and take action. And while people might argue and differ on those issues, at the end of the night they are brought together by one simple entity; music.