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Joe Walsh Vetoes Veterans Benefit over GOP Convention Ties

Veteran solo star and Eagles guitarist-singer on Wednesday bowed out of a mid-July concert in Cleveland after learning it is connected to the GOP convention.

Walsh. a former Encinitas resident, announced his decision in a statement on his website, declaring the concert had been presented to him as fund-raising event for a nonpartisan event to benefit families of U.S. military veterans. That turned out not to be the case, said Walsh, who performs May 19 at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista on a double-bill with Bad Company.

In making his concert cancellation announcement, Walsh lamented what he described as "the rampant vitriol, fear-mongering and bullying coming from the current Republican campaigns." Moreover, he noted: "I cannot in good conscience endorse the Republican party in any way."

Below is the full statement from the Ohio-born musician, who in 1980 ran a mock presidential campaign, using the slogan "Free Gas For Everyone" and vowing to make his party-happy song, "Life's Been Good," the new national-anthem. In 1992, he ran a mock campaign for the vice presidency and recorded a theme song, "Vote For Me."

But that was then, and this is now.

And, as his Wednesday statement makes crystal clear, Walsh -- who spoke at length in a 2012 Union-Tribune interview -- is totally serious when it comes to his concerns about the current political climate in our increasingly polarized nation.

"It was my understanding that I was playing a concert which was a non partisan event to benefit the families of American veterans on Monday, July 18 in Cleveland," Walsh said in his statement.

"The ad-mat (promotional advertisement) I approved said this specifically. Today it was announced that this event is, in fact, a launch for the Republican National Convention. In addition, my name is to be used to raise sponsorship dollars for convention-related purposes. Therefore, I must humbly withdraw my participation in this event with apologies to any fans or veterans and their families that I might disappoint.

"I am very concerned about the rampant vitriol, fear-mongering and bullying coming from the current Republican campaigns. It is both isolationist and spiteful. I cannot in good conscience endorse the Republican party in any way. I will look at doing a veteran related benefit concert later this year."

Walsh performed Saturday at the 2016 edition of the Coachella Valley Musis & Arts Festival in Indio, where he made a cameo appearance with The Arcs, the band led by Black Keys' guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach, and Glenn Schwartz, Auerbach's mentor and Walsh's former band mate in an early edition of the Ohio rock band The James Gang. By coincidence, The Arcs are performing tonight, Wednesday, at San Diego's Observatory North Park, before performing again Saturday for the second weekend of Coachella. ___

(c)2016 The San Diego Union-Tribune

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This article was written by George Varga from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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