Sing, Laugh, Hope at McCabe’s – Santa Monica Daily Press – Santa Monica Daily Press | Start Classified

With somber headlines across America these days, it’s no wonder newspaper readers are slacking off, though hopefully not at SMDP. I often take refuge in the sports section but since Covid the Times often shares sports with obituaries. So last season I read that the Lakers lost and people younger than me dropped like flies. Stories abound of raging wildfires and possibly our worst drought in 1,200 years. In Phoenix, as many people die from heat as from murder.

Record fires are also scorching Europe, Africa and Asia, but climate deniers continue to deny this. Al Gore compares them to the Uvalde police officers who “waited” during the shooting. Among the disbelievers is Hershel Walker, the Georgia GOP Senate nominee and an apparent amateur meteorologist because he recently remarked, “When our good air goes to China, their bad air comes here.” (Say what?!)

The illegal war in Ukraine, entering its 6th month with no end in sight, is also making headlines. At home, mass murder still occurs on average every day, and the Supreme Court reduces a woman’s rights to far fewer than what their mothers and grandmothers had and longs to overturn same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, based on perhaps the most vicious of his 30,573 lies in four years, Donald Trump instigated a deadly riot coup on Jan. 6, the most violent attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812. (At least there was probably an occasional rain shower then. )

In a fit of anger befitting a four-year-old, Trump threw his ketchup-laden lunch against the wall, but in the 187 minutes of the riots, which he gleefully watched, he ignored pleading calls from Ivanka, Don Jr., Sean Hannity and Kevin McCarthy and didn’t lift a finger to stop the bloody coup attempt. With politics being his greatest con man of all time, Trump, currently under DOJ scrutiny, was keen to remain in power and avoid future investigations into his extensive criminal conduct.

In what may be my clumsiest episode ever, what better time for singer-songwriter and legendary satirist Roy Zimmerman to lift our spirits with his hilarious show at McCabe’s Guitar Shop on August 12th. Roy’s appearance on McCabe is essentially a family reunion, as he taught guitar there for fifteen years. And Melanie Harby, Roy’s wife and collaborator, also worked at McCabe’s for fifteen years. (Apparently “does the family that works in a guitar shop for fifteen years stay together?”)

Roy has performed over a dozen times at McCabe’s and across America, including wherever there’s a blue dot in a red state. But after a two-year Covid hiatus, the Satire Delivery Service is back on the road with Roy’s first live show, unveiling his upcoming album This Machine: The Best of Roy Zimmerman.

Appropriately, the tour’s title comes from Roy’s heroes, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Woody wrote on his guitar, “This machine kills fascists,” while Seeger wrote on his banjo, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”

This Machine: The Best of Roy Zimmerman is a double album, 25 songs from 25 years, but far more than a greatest hits compilation. Roy and Melanie have selected songs that “best answer the pivotal moments in history, turning our hearts, minds and ears to the social justice battles yet to be won. ”

The album features laugh-making originals like “Creation Science 101”, scathing satire like “Thoughts and Prayers” and declarations of hope like “I Approve This Message”. (Roy and Melanie re-recorded five songs, including the 140,000,000-view YouTube megahit, “The Liar Tweets Tonight,” which if you haven’t already heard, you must.)

I wrote about Roy ten years ago called Saving America One Song at a Time. I added: “Before they moved north, Roy and Melanie lived in the Palisades when their two sons, Joe and Sam, were little. Roy wanted to give them literature, music, peace and justice. And all they wanted was an Xbox.” (That’s one of the beauties of life in the years that followed, teaching Roy a lot about these subjects.)

Apparently I couldn’t resist a cheesy joke as I also wrote, “There is no truth to the rumor that Roy’s last name was originally Dylan before he changed it to Zimmerman.” I also shared with readers the great compliment that Roy was made by the legendary Joni Mitchell: “Roy’s lyrics go beyond poetry and reach perfection.”

Coincidentally, Joni played a full set at the Newport Folk Festival last weekend for the first time in over twenty years. It left her audience ecstatic. However, I am just as confident that Roy will leave his audience on August 12 singing, laughing and with renewed hope.

Roy could have had great fun with Herschel Walker, who appears to be an amateur anthropologist, when he rhetorically asked, “If man evolved from apes, why are there still apes?” (Say what?!)

Tickets for Roy Zimmerman at McCabe’s, 3101 Pico Blvd. on August 12 are available at: or by calling (310) 828-4497. Roy is at: while Jack is at:

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