Joe Walsh Donates All Of His Profit to the ACLU! REALLY! We Believe You, Joe!

joe-walshI’m a rock guitar player.  I grew up riffing to “Funk 49“.  I lived in the Rocky Mountains and reveled in singing along with Joe Walsh’s irreverent “Rocky Mountain Way.”  I always LOVED guitar god Joe Walsh, the goofy leader of the James Gang and the only member of the Eagles who would make sure you got your $50 worth of entertainment from your $150 row 175 ticket.

So now Joe Walsh is coming to Charlotte for a gig!  Woo hoo!  But wait.  I’m not sure his heart is in it.

You see, ever since Charlotte passed a law saying anybody can use any bathroom or locker room or dorm room or sports team or single-sex school they want to at any time regardless of their personal plumbing, and then the state of North Carolina passed a law called HB2 saying, “Wait a minute!  There could be some big problems there!”, concerts in the Tar Heel State have been cancelled left and right.  Bruce Springsteen was first, cancelling his show in Greensboro.   Bruce questioned Governor McCrory’s objection to junior high co-ed showers, saying, “To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.”

Adam Levine, famed judge from the hit TV show “The Voice” and lead singer of Maroon 5, was next to put his ticket sales where his mouth is, saying, “WE FEEL EVERYONE SHOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY.”

That started a “me-too” tsunami of cancellations that included Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Buffett, and even my childhood hero Ringo Starr (arrow in my heart!).  The NBA has threatened to pull the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to the raw injustice of HB2.  PayPal decided to not build an office in North Carolina, that horrible place that refuses to let transgendered people pee.  Never mind that PayPal does business in nations all over the world that routinely execute gays.

And then there’s Joe.  “My shows are a place where all are welcome and all can feel safe. This is why I have chosen to proceed with concert dates as planned in North Carolina and will be donating my net profits to Equality NC and the ACLU.”

Um, Joe, can we audit the books?  I mean, I don’t doubt your accounting integrity or anything like that.  I’m sure you wouldn’t overstate your expenses.  Heck, you will probably give the ACLU every single penny of profit you earn from those $150 seats.  I don’t doubt your sincerity at all.  Shoot, you just want to make sure that both transgendered people in Charlotte are treated fairly.  I trust you!


Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideMy Maserati does 185.
I lost my license, now I don’t drive.
It’s hard to handle this fortune and fame.
Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed!

Life’s Been Good To Me So Far – Joe Walsh


I still love ya Joe, even if you are a total knucklehead.  Watch this AWESOME cut from Daryl’s House.




Charlotte Taxpayers Get Fouled Again On Stadium Upgrades

photo by


Charlotte won its bid to host the 2017 NBA All-Star game, and already the calculators are overheating.

Last fall Charlotte’s city council committed local taxpayers to $27.5 million in upgrades to Time Warner Arena, enough to persuade NBA commissioner Adam Silver that the Queen City deserves the event.  The city will spend at least an additional $6 million on All-Star Weekend, including a $600,000 hosting fee to the league and another $600,000 in incremental police, fire, and medical costs.

The city of Charlotte shares ownership of Time Warner Arena with the Charlotte Hornets, having paid $260 million of the original construction cost in 2005.  The arena replaced the Charlotte Coliseum, which was built in 1988 and was the home of the Hornets for 17 years before it was demolished despite a public outcry.

About $1.5 million of the cost will be paid from hospitality taxes and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority is forking over a similar amount.  Mecklenburg County and the state of North Carolina will also be asked to chip in, but the rest of the cost will be borne by city taxpayers.  Hornets owner Michael Jordan, who boasts a net worth of $1 billion thanks to the appreciation in the value of his team, has offered to pay $150,000 of the tab out of concession profits.

Charlotte Mayor pro tem Michael Barnes said, “We have to invest in assets the city owns.”  The city’s somewhat vague contract requires it to maintain a facility that is “among the NBA’s most modern”.  The city council approved the spending on a partisan 9-2 vote.  One of the dissenters, Republican Ed Driggs, thinks the taxpayers are on the receiving end of a flagrant foul.

“Many don’t believe public money should be used to subsidize a for-profit business,” Driggs told the Charlotte News Observer.  “How do we rationalize the terms of this?  We pay all the capital costs and receive no proceeds.  What kind of partnership is this?”

Charlotte taxpayers are still looking for an ‘unnecessary roughness’ penalty flag after the city council gave NFL owner Jerry Richardson $87.5 million for questionable improvements to Panther Stadium.    And the fiscal finish line is nowhere in sight for the uptown money-pit Nascar Hall of Fame, which cost $194 million in public funds and is still losing over a million bucks a year.

The residents of Charlotte own some of the finest sports facilities that money can buy, but most can’t afford to enjoy them, thanks to ever-escalating ticket and concession prices.  The players seem to have more success negotiating with team owners, as evidenced by Cam Newton’s new $104 million contract with the Panthers.

Maybe Charlotte taxpayers need a new agent.

• this article can be seen in its entirety at Watchdog Arena, a sponsor of “Rockin’ On the Right Side” •

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideSometimes building ivory towers, sometimes knocking castles down
Sometimes building you a stairway, lock you underground
It’s that old-time religion, it’s the kingdom they would rule
It’s the fool on television, getting paid to play the fool

 The Big Money – Rush


I play in a three-piece band on weekends and am occasionally looked down upon by a prospective venue booker who thinks that it takes a bunch of musicians to make good music.  Hmm.  Here’s a pretty darn good little three-piece band: