Posts tagged: Pit Bull Blues

Pit Bull Blues T-Shirts/Fort Wayne, IN

New T-Shirts sold like crazy yesterday at the event in Fort Wayne. (Damn good-looking shirts, too, thanks to Claire Flint @ Three Seed Design and Webfoot Printing.)

(Check them out on the “Merch” page.)

They worked me in Fort Wayne, I gotta say — three staggered sets in Midwestern heat-n-humidity. I broke my cardinal rule of “Never play a song twice at the same show.” But things are different at these 6-hour Pit Bull Rescue fundraisers. I played all three of my canine-oriented songs once at the beginning, and once at the end. (Needless to say, I’m appealing to the kids. And by kids, I mean children –young children. Like cigarette companies, I’m cultivating that next generation of Shipe fans, so I can keep doing it ’til I’m old and gray. But, I also sneak in some adult-oriented stuff like “The Beast is Back Again.”)

I had a really nice moment with one of Fort Wayne’s best local artists, Sunny Taylor. She did an amazing version “God Only Knows” (Beach Boys). This is not an easy song to learn or play. Such a beautiful piece and she really nails it. Then, as I was going into my 2nd set opener — the intro notes to Temptations’ “My Girl,” Sunny said, “Hey I almost played that song!”

“Well,” I said, “Do you wanna sing it … key of C?”

“Yeah,” she said. “Modulate to D?”

And she the verses. We sang harmonies during the chorus. I love that impromptu stuff with fine musicians you’ve never met before.

Warm thanks to Kim Sargent of Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition for inviting me out there to Indiana and the almost-anonymous donors who sprung for my plane ticket. (I hadn’t been out to Indy since my Renegade Saints days.) And thanks to Janet & Jerry for taking care of me for 3 days and nights. Thank you all so much.

Pit Bull News: Rescue Women/Android Petition

Pit Bull Advocacy on my mind this week:

My friend (and former drummer) Dyson has posted a Petition requesting Android to block a Dogfighting App. Click Here.

For the record, I am not an advocate of censorship. However, I am all for pressuring companies to voluntarily make the right moral decisions in the free marketplace.

Also for the record, I am not entirely certain that video games directly cause bad behavior amongst the kids who play them. (As a musician who lived through the anti-heavy-metal crusades of Tipper Gore, I understand the argument “this is only role-playing fantasy.”) However, everyone has their particular outrages, and this is mine. I work with Pit Bull Rescue around the country, and I am aware of the absolute, abject, insane cruelty inflicted upon these canine creatures. If you learn what I’ve learned, you’ll sign this Petition.

Now for something more fun: I’ve got a project going called “Pit Bull Rescue Woman.” And I am need of photos of women who work in Pit Bull Rescue. If you are a foster, a volunteer, an adopter, or the director herself, please send me photos of you and your dogs. But I don’t just want women kissing and hugging cute dogs. I want the full complexity and humanity of women who do this work. From determination & toughness, to compassion & gentleness. From hard-nosed gritty to sweet & soft, to sexy. (But please, this is NOT a request for women to send me sexy photos.) Candid shots are best, especially of woman building kennels, treating sick dogs, training dogs, etc. Better yet, pictures of women with very, very bad-shaped dogs, to reveal just what sort of suffering y’all attend to.

See my contact page for where to send jpegs. Thanks, and bless you.

To avoid complicated legal issues, I’d like to treat the sending of any photo as permission for it to appear in a YouTube slideshow.

In conclusion, sign this Petition that even Michael Vick agrees with.

Shipe Pit Bull Blues on Acoustic Guitar Forum

Googling myself again (for professional reasons, I swear), I ran across a link to the Acoustic Guitar Forum. Someone had posted a YouTube slide show featuring my song “Pit Bull Blues.” The ensuing discussion is quite passionate. Not what you’d expect on a music forum. (But this isn’t an ordinary forum. Other AGF threads discuss random stuff like T.V. Westerns, Charlie Sheen, and The Green Bay Packers.)

I have said before that I am the world’s most unlikely Canine Advocate. When I was younger, I must have had the ubiquitous fantasies about a music career full of idealism and importance to Western Civilization. You know…. power-to-the-people, save-the-world, and all that. But I lost my appetite for conflict and confrontation along the way. (My highest political aims now are to tell stories that evoke “empathy,” which is actually pretty damn political in its way. We’ve seen what a beating that word–“empathy”–has suffered in the media lately.)

Anyway, who’d have thunk that after 300 songs, my controversial impact on the culture would amount to this?

If I get called to the floor to speak articulately about this stuff, I hope I’ll know what to say. A lot of folks care deeply, on all sides.

Shipe Going to Tampa Pit Bull event

At the turn of the decade, New Year 2010, I vowed to make myself available to all those Pit Bull Rescue events I get invited to. An unlikely advocate ever since the circulation of my song/video, “Pit Bull Blues,” I’m finally making good on the resolution. Next weekend, I’ll be in St. Petersburg/Tampa, Florida. A fundraiser for a rescue called Buster’s & Foster’s Haven is being held at Green Iguana on October 9th, thanks to Krisztina Kallai.

I hope this is the first of many. All I ask for is a plane ticket and a decent bed or couch to sleep on. Most of these rescue shelters work on shoestring budgets, so my travel expense is quite a pinch. But if we can scrape it together with the help of friends and donors, I can see myself traveling all over the place. (I’ve been invited to events in Denmark, England, and Germany.) It’s not like I’m a big celebrity. Nor am I an expert on Pit Bulls. But like the idea of showing up to sing a few songs—including two about Pit Bulls—and talking a little bit about the good things that are happening with shelters out here on the west coast.

For new fans wondering I’m writing about canine stuff on my music biz blog, click the below video, produced by Jeff Fleiss. (It had become a rallying anthem back around the time of the sad Michael Vick episode.)

Pit Bull Blues produced by Jeff Fleiss.