The Wanderer: From Buddy Holly tour and Sgt. Pepper cover to bucking liberals and touting GOP’s Westby George Bennett | September 6th, 2009
DiMucci — better known simply as Dion from his chart-topping Teenager In Love/Runaround Sue/The Wanderer days — turned 70 this year and is a registered Republican who has developed an admiration for conservative GOP congressional hopeful Allen West. West lost a challenge to U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, last year and is gearing for a 2010 rematch.In a type of gig Dion says he hasn’t done before, he’s scheduled to introduce West at a Boca Raton Republican Club meeting this month and then perform a not-yet-determined number after West speaks.
Dion was part of Buddy Holly’s ill-fated 1959 Winter Dance Party tour (he skipped the doomed plane ride with Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson), and his likeness is included in the iconic crowd shot on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover (he’s right behind Tom Mix and Oscar Wilde).To the extent he’s ever been identified with politics in the past, it’s for his 1968 recording of Abraham, Martin and John, which associated him with the folky progressivism of the era.
“I still believe in it,” Dion says of the song. But in other ways, he says, he doesn’t understand the dominant liberalism of the recording industry.“It’s puzzling to me because I’m a rock ’n’ roller and rockers believe in truth and freedom. I don’t believe a lot of them know what the two words mean,” says Dion. “I think a lot of them have confused it (freedom) with license — giving you permission to do anything you want without regard to the consequences.”
Dion describes himself politically as “kind of an independent. … I’m liberal with my love but conservative with my thinking.”
* * *West Boca Community Council President Sheri Scarborough is said by well-placed sources to be considering a run for the school board seat of 21-year incumbent Sandra Richmond. One of the council’s vice presidents, Frank Barbieri, was elected to the school board last year. As attentive readers of the Politics column undoubtedly recall, Democratic activist and former teacher/principal/school administrator Marcia Andrews is also looking at a run for Richmond’s seat. Richmond hasn’t opened a campaign, but has said she’ll “probably” seek reelection next year.
***College student Gary J. Lew is one of three candidates who have filed for the Democratic nomination to succeed term-limited state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, in 2010.
But Lew is a registered Republican. He says he signed up with the GOP because of an interest in libertarian-leaning Ron Paul, but avers that “I have never in my life voted Republican.”
He says he’ll switch his registration to Democratic.
Tags: Allen West, Beatles, Buddy Holly, Carl Domino, Dion DiMucci, doo-wop, Frank Barbieri, Gary J. Lew, Marcia Andrews, Palm Beach County school board, Ron Paul, Sandra Richmond, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sheri Scarborough, term limits, Winter Dance Party