18 June 2008

Second Hand Record Dip Part 10 - Mason Profitt - Vote

Mason Profitt

Who: Mason Profitt
What: Vote
Where: Reckless Records, Soho (RIP)
Label: Warner Brothers
Year of Release: 1972
Cost: Three pounds

In Britain, we’re completely used to the “Rock the Vote” campaign where pop stars will nag young people to register. Paul Weller is generally a constant, usually appearing in the press with such a weary face in the accompanying articles that one loses the will to do anything for the rest of the day after seeing it, much less take part in the democratic process.

As is so often the case, the Yanks were on to the whole campaign way before we were. And so it was in the 1972 election over there that somebody persuaded country rockers Mason Profitt to produce a promotional ditty on the subject. “Put down your toke, learn to vote, then you can hit 'em where they're gonna feel!” they urged hippies everywhere.

Somehow (and I’m not entirely sure how) this single ended up for sale in a second hand store in London, from where I bought it. It contains the full song on the A-side, plus three promotional radio slot features on the B-side which contain members of the band clearly reading facts about voting off a piece of paper to an instrumental version. How many hippies bothered to put down their spliffs and wander down to the polling booth after hearing this remains undocumented, as does the rumour that Paul Weller will be doing a soulful cover version of the track at the next British election.

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