I’m happy to say that the GUITARMY’s first major action this past Tuesday, May First, 2012, was a success.
GUITARMY’s seven Squad Leaders were able to deliver participating musicians safely from our point of departure (Bryant Park) to our destination (Union Square). This was a big challenge because yesterday’s march was “unpermitted,” which meant that everyone had to stay on the sidewalk and carefully heed directions issued by the NYPD, but everything went smoothly. Nobody was arrested, the music was sweet, our Guitar Medic kept people supplied with strings and picks as they broke or disintegrated, the playing was timely and tuneful, and the singing was soulful and on-key.
I can say that everybody who was a part of this felt great at the end of the day: they had mastered some classic protest songs (including Florence Reece’s iconic “Which Side Are You On”), felt more confident as players, and had experienced first hand the joy and excitement of playing music within the meaningful context of a significant protest march. It was especially important that Tom Morello was able to there supporting GUITARMY. The vast majority of musicians who’ve supported Occupy Wall Street over the winter aren’t famous and never will be, and it’s a big boost when a celebrity like Tom is there because the media pays more careful attention.
GUITARMY will be out and about again. If you’d like training as a Squad Leader, please get in touch with the group and someone will show you the ropes. You can reach GUITARMY via e-mail by sending mail to the Occupy Wall Street Music Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also by following them on Twitter: @owsmusicgroup. Guitarmy’s Tumbler site (which contains our set list, lyrics, chords, and other resources) is here: http://occupyguitarmy.tumblr.com/
A nice story was written on the Guitarmy’s Rehearsal Section here:
The following video from GlobalPost is very well produced and discusses Guitarmy within the context of the evolution of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The only real complaint is that one must endure a 30-second spot commercial before viewing the content.