Bill Moyers & Company Covers The Guitarmy

The Occuponics’ Stephen C. Baldwin reports that he was honored to be interviewed by Bill Moyers & Company during the rehearsal for Tom Morello’s “Thousand Guitar March” on May 1st, 2012. Lots of diverse guitar folks – from NYC and far beyond – are in this presentation, and considerable airtime is given to Florence Reece’s “Who’s Side Are You On,” which became one anthem for that day. OWS folks take special note that Lauren DiGioia is also promently featured.

Occuponics Perform “NYPD: Why Don’t You Party With Me” at Zuccotti Park (AKA LIberty Square)

This video from CocoAndBrownie captures the Occuponics, at Zuccotti Park/AKA LIberty Square, back in March 2012 (a time the mainstream media continues to insist Occupy Wall Street had completely disappeared). As you can see, there were demonstrators there that cold March day.

As I’ve written elsewhere, Occupy never “faded away” at all: it was the media that “faded away” and I’m sure they’re already fading away again, now that May Day is behind us and Snooki’s PR agent is calling them complaining that they’re not paying enough attention to her travails.

“NYPD, Why Don’t You Party With Me” was written by Stephen Carl Baldwin in late 2011 during one of the Occuponics’ freeform jams in Zuccotti Park. The chord progression in this song (G-Em-C-D) is identical to Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” and “If I Had a Hammer,” as well as about a thousand Doo-Wop songs of the late 1950s. The song is intended to serve as a genuinely friendly ode to New York’s Finest, many of whom the songwriter believes sympathize with OWS while being forbidden by departmental protocol to share this opinion. In fact, on at least one occasion this song was greeted with shout-outs from a couple of police officers to “play it again!” At the same time, this song criticizes Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his heavy-handed treatment of Occupy Wall Street, characterizing the Mayor as having “a heart of stone.”

Lyrics to “NYPD, Why Don’t You Party With Me”

Hey Mayor Bloomberg
You saw us camping alone
And so you ruined our home
You’ve got a heart of stone

Hey Mayor Bloomberg
I used to think you were nice
You ain’t fooling us twice
You’ve got a heart of ice

Why don’t you party with me
We all know you’re the best
You’re New York’s finest

Why don’t you party with me
We all know you’re the best
You’re New York’s finest

(repeat entire song once and face out with chorus (NYPD, why don’t you party with me…)

Copyright 2012, Stephen C. Baldwin

Thanks To All Musicians Who Joined GUITARMY on May 1

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 ( and also by following them on Twitter: @owsmusicgroup. Guitarmy’s Tumbler site (which contains our set list, lyrics, chords, and other resources) is here:

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.

Occuponics to Participate in GUITARMY Musical March, May Day, 2012

Guitarmy, AKA “The Thousand Guitar March,” has been busily preparing for the forthcoming May Day March from Bryant Park to Union Square. There will be many guitars, and many guitar heroes, including Tom Morello, leading this peaceful, musical charge.

This past Tuesday, available Guitarmy Squad Leaders converged to come up with a suitable kickoff song. We tried to make it easy and open-ended so that beginners could play the song easily but advanced guitarists could riff and improvise above it, as well as any horn players or other accompanists that might show up. We decided on “Which Side Are You On,” by Florence Reece, based on the traditional folk song, “Lay the Lily Low.”

This rehearsal captures us trying to capture the song and make sure it can be played by as many guitarists that show up. We also added some updated lyrics (below the video). If you play guitar or can make a joyful noise please come to Guitarmy – we need musicians! There are also additional performances of “Which Side Are You On” here.

Guitarmy Squad Leaders will be out early on May 1 in Bryant Park to teach you anything you need to know about playing all the songs in the set list. We tried to keep them all to a maximum of three chords, so that everyone can play and sound good.


The basic root chord of this song is drone on Em (E minor).

Beginners should strum on Em all the way through and ONLY switch to the B7 just once, toward the latter part of each verse

Advanced guitarists might want to play a D chord over the Em at a certain point.

We are the guitar army, we”re marching from this place
We march for peace and justice, to save the human race
Which side are you on? Which side are you on?
Which side are you on? Which side are you on?

Hey, hey – May Day!
Hey, hey – May Day!
Hey, hey – May Day!
Hey, hey – May Day!

We are the guitar army, our eyes are on the prize
Musicians have no chance in life unless we organize

We are the guitar army, we’re marching side by side
We’re march for those who suffer, we march for those who’ve died

Oh people, can you hear us, oh people, do you care?
You’re either with the ninety nine, or you are with the Mayor

Original version:

Come all of you good workers, good news to you I’ll tell
Of how the good old union has come in here to dwell

My daddy was a miner, he’s now in the air and sun
And I’ll stick with the union, till every battle’s won

They say in Harlan County, there are no neutrals there
You’re either in the union, or a scab for J.H. Blair

Oh workers can you stand it? Oh tell me how you can?
Will you be a crummy scab or lend us all a hand?

Don’t scab for the bosses, don’t listen to their lies
Us poor folks don’t have a chance unless we organize

The Tax Dodgers, Backed Up By The Occuponics, Visit GE (30 Rock) with The Illuminator

The Tax Dodgers visit GE (30 Rock) with The Illuminator from Adventure Pants on Vimeo.

Another fun video recording of the Tax Dodgers’ late-night visit to Rockefeller Center, home of GE, NBC, and MSNBC. This video, shot by the Adventure Pants production company, is very nicely produced, and features The Dodgers, The Occuponics, and the famous Illuminator truck, a high-tech vehicle that projects images on iconic buildings — in this case, Radio Music Hall.

Musically Occupying Wall Street, April 19, 2012

The Occuponics’ Steve Baldwin, with Carlos Mandelbaum on sax, lead a micro-march on Wall Street before historic Federal Hall. The song is “Wall Street, Your Kingdom Must Come Down,” which was taught to the group back in November 2011 by Painless Parker, AKA Noam Berg. Thanks to Jennifer Maskell for getting our procession on tape. The acoustics at Federal Hall are excellent, and the band will attempt to play down there as much as possible.

Occuponics and Tax Dodgers Go To Bat For One Percent

The Occuponics and The Tax Dodgers spent a day serenading the public on Federal Tax Day, April 17, 2012. Here’s a video of the team singing outside Trump Tower, where Donald Trump, one of our heroes, is hosting a birthday celebration for the lovely and talented Ann Romney. After this, the Dodgers and the Occuponics headed downtown, making multiple stops at the sites of corporations that refuse to pay their fair share of the tax burden.

Occuponics Team Up With Tax Dodgers



The Occuponics are honored to be the house band for The Tax Dodgers. The team was in Central Park this past Saturday warming up for the big game on Tax Day. Here’s a rousing performance of “Take Me Out to the Tax Game”. Thanks, RK Chin and Jennifer Maskell, for shooting these videos. And thanks to the OWS Drum Circle for providing a steady beat!