Arts Listings

Roy Zimmerman At The Freight

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday July 30, 2009 - 11:17:00 AM

“I don’t know if Obama can unite the Democrats and Republicans,” said satiric songwriter-singer Roy Zimmerman, who will perform at Freight and Salvage Friday night, “but he can unite a subject with a predicate! But fortunately, my job’s not just to make fun of the president.” 

Zimmerman nonetheless hit the campaign trail last year, with a “campaign promise” to tour all 50 states, including going to the conventions. “I made it to 47 of them.” At the Republican convention, he saw “Every kind of white person! ... The rest were staged carefully. It was amazing to be there.” There’s a “soundtrack” for his tour, Thanks for the Support, Roy. 

Concerning the post-election scene, Zimmerman said, “Considering the Republicans represent both kinds—the Haves and Have-Lots—they’re having hard times finding the narrative link; nothing to hang it on. And of course people are concerned about what’s happening with Obama’s promises, Hope and Change. But it’s been six months and there’s no slump in interest.” 

Zimmerman, whose website ( announces “Funny Songs About Ignorance, War and Greed,” has been praised by Tom Lehrer and Joni Mitchell. Raised in the Bay Area, where he now lives again with his family, he co-founded the quartet The Foremen in Southern California in 1988, a kind of revival of ’50s-’60s groups like The Kingston Trio and The Limelighters, with a satirical mission.  

His own output features more than six solo CDs and songbooks with DVDs, like How (and Why) To Play ‘Peacenik’—Peacenik being an earlier CD. 

His material bears an obvious left-wing slant. He’s aware of a difference: “We used to have a name for right-wing satire: we called it ‘cruelty.’” 



8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage,  

1111 Addison St.