* The Senate Democrats’ latest podcasts is an interview of Senate President Don Harmon talking about his musical experience. It’s pretty darned good…
Q: You gave a speech not all that long ago and the title was ‘All I needed to know to be a legislative leader I learned playing in a rock and roll band.’ Explain that to me. How did the two tie together in your mind?
A: Being in a band is not that much different than being in a caucus in a lot of ways, or in any sort of a political group. You have different roles to play at different times, different people get their turn in the spotlight. Some people are backup players by choice or by nature. Some people are more gravitating towards the spotlight. But you have to work together or the finished product is garbage. You’ve got to rehearse. 95% of work happens offstage, very much like in the legislative process. So an awful lot of similarities, more so than I would have thought before trying to put together that analogy.
Q: What are some of the keys that you can take away from being in a band, not just the behind the scenes work, but some of the character traits that are key to doing work as a legislator?
A: The ability to both prepare and to wing it simultaneously. It is a weird confluence, but you have to be prepared so that you can wing it once you’re on stage. And I think the same thing happens in committee, or debating a bill on the floor, or at a press conference. You need to be prepared, but that preparation often manifests itself in coming up with an answer on the spot that you never expected to formulate. So I think that was good training from the rock ‘n’ roll world.