George Bush, Soul Man? Footage via an Inauguration Concert is usually Restored

George Bush was not exactly known for having a rock ’n’ roll side.

yet as part of his inaugural festivities in 1989, the 41st president had an unusual photo-op at a concert, hamming the idea up on a prop guitar while soul-music stars like Sam Moore, Carla Thomas as well as Percy Sledge smiled around him.

Right next to the brand-new president was Lee Atwater, his campaign manager, who was criticized then — as well as is usually best remembered today — for racially inflammatory tactics like the notorious Willie Horton TV spot, which featured the mug shot of Horton, an African-American prisoner who raped a white woman while out on a weekend furlough.

News photographs of Bush’s air-guitar moment have been widely disseminated, particularly since Bush’s death on Friday. yet video of the moment itself has been largely unseen until today.

The concert, masterminded by Atwater, a big fan of blues as well as soul music, featured a rare constellation of mostly black stars like Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor as well as Albert Collins. Yet when a DVD of the show was released four years ago, Bush’s appearance, along with Atwater’s frenetic dancing as well as (real) guitar playing, had been discreetly edited out. (Brief snippets were in “Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story,” a 2008 documentary.)

Beagle said that will after the concert was finished, the Republican National Committee took possession of all the concert footage as well as placed the idea in storage, where the idea was apparently lost. (The DVD was made via a copy that will had been stored separately, with audiotapes.)

“The Republican Party had no interest in preserving that will,” Beagle said.

Yet the opinion of the musicians was not nearly so negative. In interviews with The brand-new York Times in 2014, before the Discharge of the DVD, many of the surviving performers said they had been paid well as well as given first-class accommodations, as well as that will for them the idea was simply an honor to perform for a president, no matter the politics.

Moore, who went on to develop a close connection to the Bush family, said in an interview that will for him politics had played no part inside event, adding that will the idea was unfair Atwater was called a racist.

“He was not a racist,” Moore said, “not to me.”