DUDE, I SERVICE society by rocking, OK?
That's how Jack Black's character, a failed rock 'n' roll performer masquerading as a schoolteacher, explains his philosophy of life in School of Rock, a movie that has a lot to say about music and growing up. Apparently, it's not a philosophy shared by Martin O'Malley, Baltimore's rockin' renaissance man. (Surprising, since even Mr. O'Malley's critics will concede he can talk with a certain degree of, uh, youthful spontaneity.) But here's the news flash: The lead singer of O'Malley's March has decided that being a triple threat - Baltimore's mayor, a candidate for governor and muscle-shirted Irish rock band star - spreads him too thin.
The question is, why'd you scrap the cool career?
Let's face it: Serving as mayor is a tough job. Running for governor may be worse. Playing weekend gigs at local pubs, on the other hand, looks like fun. At least the rowdy bar crowd doesn't write nasty missives that embarrass your wife and kids. That's the job of music critics. O'Malley's March actually got decent reviews. A little bit Celtic country, a little bit rock 'n' roll, they said.
We regret Mr. O'Malley's musical retirement. There was a vicarious thrill in knowing the city's highest elected official was unafraid to loudly strut his stuff on stage. Some pols swing golf clubs at country clubs. Our guy sang ballads in bars. Which registers higher on the cool-o-meter? Darn straight.
We hope Mr. O'Malley's decision to leave the band doesn't signal the start of a boring and safe political stretch for City Hall's troubadour. He's clearly interested in rocking Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s world. But playing fund-raisers for the fat cats? That's not living the dream, Dude. Rock on.