Crosby, Stills, Nash and … O'Malley

Stephen Stills to perform at fundraiser for the governor

September 08, 2010

Hours before Crosby, Stills and Nash play Baltimore's Pier Six concert pavilion Wednesday night, Stephen Stills will play a Baltimore County backyard.

Stills will perform at a $500-per-couple fundraiser for Gov. Martin O'Malley at the Pinehurst home of Martin G. Knott Jr., a big supporter of the governor and president of Knott Mechanical Inc.

Stills and O'Malley met years ago at some sort of Democratic function. (Knott thought it was a Democratic National Convention, but wasn't sure; no one with the O'Malley campaign had the details.)

"They go back at least 15 years," Knott said. "I think it's pretty huge he's willing to do something for him. You're talking about someone who's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

What about Crosby and Nash? Maybe they're playing somewhere for Bob Ehrlich.

Stills did something similar for O'Malley at a Bethesda home in 2006, when the band was playing in Washington. When Knott heard the band was coming to Baltimore, he started making phone calls. The whole thing got firmed up just yesterday afternoon, and Knott was still working out the details. Info about how to get tickets should show up soon on the campaign website.

Here's what is known so far: The event will be from noon to 2 p.m. and will probably be "a very sort of low-key acoustic set."

It will take place in Knott's back yard. And if it rains?

"We're gonna keep our fingers crossed," he said. "Our house is only so large."

An unkind cut

The Montgomery County barber who cut O'Malley's dad's hair for decades is giving out loads of campaign signs — for Bob Ehrlich

What gives?

"His dad and I got along very well," said Jerry O'Brien of Yankee Clipper in Rockville, who used to talk politics and World War II with the elder O'Malley, Thomas Martin O'Malley, a veteran of that war. O'Brien even knew the future governor when he was a high school kid, tagging along with his dad to the barbershop.

But the O'Malleys aren't the only Maryland political figures with ties to the shop. Maryland Court of Special Appeals Judge Patrick Woodward gets his hair cut there. So does Annapolis lobbyist and Friend-of-Bob Bruce Bereano.

It was Ehrlich who appointed Woodward to the Court of Special Appeals in 2005. And it was Ehrlich who, after a heads-up from Bereano, gave the barber a shout-out during the judge's State House swearing-in ceremony.

"He was introducing a lot of other people in the State House before the ceremony started," O'Brien recalled. " 'We have another guest in the house, Mr. O'Brien.' He asked me to stand up. I'm thinking there was somebody else by the name of O'Brien. It didn't dawn on me at first. 'Mr. Jerry O'Brien.' He said, 'This is Pat's barber. He came all the way over from Rockville, and we're privileged to have him.' I was really honored."

And so, an Ehrlich man was born.

O'Brien said he's given out about 200 signs from his shop, a lot considering that Montgomery is a Democratic stronghold. Several weeks ago, Ehrlich paid a visit to thank him.

Did he cut the candidate's hair?

"I offered to," O'Brien said. "He said his wife wanted him to wear his hair long."

A mellower yellow

Baltimore is preparing to honor one of its famous native sons by disregarding some of his most sage advice: "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow."

I speak, of course, of Frank Zappa, the late musician who will have a monument dedicated to him Sept. 19 outside a library branch in Highlandtown. There will be two days of events, including appearances by Zappa's widow, Gail Zappa, and performances by his son, Dweezil Zappa.

But the real thrill will be the yellow snow for sale.

Sean Brescia, managing partner with Clearpath Entertainment, which is putting on the event, tells me there will be lemon ice for the kids. And for grown-ups, a Limoncello variety.

Goldilocks, steer clear

The three Conaways running for office this year — Baltimore City Circuit Court Clerk Frank, Register of Wills Mary and Del. Frank Jr. — have taken to dressing up in Three Bears costumes.

This fits the family's Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear ad campaign, though for the life of me, I'm not sure what that has to do with clerking, registering or delegating. No matter. Frank Sr. says the costumes are working for them, though they do make waving at cars rather hot.

"It's worth the torture," Frank Sr. told me. "My thing is, always do something different than the other candidates are doing. … When you have a strategy, you just have to follow through, whether you like it or not."

laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

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