Political musician David Rovics performs at Cerritos

Rosaura Montes and Rosaura Montes

Independent singer and songwriter David Rovics was invited to play for students on Dec. 1 at the Teleconference Center by Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ted Stolze.

According to Stolze, this concert was put together “for the hope that students would appreciate his [Rovics] incredible lyrical range and depth of historical and political insights.”

“I have listened to and been inspired by David Rovics’ music for about ten years, basically since the crimes against humanity that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001,” Stolze continued.

The perfomance was free of charge; however, there was financial assistance to help pay for Rovics to perform at Cerritos.

“Several faculty members from the economics, history, and philosophy Departments chipped in to pay for David Rovics to come to our campus.

“The outstanding scholars and activists from the People’s History Association raised money and advertised the concert,” Stolze said.

With the Teleconference Center filled, many students attended the event for extra credit; however the majority of the group was intrigued with the songs that Rovics sang.

Stolze explained that, “Rovics sings in the tradition of such great troubadours of the people as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, and Silvio Rodriguez. Although I listen to many different styles of music, David Rovics and Tom Morello are my two favorite topical singer/songwriters.”

He performed with his acoustic and natural singing voice without the help of any microphones.

Economics and mathematics major Ben Bernal claimed that Rovics’ songs “were very solid because each song had a lot of meaning.

“I really appreciated every song that I heard,” Bernal continued.

One particular song that Rovics performed stunned him to know that students are aware of Saint Patrick’s Battalion, a unit of European descent who were part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War.

“Something good is happening here [at Cerritos College]. It is extremely unusual because we live in a society where public and private schools are very tightly controlled and only teach what is in the book.”

Although Rovics did not announce the song titles that he performed, the songs meanings lingered onto students’ minds.

“His song about bullies ruling the world is really true if you listen to it in a simplistic perspective. You see the bullies essentially monopolized the playground and control power over it,” Bernal said. “You see that being played out in the corporations in the real world.”

As an active indie musician, Rovics has performed in at least 26 Occupy encampments. “I knew Occupy Wall Street was going to happen months before it did,” Rovics stated. “Organizers e-mailed me to perform on the 17th of September on Wall Street.”

Rovics’ songs are available free for downloading at www.DavidRovics.com.

The inspirational performances are not just over it. “I’ll certainly try next semester to get Tom Morello to play a concert on campus, too, although I suspect that he is a lot harder and more expensive to book,” Stolze said.