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Doug Clark: Mayor to alleviate city’s fever with more cowbell

Sun., June 10, 2012, midnight

I’d like to thank Queen Elizabeth and all her diamond jubilee revelers for setting the right over-the-top mood for an event that is truly worth commemorating.

The 10th annual Spokane Street Music Week, I mean.

Watch Doug Clark talk about Street Music with KHQ’s Dave Cotton

True, we won’t have Elton John or Paul McCartney or that funny hat the queen wore that looks like a cake keeper.

But who needs ’em?

We will have scores of good-hearted singers, guitar pickers, horn players, dancers, percussionists and, I’m told, even a couple of itinerant comedians.

Not to mention Spokane Mayor David Condon on the cowbell.

(More on the mayor in a moment.)

Like always, the fun takes place all over the downtown city sidewalks during the noon hours Monday through Friday.

Look for the red buckets. Every penny tossed into them goes to Second Harvest food bank to help feed the hungry.

Can’t make the live action?

No problem.

You can still help out by making an online donation to the food bank at www.streetmusic

Please do.

Our goal this year is to raise an unprecedented $10,000 in honor of the Big Tenth SSMW anniversary. (Last year we took in a record $8,300.)

Now let me assure everyone that this is a city-sanctioned event.

I plan to pick up a document proclaiming Spokane Street Music Week at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

I also have an official city of Spokane “solicitation license” that I picked up at City Hall on Friday.

Unfortunately, the helpful clerk issued the license to “Dave Clark,” which didn’t make me glad all over.

Considering my sketchy relationship with the SPD, I figure it’s a coin flip as to whether I will be hauled off to jail on charges of identity theft.

And the excitement doesn’t stop there.

On Wednesday night (7-9) you’re all invited to the Bing Crosby Theater for the debut screening of “Sing for their Supper,” a documentary about Spokane Street Music Week.

Five years in the making, the movie is the hard work of Jim Lyons and Joseph Long. And the film is just part of the evening’s entertainment.

There’ll be live music including the great Peter Rivera.

The former lead singer for Rare Earth will sing some of his iconic hits like “Get Ready” and “Celebrate.”

While admission is free, a collection will be taken for the food bank.

Now getting back to the mayor.

When I invited him to take part, he tried to assure me that he had absolutely no musical talent.

I wasn’t having it. Lack of talent hasn’t stopped many of our major rock stars.

In the end, Condon’s people told me the mayor would join me with cowbell in hand on Monday at 12:30 p.m. (I’m always set up next to the Starbucks on Main, across from Pottery Barn.)

At this point I’m probably 90 percent sure this mayoral meeting will be mutually advantageous.

I’d be more certain were it not for the minor incident that took place at Manito Park the other night.

I had been booked to play a set of my original music at the Park Bench eatery.

Part of my act included some smart alecky repartee about the mayor and City Hall, which I use to set up the sarcastic, but loving, tribute that I wrote to my hometown.

Sample from the Spokane Song:

Where the weather’s fine and the sun is shining.

And the grass is green and the river’s clean.

And another sex offender moved into my neighborhood.

Hey, I kid because I care.

Anyway, my jokes were the standard jokes I’ve told for years about all of our one-term mayors.

You know, like how you can always find the mayor hiding under his desk.

That kind of stuff.

After finishing up, the parks guy who booked me came running over with the same look that people get when their dog gets run over.

“Is that Mayor Condon over there?” he asked in a panicked wheeze.

I squinted and gazed across the street.

My eyes aren’t what they used to be. But, yes, there was definitely a Condon-like gentleman sitting on the grass.

A short walk confirmed the sighting.

“Hi, mayor,” I said.

The good news is that Mayor Condon was smiling.

The bad news is that it was the sort of smile many of the better James Bond villains are known for.

I’m probably imagining things.

I’m sure we’ll have a great time for a great cause.

But don’t be surprised if Condon uses his cowbell to clock the Clark cranium.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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