It was the week after the the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and we were in NYC for the Steuben German Festival Parade.
We wanted to see if we could get permission to play near the 9/11 Memorial. Little did we know, it was the "Day of Rage Against Wall Street," and there was violence and vandalism all throughout Lower Manhattan earlier that morning.
As PTB's Chris Castellon asked the officer near the memorial for permission to play, he was told:
"I'll give you a hundred bucks to play some American music right in THEIR faces," and pointed at a pretty angry looking crowd.
We owe a lot to PTB's Danny Mosicki for suggesting that we get right up in their faces, and then turn away and play toward the 9/11 Memorial (clutch move).
We played "America The Beautiful," "Armed Forces Salute," "When The Saints Go Marchin' In," and "What A Wonderful World."
Regardless of how you feel about the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, it is a fact that there were some bad apples throwing bricks through windows and trying to start a full blown riot with the NYPD on THAT day.
Once we finished playing "What A Wonderful World," even some of the protestors came over and said, "That's cool, we get it, we're all in this together."
The power of music may have changed the course of events that day.
... wait a minute! We never got that hundred bucks!