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CBS Tells No Age Guitarist No Obama Shirt on "Late Late Show"

October 8, 2008 5:00 PM ET

No Age guitarist Randy Randall was forced to remove the shirt he was wearing before the Los Angeles duo performed on Late Late Night With Craig Ferguson. Randall's shirt did not feature any explicit language or indecent imagery, but rather a shirt supporting Barack Obama. "After the rehearsals, the people from CBS said I couldn't wear the shirt," Randall said. "I threatened to walk off the set and not do the show. They would not budge. They said that it was because they had to give equal time." The equal time CBS referenced was the Fairness Doctrine, a policy authored by the FCC in 1949, which required television networks to be balanced in their coverage in things like presidential elections. Unfortunately, CBS apparently missed the memo that the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in the Reagan era. "Dean and I talked and we came to the conclusion that it was better to do the show and make a statement on national TV than just walk away," Randall continued. "So I turned the shirt inside out and wrote free healthcare on it." The No Age performance is scheduled to air October 27th. "We are living through a seriously oppressive time when basic needs like health care and freedom of speech are up for consideration as though they were extravagant options and not necessities," Randall says.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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