Hours after Beto O’Rourke lost his midterm Texas Senate race to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, At the Drive-In frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala — the Democrat’s former bandmate in El Paso punk band Foss — urged the politician to push forward and pursue loftier goals. “I don’t care if [you] lost,” Zavala tweeted Tuesday night after O’Rourke’s narrow defeat. “You made them tremble with the simple prospect of real change. You are one of us. I have nothing but respect and admiration for you. I’m in tears. I can only hope you run for president.”
I don’t care if u lost,You made them tremble with the simple prospect of real change. You are one of us. I have nothing but respect and admiration for you. I’m in tears. I can only hope you run for president. @BetoORourke
— LaVar Te El Culo (@cedricbixler_) November 7, 2018
Zavala continued to praise the 46-year-old Texan on Twitter, noting his own “bittersweet tears of happiness” and offering “nothing but mad respect to Beto’s family.” He encouraged the Democrat to “Keep filming. Keep challenging. Keep fighting. Keep accountability lit under their feet. Keep showing them your bullet scars. Keep showing them the cages. Keep reminding them they work for us. Keep reminding them that we are all part of the human condition.”
The singer also re-tweeted a photo of O’Rourke and the politician’s wife, Amy. “We just want to say thank you to everyone who made this possible,” the caption reads. “Everyone who made us feel hopeful, everyone who inspired us. Everyone who became the most amazing campaign we could have ever hoped to belong to. Grateful that we got to do this with you. We love you. Goodnight!”
Zavala, also known for his work in the Mars Volta and Antemasque, was a vocal O’Rourke supporter throughout his campaign. In late October, the musician even roasted several negative commenters on the Democrat’s Instagram. When one person responded to a photo with “Uncultured swine,” Zavala fired back, “Don’t u have an innocent creature to shoot……yeah we know what side of the purge you’ll be on. Privilege. The other white meat.”
During the heated campaign, @TexasGOP Twitter account tweeted a photo of O’Rourke focused on his pre-political days, showing the cover of Foss’s EP, The El Paso Pussycats, with a scrawled note, “Sorry can’t debate. We have a gig.” It was obviously meant to be a way to detract from the politician’s bona fides, especially because he’s shown wearing a dress. Rather than detract, it only proved to many of those who were feeling Betomania how cool their candidate was.
The El Paso Pussycats is now a rarity, but O’Rourke gave Rolling Stone a digital version of one of the EP’s tracks— “Rise.” It’s lo-fi slacker rock, that owes a debt to bands like Fugazi and Guided By Voices. Take a listen here.