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Willie Nelson, Wayne Coyne, ?uestlove, others cold-calling music fans to vote next Tuesday

October 25, 2010 | 12:36 pm

Willie Nelson Elsinore Genaro Molina 
If you pick up the phone and a voice on the other end that sounds like Willie Nelson tells you to make sure to vote on Tuesday, you’re not hallucinating.

The Red-Headed Stranger is indeed putting in personalized calls to music fans to encourage them to exercise their right on election day on Nov. 2. And he’s not alone. The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, ?uestlove from the Roots, the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and several other rock, pop and country celebs are working the phones for HeadCount, the music-focused nonprofit, nonpartisan voter registration organization.

HeadCount is supported by some 80 bands and exerts a presence at  more than a dozen music festivals throughout the year, among them Lollapalooza, Farm Aid and Bonnaroo.

“Let’s get some folks cranked up about this,” Weir, a HeadCount board member, said in a statement the group issued Monday.  “It’s so important that people, particularly young people, are paying attention and voting so a bunch of cranky old folks don’t steal their future. Hopefully getting a call from a familiar voice will be motivation.”

HeadCount's web site has logged pledges to vote next week by more then 25,000 music fans.

Among the other familiar voices making calls in hopes of increasing voter turnout are Guster’s Adam Gardner, Grace Potter, Marc Brownstein of the Disco Biscuits and Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule.

They aren’t advocating for specific candidates or ballot measures, but we can only guess that California’s Prop. 19 probably has gotten Nelson, er, fired up. 

--Randy Lewis

Photo of Willie Nelson performing in Lake Elsinore in 2009. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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