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Basslines and Protest Signs

Basslines and Protest Signs Part 49: We’ve Been Right Here Waiting for Richard Marx

Photo via richardmarx.com

Richard Marx — there’s a name you probably haven’t heard in a while. Some of the younger readers might not be familiar with the guy at all. Marx had a string of hits in the late ’80s and ’90s with soft rock/pop rock tunes such as the ballad “Right Here Waiting” and the murder-themed “Hazard.” He’s genuinely a gifted songwriter and performer, and he’s collaborated with everyone from Cher and Luther Vandross to Ringo Starr and Cyndi Lauper.

But still, I wouldn’t be writing about him here were it not for the fact that he’s become something of a gift that keeps on giving on Twitter. You don’t have to like his music to follow his social media accounts (and we would encourage you to do so immediately).

Richard Marx (photo: @Candy156sweet)

On March 3, literally just before the world ended, this writer attended an event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles that saw Marx engage in a Q&A before performing a short set. Having not listened to him talk at length before, it was immediately apparent that the dude is funny. Like, razor sharp-smart but also objectively hilarious. His anecdotes that night covered his personal life, including his musician kids, and his career. But he didn’t really dip into politics. On Twitter — oh boy, he does. 

Here’s the deal, Marx is a proud and vocal progressive who isn’t afraid to throw out the expletives to get his point across. Or sometimes just for the fun of it. He clearly detests Trump, and anyone who displays any racist, sexist and/or homophobic tendencies. He comes at those people hard and that tends to surprise people—fans and non-fans—who have a preconceived notion of who and what he is.

It all led the Chicago Tribune to publish a piece with the headline “Richard Marx — the 1980s balladeer from the North Shore Richard Marx — has a life on Twitter that just may shock you”. Christopher Borrelli writes, “You wish you did lockdown as well as Richard Marx.” And he’s right.

“I think the people offended by the (expletive) language I use online — look, I’m a grown man and I’ll say whatever (expletive) words I want,” Marx told Borrelli. “(Expletive) them. I think I have gained more fans (online) than lost. If I am at someone’s home for a dinner, depending on the company, of course I’m not throwing F-bombs. On (expletive) social media, I don’t give a (expletive).”

He really doesn’t. Marx will come at you like a wild dog if you anger him. Take “Nancy,” an apparent longtime fan who objected to her hero’s use of foul language.

“Can’t believe I have to delete you on my Twitter feed. I always loved your music. I am so let down by you and the unacceptable language you use.”

Marx replied, “After seeing your bigoted anti-gay tweets I’m thrilled to see you go. Bigots are unacceptable.” 

Nancy couldn’t believe what was happening. 

“Why in the world would you think that I’m anti-gay? That has nothing to do with anything. You CANNOT be the real Richard Marx. You just cannot be.”

He sure is. He fired back with a retweet of a bible verse Nancy had pulled out, in order to state that “the only sexual relationship the Bible recognizes is a heterosexual one within marriage.”


That’s the beauty of Marx’s Twitter account. He will come for anyone, knowing full well that he probably has heaps of white, middle-aged fans, in middle America who vote Trump, and like his music. He cares little about alienating people. As he says, he’s probably gained more fans than he’s lost. People are rediscovering Richard Marx.

He’s not afraid to stir some shit up. On May 3, Marx tweeted

“We’ve come to the period in American history where the more allegations of sexual assault are leveled at a candidate, the more appealing he’ll be to conservative voters.” Which of course caused some debate about the relative scandals of Biden and Trump in that regard.

Sometimes, he’ll just lob a grenade and see what happens. On May 2, he tweeted

“Pssst…@realDonaldTrump is an incompetent, sociopathic narcissist who is getting people killed. Pass it on.” 2.4 thousand people retweeted that, while 183 people commented. 

After Trump tweeted a bizarre attack on Nicolle Wallace, Marx responded

“Hey @realDonaldTrump over 66,000 dead Americans on your watch thanks to your incompetence but good to know your priorities are still the same bullshit no one cares about but you, you sociopathic narcissist asswipe.”

He’s taken on gun nuts, firing (pun intended) at one guy

“Banning assault weapons and maintaining the Second Amendment are not mutually exclusive, Einstein.”

Regarding Mike Pence not wearing a mask at the Mayo Clinic, Marx wrote

“These fucking people and their insane lies. Mayo Clinic (who still hasn’t answered for their bullshit) tweeted he was informed and he’s ON VIDEO saying he just thought since he’s “negative” it was ok. Jesus suffering fuck, what lying asswipes.”

By “their bullshit” Marx is referring to the Mayo Clinic allowing Pence to enter without a mask and endanger lives, something he had previously tweeted about.

So there you go. You’re welcome. If you didn’t know that Richard Marx is the hero that we didn’t know we needed, you do now. Let’s leave with this righteous gem:

“I defend everyone’s right to protest, but if your protest involves verbally abusing and trying to intimidate nurses who are risking their lives every day to save the lives of others, you’re just an ignorant asshole fuckstick who should guzzle some fucking bleach.”

Not all heroes wear capes.

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