Steve at Telluride #28: Missing Parsons Report
FREE PASTOR MUSTARD!! Look, I have no inside scoop here, so I can’t comment on why, after 27 years, Pastor Mustard was suddenly yanked from his emcee duties, but I stand among the teeming throng that is sorely disappointed by that unfortunate maneuver. (For those who don’t know, Pastor Mustard is a lanky, hilarious cowboy who hosted the TBF for close to three decades and was one of the defining elements and sounds of the festival but who vanished three years ago without a word of explanation.) The TBF is an event steeped in tradition and continuity, and the good Pastor’s commentary, sense of humor, sunup-to-sundown presence, etc., was an integral and highly enjoyable part of the festival. I have heard from reliable sources that even some of the festival’s most revered artists have lobbied on Mustard’s behalf but have so far failed to penetrate the Planet Bluegrass folks and convince them to reverse their Pastor Purge. I have no choice then to officially launch the Mustard in 2010® campaign, an effort to reestablish Pastor Mustard as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival emcee next year. We’re takin’ it to the streets. I know, I know—perhaps not everyone misses him, and there’s that group that circulated the “Hold the Mustard” shirts a few years back, who apparently didn’t enjoy the Pastor’s brand of public speaking. It may be possible, however, that the Hold the Mustard folks didn’t fully appreciate the talent, intelligence, technique, instincts, rhythm, spontaneity, humor, extemporization, confidence, nuance, command, balls, etc., it takes to be an effective master of ceremonies—and Mean Mr. Mustard has all of those attributes in spades. (Plus, a lot of those anti-Mustard guys rarely left the campground.) To see where most festivarians stand on this issue, I conducted a systematic survey this year of the Town Park and Warner Campgrounds, as well as the festival grounds themselves, and I now report these completely unbiased results:
Pastor Who? 14%
Hold the Mustard 15%
Bring Him Back 71%
Of those who voted to “Bring Him Back,” over half reported their position as “Fiercely Adamant.” Therefore, to emphasize the will of the people, I’m rolling out “Make Mine with Mustard” t-shirts and “You Can’t Cut the Mustard” hats for our campaign. If you are with us and feel that the festival has been significantly disfigured by the Missing Mustard—in terms of the discontinuity of stage events, lack of rapport with the artists and crowd, breaking of tradition, etc.—then please let the good folks at Planet Bluegrass know about it with a friendly email. FREE PASTOR MUSTARD!!!