The 2017 CMA Awards were held in Nashville on Wednesday night (Nov. 8). But Sturgill Simpson has never had much love for the country music establishment, and instead of performing at the actual ceremony, he participated by playing outside the event and pledged all money that ended up in his guitar case to the ACLU.
The country outlaw live-streamed the whole performance, and at one point, he gave a mock CMA acceptance speech that would likely never have made it to air. “Nobody needs a machine gun, and that’s comin’ from a guy who owns quite a few guns,” he said. “Gay people should have the right to be happy and live their life any way they want to and get married if they want to without fear of getting drug down the road behind a pickup truck. Black people are probably tired of getting shot in the streets and being enslaved by the industrial prison complex. Hegemony and fascism is alive and well in Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you very much.”
— Adam Gold (@GoldAdam) November 9, 2017
— Bridget Moss (@buckfever) November 9, 2017
Simpson went method playing the part of a street busker with an open guitar case at his feet along with, casually, his Grammy for Best Country Album. He had one sign that read “I don’t take requests, but I take questions about anything you want to talk about … because fascism sucks” and another displaying “Struggling country singer… Anything helps (all donations go to the ACLU). God Bless America.”
Questions came from spectators on the street as well as people commenting on his Facebook Live. And on the subject of Pres. Donald Trump (and fascism), Simpson answered very straight-forwardly: “He’s a fascist fucking pig and I’m not afraid to say that.”
This article was originally published by Stereogum.