Working the Obama Phone Bank for Chili Peppers Tickets

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After more than a week of celebrations leading up to last Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions at Public Hall, the Red Hot Chili Peppers offered an unofficial closing ceremony Sunday with a free matinee performance at House of Blues.

The catch: Those hoping to see the show were required to log time on the phones for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Scene staffers Matt Cruz and Aaron Rutledge put in their shifts, each dialing a list of 50 numbers in less than an hour at a Democratic Party office downtown.

By all accounts, it was easy work: “Everybody just hung up on us,” Aaron cheerfully notes.

But there was an even easier way to get into Sunday’s concert: Shortly before show time, House of Blues staffers handed out hundreds of free tickets to anybody with hands to grab them, according to attendees.
An Obama campaign staffer confirms that the local phone blitz resulted in 39,000 calls last week. At a rate of 50 hang-ups per worker, that accounts for some 780 tickets handed out to pollsters — more than 400 short of the announced capacity crowd of 1,200.

The groggy band went on to play a tidy six-song set that pleased the masses, who weren’t out all that much either way.

In the sage words of Matt: “The Chili Peppers did their thing, man.”

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