I was intrigued by both the music and bio of Austin-based psych rockers, The Boxing Lesson. You could certainly classify the sound of the trio’s second LP, Wild Streaks & Windy Days, as stoner rock. And that’s where the story gets interesting. I couldn’t help but notice that the band’s drummer was in federal prison and therefore on the road with a touring drummer. Hmmm, I had to ask the press manager why. I mean we’re talking federal prison. He must’ve killed someone or something.
But no, turns out drummer Jake Mitchell is doing 60 months in federal prison on marijuana charges. Apparently he was running a little homegrown pot operation out of his house. What’s most disturbing is that he was convicted under the Patriot Act and has been branded a Narco-Terrorist. And it gets worse. His wife is currently serving a six month sentence as a conspirator for not turning her husband in. His family has lost everything trying to appeal this conviction.
I couldn’t help but contrast this story to that of Bernard Madoff’s – a man who has perpetrated the biggest scam in Wall Street history by admittedly defrauding clients for up to $50 billion in investments. He has completely ruined the lives of thousands and yet he sits comfortably in his NY penthouse secretly mailing his multi-million dollar watch collection to friends and family. Tell me, who is the terrorist here? Clearly we live in a society that enforces different rules for different classes of people. It’s sad really and only reinforces a hard lesson I learned a long time ago – what’s legal isn’t necessarily fair.
The band will be playing SXSW this year so if you’re going be sure to check them out. Reportedly their live shows are epic.