Scott Brown and diplomats to present their credentials at Indian Ranch
WEBSTER – Former US Senator Scott Brown didn’t really have to think twice.
âIf I had a choice between politics and going on tour, I would be going on tour in a second,â Brown said.
Going on tour with your own rock band, of course.
Brown is now, after all, a diplomat.
Scott Brown and the Diplomats will take the stage at Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road, at 1 p.m. on July 17 as the opening act for the Eagles Tribute Band Dark Desert Eagles (doors open at 11:30 a.m.).
Brown’s group is newly formed, consisting of Brown, singer / vocalist / guitar; Sean Compton, guitarist / vocals; Rich Eisner, drums / vocals; Jesse Bastos, bass / vocals; and Gay Perkoski, vocals / guitar.
The other members, all from New England for the most part, have good musical credentials and the group has a song repertoire that includes many rock classics.
Brown served as U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa from June 2017 to December 20, 2020, an experience that he says transformed him from politician to diplomat.
Shortly after presenting his credentials as US ambassador to New Zealand, Brown determined that rock and roll would be a good diplomatic bridge between the two countries.
âI had a group in New Zealand,â he said. “We had a great experience.” Before the pandemic, the group performed in front of an audience of 15,000 people in a Wellington arena.
After returning to the United States, he decided to form a new group here. âAnd I’m happy because it’s just a fun way to have fun and do different things,â Brown said.
Scott Brown and the Diplomats have already hit the road, including a concert on June 28 in Hampton Beach.
The group’s set list has Brown taking the lead vocals for numbers such as “Johnny B. Goode”, “The Wanderer”, “Lola”, “Born to be Wild”, “Happy Together”, Rebel Rebel “and” Should I Stay or should I go? “
There appears to have been an answer to the last question.
âWe had over a thousand people (at Hampton Beach). People stayed until the end. People there said it was the first time people were staying all the time. was great fun. No problem, âsaid Brown.
In short, there was a “very positive reaction”. But Brown acknowledged that there may be a surprise reaction to seeing a former U.S. senator and ambassador on stage singing rock and roll numbers.
“I think people are kind of like, ‘OK. Wow. This is real.'”
The group has already received job offers, including for a cruise line, he said.
But Brown returned to a new job after his stint in New Zealand.
He is President, CEO and Dean of New England Law, a private law school in Boston. It officially started on January 4. âAnd then we saw what happened on January 6,â he said.
Brown, a person named by Trump, said he believed former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol insurgency.
Brown, who began his political career as a real estate appraiser for the town of Wrentham, was elected United States Senator to Massachusetts in 2010 in a special election to fulfill the term of United States Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who died in 2009. Brown’s victory over Democratic candidate Martha Coakley came as a surprise, but he lost the next full term election to Elizabeth Warren in 2012.
Brown’s brief stint as ambassador included New Zealand and Samoa, as well as remote places such as the Cook Islands and the Antipodes Islands.
âI had the largest geographic district in the world,â he said.
His tenure there included critical moments.
Two consecutive mass shootings that killed 51 people occurred in mosques during a terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers on March 15, 2019.
The Black Lives Matter movement “has moved over there (to New Zealand),” Brown said. At first, the United States was criticized, but attention then shifted to the treatment of the indigenous Maori population under the former British colonial rule, Brown said.
In October 2020, New Zealand’s general election saw the ruling Labor Party, led by outgoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, win a landslide victory over the National Party.
Brown was also in New Zealand for the start of the COVID pandemic. New Zealand has a much lower infection and death rate than almost any other country in the world.
âThey closed the border after us. (But) it’s a small country. Five million people, probably four to five times as many sheep as people,â Brown said.
However, although its population and geography are different from that of many countries, “the only thing they did, which was lacking in other countries, including us, was ‘one for all and all for one'”, Brown said of the country’s attitude. This led to a “Shutdown. Social distancing.”
Meanwhile, “In New Zealand every day there is an earthquake,” he said.
“It was a very interesting time.”
When the US election was held last year, âIt was so far away and I was so into my job there that it didn’t affect me at all,â Brown said.
Still, “I got to get on TV and talk about the process.”
Brown discovered that some people in New Zealand didn’t know much about how the US government works. He was asked “What is a governor?” “He said.” I had to break it down into our government structure. You had to give them a good education on how we do politics. “
Brown felt he explained the process, and in turn, “the process worked.”
He said there was no doubt President Trump lost the election.
“Oh yeah. I’m on file on this. Of course he lost it.”
Overall, Brown said of his time in New Zealand: “It was great. I learned a lot about myself.”
In particular, âI hope that I have learned about myself and that I have become a diplomat and not a politician,â he said.
As a politician, “you are trying to convince someone of your position,” he said. As a diplomat, you consider “everyone’s position”.
It’s a skill that has helped him at New England Law, he said.
“I’m pretty busy, I’ll tell you.” Brown said he was approached for the job a year and a half ago, but waited until his tenure in New Zealand was over before taking the reins of law school. “It was extremely rewarding. A really wonderful school.”
It does not appear that work is stopped before resuming political engagement.
âI’ve been pretty disgusted with politics lately,â he said.
Music is another matter.
The Brown family has a musical background. Brown said he sang in high school and college. He is married to television reporter and presenter Gail Huff, and the couple have two children, Ayla and Arianna Brown. Ayla placed in the Top 16 of Season 5 of “American Idol” and established herself as a country singer. She has performed several times at Indian Ranch.
âAyla, she does her own thing. We support each other,â Scott Brown said.
Brown has started to revisit his own thing with music by picking up and playing guitar over the past seven years and also working on shaping his voice.
He has previously made appearances on stage with Cheap Trick (in Australia) and blues legend James Montgomery.
He said his wife told him, âDon’t embarrass us.â Brown said to Huff, âDon’t worry honey. I’m not going to do this.â â
Just looking at Scott Brown and the Diplomats’ website, www.scottbrown-diplomats.com, “you can see that everything we do is professional,” Brown said.
“Coming back and finding four talented, hiccup-free musicians was a really good challenge.”
Three of Diplomats’ musicians have family ties, with Compton, Eisner and Bastos also playing for Ayla Brown’s band. Compton has been performing in theaters across the United States since the 1980s and has opened for Darius Rucker, Joe Dee Messina, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Eisner has recorded with top Nashville players such as Kenney Chesney and Leann Rimes, while Bastos has performed with regional favorites Itchy Fish, The Dolls and many more. Pekoski has performed with several New England area bands as well as solo and acoustic duo with Compton. She teaches guitar and voice and directs music programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Brown is no stranger to Indian Ranch and has seen Ayla Brown perform there. “I was able to take the stage with her,” he said.
At the opening of Dark Desert Eagles, Scott Brown and the Diplomats will perform a set of approximately 45 minutes.
âWhich will be perfect. This is the first tribute band (Eagles) on the East Coast. Being able to go on stage and open for these guys will be really something,â Brown said.
Pat Badger, Founder of Dark Desert Eagles, said, “I’ve spoken to him (Scott Brown) a few times. He’s a talented musician in his own right.”
Badger played with Ayla Brown
âShe’s really talented. It’s a very talented family. But yeah, we’ll be looking forward to playing with Scotty,â Badger said.
âI can’t wait to see a lot of friends,â Brown said of coming to Indian Ranch on July 17, in words beyond standard diplomacy.
“I have always had a great love for the Worcester County area.”
Tickets for Dark Desert Eagles and Scott Brown and the Diplomats cost $ 25 general admission; $ 10 child. Visit www.indianranch.com.