Beto O'Rourke Music Videos for When You Need a Little Pick-Me-Up

That long, luscious hair, tho.

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(Image credit: Rick Kern)

Beto O'Rourke, the newest presidential candidate in an ever-widening pool, has a secret talent. And it has nothing to do with politics—unless you count singing the National Anthem—Beto O'Rourke was in a punk rock band, Foss, at one point. And, yes, there's video.

O'Rourke, who almost won the Senate seat from Republican Ted Cruz, is known for his talent of keeping large crowds engaged. Turns out, O'Rourke may have learned it from being a bass player in the band Foss, as well as other punk music experiences he's talked about in multiple interviews and during his campaigns.

Here's proof, as well as more info about O'Rourke's music past (and present!), which he'll hopefully talk about as he goes on the campaign trail.

Per Rolling Stone, he fell in love with punk rock after hearing The Clash in 8th grade. He and bandmates Arlo Klahr, Mike Stevens, and Cedric Bixler-Zavala formed Foss in the early '90s. They released an album, The El Paso Pussycats, while O’Rourke was simultaneously attending Columbia, and they even went on tour in the U.S. and Canada and even attracted the attention of the band Feist. Beto gave Rolling Stone a digital version of their song "Rise." 

Beto was also a drummer in the band Swedes in the mid-'90s. According to Beto, his bandmates have "all gone on to successful musical careers, confirming their talent and my lack thereof."

There's old YouTube video of him playing with Foss.

It's, uh, an interesting sound. Beto, in case you didn't spot him immediately, is the fellow in the tan jacket on bass. Look at that long hair! Much fuller than his recent beard, but still.

The Texas GOP tried to use it against him.

In a strange tweet during the election, the GOP tried to argue...that...Beto had a gig instead of debating Cruz? Using a photo from decades ago? They also used the fact that O'Rourke had been arrested twice when he was young to try and attack his character.

It was a weird move, and it absolutely backfired: "Twitter users focused on O’Rourke’s perceived attractiveness and fun background as a musician and skateboarder," per Vox. It's thought that Beto is popular with millennials in part because of his punk past.

And he references his history in his campaigns.

Beto told Vox all about about his time at Foss and the 1980s punk label Dischord Records. "When you're putting out your own records and booking your own tours and writing your own songs, you get to control what you say. The campaign is the same thing."

In 2018, he joined Willie Nelson on stage at an Austin rally to sing "On the Road Again." In his button-down and slacks, he looks like the polar opposite of Willie, but they look like they're having fun.a

Also, he once performed in a sheep mask and onesie.


Could we see him grabbing the guitar again during his presidential run??

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Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.