Stickin' It to the Man
Angry, Tired Teachers Band Who are these Beatles of the blackboard, these pluckers of pedagogy? The Angry Tired Teachers, that's who. They're mad as hell and, well, yes, they will take it some more. That's what teachers do. Born a dozen or so years ago, but tempered in the fires of the 2007 Hayward teachers strike, this semi-revolving cast of East Bay educators are transposing ageless teacher frustration into verse. From low salaries to No Child Left Behind, the recent budget cuts to a general lack of appreciation for the profession -'Educators should be treated like rock stars,' front man Andrew Kong Knight says- the Angry Tired Teachers have no shortage of musical inspiration. ~Chris Colin, SF Gate/SF Chronicle The Angry, Tired Teachers up tempo, parodies of classic rock songs and original songs by Andrew Kong Knight always reflect the numerous trials and tribulations teachers face in the upside-down world of public education. The band formed in 1997, playing as a party band for Hayward High School teachers. In 2006 the band performed in support of a fair contract for teachers rally at Hayward City Hall. This rally was organized by local teachers union, the Hayward Education Association (HEA). In 2007 the band, hoping to help avoid a strike, performed for more rallies supported by HEA. The Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) refused to offer a reasonable contract, so a district wide teachers strike began. And so, the band embarked on their first 'tour' of (HUSD) schools. A flatbed truck was employed for the 'Stick it to the Man Tour 07' of local striking schools. Their debut CD 'Stickin' it to the Man,' (made possible through HEA) features seven studio versions of their most popular crowd pleaser sing-a-longs from during the strike. It includes their original 'hit' reggae/rock song, 'Teachin' in a Hayward School,' which was featured on local TV and radio stations. The CD also includes an acoustic version of the song performed live in the studio/broadcast on premier San Francisco rock station KFOG. In 2008 the band was called to action again, this time to fight the proposed 4.8 billion dollar budget cuts to California schools. The band went back into the studio and recorded the song 'Cuts Hurt,' their version of the rock classic, 'Love Hurts.' It was used as the theme song to spread awareness of the budget cuts. Supported by the California Teachers Association (CTA) the band embarked on their second tour entitled 'Cuts Hurt/ Budgetwelooza Tour '08'. This time they rolled across the state. The CTA President and other top members launched a two-month 'Cuts Hurt' bus tour and the band was there to join them for the cause. The band and their latest song garnered national attention from CNN and National Public Radio. The band performed for rallies and protests in Hayward, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California. Currently the band is back in the studio again, recording two songs in support of Democratic Candidate Barack Obama. The Angry Tired Teachers Band gives voice to the under-paid, ignored, over-worked, over-stressed public school teachers everywhere. Their music will always stand for justice and fair treatment for teachers. Comments about the Angry Tired Teachers Band: 'It's amazing that they take the most inflammatory rhetoric and put it to a happy beat!' ~ Peter Finch, KFOG 104.5 FM, San Francisco 'I would love to see the California band, "Angry, Tired Teachers," on the cover of Rolling Stone. They certainly look the part. And they can sing. They've developed a following of teachers, parents and students who attended rallies along the way. These audience members are angry and tired too.' ~John Rosales, NEA Today, National Teachers Association 'Their sentiment is heartfelt and overdue.' ~Chris Colin, SF Gate/SF Chronicle 'The Angry, Tired Teachers Band, the Rolling Stones of the CTA' ~Mike Myslinski, Media Relations, California Teachers Association 'Good music!' ~ Dave Morey, KFOG 104.5 FM, San Francisco Even protesting can be fun, however, and that seems to be the primary purpose of the group -- to have fun. So next time you drop your kids off at school, bear in mind that their teachers might just be moonlighting as rock stars. ~ Roger Sinasohn, Parentdish.