I Am Almost Definitely Not A Spy

Very happy autumn, everyone! The heat is definitely coming down, although hurricane season here in the northeast is in full swing. I say this because it was a little touch and go getting Belmont Porchfest in a week ago. However, I had a great time, and then I immediately boarded a plane for the Rhineland, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Lucerne.

If that sounds vaguely like the life of someone in espionage, you wouldn’t be the first to think that. More on that in a moment….

First, I do want to let you know about a few upcoming live shows:

I will also be featured on WHUS live radio (UConn’s Alternative Radio) on September 20 at about 9am.

So, as you can tell from above (and if you’ve been a reader of this blog for any time, you know), I end up doing quite a bit of international travel. It’s just the nature of the work that I do during the day, which is economic development consulting. However, it can yield fairly interesting stories.

You may recall a few years ago that a dossier was compiled concerning conversations and meetings that President Trump may or may not have had with the Russian government in the years leading up to his election in 2020. The gentleman that put that dossier together was, you may go on to remember, a certain … Christopher Steele. However, that Christopher Steele is a retired MI6 analyst, based in the UK.

Now, quite a bit of attention was paid to Mr. Steele in 2016 and 2017 during election season and soon after. So much so that in the summer of 2017, MSNBC did a short segment on Chris Matthews’ show to update viewers on the status of things. And in so doing, they used the screen shown below:

Back here in Massachusetts, I got a call from one of my colleagues to say that my picture had just been on MSNBC. Apparently people were calling in to ask if I was OK and staying safe.

I, of course, thought this was hysterical.

Friends from all over who had known my travel schedule for years, kept exclaiming “I knew it!,“ and claiming that this was the reason that I was continuously in China and Azerbaijan and other exotic places. After a day or so of this, a friend of mine in the media contacted me to suggest that, in fact, as amusing as this had been, there were possibly some personal safety issues involved, and that I should probably do something about it.

So, I called the MSNBC office in Washington, DC, and after a little shuffling around I reached one of the executive producers for Hardball with Chris Matthews. She was fairly irritated and unimpressed, until I introduced myself by name as Christopher Steele and added that she had been erroneously using my picture on Chris Matthews’ show for the previous several days. Her response: “Say that again?“

Apparently, the Christopher Steele spy story was breaking out about the same time that the Christopher Steele that is me was doing quite a few appearances at conferences, and even a little bit of music, so Google searches for Christopher Steele were resulting in both the Wikipedia entry for the spy and images of me. There weren’t a hell of a lot of images of the spy, for reasons that should be relatively self-evident, so the smart money is on an intern in the MSNBC offices making a very understandable mistake, and Bob’s your uncle.


I love this story, especially since everything has turned out properly, and while I certainly cannot comment further with regards to any international data-gathering exercises I may or may not be associated with, I felt it was right and proper to turn the story into a song. Dossier will be on the next album, and it may very well be either the last or the next to last song that is written and recorded for this collection.

It also gives me the chance to take inspiration from the Beach Boys, and say way down in Antananarivo, baby why don’t we go?

Thank you, as always, for being on this journey with me, and I hope to see you live at one of these upcoming gigs. Keep checking here as I get my new music ready to release to the wider world, and you’ll be amongst the first to hear it!

With love and lyrics…. (yeah, still doesn’t feel right)


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