Music and Politics Meet at the White House

Christopher Sabec Grateful Dead PoliticsWhile still at Law School, Christopher received a message from one of his former tutoring students who worked at the White House, Dylan Glen. The message stated to call the White House, as George Bush Sr. needed to get in contact with the Grateful Dead. Christopher hadn’t had the slightest idea of how he’d do this, but since it came from the White House, he made it a priority. George Bush Sr. wanted to invite the Dead over to the White House to discuss environmental issues that their fans faced along with a potential public service announcement of the issue of their choice.

Apparently it was fairly easy to get in contact with the Grateful Dead when you tell them that the White House wants to speak with them. Christopher then went on to set up a meeting with the Grateful Dead and the President of the United States, George Bush Sr. The Dead eventually met with the President and his board of environmental advisors to discuss the issues that were of concern to the band and their loyal followers. The band was impressed by the administrations willingness do promote a pro-environment campaign. There were multiple other meetings after this, and significant amendments to the administration’s environmental policy were made.

Christopher was the catalyst to these environmental policy changes, including changes to the Endangered Species Act and logging policies. After the first meeting, the Grateful Dead’s confidant, John Barlow, showed his appreciation for Christopher and asked if he’d like to hang out with the Dead and join them at their concert that night. Christopher stayed friendly with the band ever since.

Christopher Sabec Goes Back to School – Part IV

Christopher Sabec Music BiographyChristopher Sabec helped Gary Hart throughout his presidential campaign. In the end, Hart lost the nomination. Despite the disappointment, Christopher’s enthusiasm for politics, and Hart’s vision in particular, continued. Christopher approached Hart’s staff for a position in his Senate office. They welcomed Christopher and soon he was splitting his time between Georgetown’s campus and Capitol Hill, working as a legislative intern for Senator Hart and gearing up with his staff for another run for the White House. Christopher’s primary assignment involved research on the issues surrounding the continuing Senate filibuster of Contra Aid and other aspects of U.S. foreign policy in Central America, as well as research for a book Hart was writing on military reform. Christopher thrived on the Hill and could not have been happier, but his idealism and its resulting enthusiasm took a brutal hit of reality with the eruption of the Donna Rice scandal in the spring of 1986. Suddenly, Hart became the focal point of intense national press coverage and most of the resources of the office were marshaled to react to the growing crisis. This was not what Christopher had signed on for, and with exams looming, he decided he’d had enough of the circus on the Hill and threw himself back into school.

During the last few days of exams that spring, Christopher spotted a flyer soliciting teachers for an SAT prep course called the Princeton Review. He was a National Merit Scholar thanks to his SAT scores and the pay mentioned on the flyer was enticing. He signed on to become an instructor for the summer and supervised four programs for 200 students over the next twelve weeks. It was a terrific way to spend the summer; he thoroughly enjoyed and excelled at teaching. During his last year at Georgetown, he worked part-time as a private tutor, not only helping kids prepare for their SATs, but he also assisted them with their college applications. Some of the friendships he made with these students are still thriving and, unbeknownst to him at the time, he would end up becoming business partners later in life with one of these students.

Biography of Christopher Sabec: Part III

Christopher Sabec Gary HeartChristopher Sabec’s love of music and concerts took root in school projects. The first live concert he attended was Heart and he was immediately hooked. Starting with the first summer that he could drive, and throughout his high school years, he subscribed to the concert series at the local amphitheater for a pair of lawn tickets and attended every concert he could make time for including Tom Petty, Neil Young, the Cars, Pat Benatar, The Tubes, Journey, The Who, Rush, The Police, The Go-Gos, Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen.

Academically, Christopher was a strong student in high school, gravitating towards English and social sciences. His parents generously made it known from an early age that they were more than happy to send him to college. The question for him was never whether he would go to college, but where – his goal being to find a place where he could focus on his strong political interests. As he completed the application his senior year, the choice came down to the University of Virginia or Georgetown University.

He entered Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in the fall of 1983, majoring in International Affairs and minoring in Theology. The School of Foreign Service is an undergraduate school dedicated to preparing its students for internationally oriented careers, with an emphasis on diplomacy. Not surprisingly, the Washington, D.C. campus ended up being the ideal environment for his interest in politics to grow and much of his education came outside the classroom.

Early in his first year, he has the opportunity to hear Gary Hart speak. At the time, Heart was a Senator from Colorado and long shot presidential candidate. Hart’s speech inspired Christopher and he found himself volunteering to help with his campaign. By winter break, he was working every day at Heart’s cramped campaign headquarters above a Chinese restaurant near the Capitol. Within a few weeks Christopher ventured to New Hampshire, campaigning door-to-door for the primary, which Heart went on to win in an upset over Walter Mondale. With the win came a lot of national exposure and the campaign eventually came down to a two-man race between Hart and Mondale. Christopher soon found himself working directly under Heart’s fundraising chief, as well as coordinating the field in Virginia. On the fundraising side, Christopher spent a great deal of time organizing a series of cocktail parties and concerts hosted by Stephen King and Carole King. Billed as A Night with Two Kings, these events successfully introduced Hart to political donors across the county. Back in Virginia, Christopher was elected a delegate to the Virginia State Democratic Convention. He was 19 at the time and one of the youngest delegates at the convention.