He called a politically conscious friend in Seattle, but misdialed and talked instead to the friend's mother. It turned out to be a lucky break. Page's lyrics knocked her out. So did his despair. She told him that the country wasn't going to stay the way it was and that a nation's history swings like a pendulum. The oscillating image clicked with Page.
The song became one of his signature numbers, "Pendulum," with the pivotal lines, "& the pendulum swings from the left to the right / as momentum increases the need for the fight / ... & I am lost somewhere in the middle."
He didn't know how regulars would react when he performed it during a Christmas gig at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis. They gave him a standing ovation. Only then, Page says, did he study his country's founding documents — and realize he had an affinity with Ron Paul.
Last year, Page wrote a pro-Paul anthem called "The Light of Revolution." On YouTube, you can see Paul peeking from the wings of an event as Page punches out that tune, creating a huge sound and getting the audience juiced.
Page now lives in rural Indiana (he won't give the exact location). But he loves to come back to venues like Rams Head on Stage (where he played Jan. 5) or the Irish pub Killarney House in Davidsonville (where he played Dec. 30).
"As a musician and an entertainer and someone who understands the business, Jordan is the whole package," says Melanie Ferranti of Killarney House. "I have worked here in different capacities for six years — I've been manager and [booked] music for three years — and he is definitely our favorite."
Page contends that he's not partisan or bipartisan, but "nonpartisan," even when he's delivering a Ron Paul marching song or a jeremiad on the Fed.
"There will always be injustices to fight against, but this is a rare time to have something positive to fight for," he says.
When Campaign for Liberty organized an after-party for the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010, with Page as entertainment, Cox was on a bus with 35 people en route to the event when a young woman started singing one of Page's songs. Soon the whole bus was singing "Liberty."
"He's got a sense of humor, and he's not scared to speak his mind," Cox says, "and that's what people appreciate. The music industry has become monotonous and full of garbage: Whether it's rap or rock or whatever it is, it's just about having a good hook to stick in people's heads. The stuff Jordan writes is about real modern-day issues."
Cox says the appeal of Page's music goes beyond politics — "He's phenomenal on guitar: He can play the hell out of some Pink Floyd."
Dylan is the predecessor who means the most to Page. His "Song for Bob Dylan" contains the plea, "well hey hey, Bob Dylan, we need you today / because the freedom we fight and we die for is sailing away." Page denies any contradiction between his advocacy for Paul and his reverence for the singer-songwriter who became a seminal voice for the counterculture. Dylan's attacks on militarism in songs like "Masters of War" jibe with libertarian ideology.
"I believe the Left-Right paradigm is a false paradigm," Page says. "There's not any difference between Democrats and Republicans: They act exactly the same."
He laughs and explains: "When Obama ran for president on things like ending the Patriot Act and stopping the wars, I was excited about it. When he was elected, I was afraid that I was not going to be relevant. But even then, part of me knew better."