Gary Krause of Leesburg, Florida, recently sent us a link to this Pit Bull Blues video compiled by Pit Bull Rescue Central. We’re so glad—it’s a wonderful song with a great message. We like it so much we called up the man behind the song, Northwest alt-rocker John Shipe, who was taking a break in the SoCal sun. He told us he was inspired to write Pit Bull Blues by his first dog Zoe. “I was fascinated with how sweet I knew she was and how so many people feared her because she was a Pit Bull.”
He wrote the song “just for fun” about five years ago and released it on a CD of “relics” and new simple songs called The John Shipe Song Clearance. The album is a personal mix of folk, country and blues, not standard fare for Shipe, who normally plays in “serious rock bands.”
Shipe penned his song long before the Michael Vick bust and before he knew about the Bully dogs’ many challenges. “I didn’t know about breed-specific legislation or the community coming together around caring for these dogs,” Shipe said. That changed when Luv-a-Bull Pit Bull Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to re-homing unwanted Pit Bulls near Eugene, Oregon, asked to use the song for a presentation. Shipe obliged. Others asked, and soon he offered the song as a free download from his website for the cause.
“From there it just exploded,” Shipe says. Gradually more and more organizations were using it. It went international. He estimates that 1,000 people have used the song, and it’s his best known. “I made so many friends and connections from that song,” he says.
Sadly for Shipe, Zoe passed away last fall. But her legacy continues.
Learn more about Zoe, Shipe's upcoming gigs and see videos at his MySpace page.