Local Bluesman Colin Dussault Selling Controversial 'Riot' Shirts in Advance of RNC

Music News

Share on Nextdoor
Back in 2010 as the Cavs lost a tough playoff series to Boston and LeBron James turned in a subpar performance in the final game of the series, local bluesman Colin Dussault came up with the concept for a T-shirt. He turned the LeBron James slogan “Witness” into “Quitness.”

The shirts sold by the truckloads.

Now, Duassault is at it again. In advance of the upcoming Republican National Convention, he’s hawking shirts that that read “Cleveland — It’s Gonna Be a Riot.”

“It’s like anything else; I was just thinking about [the RNC convention] and watching what’s going on,” says Dussault when asked about the concept. “It’s amazing and laughable at the same time. On Facebook, you can see friendships falling apart. I’m in the middle. I can go either way. I’m not some zealot on either side. Watching this thing balloon, each day gets better.”

Initially, he asked a couple of different artists to sketch the Cleveland skyline for him. When they turned him down, he took matters into his own hands and drew an image that looks like a vintage postcard.

“I knocked it out in 20 minutes,” he says.

Within 45 minutes of putting the T-shirt for sale on his website, he had his first sale. Now, he’s fulfilling orders from Michigan, Florida, Maine, California and Wisconsin.

“It’s taking off,” says Dussault, who still performs around town three to five nights a week. “It’s lightning in a bottle. The 'Quitness' shirts were like that too. It’s so polarizing, I can’t keep them in stock. I just renegotiated my deal on the shirts because the demand is so high. It’s not pro-riot at all. I’m not promoting Trump or demeaning anyone. I refuse to be baited into a violent conversations on social media. I’m P.T. Barnum to the circus. I’m selling the popcorn and program. The circus is coming to our city. I don’t want a riot. But like everybody else, I see the system is flawed. There’s going to be a revolt. Those people voted for [candidate Donald Trump], and you can’t move the goalposts at the end of the game.”

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.