Rockers Unite to Oust Bush
dmccall at nc.rr.com
Thu Dec 4 22:05:34 EST 2003
Hillary '08 will stop you.
"clamnebula" <SHELLclamnebula at netscape.netSHELL> wrote in message
news:%Jfzb.17398$Qc.8723 at bignews5.bellsouth.net...
> I think it's worth noting here that even Merle Haggard has recently
> anti-war song. It'll be interesting to see if it gets any airplay on
> owned by the monolithic Clear Channel network (who are major Bush and GOP
> ---Original Text---
> Rockers Unite to Oust Bush
> Bruce Springsteen told a crowd of 50,000 New Yorkers on October 4th to
> little louder if you want the president impeached." Two weeks later, John
> Mellencamp posted an open letter to America on his Web site, declaring,
> been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take
> action." Meanwhile, Moby, Eddie Vedder and Michael Stipe are organizing a
> campaign that will run anti-Bush commercials during the week of the State
> Union address in January; Dave Matthews is railing against the war in Iraq
> interviews; and at press time, at least three multiband rock tours planned
> take aim at Bush-administration policies. Green Day, NOFX, Tom Morello,
> Chicks, Don Henley, Willie Nelson and Steve Earle have all played (or plan
> play) for political candidates or causes. Hip-hop stars have also gotten
> involved. "We have a voice and a responsibility to speak out," says Jay-Z,
> member of Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit, which aims to register 4
> voters before the 2004 election. "People listen to us."
> Welcome to the increasingly partisan world of popular music -- where
> George W. Bush is a marked man. Thirty major artists interviewed for this
> cited many concerns: U.S. policy on Iraq, the Patriot Act, the Bush
> administration's assault on the environment, the economy and the media.
> all agreed that as the 2004 presidential election gets closer, it is time
> mobilize. "The America we believe in can't survive another four years of
> Bush," says Moby. Adds Lou Reed, "We must all unite and work for whomever
> opposes Bush, regardless of whatever differences we may have. Our motto:
> Anything but Bush."
> Many artists aren't afraid to get their hands dirty in the democratic
> either: At Punkvoter.com, more than 100 bands, including NOFX, Green Day
> Offspring, are creating voter-registration drives, a political action
> and a Rock Against Bush Tour. Willie Nelson recently called Dennis
> offer his time and a slogan, "Kucinich: His middle name is sin," and
> other artists are contributing money to campaigns and performing in swing
> and in televised public-service announcements.
> "Musicians have an obligation to get involved," says Henley, "not
> because they have a forum but because they are citizens."
> Donna Brazile, Al Gore's 2000 campaign manager, says that artists are
> to this campaign, because "musicians have reach that politicians need in
> to motivate people to take an active interest in their future." With that
> mind, eight Democratic candidates filmed ads for a November 4th Rock the
> event designed to woo young voters. In his spot, Wesley Clark even
> It's not always easy for artists to speak out. Recently, New Jersey radio
> station WCHR banned Jethro Tull after the band's lead singer, Ian
> quoted in a local paper saying, "I hate to see the American flag hanging
> every bloody station wagon. It's easy to confuse patriotism with
> Flag-waving ain't gonna do it."
> Eight months ago, Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines told a London
> "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is
> Texas." More than fifty radio stations pulled the Dixie Chicks' songs off
> air, and DJs and fans launched protests. Says Maines, "I thought, 'Why am
> country singer who has never been involved in politics publicly, the one
> In July, Dixie Chicks contributed $100,000 to Rock the Vote -- the largest
> single band donation in the nonprofit's history. Maines says that she
> London incident will help rally eighteen- to twenty-four-year-old women to
> "I had gotten too comfortable in my life," she says. "And I wasn't
> active for things that I believed in. It inspired me." Maines' experience
> have scared some musicians away from speaking out, but it angered others
> to get involved. Merle Haggard, who recorded his own anti-war song,
> News," this year, says that the attacks on the Chicks "reminded me of
> read about Berlin in 1938. It pissed me off."
> The notion that musicians shouldn't get involved in politics is
> says Mike Burkett (a.k.a. Fat Mike), lead singer of NOFX and founder of
> Punkvoter.com. "Everyone should be involved in politics: cabdrivers,
lawyers . .
> . everyone." Artists are in a unique position to understand the mood of
> country, too. "We travel," says Henley. "We see what the economy is like
> every city. We take the temperature of between 10,000 and 20,000 people
> nights a week."
> Musicians hope that by getting involved they will inspire their fans to do
> same. James Taylor, who has supported Sen. John Kerry, says that the
> administration has benefited from "a failure of citizenship." "Americans
> asleep at the wheel," Taylor adds. "We're not getting involved in our own
> political process."
> Mellencamp says that the goal of his open letter and his song "To
> to turn such apathy into action. "My whole purpose of being here, to write
> or write a letter like that, is to put the idea forward that some
> needs to take place here, as opposed to accepting the [government] line,"
> But can musicians actually tilt the electoral scale, especially at a time
> voter turnout among eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds is at an all-time
> Republican strategists are skeptical. "People tend to choose candidates on
> issues that they stand for -- and not the position of their favorite
> says Christine Iverson, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.
> Brazile begs to differ. "People come out because they're attracted not
> [the candidate] but also because the candidate is being endorsed by their
> favorite artist," she says. "It matters."
> Artists clearly agree. Many say they are convinced that they're reflecting
> national mood that is "disturbed," in the words of Haggard, or "agitated,"
> Morello puts it, and that fans can be motivated to get involved. "What you
> to realize," says Russell Simmons, "is that it's a cultural step, not only
> political step. It's in style to be at the rallies. It's in style to give
> back to education." Adds Fat Mike, "If we get a few hundred thousand kids
> together, we will be a force to reckon with. If anybody wants our votes,
> going to have to give us some of the things we want. If the NRA can do it,
> can't we?"
> DAMIEN CAVE
> (November 26, 2003)
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