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Author: Subject: Bands using the stage as a forum for their own political agendas

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 09:39 AM
Guess most of you have heard of this tour that's going on with among others Bruce Springsteen and The Dave Matthews Band. Of course it's promoting John Kerry, but that's not my point.

A recent issue of Relix had several letters to the editor which surprisingly to me, decried musicians using their fame in order to promote their own political feelings, both when on stage and in interviews. Bob Weir for one made a comment in a previous issue that "if all Florida deadheads voted in the last election, the world would be a different place"...boy, he was raked over the coals for that in a couple of letters. Both for using the interview as a forum for his own views, and for assuming that all deadheads would have voted for Al Gore.

Other letters to Relix basically said "shut up and sing!"...and I agree. One letter writer said he goes to concerts as kind of an escape from reality, and he didn't need some musician taking advantage of having a captive audience to advance his views.

Now if concerts or tours are used as fund raisers, etc., hey that's great, but a tour set up specifically to benefit one political party? I sure wouldn't go. Like the man said, "Shut up and sing!"

What say the masses?


[Edited on 10/4/2004 by awman]

[Edited on 10/4/2004 by awman]

[Edited on 10/4/2004 by awman]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 09:47 AM
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Now if concerts or tours are used as fund raisers, etc., hey that's great, but a tour set up specifically to benefit one political party?


What's the difference?

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 09:51 AM
I concur. I go to shows to escape the everyday grind and get down to the music, not to hear some artist push their views on me. I went to see U2 with a friend a few years back. I don't even like them, but he had an extra ticket so I went. Of course, Bono went on a tirade about gun control and how violent and horrible we are as Americans with our guns. Yayyy, what a great time that was. Shut the **** up and entertain me. Incidentally, they sucked even without the political b.s.

If you want to do a tour like these guys are doing, that's fine, but just make sure you tell me first. Jeez, how would they like it if I came around when they were trying to have a good time and rambled on about **** they didn't want to hear. They would have me escorted away by security. Hmmm....that might be a good idea. Yes, I know, I'm a facist Nazi for not wanting to hear bull **** when I'm at a show.

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 10:16 AM
I Like how Gregg does it. At the end of most of the shows I've seen this summer he simply says "don't forget to vote" or just "vote" . That is the important thing, that we all use our right as citizens and vote.
 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 10:16 AM
Bands using the stage as a forum for their own political agendas


 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 10:49 AM
What about the sixties? I have more than a few recordings of the Grateful Dead getting political. Making sneering joking comments about Nixon & "the Man." Anyone hear listen to CSNY? "Ohio" ring a bell? Wooden Ships? Woodstock? Immigration Man? Credence Clearwater Revival, Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner? Tell me these are not political statements. And this music had to happen to get where we are today. I say let'em talk. If it pisses enough people off it'll reflect in ticket sales. And if it doesn't then grin n' bear it. Don't be a censure just because the 1st Amendment Right is being exercised. Sometimes freedom pisses some people off. You can't please everybody all the time. But it's their right to do it.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:10 AM
Anyone pick up the new Rolling Stone yet? All the Kerry supporters are on the cover. In the article, they all state their opinions why they support Kerry. Most do because they believe Bush is misleading the public on the war in Iraq. Melissa Etheridge made her case about same sex marriage recognition and gay rights. For everyone else, it's mostly about the war.

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:17 AM

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:19 AM
New Orleans Jazzfest this year- Santana is playing on the big stage and goes into an anti-Bush spiel. I was surprised how many people booed and said "shut up and play",etc. Because there is an awful lot of hippies that attend the Fest. Personally, I don't mind it too much, but I believe the cause is better served by writing a song about it, rather than between-song comments. But really, I hope you can make up your own mind about politics without a band or movie star telling you how to vote. Do a little research, take a little time to think the issues through, and decide for yourself. And I agree- I respect the musicians who say "GET OUT AND VOTE", but don't try to sway you about WHO to vote for.
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:20 AM
I was reading it yesterday on the plane ride back from Salt Lake City. Bob Weir really tears Nader a new **** . I can't stand Rolling Stone though. They also had the ten best new bands, one of them was a new Avril Lavigne. Then in the reviews toward the back they reviewed Deja Voodoo and claim maybe the hardest working man in rock needs a break. huh? I'll give them a break...right between the wrist and the elbow.

Like I said before, if all those people want to have their little politics show, that's fine, as long as they are advertising it that way. Even if it wasn't about the right and Bush bashing, I still wouldn't go because I really don't care for most of that music anyway.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:21 AM
It's a free country, right? Beer break for me.

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:29 AM
I don't have a problem with it if is clear that the concert or tour will have a political agenda. The people buying tickets for these Springsteen shows know what they are contributing to so I don't see that as a bad thing. It's just not something I wouldn't be interested in.

Didn't the ABB play some shows for the Carter campaign in 76 ? I think I recall seeing an old poster for such an event. Again nothing wrong with it since the show was billed as such.

I would think a show or tour benefitting the kids of servicemen killed in action would be a great bipartisan cause.

It strikes me as funny that Rolling Stone is putting these artists on their cover now before the election when their bread and butter in recent years has been putting people like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on the cover , prompting me to hardly reading it or taking anything they say in there seriously. I recall standing next to David Frike one of their editors at a Mule show. He seemed to enjoy the music immensly and had that look of awe most people have when Warren is going to town but I guess reviewing a show like that doesn't sell magazines to the 18 -25 crowd.

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:31 AM
I don't think it's a "Hippies for Bush" issue but a "Who's going to get my brother home from Iraq in one piece" issue. The cultural climate is very tense right now. People are confused about what either candidate truly stands for & their abilities to take care of business.
 

True Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:50 AM
I kind of look at it this way...

It doesn't relly matter who is in office. Because, eventually musicians, comedians, & entertainers in general will complain and/or make satire of whoever the President is. It is garanteed "material" to get a rise out of the audience & get people talking...looks like it mission accomplished once again.

No matter who gets elected this year, someone will critisize what they do & we will have to listen to it as always. Unless you realize that everyone has opinions & what they say can always be overlooked so you can get on with your life.

I never really pay politicians that much attention...nothing they say really interests me. Once they announce that the troops are coming home or that are going to finally legalize pot...I'll start listening again.

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 11:57 AM
The problem with paying 30 bucks to hear Springsteen complain about pre-emptive wars while backing a presidential candidate that said he would use pre-emptive war as a weapon is that they don't answer to anyone. They never let anyone debate them and call them on anything. So, the only recourse is to boo the crap out of them.

But hey, as actress Cameron Diaz said the other day, "If you want rape to be legal, then don't vote."

DH



[Edited on 10/4/2004 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 12:30 PM
quote:
If you want rape to be legal, then don't vote."


That reminds me of Blazing Saddles:

"Murder, rape, arson, and rape."
"You said rape twice."
"I like rape."

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 01:01 PM
Hey Derek that Springsteen show only cost 30 bucks?
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 01:27 PM
Nope, I was wrong;

quote:
The musicians are donating their time. Revenue generated from tickets costing $45 to $75 is expected to raise several million dollars for America Coming Together, a liberal political organizing group.


 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 01:33 PM
Why don't music and politics mix all of a sudden?

Weir is making a generalization, but does anybody here think there are more Republican Deadheads than Democrats? Maybe I'm wrong, but I do find that kind of hard to believe. I don't think celebrities can do a lot of damage by getting political, and maybe on the plus side they'll get some fans interested.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 01:34 PM
quote:
I don't see anything wrong with it. It has been pretty much advertised as a pro-Kerry tour. But if an artist starts his spiel in the middle of a regular concert, shouldn't he give equal time to the opposition?


Equal time is for TV. not concerts.

It is the artist who decides in his own forum.

The audience can vote with applause or boos.

Peace
John

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 01:56 PM
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Perhaps the most outlandish moment of the evening was in Grand Rapids.


Actor Tim Robbins, whose band Gob Roberts was the first of three to play, got the crowd going when Robbins rolled onstage in a wheelchair, took on the persona of a rabid retired Republican U.S. senator and jokingly began a vitriolic diatribe against liberals.


He grabbed a microphone, rigged to make it look like he was getting electrocuted. As he fell to the floor -- get it? Death to Republicans -- the rest of the band appeared. Robbins was revived, and the band jammed for 45 minutes.


 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 02:09 PM
quote:
When REM’s Michael Stipe joined Springsteen on stage to appeal to the audience to put an end to war and “ get rid of the madman who is running the country”, the stadium erupted. But few had come for a political rally, and the artists knew better than to starve the crowd of their greatest hits.


 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 04:09 PM
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September 29, 2004
Kid Rock Blasts Bruce Springsteen, Dixie Chicks
The self-proclaimed “Pimp of the Nation” Bob Ritchie (aka Kid Rock) has pulled an Alice Cooper and has laid out in no uncertain terms his views on “artists” using their celebrity to push their liberal political agendas down the throats of their fans. His main gripe, and it is a brilliant assessment, is that none of the left wing musicians/activists took time out of their busy schedules to go over to Iraq and entertain American troops.

Kid Rock has already made that trip in June of last year. He always speaks highly of the soldiers who are fighting and defending freedom around the globe. He is also an ardent President Bush supporter, going so far as to tell Puff Daddy and other entertainers on Independence Day this year that he would not go to see Michael Moore's “Fahrenheit 911” while calling it propaganda.

He called out Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi by name, while hosting an MTV barbecue for a group of soldiers returning from Iraq at his ranch home in Detroit, Michigan. "You see this thing now where like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi - like I love all these guys as musicians - they're gonna raise money for John Kerry. God bless 'em." Kid then added, "But, before you go and do that, why don't these motherf**kers go over there and play for our soldiers in Iraq? I'm not vocal about my views on the war. I'm just vocal about my views on the troops."

The truth is Kid Rick is unafraid to deliver his opinion no matter who it offends and no matter how his peers take it. In true rock and roll fashion, he is politically incorrect.

He added this classic line to close, "Who would you trust to make your decisions, (US Secretary of Defense) Donald Rumsfeld or the Dixie Chicks?"


 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 04:50 PM
If the political content is in the songs like Dylan or CSNY then that is fine for me. But if a musician wants to use the stage as his bully pulpit, then I say BOOOOOO!!!!!!

I don't need anybody telling me what to do, what to think, or how to vote...especially on my dollar.

[Edited on 10/4/2004 by Denza]

 

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  posted on 10/4/2004 at 05:01 PM
This topic comes up from time to time, and I am always surprised that people expect somebody with an artist's temperament to be able to "turn it off" when it's supposedly inappropriate. You don't get to be Bruce Springsteen, or Ted Nugent to choose a more conservative artist, by being the kind of person who "shuts up" when other people don't agree with you. An artist's whole existence is devoted to personal expression, so don't be surprised when that carries over into politics.

I thought this Kid Rock quote was especially telling: "he would not go to see Michael Moore's “Fahrenheit 911” while calling it propaganda." Pretty neat trick to condemn something you don't know anything about! Maybe he learned that one from Senator Sam Browback, who made the rounds of TV talk shows denouncing Moore's movie while admitting he hadn't seen it.

I'm also pretty fond of this one:

"Who would you trust to make your decisions, (US Secretary of Defense) Donald Rumsfeld or the Dixie Chicks?"

The Dixie Chicks. I wouldn't trust Donald Rumsfeld to make my bed, much less my decisions.

 
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