Rick in Oz
2004-10-01 18:36:45 UTC
Springsteen to Kick Off 'Vote for Change'
Springsteen, R.E.M. to Kick Off 'Vote for Change' Concerts in Philadelphia
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA Oct. 1, 2004 - Two of the biggest forces in rock music over the
last 20 years were plugging in their amplifiers Friday to kick off a
high-volume effort to oust President Bush on Nov. 2.
Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M. will bring a dose of music and politics to the
Wachovia Center, starting a 10-day series of "Vote For Change" shows in
battleground states. With a long list of high-profile artists from across
the generational divide, the concerts will raise money for efforts to defeat
Bush and other Republicans in next month's elections.
The Philadelphia show was one of six "Vote For Change" concerts scheduled
across Pennsylvania on Friday night. On the other end of the state, the
Dixie Chicks and James Taylor were to perform in Pittsburgh, with other
concerts in Erie, State College, Reading and Wilkes-Barre.
The tour will also make stops in Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Washington, Arizona and Washington,
R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe told The Associated Press that the goal is to
push for an overall change in the country's leadership, including the
election of Democratic Sen. John Kerry as president.
Stipe said he believes the Bush administration and the nation's other
leaders missed an opportunity to bring the world together after the Sept. 11
"America represents something that is maybe unattainable," he said. "That
idea has become confused and squandered by the current administration."
Springsteen has described the election as one of the most critical in his
Eli Pariser, executive director of political action committee and tour
sponsor MoveOn PAC, said the tour's political message shouldn't surprise
"There is no distinction between what the artists are doing on this tour and
what they've done all their lives," Pariser said. "These are people who are
the town criers. Sometimes they're singing about relationships and sometimes
about the environment."
The tour, also featuring Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, John
Mellencamp and others, includes 37 shows in 30 cities through Oct. 11.
Proceeds will go to America Coming Together, or ACT, a group raising money
for Democratic candidates.
"I think that they really have a unique voice with a lot of people who have
followed their careers over the years and know that they're not your old-boy
politicians," said Ellen Malcolm, president of the Washington, D.C.-based
Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard said he wants to make it clear to voters
that the Bush administration has been reckless in its foreign policy since
"For me personally, I very much want John Kerry to win," Gossard said in an
interview. "I think that he's expressed an interest in re-engaging the world
community and saying the last administration is not representative of the
way America wants to do business with the world."
Bands on the tour cross over many musical categories and a generational gap.
John Fogerty, the former leader of Credence Clearwater Revival in the 1960s
and 1970s, and James Taylor, whose folk star status began in the 1960s, will
be on the same bill as R&B singer/songwriter/producer Kenny "Babyface"
Edmonds, whose fame didn't come until the 1980s and 1990s.
Voter registration information will be available during the concerts.
"It's not just waging war over a very narrow group of undecided voters,"
Pariser said. "It's bringing in hundreds of thousands and millions of new
people to the process."
Associated Press Writer Jennifer Kay contributed to this report.
From Sunny Oz, Rick :)
Proud Keeper of the talented & beautiful Halle Berry.