Saturday, July 02, 2005
I've gained many beliefs about economic and political issues in the last few years and although I don't think wealth distribution of this magnitude helps a continent that still needs to borrow money, I do think it is good to show compassion.
I remember July of 1985 very well. We were on a trip to Idaho and stayed overnight in Ely, Nevada. This is halfway from Vegas to our destination. We didn't have MTV in the house at the time (times were tough.) But, I remember being glued to the hotel room television as some of my favorite bands took the stage. The message was there "help feed the children." The bands performing played 2 songs at the most and quickly let another act hit the stage. Many musical genres were covered and there was time for several serious moments about the issues at hand.
20 years later, Live 8 brings together more countries as 9 venues stage performances with the intention to persuade the fans to contact their government officials and ask them to forgive debts owed to them by African nations. Tons of artists take the stage performing about 3 songs each. The television broadcast airs on MTV and VH1 in an 8-hour block.
My take? I'm sure most of the performances were great if we were able to see them. 3 to 3 1/2 hours of this was commercials. Several artists were shown ending one song and performing most but not all of another. Some of the performances that didn't get shown: Pet Shop Boys in Moscow, Deep Purple in Barrie, Motley Crue in Barrie, Gordon Lightfoot in Barrie, Barenaked Ladies in Barrie, Blue Rodeo in Barrie, Bruce Cockburn in Barrie, The Tragically Hip in Barrie, Sarah McLachlan in Philadelphia, Def Leppard in Philadelphia, Duran Duran in Rome, A-ha in Berlin, Chris de Burgh in Berlin, Roxy Music in Berlin, Crosby Stills & Nash in Berlin, The Cure in Paris, Annie Lennox in London and UB40 in London. That's a whole lot of performers that could have gotten even a sample of their music in there. Instead, Madonna performed 3 songs and one of them was shown again at the end. Stevie Wonder played 3, Green Day played 2 (but got replayed also), the Black Eyed Peas played 2 (and were replayed later), Linkin Park performed 3 (granted some was with Jay-Z) and Dido played 2. Sure, we expected and got more songs from Paul McCartney and U2. I lay most of this blame for bad editing, inane banter from hosts, interviews, over commercialization and missing performances on the stations. The highlight of the show remains the 3 tracks performed by a reunited Pink Floyd (which ended on a cut off version of "Comfortably Numb.") Yes, I will still buy this when it comes out on DVD because I might be able to hear what wasn't aired and the entire songs. live8