Thursday, February 4, 2010


When Little Steven Van Zandt left The E Street Band in the '80s to concentrate on his solo career, his music got even more political than Bruce Springsteen's was. Some of the albums he released at that time included 1984's Voice Of America and 1987's Freedom: No Compromise. Of course, he also organized the Artists United Against Apartheid project, for the album Sun City and the single of the same name. He wrote one of the greatest songs of all time, "I Am A Patriot," which has been covered by Jackson Browne and Eddie Vedder. You should check that out.

At some point, he decided to leave the overt politics behind. He decided to try to make the world a better place through the preservation of rock and roll via his Underground Garage radio show, his Underground Garage SIRIUS channel, his Wicked Cool Records label and other projects. But you really can't stop caring about those less fortunate.  Actually, if you go to his website, you are met by a page asking you to donate regular household items (and also DVDs of action and comedy movies) to the troops serving in the Middle East.

And, more recently, an editorial in Politico about the situation in Haiti. He is clearly at least a bit cynical about the many celebs who have donated thier time and money, saying "All the symbolic gestures are nice -- and even important -- but they will come and go." And he calls upon a bunch of celebrities, including Bono, George Clooney, and yes, Bruce Springsteen, along with other leaders, to organize a summit of Haitian leaders.  The goal should be not to "rebuild" Haiti, but to re-imagine it. Read the whole article here.

No comments: