[OPE] McCartney concert in the Hayarkon II

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Fri Sep 19 2008 - 15:52:25 EDT

Haaretz did an article on this:

"Michael Gould knew the Beatles before they became the biggest pop group on earth. A few years later, he met the four Liverpudlians again, this time as a studio musician, playing the trumpet on some of their most acclaimed recordings. But next Thursday, when Sir Paul McCartney will play a historic concert in Tel Aviv, Gould will likely have to stay out in the cold. The freelance musician, who today lives in Bat Yam, simply can't afford it." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1022610.html

Well, a Jew usually knows how to rustle up a bit of money from somewhere, even Karl Marx (who couldn't get a paid job) did. Tel Aviv has a population of about 390,100 human beings, theoretically about 92% Jewish, 4% Arab, and 4% others, with perhaps 50,000 unregistered Asian workers, the average incomes being about 20% above the national average; all kinds of languages are spoken. http://www.tel-aviv.gov.il/English/cityhall/geo/6167Area.pdf They can probably afford a top-notch concert from a grand rockstar. With a bit of luck, they'll include Gould anyway. In defence of McCartney (now aged 66!), it could be said he's also played to audiences for free, for example the costs of the Kiev concert were paid for by a foundation, it was facilitated by Ukrainian tycoon Victor Pinchuk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Pinchuk . One hopes of course that a concert like at the Hayarkon will inspire people, and rock through all the crazy barriers that keep them apart, it could have a good influence and clear the mind in a way that all sorts of politicking can't. It will be interesting to see if the event is successful, what the effect will be, or whether it was more a guiling feign than truly sincere.

Let's recall for example that Paul Simon released his Graceland album in 1986, i.e. at a time when apartheid had not yet been overthrown. He was accused at the time of breaking the cultural boycott, but in fact it was his most successful album, he sold 14 million copies, it went platinum. So really the music he made achieved the opposite of what he was accused of, it brought a whole mix of people together through music. Queen also toured South Africa at that time (Bophuthatswana and Sun City Superbowl) playing for all sorts of fans. They got a lot of flak for it in Britain, but it didn't go anywhere. It is very difficult to fight against the success of music and poetry, at most you can try to ban it, but the bans haven't ultimately succeeded anywhere on earth.

My thought is that pop musicians can be in the vanguard of a better life, giving expression in their music to what everybody knows in their heart that needs to happen anyway. I am not saying that they will be in the vanguard, but that they can be. You might overestimate this effect, but then you could also underestimate it, if you just looked at what people "thought" and "said", and not at how they felt. One day, Israel/Palestine will be a place for all kinds of people to live freely, regardless of racism, violence, creed or colour. It will be a truly human space. Right now that may seem a utopian pipedream, but in the long term it's unstoppable. You can't stop the world from rockin', and it will rock regardless of racism, violence, creed or colour.

In Holland, we had this popsong by Fluitsma & Van Tijn called "fifteen million people", which has the line "fifteen million people on that tiny piece of earth, you just can't put them in a straightjacket, you have to let them live in their dignity". Well, nowadays of course the population of Holland has increased - in spite of slogans such as "Holland has no vacancies" - to about 16,448,468... the idea is there. Does this "blunt the edge of the class struggle"? Not a bit. Once you pursue this viewpoint seriously, then you practically understand what the struggle is really about. But what would any emancipatory striving be, without some inspiring music, song and poetry to light the way? Just when you thought things were impossible, it makes the impossible possible, lifting you out of your cloud.


Precious words
drift away
from their meanings
and the sun
melts the chill
from our lives
helping us all to remember
what we came here for
this is love

Little things
that will change you
may appear
from way out of the blue
Making fools of everybody
who don't understand
This is love

Since our problems
have been our own creation
they also can be overcome
When we use the power
provided free to everyone
this is love

- George Harrison, "This is love"

ope mailing list
Received on Fri Sep 19 15:57:36 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Dec 03 2008 - 15:12:31 EST