“I’m not sure about [political] parties. But whatever they have in Korea, that’s bad.”
Earlier this week our own Dave Glassman reported on Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen’s boycott of a North Carolina show in light of that state’s passing of a law that required that “LGBT” (stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender”) persons use restrooms that match their birth genders and it also banned cities from passing LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances. You can read that blog here.
Well, now enter the former Beatle, Ringo Starr, and, Canadian Rocker, Bryan Adams.
Starr cancelled his show, which was slated for June 18 at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, also in reaction to the North Carolina law. Adams, in reaction to a Mississippi law that allows people with religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and permits employers to cite religion in determining workplace policies on dress code, grooming and bathroom and locker access, backed out of a show that was scheduled for the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.
Said Adams,“I cannot in good conscience perform in a state where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation.”
Starr’s statement was similarly pointed as he said: “I’m sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.”
This is certainly not the forum to debate political issues of individuals or civil rights jurisprudence. Instead, we simply ask if it is the place of a musician or a band to make political statements?
Arguably, in distant times political statements were accepted when made by musicians. Case in point is Woodstock. Many political issues including the war in Vietnam were front and center at that time and many indeed spoke out against some of these issues. Similarly, other artists have perpetually addressed political issues throughout their career. Case in point; Neil Young. That then begs the question in light of these recent boycotts; has the time come or passed for musicians to make political statements?
What is your opinion?