The Wife Says: Occupy Wall Street

Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger joined the Occupy Wall Street protest Friday night. Yeah, I didn’t know they were still alive, either.

It begs the question: outside of Tom Morello, where are all the other rockers? In the paleolithic era of rock (aka the 1960s), Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan would’ve been lousy with ‘em.

Now it’s celebs like Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore. Kanye West showed up, wise enough not to be driving his half million dollar Mercedes Maybach.

Whatever you think of the Occupy movement that is sweeping the western world- more a ripple than a tsunami- once upon a time, rock would’ve been front and center.

Back in the day, they were anti-establishment, now they ARE the establishment, hobnobbing with the rich and great. World leaders vie for their time, not the other way around. Bono may lobby the IMF about third world debt but can you honestly see him with any credibility slamming capitalism after coming off the most successful tour in the history of the planet? Heck, some stars have even sold their back catalogues to Wall Street, making them part of the problem.

People complain the Occupy movement needs a focus, a spokesman. What they need is a musician to write a kick-ass song about the problems of the down and out. The Dirty Thirties Redux.

Country music has done most of the heavy lifting over social causes in recent years. Now, maybe it’s time for rock stars to park their private jets, leave their mansions, stop suggesting we all eat friggin’ cake and wade in. Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg both come to mind.

Hey, I get it.

It’s hard to find anything that rhymes with ‘margin call.’

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “The Wife Says: Occupy Wall Street

  • October 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm
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    Youtube search: "Our Lady Peace – Fight the Good Fight". There's your rockstar support.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2011 at 2:04 am
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    If Joe Strummer was still alive that would be Grreat!! Billy Bragg is a great option…Billy Bragg with the band support of Anti-Flag!

    Reply
  • October 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm
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    I've been reading some interesting stories regarding The OCCUPY movement lately. Some asking, like you, " where is this movements Dylan or Joan Baez or Lennon?" Others telling bands/artists to fuck off and stay away from the movement.
    In a day and age when branding is such an ingrained part of our culture i find this a very compelling issue.

    I've been involved in different social causes ever since the day i was handed an Amnesty Int. sticker at a Peter Gabriel concert back in the late 80's. Adbusters has always been my preferred reading material. (great counter culture mag from Vancouver & initiators of this movement). i've been inspired to travel to and film Docs in Iraq and Darfur and help raise money to rebuild schools in the D.R.C with an organization i trust called Warchild.
    .
    On Oct 15th the 4 members of OLP occupied in Detroit,LA,Toronto and NY. We marched, spoke to protesters and shot footage over the course of that weekend and have now edited a video with that footage to a song we recently recorded called "Fight The Good Fight"

    Interestingly enough we've received some hate emails and 2300 dislikes on facebook but for the most part the response has been positive and pasionate. I fully understand the pitfalls for an artist involving themselves with certain issues. This one i'm baffled by though…isnt everybody concerned with the future? Are we not all worried about our jobs, education,healthcare, the fact that there is no transparency in Govt or big business these days? This movement has suffered from disinformation and shameful reporting by the mainstream media. This movement needs support and as long as its authentic and genuine then i dont particularly care if it's Kanye or K.D Lang.

    Much like the artists with the courage that you mention, this song/video is our way of supporting the movement and helping to get the broader message out. Nothing Machiavellian about this. We're speaking from our hearts…and minds
    Hell, I brought my young kids to the Los Angeles rally.This song is for them!

    Reply

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