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Music and political debate still go together

This weekend would have marked John Lennon’s 64th birthday had a mentally deranged fan not shot him in 1980. It also marked the “Vote For Change Tour” coming to Florida. It appears music and political discourse about politics and other topics are still deeply intertwined.

“Vote for Change” includes such artists as Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam and Bonnie Raitt, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Some of these bands, most famously the Dixie Chicks, have openly spoken out against President George W. Bush. In 2003, the band had to deal with boycotts from fans and radio stations because the band said during a concert in London they were “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

Lennon said in 1966 during an interview with The Evening Star, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

He later formally apologized to the Vatican.

Other famous bands beside The Beatles, the band of which Lennon was a member, also spoke out against the Vietnam War during the ’60s and ’70s.

Naturally, today tours such as the “Vote for Change” tour are more open about what they intend to do and often even incorporate it into the title. Tours are also trying to raise money for political parties or for candidates.

But this does not change the fact that music venues, such as the original Woodstock, were clearly a venue where people came together and protested the conditions of their times. Today’s may be more commercialized, but the intention remains the same.