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Steve Earle vs. George Bush
Datum: 2005-08-23

Steve Earle har nettopp vært i hardt vær i forbindelse med det noe overraskende faktum at sangeren/ låtskriveren har solgt sin sang, »The Revolution Starts.. Here« til bilreklame for General Motors.
Da Earle ble spurt om å spille for protesten som foregår mot Irak-krigen utenfor president Bush´ hjem i Crawford, Texas, tvilte Earle på om han han var et smart valg for de demonstrerende.

Vi har plukket opp følgende historie fra avisen Dallas Morning News, skrevet av Andy Langer.

When Steve Earle got his invitation to perform at the Camp Casey protest outside President Bush's Crawford residence the singer-songwriter asked organizers to think twice about their choice.

»I think this is the beginning of a mainstream movement against the war in Iraq, so I wanted them to consider who I am and the kind of lightning rod I can be,« said Mr. Earle, who has a history of activism against the death penalty and who caused a stir in 2002 with the song »John Walker's Blues,« which he wrote about captured American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. »I didn't want to be more trouble than I'm worth.«

Mr. Earle's fears were for naught. His appearance Saturday at Camp Casey, the vigil organized by Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son Casey died in Iraq, was routinely interrupted by midsong applause and standing ovations.

Mr. Earle ran through a politically charged set that covered 20 years of protest songs, from his »Ellis Unit One« to tunes from last year's unapologetically Bush-bashing album /The Revolution Starts Now/.

Austin musician James McMurtry set the stage for Mr. Earle by playing a short set highlighted by »We Can't Make It Here.« Released last year as a free download on the songwriter's Web site, the politically charged eight-minute ballad culminates with McMurtry asking the president to »get out of that limo and look us in the eye, call us on the cellphone, tell us all why.«

Mr. McMurtry told the crowd that he played the song last month in Dallas at a Veterans For Peace rally attended by Cindy Sheehan.

Ms. Sheehan missed Saturday's concert. She recently had to return to California to care for her ailing mother, but organizers say they are bringing in other voices in her absence.

Folk singer Joan Baez performed Sunday and actor Martin Sheen, who portrays the president on the television series /The West Wing/, was also expected.

About 500 people, mainly peace activists and families of American soldiers, attended Saturday night's protest concert.

/Andy Langer is an Austin freelance writer./

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