Part Five: Changing Communications and Communication Power
Changing Communications and Communication Power p a r t f i v e On stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony in April 2014, British musician Peter Gabriel expressed his delight to be accepting the honour in recognition of his work as a solo artist (he left behind his role as lead singer in the progressive-rock band Genesis in 1975). In the course of sharing anecdotes about his experiences making music, he proceeded to elaborate a revealing point con- cerning its wider importance. ‘Watch out for music. It should come with a health warning. It can be dangerous. It can make you feel so alive, so connected to the people around you, and connected to what you really are inside,’ he maintained. ‘And it can make you think that the world should, and could, be a much better place’ (Gabriel, 2014). For many of those in the audience aware of his passionate commitment to wielding celebrity to help advance human rights causes over the years, this personal insight into how an ephemeral sense of musical connection can inspire political empowerment may well have created a lasting resonance. It was almost three decades earlier when Gabriel realised that his ‘part-time interest’ in human rights—‘mainly, it was something that happened to other people over there’—was slowly intensifying (2006). His acclaimed 1980 protest song ‘Biko,’ recounting the police killing of South African anti-apartheid activ- ist Stephen Biko, prompted Bono of the Dublin-based rock band U2...
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