|We Are The Many
Taken on 11.12.11 in Honolulu
on the grounds of the Hale Koa
My guitar tech shot this
with a camera phone during my performance for the World Leaders Dinner
at APEC, which was hosted by the First Family.
He had to be extremely discreet
as Secret Service had warned those on site that any phones used to capture
photography or video would be confiscated. Since he has a guitar tuner
app on the phone we were able to justify having it out, but grabbing video
was not easy. We were under constant surveillance. Personally I like to
have video of every performance. It's my art and my right.
About an hour into my set
of generally ambient guitar music and Hawaiian tunes, I felt inspired to
share some songs that resonated with the significance of the occasion.
I sang a few verses from
"Kaulana Na Pua" (a famous Hawaiian protest song in honor of the anniversary
of our Queen's passing), then segued into Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower",
Sting's "Fragile", and finally my newest song "We Are The Many".
My goal was not to disturb
the guests in an offensive fashion but rather to subliminally fill their
ears and the entire dinner atmosphere with a message that might be more
effectively received in a subconscious manner. I sweetly sang lines like
"You enforce your monopolies with guns/ While sacrificing our daughters
and sons/ But certain things belong to everyone/ Your thievery has left
the people none". The event protocol was such that everyone there kept
their expressions quite muffled. Now and then I would get strange, befuddled
stares from heads of state. It was a very quiet room with no waiters; only
myself, the sound techs, and the leaders of almost half the world's population.
If I had chosen to disrupt
the dinner and force my message I would have been stopped short. I instead
chose to deliver an extremely potent message in a polite manner for a prolonged
I dedicate this action to
those who would speak truth to power but were not allowed the opportunity.
Me ka ha'aha'a,