Bruce Springsteen, U2, John Mellencamp, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Sheryl Crow were among the many musicians from a wide range of genres of who performed at the inauguration celebration concert for Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. If you didn't see the event on HBO, you should make a point of catching it, I'm sure it will play many more times. It was truly an inspiring show with many emotional and compelling performances.
While I watched the event my mind wondered to that old Baby Boomer adage of how our music was going to change the World. Well, now we're 40 years on from the zenith of the "revolution" that spawned that thinking and we can clearly see that our music didn't change the world... at least in the way it was hoped. It takes ideas, sweat, un-ending dedication, education, effort and sometimes blood and weapons to change the world.
But while music, our music; classic rock or music of any stripe may not change the world solely by itself you could see at the Obama Inauguration concert how inspiring it could be none the less. How these well chosen songs and heartfelt performances could bring so many people of all ages, gender, class, ethnicity and lifestyle together. Together not just in geography, but together in an emotional sense, the highs and lows were clearly on display on the faces of every single one of those 70,000 people in attendance. You could see it in the dancing and in the tears.
No, music in itself may not ever change the world in itself. But, history would just be words on a page. A world without music would be like seeing the world only in black and white. Not tasting your food or never feeling the touch of a loved one... there would always be something missing in a world without music... don't you think?