Anti-Gun Concerts

I told Alexa to play Blind Faith. The people looked at me funny, like I was talking to myself, but Alexa works on the phone, assuming you’ve got a subscription to Amazon Music. And the great thing about Vail is you get Verizon LTE over the complete mountain, so you can stream on your hike.

But then I got an e-mail from Jesse Kornbluth:


Doesn’t there need to be a big, star-studded concert – a benefit for gun control?
Like No Nukes… after 9/11…/

Bruce, Jay-Z, Paul, Jason Isbell, Emmylou, every major female?

I’m going to write this up.

Will you?

We could work on it together…


And I’d thought about this on Monday, but there seems to be a concert for everything these days, they’ve become meaningless, but I responded to Jesse:

“It needs a twist. Maybe multiple locations.
Heritage and new artists along with Presidential candidates. And the tie-in should be to Netflix.”

I was kinda blowing Jesse off, showing him it just could not be routine.

But after typing that e-mail, I got excited! And I fired off another e-mail:

“Maybe Texas, SF and Ohio.

SF-Another Planet
Texas-Louis Messina (who could get Swift, Sheeran and Chesney)

And some reunions-Destiny’s Child and…

And a day of protest in D.C.”

And I forwarded this to Don Strasburg and he said we should reunite Zeppelin. And my brain was firing on all cylinders, and if I’d had a computer I would have nailed this. Writing is all about inspiration.

But that was three hours ago, I had to hike to the top of 4 and then 3 and check out Windows and…

Now I’m back.

So here’s the scoop.

There are gonna be three concerts, three festivals, this will be the Woodstock spirit Michael Lang was talking about.

But there will be no camping. All will be in established venues requiring no infrastructure, like baseball stadiums. If Another Planet can do it in Golden Gate Park, that’s great. But we don’t want to fail in construction, we want to make it easy.

So there will be shows on three consecutive days. Let’s say Friday San Francisco (representing Gilroy), Saturday Austin (representing El Paso) and Sunday Cleveland (representing Dayton). If the concerts can be held closer to the exact sites of the tragedies, that’s great. But close is close enough.

Now these shows are not about healing, these shows are about ACTION!

There will be a manifesto, not only right wing people can write one. Laying out our position, one that all participating musicians must sign.

Of course we’ll include background checks and anti-AK-47/assault rifle/automatic weapons measures, but I believe we should go further.

First, a waiting period. As they say, if it takes that long to get an abortion, it should take that long to get a gun. You’ve got to go back twice, and you’ve got to speak with a mental health professional in order to get a gun.

I would go even further, and say we should stand up for no guns, but I’m willing to go with the consensus. But it can’t be namby-pamby, it’s got to be envelope-pushing, we’ve got to ask for more than those in Congress, we’ve got to demonstrate the power of musicians to unite their fans in action!

This is how it’s like No Nukes. Which halted nuclear construction immediately.

I give Jimmy Iovine oodles of credit for his 9/11 show, but once again, that was about healing, not action. And there’s nothing wrong with healing references in these shows, but the main thrust must be action.

So, if you’ve been arrested on gun charges, you can’t perform. If you’re a pro-gun nut, we don’t want you on stage. We’re making a point here, not everybody can play, you’ve got to sign the manifesto.

And if you were arrested on gun charges, you can play if you sign and give three guns to the police. Yes, we want people to turn in their guns. Maybe we even give tickets to those who turn in their guns. We’re making a point here, you’ve got to start somewhere.

And we’ve got to have old acts and new acts.

In San Francisco, we’ve got CSNY. Yup, this is the time for them to reunite, to get over Crosby’s actions… And Crosby must turn in the aforementioned three guns.

And Pearl Jam in San Francisco too.

Destiny’s Child in Texas. As well as ZZ Top. And some of the red dirt acts.

In Ohio, you reunite the James Gang and Wild Cherry. This is not a somber affair, life is about joy, maybe that show finishes with “Play That Funky Music.”

And I don’t care if the acts are on the chart now, or are superstars of yore, but we’ve got to have a balanced slate. And, once again, if you’ve got a posse responsible for a shooting, you can’t appear, unless you cough up the three guns. We’re drawing a line in the sand. We’re trying to send the right message to the young ‘uns, to all music fans, to AMERICA!

This is not anti-dope ads by people who still partake. This is not get out the vote ads by people who don’t vote. You’ve got to walk the walk. There are plenty of acts who are anti-gun, and if you want to change your opinion to appear, more power to you. This is a MOVEMENT!

Now the shows are all on separate days so you can see all the music.

And they will be live, because it’s the editing that takes the soul out of music, it’s a live medium, your flaws are what draw people to you!

And, of course, we’ll have an anti-gun playlist that will be on all streaming services, from Spotify to Amazon to Apple to Tidal to Deezer. And all the money made from those streams will go into the pot.

As for streaming video…

As per above, my first thought was Netflix, because everybody’s got an account and the company lets artists be free, it’s on the right side.

But I’m wondering if we should limit it to them. Maybe we should also have it on Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO. You can’t air the concert if you take ads (there is a Hulu tier with ads, but let’s not get caught up in the details right now). And anybody who airs, has got to pay. And can run no commercials, no NPR sponsored by corporation commercials, we’re looking for credibility here. I’d say leave corporations out, but if they’re included, they’ve got to sign the manifesto/pledge. The CEO. They’ve got to stop giving money to candidates who support guns.

As for radio… SiriusXM pays well, and they could have a free weekend, exposing potential subscribers to their service… But not everybody has a radio, so we add iHeart too. Once again, they’ve got to PAY to stream!

Now Scooter Braun marshalled the troops in Manchester quickly. These shows have to happen soon, we’ve got to keep the spirit alive. Got to be before October 1st, when it’s still warm, when people can go without heavy coats.

And, you can buy a good ticket by turning in your guns. Maybe we’ll have a competition, like Taylor Swift did with her last album. But it’ll be pure. The people turning in the most guns will get the best seats. And maybe even a meet and greet.

And there will be a Grateful Dead-style lottery for half the tickets, you know, where you send in an envelope and they’re picked at random. And I think the Dead should reunite one more time in their home city of San Francisco, don’t you?

And half the tickets will be sold at what the public will bear. AEG has done this wonderfully with the Stones, they can be in control of it.

But one thing’s for sure, EVERYBODY’S INVOLVED! AEG and Live Nation…WME, CAA, Paradigm and UTA…

And the acts don’t get paid a cent, not a single penny. If you can’t pay your way, you don’t deserve to be on stage.

And yes, we’ll have politicos talking. We’ll have Obama, we’ll have anybody willing to sign the manifesto/pledge. This is kinda like Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. We want politicos to sign it and adhere to it.

We want to demonstrate the power of music.

We want to raise money we can use for lobbying, maybe tie in with Irving and Coran’s new organization.

We want to keep this story in the news.

And if you’re a Republican and you want to sign the manifesto/pledge, you can participate, welcome aboard! But if you won’t, you can’t. Same deal with acts.

As for where we go after this…

I’ve got ideas but it’s too soon. Let’s see how this plays out and then adjust/pivot, like Silicon Valley.

As for the techies, I’d kinda like to leave them out, but…

You can donate your private jets to ferry musicians and equipment.

Facebook, you can donate a ton of ads. Same deal with Google. Whenever someone searches on “gun” they’ll get an anti-gun ad.

As for Microsoft… I’m not sure yet.

Apple? We’ll tie in the Apple Stores, maybe that’s where the public can sign the manifesto/pledge, maybe where they can turn in their guns, although police stations are better.


One year of Prime for every gun turned in.

Let’s be clear. This isn’t about promoting corporations, it’s about them supporting us. There ain’t gonna be any ads promoting their efforts. We’re not gonna display signage. They can take out their own ads, fine, but I’d say their advertising agencies should donate their commissions.

Now ideas are a dime a dozen, it all comes down to execution.

But I know there are tons of people who’d like to play. Tons of promoters, like Michael Rapino, Jay Marciano and Gregg Perloff, tons of agents, like Rob Light, Marc Geiger and Marty Diamond. And managers like the aforementioned Irving Azoff, Coran Capshaw and Scooter Braun, as well as Guy Oseary too.

This has got to be a team effort.

This is the new Woodstock.

Will it happen?

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