CultureSunday 05.08.22

Bob Crawford on How Bono’s Humanitarianism Runs Deep

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John Heilemann talks with Bob Crawford, bassist for The Avett Brothers and creator of Concerts of Change: The Soundtrack of Human Rights, a new audio docu-series on SiriusXM. Through conversations with artists including U2's Bono, Bob Geldof, and Joan Baez, historian Douglas Brinkley, and civil rights icon Andrew Young, Crawford explores the huge surge in humanitarian and political activism by musicians -- particularly focused on Africa -- in the seventies and eighties. Heilemann and Crawford discuss the singular influence of Geldof in launching Band Aid and Live Aid; the role played by Steven Van Zandt’s “Sun City” in ending apartheid in South Africa; and how Bono, in particular, institutionalized the work of both Geldof and van Zandt to help combat poverty and AIDS in Africa. They also reflect on Bono’s first visit to Ethiopia back in 1985, and how that trip changed not only his life but also the future of celebrity activism.

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