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  1. #1

    I Ain't Gonna Play Sun City!

    Remember when "All Star" recordings to raise attention to social causes were popular, mostly in the 80's? I remember Band AID, We Are The World (Artists for Famine Relief), LIVE-AID and several others. This one came to mind today after not hearing or seeing the video in probably over 20 years! Check it out and see if you can spot some of your favorite artists:


  2. #2
    Nona Hendryx is in the video!

  3. #3
    David, Eddie and Bruce.....oh man great memories......

  4. #4
    Miami Steve Van Zandt, if I remember correctly it was his idea, and the driving force behind it.

    Bono before he had glasses glued to his face!!
    Last edited by dave_clegg; 07-21-2011 at 11:12 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dave_clegg View Post
    Miami Steve Van Zandt, if I remember correctly it was his idea, and the driving force behind it.

    Bono before he had glasses glued to his face!!
    hehehehehe......

  6. #6
    I could pick out:
    Afrika Bambataa,
    the Fat Boys
    Run DMC
    Darlene Love
    Kurtis Blow
    Lou Reed
    Clarence Clemons
    Kashif
    Melle Mel / Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
    Charlie Wilson (Gap Band)

    There are others. I have to watch it again. Incredible video!

  7. #7
    Ok here are more:

    Pat Benatar
    George Clinton
    Peter Wolf (J. Geils Band)
    Bonnie Raitt
    Bobby Womack
    Ruben Blades
    Hall & Oates
    Jackson Browne
    Jimmy Cliff

    Damn! LOL!!!

  8. #8
    Ringo Starr. Everytime I watch, I notice more artists

  9. #9
    Herbie Hancock!

  10. #10
    Marv, How many times have you watched it??
    It'll send you blind LOL

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by dave_clegg View Post
    Marv, How many times have you watched it??
    It'll send you blind LOL

    Dave, I guess I am a little besides myself because I had not seen this video since perhaps the mid -80's. I have it on VHS somewhere. It was just soooooo.... good to see it again. There were more than a few "All Star" videos from those days. I guess we should try to list them?

  12. #12
    I agreed with the message, but I was annoyed at how self righteous the US music scene was with it. Calling out artists who had played there and accusing them of being racist? I didn't agree with their decisions, but were the acts who played the south during segregation supporting racism too? Of course, Springsteen's man was behind it, so the rock critics ate it up. But it sullied a few names (linda ronstadt, ray charles and Queen to name a few) at the time.

    It was either Millie Jackson or Roberta Flack who dismissed the "Sun Ctiy" crusade as being very hypocritical and saying that there were plenty of places in the US that were still racist, but no one was writing any songs about not playing there. And she was right.

  13. #13
    One of the controversial things about an African American, or African act for that matter, going to South Africa to play Sun City during the Apartheid era was that the South African government would label the artist "honorary whites". Also, the Not Going to Play Sun City movement was part of the larger movement in the 80's against Apartheid. There was a lot of activism, especially on College Campuses, for disinvestment from South AFrica and businesses that did business in S. Africa as well a movement to push the United States gov't and other Western govt's to impose sanctions on South Africa in order to push for an end to apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela.

  14. #14
    the Not Going to Play Sun City movement was part of the larger movement in the 80's against Apartheid. There was a lot of activism, especially on College Campuses, for disinvestment from South AFrica and businesses that did business in S. Africa as well a movement to push the United States gov't and other Western govt's to impose sanctions on South Africa in order to push for an end to apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela.
    well said smark21.........

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Dave, I guess I am a little besides myself because I had not seen this video since perhaps the mid -80's. I have it on VHS somewhere. It was just soooooo.... good to see it again. There were more than a few "All Star" videos from those days. I guess we should try to list them?
    You've got me at it now! LOL

    David Ruffin, Ringo, Eddie Kendricks, Gill Scottt Heron,Darrel Hall, and John Oates.

  16. #16
    I've been watching that video at least once every 3 months over the past 4 or 5 years and I bought the original release when it came out-damn-can it be 26 years ago?!!- oh
    I am getting old... It was indeed part of a larger anti-apartheid mission both right on point and right on time. And yes, Millie Jackson and Tina Turner ( among others) had
    played Sun City both later regretting it, Tina in fact admitting how naive she'd been about the whole situation there. All I remember about Roberta Flack is hearing she'd turned them down ...Doesn't matter, nobody said artists playing there were racists just
    naive as Tina stated in the least or irresponsible at worst. They were right. Curtis Mayfield played Sun City and Jerry Butler gave him hell about it and though Curtis will remain one of my favorites this time he was wrong. As far as racism in the south in this country is concerned and American music history, it's not the same thing.And it wasn't
    only in the south restrictions were applied from the journey post slavery, through reconstruction, Jim Crow up til this day...

  17. #17
    I'd take this track over We are the world any day of the week.

    I'd heard about Tina and Millie, but Curtis? Damn, that hurts.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by dave_clegg View Post
    You've got me at it now! LOL

    David Ruffin, Ringo, Eddie Kendricks, Gill Scottt Heron,Darrel Hall, and John Oates.
    How did I miss Gil-Scott? Will somebody please come and slap me? LOL!!!! Good looking out Dave!

  19. #19
    There most certainly was an underlying message being perpetuated by the music press around that time that if you played Sun City you were a racist. "Rolling Stone" did a nasty piece on Linda Ronstadt that all but said she was a racist. Queen was ripped apart by the British media for playing there. All the artists were called out for playing there. That's why they were all blacklisted until they apologized and promised not to play there anymore.

    Like I said, it was a worthwhile message and a good cause but for anyone in the US press to get so overtly arrogant about it to me was the height of hypocrisy. Espcially since it was barely twenty years since segregation had ended and we were in the midst of the Reagan Era and the "Welfare Queens".

  20. #20
    I vaguely remember the UN taking some folks to task and I'll take your word for the tongue lashing Linda Rondstat got by Rolling Stone but since I really don't know what was going on in the UK at the time I can only say I don't recall anyone here in America being punished or their careers put on hold because they had played Sun City. Certainly
    not Rod Stewart, The Ojays, Dionne Warwick,Elton John or the man himself Frank Sinatra. There was an augmented version of the Sun City video posted on youtube a few years back with graphics of artists who had played the resort, which Little Steven declined to name, but it may have been taken down. I remember when I watched it I
    was like Tim about Curtis, "Damn...." Anyway it was a powerful message and one of the rare times American Music has been cited as instumental in effecting real change in the world. We Are The World just filled a few folks pockets and made some folks feel good
    about themselves for a minute...

  21. #21
    wow! i swear i was singing this song monday, marv! the bald head dude is from the group midnight oil, i saw some of the ramones and nobody mention bob dylan and miles! i didn't know david ruffin was the first to sing on this track! good trivia question!

  22. #22
    I remember in the late 80's when I used to listen to Bob Law's show NightTalk on the radio Bob Law took The Commodores to task for taking a gig in Sun City. And in the 70's, The Supremes played Sun City, though Cindy Birdsong and Scherrie Payne were disgusted with what they saw, spoke out and as a result The Supremes were asked to leave.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by the_classic_master View Post
    wow! i swear i was singing this song monday, marv! the bald head dude is from the group midnight oil, i saw some of the ramones and nobody mention bob dylan and miles! i didn't know david ruffin was the first to sing on this track! good trivia question!
    Amazing isn't it. I need catch up with you.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by smark21 View Post
    I remember in the late 80's when I used to listen to Bob Law's show NightTalk on the radio Bob Law took The Commodores to task for taking a gig in Sun City. And in the 70's, The Supremes played Sun City, though Cindy Birdsong and Scherrie Payne were disgusted with what they saw, spoke out and as a result The Supremes were asked to leave.
    Mary Wilson vowed on the Phil Donahue Show in October of 1986 that they or she would never play there again after apologizing for the trip in 1975. She was working with Miriam Makeba on something back in the 80's.

  25. #25
    got this post in a mess and know i'm stuck with it!
    Last edited by tamla617; 07-23-2011 at 05:39 PM.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by dave_clegg View Post
    Marv, How many times have you watched it??
    It'll send you blind LOL
    why do you think bonio wears glasses velcroed to his head!

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Mary Wilson vowed on the Phil Donahue Show in October of 1986 that they or she would never play there again after apologizing for the trip in 1975. She was working with Miriam Makeba on something back in the 80's.
    That's great that Mary apologized for playing Sun City. You wouldn't happen to have the clip of Mary vowing she would never play there again? If you could post the clip I would be very grateful.

    Thank you in advance.

    Roberta

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by the_classic_master View Post
    wow! i swear i was singing this song monday, marv! the bald head dude is from the group midnight oil, i saw some of the ramones and nobody mention bob dylan and miles! i didn't know david ruffin was the first to sing on this track! good trivia question!
    I just noticed that it was indeed Miles playing near the beginning of the clip. I did not pick out Dylan yet though.......

  29. #29
    Wow.

    I never would have guessed in a million years that Curtis Mayfield played in South Africa during Apartheid.

  30. #30
    marv! bob dylan and jackson browne are together singing, right b4 the bald head guy from midnight oil.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by the_classic_master View Post
    marv! bob dylan and jackson browne are together singing, right b4 the bald head guy from midnight oil.
    Ok you are right! I just saw him. It was so brief, but there he was!

  32. #32
    I guess the Supremes were ahead of their time bringing this to the attention of others. When I first heard this song and saw the video on MTV I was flabbergasted because I was never into the We are the Worlds, or Farm Aid or Fashion Aid and the many other spinoffs that came. I loved this one because the music was so good and the stars in this video were much more interesting. My treat was when I saw Darlene Love and David and Eddie. Dont get me wrong We are the World and Hands Across America (remember that one) were needed and good concepts but this is the best sounding in the bunch. I also liked the fact that they didnt center on anyone like they did Dylan and Springsteen and others in the We are the World song. This was truly a group effort.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Ok you are right! I just saw him. It was so brief, but there he was!
    lol. that's one of my favorite parts in that song, bob's singing makes me laugh! would a young bob dylan ever have a chance on american idol or any of those silly talent shows that's on tv today? lol.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by the_classic_master View Post
    lol. that's one of my favorite parts in that song, bob's singing makes me laugh! would a young bob dylan ever have a chance on american idol or any of those silly talent shows that's on tv today? lol.
    No, but then again, he's never struck me as the type who would audition for such a show anyway. Those shows tend to either attract (among those with some vocal ability) kids with parents who don't know any other way of getting into show business, people from rural areas with no musical performance opportunities beyond the church and school functions, and people who have tried and failed to make it on their own and shooting for one more chance.

    BTW, there are still all star charity and political awareness recordings, but they're no longer novel as they were in the 80's when such efforts got a lot more attention than now.

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