Activism

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Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz and Joel Rafael Donate over $85k to Standing Rock

on December 14, 2016 No comments

Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, Joel Rafael and John Trudell’s Bad Dog donated over $85k to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe this week from proceeds and donations from their November 27 benefit concert at the Prairie Knights Pavilion in Fort Yates, ND, seven miles from Oceti Sakowin Camp.

Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time song by Bonnie Raitt (Standing Rock Reservation, 27 November 2016)

Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt World in Motion (Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, 27 November 2016)

Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown Thing Called Love song by John Hiatt (Standing Rock, 27 November 2016)

Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Joel Rafael, Jason Mraz I Am a Patriot (Standing Rock, 27 Nov 2016)

Jackson Browne, rap and Take it Easy with Bonnie Raitt (Standing Rock, 27 November 2016)

Bonnie Raitt with Val McCullum Well Well Well song by Dylan O Keefe (Standing Rock, 27 Nov 2016)

Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne Angel From Montgomery song by John Prine (Standing Rock, 27 Nov 2016)

Joel Rafael, Jackson Browne, Bad Dog, et alii Rockin the Rez (Standing Rock, 27 November 2016)

The benefit concert sold over 1,500 tickets to the general public and provided 800 free tickets to the Standing Rock community and water protectors. In addition to the money raised for the Tribe, Browne, Raitt and Rafael spent the day before the show at the Oceti Sakowin camp, donating over 500 blankets to those staying for the winter.

Bonnie Raitt with Faith Spotted Eagle and family at the Oceti Sakowin camp. Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz and donated $85k to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

“What an incredible honor it was to get to experience the powerful coming together of so many thousands united in spirit and commitment to nonviolence, to protect the water and sacred sites,” said Raitt in a press release.

“Arriving at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, with tipis, yurts and campers stretched as far as the eye could see, remains one of my life’s most memorable experiences. Meeting with the tribal elders, taking part in sacred ceremonies, witnessing the incredible work and coordination to provide food, sanitation, security, schooling, medical care and spiritual sustenance to those thousands who have been in the camps and on the line since the summer was incredible. I was filled with such great respect and admiration,” Raitt said.

Chairman Dave Archambault II’s family join Jackson and Bonnie at Oceti Sakowin camp: Betty Archambault, Joel Rafael, Dave Archambault, Sr., Bonnie Raitt, Donna Archambault Rogers and Jackson Browne. © Jackson Browne

“We hope the decision to halt construction will prevail in the New Year, but I know the people taking a stand there will continue their fight. We are committed to moving away from our dependence on fossil fuels and into a safer, more job-intensive green energy future. In the meantime, the resilience, strength and courage of all those at Standing Rock will continue to inspire my commitment to nonviolence and the power of people coming together to impact social change,” she said.

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Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash Continue No Nukes Advocacy As Paris Climate Talks Wind Down

on December 11, 2015 No comments

Bonnie Raitt—who co-founded Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) with Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and others—has roundly rejected pro-nuclear-power arguments heard during the Paris climate talks.

A longtime environmental activist, Raitt reacted to recent commentaries in the New York Times and the Guardian newspapers, calling for a reconsideration of nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source to combat climate change.

NPR reported on the rise in nuclear power advocacy in Paris in a Dec. 1 interview with Matthew Bunn, a nuclear and energy policy analyst and professor at Harvard University.

“Both the United States and quite a number of other countries are pushing nuclear hard as one of the clean energy options that are available,” said Bunn.

Raitt says anti-nuclear power activists stand ready to push back, hard, on “the idea that there’s some new form of nuclear power that’s safer and more viable.  There’s no solution for nuclear waste.  There have been incredible cost overruns and delays” in nuclear plant construction.  And nuclear power plants continue to pose “the security threat of terrorism,” she says.

“There are a lot of smart people on the side of pro nukes,” acknowledges Raitt,  “But I find a lot more people making the anti-nuke argument.”

Raitt made her comments during an interview about her forthcoming album “Dig in Deep,” set for release Feb. 26, which she will be supporting with a tour opening Feb. 22 in Northridge, Calif..   Selected tickets sold on this tour—as well as on tours by Browne, Nash, and David Crosby—benefit the Guacamole Fund, which supports the ongoing anti-nuclear-power efforts of MUSE and other organizations.

More than 35 years before the Paris Climate Summit drew world leaders to discuss how to avoid an environmental calamity, the artists of MUSE used their music and celebrity to draw attention to renewable, carbon-free, energy options, including wind and solar power. (Raitt, Browne and Nash co-founded MUSE with John Hall of Orleans, who subsequently served three terms in Congress, and activist Harvey Wasserstein of nukefree.org).

Muse-logo

In September 1979, Madison Square Garden in New York was sold out for four nights for “No Nukes, The MUSE Concerts For A Non-Nuclear Future,” featuring the group’s organizers and an all-star roster including Crosby, Stills & Nash; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; the Doobie Brothers; James Taylor; Carly Simon; and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

That week of concerts concluded with an anti-nuclear-power rally and concert that drew 200,000 to the then-empty landfill off Battery Park City in lower Manhattan.  Among the songs performed that day was John Hall’s “Power,” which became an anthem of the renewable energy movement.

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Saint Misbehavin’

Documentary ‘Saint Misbehavin” looks at the life of ’60s fixture Wavy Gravy

on November 29, 2010 No comments

Nov. 29, 2010
By DENNIS HARVEY

A Ripple Effect Films presentation. Produced by Michelle Esrick, David Becker. Executive producers, D.A. Pennebaker, John Pritzker. Directed by Michelle Esrick.

With: Wavy Gravy, Jahanara Romney, Steven Ben Israel, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Odetta, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Denise Kaufman, Evan Engber, Calico, Dr. Larry Brilliant, Michael Lang, Tom Law, Jordan Romney, Dr. Patch Adams, Ram Dass, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt.

“Saint Misbehavin'” chronicles the life of one ’60s survivor still flying his freak flag high. Now, as then, a colorful footnote to the era, Wavy Gravy was present and accounted for at a number of the decade’s major moments; purportedly, Bob Dylan even used his typewriter to write the lyrics for “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” Opening Dec. 3 on single screens in San Francisco and Berkeley, then the following week at Gotham’s IFC Center, self-distribbed docu will primarily appeal to those who still remember (however hazily) the personalities and events on display, with tube sales possible after theatrical play.


Wavy Gravy’s Dream
Gravy still organizes several all-star benefits a year for charitable causes, including funding free cataract operations in third-world countries and Camp Winnarainbow, his own performing arts camp that helps disadvantaged children. See Wavy at his benefits with members of the Grateful Dead, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez. “He’s able to bring people together above all others,” Raitt says. “He’s our Pied Piper.”

Starting Over
Before B.B. King dubbed him “Wavy Gravy” in 1969, he was Hugh Romney, once a poet on the Greenwich Village folk scene — he even shared a MacDougal Street loft with Bob Dylan. “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’ was written on my typewriter in that room,” he says in the film. Gravy discusses how he transformed from underground poet to Lenny Bruce-inspired standup act. “I decided to skip the poems and just talk about my weird day,” he says.

The Wavy Gravy Movie: Saint Misbehavin – Official Trailer

Party Favors: Saint Misbehavin The Wavy Gravy Movie Ben Jerry and Stephen Colbert – Part 2

Party Favors: Saint Misbehavin The Wavy Gravy Movie Merry Pranksters, LSD Jack Keroauc – Part 1

Help Kickstart Saint Misbehavin : The Wavy Gravy Movie on Kickstarter.com

Wavy Gravy at the Saint Misbehavin Premiere

Party Favors: Saint Misbehavin The Wavy Gravy Movie Woodstock and Meatloaf – Part three

Saint Misbehavin Q+A Part One – SF Premiere at the Red Vic Dec. 2010.

GRITtv: Michelle Esrick: Learning from Wavy Gravy

wavy gravy full frame

Wavy Gravy Q A 12/3/10 (part 1 of 2)

Ian Masters and Wavy Gravy on Background Briefing

Wavy Gravy Saint Misbehavin

Wavy Gravy Q A 12/3/10 (part 2 of 2)

Karma Wash Crew Welcomes Wavy Gravy to Woodstock.wmv

Wavy G @ Smith Rafael Film Center, 12-5-10, part 1

Wavy Gravy Saint Misbehavin afterparty – a Wavy moment

Sounds and Faces – Traverse City Film Festival 2009

Wavy G @ Smith Rafael Film Center, 12-5-10, part 3

WavyGravyJLennon

Wavy Gravy Saint Misbehavin afterparty Ken, Lorin,Will,Dia

Wavy G @ Smith Rafael Film Center, 12-5-10, part 2

Basic Human Needs Award @ Saint Misbehavin

Subject was born in 1936 as Hugh Romney, keeping that humble given name as he began attracting notice as a poet and standup comic in Manhattan’s more bohemian quarters in the late ’50s. Dawning countercultural vibes drew him to sunny California in 1962, where he promptly hooked up with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and started making performance less a profession than a full-time lifestyle, eventually changing his moniker to fit. Calling him “a consummate idealist,” his wife of 40 years, Jahanara Romney, says, “That persona you know as Wavy — that’s who he is.” He calls himself “not a classical clown (but) an intuitive clown,” one whose mission is described by pal Ram Dass as encouraging progressive change by “infusing politics with humor.”

As the hippie scene’s preeminent jester, Wavy helped defuse tension at anti-Vietnam War protests (not without incurring some police beatings); orchestrated “altruistic ministrations” to the hungry, tripping and muddy masses at Woodstock; ran satirical “Nobody for President” campaigns; put together myriad all-star music benefits for worthy causes (an ongoing pursuit); and so forth.

WAVY GRAVY, BOB WEIR and BONNIE RAITT performing for a Seva Foundation benefit concert produced by Wavy Gravy. Still image from the film “Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie,” directed by Michelle Esrick. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

These days, he still lives in the same Berkeley commune he has for decades, working primarily on the kids’ circus-skills retreat Camp Winnarainbow and international health advocacy org Seva Foundation, both of which he co-founded. Musician Bonnie Raitt labels him her generation’s “Pied Piper.”

Notably, there are few interviewees from any other generation here, and those not kindly disposed toward clowns in general may find that a little of this one’s ever-cheerful, ever-punning New Age funny business goes a long way. But nostalgists will discover plenty to enjoy in director Michelle Esrick’s well-crafted package, which makes good use of period songs and archival footage.

Camera (color, HD), Daniel B. Gold; editor, Karen K.H. Sim; music, Emory Joseph; music supervisors, Jill Meyers, Joseph; sound (Dolby), Dan Gleich; sound designers, Dog Bark Sound, Margaret Crimmins, Greg Smith; re-recording mixer, Tony Volante. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Nov. 26, 2010. Running time: 87 MIN.

More info:
Variety Reviews
Wavy Gravy net
Covering Media
Ripple Effect Films
Wavy Gravy Movie (Facebook)
Camp Winnarainbow
Plastic Pollution Coalition
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