I just watched Philip Seymour Hoffman’s political documentary, The Party’s Over, where he covers the state of American politics in the year 2000. Trust me, no one looks good.
As always, there are musical connections in such topics, and the one that jumped out to me occured at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, held at LA’s Staples Center (8/14-17).
Rage Against the Machine attempted to play a protest concert (organized by MTV) across the street from the Staples Center on August 14. Granted, Rage Against the Machine isn’t exactly known for being calm, or non-political. One of their best known songs, “Bulls On Parade,” is obviously calling attention to the military-industrial complex through lyrics such as:
Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes / Not need, just feed tha war cannibal animal
Yes, Rage Against the Machine was trying to influence and motivate those listening to stand up for what they believe. And that’s exactly what was happening inside the Staples Center, except they have way more money and wear suits.
Accordingly, the LAPD declared the outside gathering “an unlawful assembly” and everyone was forced to leave immediately.
Here’s a 6-minute video that shows great visuals of what happened that night.