Of immigration laws and oil spills
If there’s one thing politically active rock stars love, it’s leading a boycott. And today’s current events have given them not one, but two causes worth lining up for: the BP oil spill, and Arizona’s controversial new SB 1070 law, aimed at curbing illegal immigration. The call for a boycott of British Petroleum came from an unlikely source, the hard rock band Korn (the same band who just five years ago sang that they “don’t wanna talk about politics”). The movement among artists to boycott the entire state of Arizona by refusing to play shows there has been spearheaded by a more familiar group of rabble-rousers, Rage Against the Machine.
Whether or not you agree with the motives behind either boycott, perhaps an even bigger question is: Do artist-led boycotts actually have an impact? We decided to look back at some of the more famous musical boycotts in recent history to see which ones worked, which ones didn’t—and which ones only succeeded in making the boycotters look foolish.—Andy Hermann, Mextromix