Elton John tells Interview magazine that the U.S. government is using “bullying tactics” to prevent anti-war music from being heard, and that performers are so scared that they are just letting it happen. “There’s an atmosphere of fear in America right now and that is deadly,” John explained, according to the New York Daily News, noting, “Everyone is too career-conscious. They’re all too scared… things have changed.”
The British pianist pointed out that supporters of the war in Iraq-such as country star Toby Keith-are given free reign, while the Dixie Chicks faced a huge backlash after singer Natalie Maines made an anti-Bush comment to a London audience last year. “They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he’s freely elected, and therefore accountable,” John said. He added that in the 1960s, artists took pride in using their freedom of expression. “People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, the Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on. That’s not happening now.”
John just wrapped up his five-night stand at Radio City Music Hall in New York City last night (Sunday, July 18).
The 57-year-old pianist and his band performed with a full symphony orchestra and choir made up of students from both the Juilliard School in New York City and the Royal Academy Of Music in London.