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- Posted on Dec 3rd 2012 3:45PM by Dan Reilly
How did this event come about?
Well, the event came about because we're getting to this coast and we're coming in here. I've been playing this area for years and years and got a lot of a support here over the years, and I noticed that there are things going on and things to support it, but the news media has basically moved on, which is typical. A very short attention span. They're more interested in what their definition of news is. There's a lot more to news than what happened in the last 15 minutes. There are repercussions from what happened with Hurricane Sandy. There are reasons why it happened and there's the people who've had their whole lives in a state of upheaval from this thing and we're just trying to focus on the fact that that exists, that that has all happened, and have people actually see what's going on. That's what this is about. To bring light to what's going on.
Aside from doing this show, do you have any other plans to help with the relief efforts?
Well, the only thing I'm doing is the show in Atlantic City. I don't know how to explain it other than it's a show in Atlantic City and all the money that comes into the show and all the money from the income associated with the show all goes to the Red Cross. The show is situated right down in the area where the damage was, and still is, and the idea is not to forget about it. Don't forget what happened here and don't forget that there's probably a reason why these kind of things are happening and we really need to come to some sort of sense of purpose of what's going on on the planet that's making the weather change and everything. Even if you don't believe in global warming, there are plenty of reasons to live a clean life and make the environment clean. There's no downside to being clean.
I was surprised that so many politicians were bringing up climate change in regards to the storm. What's your opinion on the government's efforts to help remedy the problem?
Well, it depends on who you talk to. You can't generalize it too much. This is a massive problem that we have. Some people believe it's related to climate change and the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Some people believe that's where global warming is coming from and we're causing it ourselves and there are ways to try to slow that down and ultimately reverse the course of it. A lot of scientists, maybe 90% of them, all feel that way, and there are a lot of doubters, maybe 10%, that feel it'd be a waste of time to do any of these things because it'd be too damaging to the economy. So, it's a choice that everybody has to make themselves. My choice is based on the fact that I don't think there's anything wrong with cleaning up the atmosphere, whether it ends global warming or stops it or slows it down, whatever, there's just nothing wrong with it. It's better to be clean and be safe in case there's some massive discovery where everybody says it is global warming. I think it would have been good to start five years ago with Al Gore on it, because there's no negative. The only negative is the economic negative and it's a negative to people who profit from fossil fuels. We can't afford to keep doing what we're doing because by the year 2050, we'll be using twice as much energy every year as we're using now. The total amount of terawatts, which is a trillion watts, will be doubled in the next 30 years, maybe 35 years. So where's that going to come from? It's going to have to come from the sun, it's going to have to come from something other than fossil fuels or we won't even have a planet. So, you have to look forward and see that there's a time to act and there's a time to just stand by and profit in the short run and it's a decision everybody has to make.
Right. I know Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg were vocal about it but I haven't seen much rhetoric on it since the election.
Well, you know, you have to just keep trying and do what you believe in. Everybody should just do what they believe, just stand up and say what you think. For a long time, believing in global warming and believing that people on the planet were responsible for the damage in the atmosphere, in the last five of 10 years, part of our government has been slugging away at that like there's something wrong with having that consciousness, but the part of it that does have a consciousness about it seems to have one the election. It's time for us to get serious about it. I'm extremely serious about trying to make examples ... There are a lot of things in the country that are U.S.-made things that can solve these problems and there's an incredible amount of advertising and education going in several different directions on this subject. I think that people are going to start seeing that there's real damage happening and something needs to be done.
Back to the concert, why did you decide to do your own show instead of joining up with that all-star benefit at Madison Square Garden?
Well, the all-star lineup is great. It's fantastic. But whether I was part of it or not wouldn't have made any difference at all other than to just somebody's recognition of somebody. It wouldn't have made any difference in the amount of money. The idea is to raise money. That's what it is. That's the idea. So by doing my own thing and letting the star-studded lineup at the Garden do their own thing, I'm creating more, creating more on the outside in the grassroots way. We're going right down where some of the damage was, close to it so you can drive around and see it when you go down there and understand really what it is that we're doing and trying to fight and trying to clean up and who we're trying to help. These are real people -- this isn't a television show. There's nothing wrong with the television show but I'm personally not crazy about television shows. I'd rather see people there and talk to people like you and talk to other people and bring awareness to it in other ways. We need to get footage of what it looks like today on television instead of the Kardashians. [Editor's note: Neil pronounced this Kar-day-shians, which is awesome]
Do you know anyone who's personally affected by it?
Yes, I have friends who were personally affected by the storm, their buildings were flooded and things, but I have thousands of friends who were personally affected by it who I've never even met. The people who come to my shows for the last 40 years. Those are the people I'm trying to reach out to, that I'm trying to support, just as an example that they've been supporting me, coming to my shows and making me feel great for 40 years. I can't just come in here and keep on going with business as usual. We have to do something and demonstrate how thankful we are for what we've been given and also try to bring not only a bunch of money through the Red Cross to help the situation but a lot of education, some of the things that you're saying and some of the things that I'm saying here to some degree, everybody talking about the fact that this is still going on, that this is New York City, this is tri-state area here. We're not talking about some swampland somewhere. This is a completely different thing.
And how many of these events are we going to have to have before we realize that we have a very serious problem that is potentially starting from putting 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere for every gallon of gas that we burn? There are real solutions to the problem and we have to start listening to the people who are organize these solutions, and not listen to the people who are trying to put them down for political gains or monetary gains. So that's where we need to focus. We need to support people who are actually taking this on.
For the concert itself, do you have anything special planned?
It's going to be a Crazy Horse show. We're going to do whatever we feel like doing at the time and the people who are going to be there are going to feel it and that's what we do. We're not promising that it's going to be a star-studded evening or anything like that because we really don't need to do that. We're going to sell the tickets. One thing I'd like to do is put speakers outside so we can broadcast the music into the streets and have people from the Red Cross out there to collect money, but that'd be the only thing I could see that I would do that would be different. And if somebody that I know comes down, somebody who's an icon of some kind, either with the fight against global warming or as a musician or as a concerned citizen, someone who can contribute, then we'll welcome them.