Subject:A WHITE PAGE
FROM A BLACK BOOK.
Date: Sep. 28, 2001
Well, its been hard to come up with anything to say that hasnt
already been said in the last two weeks by a host of columnists,
sub editors, television commentators, and other shapers of opinion
far more eloquent than I on the subject of the tragedy that hit
New York and indeed the whole of the Western World to a degree,
on September the eleventh. I have written this special piece for
the website many times in my head, and have shredded it just as
many times for one reason or another, as more aspects and appositions
have come to light, and as my feelings on certain of the consequenses
have shaped and reshaped themselves.
The one thing that is unmoved, however, is my need to assure you
all of the entire bands shock and sadness at the scale of
this atrocity, and its senseless waste of human life, most of it
being young men and women in their prime and with young families
here in the New York area, and a ghostly roster of missing victims
whose families wait overseas (many in Britain) for news that will
never arrive. I dont think there has ever been a single more
cataclysmic event perpetrated in peacetime on such an indiscriminate
level, against people who were guilty of nothing more than going
to work in a global marketplace which happened to be the great symbolic
icon of capitalism most hated and despised by the enemies of freedom
and democracy. Our hearts are heavy with their loss, and the grief
is shared by us all - knowing, as we all of us here do, someone
or other who never came home on that dreadful day.
It ocurred to us, when at the beginning of this week we finalised
discussions for a performance at BB Kings club in New York
on Saturday Nov.3rd., that we would now have an opportunity to make
our own personal donation to the Twin Towers Fund set up by Mayor
Giuliani in response to the extraordinary needs of the victims.
Accordingly, we will donate our proceeds of the night to the fund,
and we would ask ALL Average White Band friends and fans to come
and help swell the coffers for this occasion, and join in our tribute
to the victims, their families, and the heroes who lost their lives
in unspeakable ways trying to rescue and relieve others. I refer
of course to the firemen, police, ambulence and paramedic personnel
who never made it out, and who have never before sustained such
unprecidented losses in a single incident. Our drummer, Brian Dunne,
comes from a firefighting family who have lost close brethren in
this disaster, and in Onnies little neighborhood alone, ten
firefighters have disappeared. Its tough to finish this paragraph
even now, two weeks afterwards.
There are lots of observations and opinions I have wanted to share
with you over this - from how it could have happened and our unpreparedness,
to what should or could be done to ease the pain of its happening
- but they are, as I said earlier, still in flux and in respect
for the victims families, perhaps in questionable taste at
this time such are my frustrations, my hurt and my anger at various
nonsenses. I will leave these weighty issues to those better qualified
and better trained to air them, in their volumes of print and acres
I would like to remind people however that the sharpest tool of
hate is ignorance, and ignorance of our true character is what spawned
this awful deed, so please read and listen to every source of information
that you can before condoning any vengeance of hate that Britain
and America might be inclined to try, however seemingly justified
at this time, and remember John Lennons "Imagine"
instead, as an anthem for this passage. The wound will heal, the
scar will be huge, but there is dignity and respect for a wounded
soul who can proceed with humility rather than hubris.
For America, its the end of the innocence. For the rest of
us, we reluctantly welcome a new neighbour to the trauma centre.
Friends, well see you at BB Kings on Saturday Nov.3rd.