Can music change the world? Let’s hope so… More than 80 of the world’s biggest music stars have banded together to sound their concerns about the climate crisis.
Stars from across the years and genres are raising awareness of environmental issues through the launch of a new fundraising book and album — with more releases planned.
Minds Behind The Music features members of some of the world’s biggest bands, including Deep Purple, Genesis, Status Quo, The Who, Thin Lizzy, The Damned, Black Sabbath, Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull and many more.
Famous names like Francis Rossi, Ian Gillan, Marcella Detroit, Don McLean, Eva Gardner and Suzi Quatro have shared their thoughts on the big issues, from climate change to politics to religion, to help raise awareness of the plight the planet is in.
The first music released as part of the project is an album of original material, kicking off with a track by Mungo Jerry.
The band famously recorded ‘In The Summertime’, a song enjoying the heat of the season, a full 50 years before the COP26 climate conference sought to find urgent ways to tackle global warming.
Now the musicians have added their voices to rising concerns that the climate crisis is spiralling out of control.
A best selling author and filmmaker is the mastermind behind the project, but is shying away from publicity to shine a light on the other stars. Writing the book under the name Phil G, he says: “It all started after I’d finished making a documentary about overpopulation. I popped on the old musical machine, hit the random button and the Queen song, ‘Is This The World We Created?’ came on.
“The words struck me like no other. We claim to be the most advanced species on Earth, yet if we were to be judged on the levels of destruction, we’d be the worst. There and then I decided I had to do something.”
He spoke to many famous names for the book. Here are some of the star opinions on the damage we are doing to our planet:
Don ‘American Pie’ McLean: “The chance to hold on to the natural world was within our grasp 50 years ago. Now with 60 per cent of plant and animal life extinguished, it makes me feel ashamed to be a human being, with so little love for the animal kingdom.”
Marcella Detroit of Shakespeare’s Sister: “With so much denial going on about climate change and famine, and very little news about it for fear of frightening the masses, I really don’t know what state this planet will be in 50 years from now. It feels very uncertain to me. I fear it’s greed that will bring this planet to its knees in the end, unless we heed the warnings immediately.”
Maja Shining, of Danish rock band Forever Still: “I’ve always been a person with a huge heart for all living beings and have been an animal rights activist for the past 17 years. It was a real eye opener, when I was young, and I realised that the reason we have some animals as pets and others as food is not because the animals are different from each other — only that our perception of them is and that it’s purely cultural. That’s when I went vegetarian as a young teenager and later vegan.”
Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols: “Starting with simple obvious personal choices like buying organic non-GMO foods and not buying disposable plastic whenever possible, is something everyone can do without getting crucified on the web.”
Ric Sanders of Fairport Convention: “I’ve always been an advocate for kindness to animals. I tried to go vegetarian when I was seven or eight, but we had a dinner lady who had been trained by the SAS, so that was not an option. I became vegetarian in the early sixties, and that was my first step in not conforming to how society wanted me to be. I became vegan about 10 years ago, after seeing some PETA films and reading an article by the musician Julian Cope. The cruelty in much of the dairy industry is less obvious to people I think. Going plant-based is healthier, and kinder to the environment that we all depend on.”
Ray Dorset of Mungo Jerry: “Nobody seems to pay attention to looking after the planet. Everyone seems to be more interested in what they can get out of it, make as much money as they possibly can, to the detriment of their brothers and sisters.”
Album is first of many music releases
As well as the book, an album of the same name, Minds Behind the Music, has been released, raising money for wildlife conservation charity the Born Free Foundation.
It features acts like Mungo Jerry (song and video above) and Simon Kirke of Bad Company, and is the first of several planned musical releases.
Videos of all the tracks are on the popular Minds Behind the Music YouTube page, with views also helping to raise money for the charity.
The album’s art was provided by Reg Mombassa of the band, Mental As Anything.
Minds Behind The Music, the book, is available to order from Wymer Publishing and Amazon, priced £14.99.
The album is available on all music platforms, including streaming.