Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rockin' All Over the World

Thirty-nine nationalities and counting... Here we are early July, with nearly six months left of the year to run, and we've just recorded our 39th nationality aboard the London Rock Tour. Phenomenal. We carried 39 different nationalities in total last year (not counting Scottish and Welsh who we count as UK), so there's a good chance we'll top this in 2011.

The reach of rock is simply amazing. Its power and social impact immeasurable. A trivial force, think some, though (near) future historians will recognise its impact on things like anti-war and social change movements, fashion and even education. Rock has shrunken our planet; The Beatles, Led Zep, Hendrix, Queen et al, stand beside global brands like Coca Cola, Microsoft, F.C. Barcelona and Disney.

McCartney told a funny story illustrative of rock's reach, at his Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park concert last year. As he looked out over the assembled masses, flags of all nationalities waving above our heads, he reflected, without false pride, on how Beatles lyrics had been used around the world to teach the English language - another globalising factor. The first time he was 'Back in the USSR' he was asked to say 'hi' to a senior member of the Russian government who had apparently learned his English from Beatle songs; 'Hello', said Macca, by way of an opening. ‘Goodbye', answered the Minister! But Russian politicians did learn that 'All You Need is Love' and the 'iron curtain' was drawn back.

Happily, we already count Russians amongst this year nationality crop, but perhaps more surprising are the Puerto Ricans, Maltese, Lebanese and Syrian rockers ('power to the people' there, too) who've stepped aboard the 'Magic Bus'.

Latin American is well represented with Ecuador, Chile and Peru in addition to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, but inevitable the big three to date are the UK, the USA and Australia.

What we're now interested to see is which will be the 40th country... Outer Mongolia, perhaps, or Malawi? I wouldn't bet against either as we're truly rockin' all over the world!

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