NME is reporting that Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder helped to raise $1.7 million at a fundraiser for US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign by performing a set at the home of singer-songwriter Don Miggs in Tampa, Florida. Vedder performed two Pearl Jam songs, "Rise" and "Without You", along with covers of James Taylor’s "Millworker" and Neil Young’s "Rockin' In The Free World". Tickets to the event cost $20,000.
As well as performing at the event, Vedder also told the following story in response to Mitt Romney’s recent "47 percent" claims:
"I'm an example of someone who never made it to university. I did have this dream to be a musician. I felt that this dream had an expiration date."
The singer then explained that he had signed up for a government program, which led to getting a job as a security guard that allowed him to fund his musical ambitions:
"It was that job which allowed me to keep affording to guitars and microphones. For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job."
Eddie Vedder’s support for Barack Obama is hardly a new phenomenon. The past ten years have seen musicians becoming involved in political campaigns in a way that they never had done before. In the lead up to November elections, it has become increasingly common for a number of famous musicians to pin their colors to the mast and publicly endorse a particular political candidate, often becoming involved in promoting their presidential campaign.
But how do you, the Ultimate-Guitar readers, feel about that? Do you think that musicians should get involved in party politics? Do you think that their job is to comment on the political system from an external position? Or do you not want your music to have anything to do with politics at all?