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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 24, 1997)
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Local music benefit concert aids
Amnesty International campaigns
By Bret Schulte
To raise support for humanitarian
efforts, the UNL chapter of Amnesty
International is rocking in the free
world - or, at least, Lincoln.
Showcasing local bands and pro
moting international involvement,
the campus chapter is playing host to
a benefit concert Saturday at the
Culture Center, 333 N.. 14th St. The
show’s $5 admission fee will help
fund the group’s letter-writing cam
paigns and local promotions.
Usually held once or twice a year,
the benefit concerts are a source of
entertainment for local rock fans and
information for people interested in
getting involved, chapter co-coordi
nator Ken Paulman said.
“The concert itself is mostly
about the music,” Paulman said.
“We’ll just have a booth there, and
before the headlining act someone
will speak about Amnesty
International and what we do.”
Saturday ’s show highlights an
eclectic mix of liberating music to
benefit Amnesty International.
Leading the local lineup is Lincoln’s
humblest near-legend rock band,
Mercy Rule, which follows opening
act and rising star China Digs, Jive,
rock novices Hootnanny, local all
star ensemble Erik the Red and hip
Although very interested in the
exposure, Erik the Red guitarist and
vocalist Rich Higgins says helping
the international advocacy group is
another perk to doing Saturday’s
“It’s an opportunity to play in
front of people, which we haven’t
done much of lately,” Higgins said.
“(But) even being asked to play these
kinds of shows for Amnesty kind of
wakes me up about what’s going on.”
Founded in 1961, Amnesty
International has received global
recognition, including a Nobel Prize,
for its worldwide efforts to cease per
secution based on religion, color, sex
and political beliefs.
Advocating nonviolence and tol
erance, Amnesty International’s more
than 1 million worldwide members
work to ensure fair and equal treat
ment for persecuted people through
letter-writing campaigns and popular
Locally, the UNL chapter has 10
core members and more than 30
names on its list of contacts, Paulmaii
said. The campus chapter actively
participates in correspondence and
recently engaged in addressing issues
in Bosnia. Although ostensibly pas
sive, Paulman said, such tactics are
“surprisingly effective” in creating
social and/or political change.
“Basically it’s a human rights
group,” he said. “If there is a human
rights violation in some part of the
world which is based on international
standards, we will write to leaders of
the country in which said violation
takes place and inform them that we
know what is going on.”
When someone, particularly from
the United States, is aware of what is
happening, it is a way of holding
leaders accountable for their actions,
While Amnesty International is
frequently involved outside the bor
ders of the United States, Paulman
said, oppression occurs everywhere
and, consequently, requires constant
attention - even from students seem
ingly isolated from world events.
“In reality, it affects everyone
directly or indirectly when free ideas
are oppressed in one part of the
world,” he said. “It means that it can
Because postage is expensive,
Paulman said the benefit concerts
were essential to the group’s letter
Although the show is sponsored
by the campus chapter of Amnesty
International, it is not going to be a
recruiting session, Paulman said.
“It’s not necessarily a question of
getting people to come to meetings,”
he said. “I feel that we do a service
informing people and inspiring them
to think about things and be aware of
Photo Courtesy Op The Fabtones
THE FABTONES (from left, Reynold Petersen, Jim Pipher, Pam Burger, Steve Hanson and Jon Hischke) bring their
love of rhythm and blues to the Zoo Bar Friday and Saturday, playing host at Soul Spectacular III.
By Bret Schulte
Although the blues is a way of life, for these guys it’s
not only a part-time job, but an all-out celebration.
A popular band for private parties and receptions,
local eclectic rockers The Fabtones are sponsoring their
third rhythm and blues festival, Soul Spectacular III,
Friday and Saturday at the Zoo Bar, 136 N. 14th St.
The show will focus on soul music from the late ’50s
and ’60s and canvass hits from such artists as Aretha
Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles and Van Morrison,,
said Jon Hischke, saxophonist for The Fabtones.
“It’s just a chance to recreate some of the soul music
sounds of the ’60s,” Hischke said. “I was a kid in the ’60s,
and I was surrounded by it”
Being the quintet’s oqly.'hom player* Hischke added
•three more for this weekends show to make the group’s
blues a little brassy as well. In fact, the size of the group is
doubling for the Soul Spectacular, including a second
drummer and keyboardist to round out the bulging roster.
“(Adding horns) helps to reproduce that larger horn
sound that was indicative of soul music in the ’60s,”
Hischke said. “Every sOul singer had a big horn section,
so we just want to reproduce that? f
Hischke explained that in the late ’50s and early ’60s,
soul music was divided between mostly white and mostly
black bands! With the advent of rock ‘n’ roll with Elvis
Presley leading the charge, many white musicians fol
lowed suit by .abandoning the horn for a guitar.
But soul music persisted through the dedication of
many black musicians who continued to rely heavily on a
large horn section to offer harmony mid resonance to their
To be true to these classic artists, Hischke says, a
strong horn section is necessary.
“Everyonein the band has a lot of respect for all those
players and musicians of days past,” he said.
Although The Fabtones have officially been a band
for only about five years, group members have played
roles in local and/or blues sceneS for large parts of their
lives. ,.t. ‘
Guitarist Steve Hanson has played in a variety of toiu4
ing groups since the early ’70s, as has bassist Jim Pipher.
With many members in their mid-40s, vocalist and
drummer Reynold Petersen said band members are con
tent with where the group is now.
“Nqne of ps me aspiring to do a lot of road work,
Petersen said. “We’ve done it ih the past and have come
full circle and enjoy just playing here.”
Regular guests at the Zoo Bar’s Friday Afternoon
Club, The Fabtones say playing the blues is never just rou
tine. * >
“You can’t copy somebody else’s soul,” Petersen said.
“You can take their music, but you have to put your own
soul into it.”
Both shows begin at 9 p.m. and cost $5. Call (402)
435-8754 for more information.
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