This film provides an amazing view behind the music of The Looters, a political funk-rock band formed in San Francisco that led the Bay Area’s “worldbeat” musical movement. In 1983, the band was invited to tour in Nicaragua during the end of the Nicaraguan Revolution and the victory of the Sandinistas. These interviews convey insight on the political and personal growth that occurred during the trip, and show how the commonalities within human nature can cross any borders. They bash on the meaninglessness of commercial music, and boldly stand by their belief that music is a record of the time and that narratives that express the true human experience are the most important.
I found these videos invigorating and inspiring. Over my past few months of working here at the Archives, it is material like this that continues to exemplify to me the importance of holding on to records of human interaction and solidarity that go against the historical canon. The Looters and their politically-charged messages called out the American government’s role in the war in Nicaragua, and it was counter-culture like theirs that allowed the people of Nicaragua to identify with the American people, regardless of the direct harm and warfare that the United States government was financing within and waging on their country. It was a simple yet direct action of solidarity, of seeking humanity and common ground in a place and time where there seems to be none. Plus, they made some killer music.
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