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10 décembre 2005

John Lennon was definitely one of my heroes...

Excerpts from interview with Peter Gabriel, recorded at Real World Studios on 15 June 2005

"John Lennon was definitely one of my heroes. I think he always wrote from his heart. He was a very complicated individual, but there's an honesty about his song-writing that I think makes it very powerful. Sometimes it's very simplistic, childlike and naïve; and that is what gives it some of its strength."

"I got enlisted in the human rights thing when Bono called me up and asked me to get involved in the Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986 and then I did his collecting of artists job for the Human Rights Now tour in 1988 and suddenly you were meeting people who had been tortured, you were meeting people who had watched their families shot in front of them, and human rights were no longer something I was reading about and it was real education for me. When you meet people face to face, it's very hard, when you get asked to help, to then walk away."

"Sadly, all over the world in every country, there are still human rights abuses. If you look at what most of the countries signed onto when they signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what actually happens day-to-day in those countries, there are still horrendous abuses and I think that there is an awful lot still to be done."

"I think that anyone who doesn't have some sense of idealism when they're young is really missing out a bit of their humanity, because you have the chance to go into the world and feel, quite rightly, that it is soon going to be yours and you can change it. I think that's what my generation did with the Beatles at the front of it. There is so much more that
needs to be done and if people let go of the rope, then it slides back very easily.

So I think: get involved with a cause -- doesn't matter which one -- because it will lead you to things you will really care about, and travel -- go to places that you didn't ever think that you should or would want to visit and just meet the people and find out who lives there, what sort of experiences they have and what sort of culture they have.

Those types of exchanges that go on again, transform lives, and that's the opportunity you have now -- to change your life in a way that plugs you into different people around the world."

"Working with the tours and meeting all the people that felt their lives had literally been saved by Amnesty made it seem like such a simple, elegant and powerful idea. I think that it is a wonderful organisation that really deserves a lot of support."

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