lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: can we go higher


1992-07-06: rap and country continue at the top, the long beach press-telegram:

the indigo girls, michael penn, rick danko, garth hudson, peter holsapple, and richie havens are among the artists who have donated their voices to a new single and video calling for peace in war-torn yugoslavia and the rest of the world. the project, which is being distributed through nbm records, is the brainchild of nenad bach, a croatian recording artist who has lived in the u.s. for seven years. bach wrote "can we go higher" with john timpane and began enlisting the aid of musical acquaintances to line up a recording cast. actors john malkovich, martin sheen, michael york, and ellen burstyn also participated in the project. both the single and the clip will be released during the second week of july. the video will retail for $9.98, and the cd or cassette single for $6.98.

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1993-01-12: music stars join modern-day bach for bosnian benefit, showbiz today:

[addressing mr. bach] with all due respect to artists like indigo girls, richie havens, the members of the band - all terrific musicians - in terms of their celebrity value, they are not exactly 'a-list' celebrities.

mr. bach: yeah.

scheerer: where are the music world's big celebrities?

mr. bach: well, you know, i can't blame somebody that doesn't want to. i asked a couple of major people, you know, and they had schedule problem, or something. whatever reasons, i was rejected on one side extreme and accepted in extreme, also.

danny shefter [sp?]: it's not a problem of celebrities, it's a problem of a terrible war.

scheerer: danny shefter's company helped bach find a major distributor for his benefit cd and video.

mr. shefter: before bob geldof organized live aid, no one ever heard of bob geldof. nenad bach is the bob geldof, if you will, of the war in sarajevo.

scheerer: but once he completed the project over a year ago, bach repeatedly watched his efforts at attracting media attention fall on deaf ears.

mr. bach: i was rejected [unintelligible] from you, but you see, i was not rejected again. you are interviewing me now. i didn't give up. if it was my rock and roll album, i would give up, like, seven months ago already, because it's not worth [it] to go through all this. but if we can save one life, it's worth [it]; one child, it's worth [it].

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1993-03-25: a song for the victims of war, the philadelphia daily news:

he poured his heart and his talent into an anti-war song, "can we go higher?," which is not as bouncy as "don't they know it's christmas," nor as star-studded as "we are the world," but is a sincere, melodic call for an end to violence.

in addition to his lyrics, it includes spoken quotes from the works of the dutch philosopher spinoza, the native american chief seattle and the british rock philosopher john lennon.

a chance meeting with the band's rick danko at the tinker street cafe (where bob dylan had often performed) in woodstock, n.y., led to danko's participation. through sleeves-up hard work, unswerving perseverance and a little luck, nenad recruited more stars for the effort, which was recorded using time donated by several studios.

actors martin sheen, michael york, john malkovich, ellen burstyn; musicians richie havens, michael penn, indigo girls, garth hudson (of the band), johnny farina (of santo & johnny) and peter holsapple (of r.e.m.), are heard on the single and seen - intercut with scenes of the ravages of war - on the video.

with the "higher" music and video completed, and a charity - the international rescue committee - in mind, nenad's final obstacle was finding a way to distribute the music to raise the money.


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