Pearl Jam, NIN, R.E.M. Sign New Orleans Presidential Debate Petition

August 6, 2008 4:08 PM ET

Pearl Jam, My Morning Jacket, R.E.M. and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor have all signed a petition asking both Barack Obama and John McCain to have a presidential debate in the flood-ravaged city of New Orleans. Organized by the Gulf Restoration Network and Voice of the Wetlands, the petition asks the candidates to come to the Big Easy to discuss how the government plans to use federal money to restore Louisiana's coastal security and stabilize the state's communities. Google, YouTube and New Orleans universities are co-sponsoring the debate, scheduled for September 18th, and ask both candidates to commit the attend the event. Artists like 311, Jackson Browne and a host of N'Awlins-based musicians like Dr. John and the Neville Brothers have also signed the petition, which was then sent to Obama and McCain via the U.S. Senate. So far, neither has responded.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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