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Republicans Block Gore's Live Earth in DC

March 29, 2007 4:09 PM ET

Republicans have stymied Al Gore's attempts to stage the July 7th Live Earth concert in the nation's capital. Planning continues for the seven-city, twenty-four-hour event -- Madonna confirms she will headline the London leg of the show at Wembley Stadium -- but the U.S. host city will no longer be D.C., after a series of apparently partisan moves blocked the event from two sites near the Capitol. In March, the National Park Service, a division of the Interior Department (headed by Bush appointee Dirk Kempthorne), denied organizers a permit to hold a concert on the Mall, citing an undisclosed previous reservation. Next, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Sen. Olympia Snow introduced a resolution allowing the concert to go forward on the Capito's west lawn. Organizers hoped the resolution would pass quickly, but Republican Sen. James Inhofe -- who has called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" -- vowed to stall the resolution indefinitely, describing Live Earth as a "partisan event." "It's unfortunate that Senator Inhofe used the rules of the Senate to block an event like this," says Jim Manley, an aide to Reid. "The environment is not a partisan issue."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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