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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

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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