Kanye showed up and said not a single word (after all, his sheer presence speaks for itself). Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Tom Morello sang protest anthems with the people. Just this weekend, Katy Perry and husband Russell Brand swung by on their bikes. And from the looks of his Twitter account, Russell Simmons would have people believe he’s practically living down at Zuccotti Park. Even Radiohead were linked to a surprise Occupy Wall Street show, which ended up being a total hoax but was believable nonetheless for the few short hours it lasted. The 99% have not only rallied for the Occupy Wall Street protest since Sept. 17 — music stars have been among the masses. Let’s recap their appearances.
Sept. 17: Lupe Fiasco
Days before protesters gathered, Lupe Fiasco got fans to chant “Occupy Wall Street” during his live show. Safe to say he was in on the ground level.
Oct. 4: Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum
Reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel leader Jeff Mangum followed up his much-touted All Tomorrow’s Parties performance with a more intimate gig: Ocuppy Wall Street. Mangum treated the crowd to a number of songs off Neutral Milk Hotel’s seminal album, “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.” He even started taking requests, saying, “I’m here to serve you, what do you want to hear?” Full story here.
Oct. 4: Michael Franti
The hip-hop fusion singer-songwriter took to the protest in pigtails and a cowboy hat to perform, among several other songs, his 2007 track “Yell Fire.” Note the selected lyric: “Three-piece suits and bank accounts in Bahamas/Wall Street crime will never send you to the slammer.”
Oct. 6: Talib Kweli
Never one to be politically shy, rapper Talib Kweli visited the protest and performed new song “Distraction” and Black Star track “Thieves in the Night” on Oct. 6 — a cappella, of course. Full story here.
Oct. 10: Kanye West
Russell Simmons served as Kanye West’s Occupy Wall Street godfather of sorts, briefly guiding the notably silent rapper through Zuccotti Park on Oct. 10. “I just walked @kanyewest thru the #occupywallstreet. I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd,” Simmons tweeted. Full story here.
Oct. 13: Tom Morello
Five days after he appeared at Occupy Los Angeles, Tom Morello arrived in New York City as a guest of the Occupy Wall Street organizers who have pursued him all week via Twitter to perform. While the area near Liberty Plaza offered no proper stage for what Morello calls his “folk-music guerrilla warfare,” the setting conveyed the movement’s come-as-you-are tone. Guitarist Carl Restivo, Morello’s bandmate from Street Sweeper Social Club, joined in the four-song set, which included “This Land is Our Land.” “Every successful movement has a great soundtrack,” Morello told Billboard.com following his performance. Full story here.
Oct. 17: Perry Farrell
The Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman took his sons down to the protest, tweeting, “Pulling the boys out of school to participate in their first organized protest tittled “Occupy Wall Street” This is what I call an education!”
Oct. 21: Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie
Pete Seeger, 92, led protesters 30+ blocks on Friday night, from his concert at Symphony Space to Columbus Circle, NYC’s alternate Occupy Wall Street protest zone. Longtime activist Seeger, his grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, blues musician Guy Davis and composer David Amram joined the march, which ended in an epic singalong of classic protest folk songs including “We Shall Overcome” (made famous by Seeger during the Civil Rights Movement). Arlo Guthrie joined in on the activist fun as well.
Oct. 22: Katy Perry and Russell Brand
Katy Perry and husband Russell Brand rode their bikes down to Zuccotti Park over the weekend — and posed for a Twitpic (above) while they were there — but it wasn’t Brand’s first time at the rodeo. Perry tweeted at link to the Occupy NYC Livestream last Wednesday (Oct. 19), adding, “I know my hubby is there now…still… reppin us both! Tell him to call his wife if you see him!”
Oct. 23: Rufus Wainwright and Sean Lennon
Sean Lennon and Rufus Wainwright showed off a sense of irony during their appearance at Occupy Wall Street on Sunday (Oct. 23). Their song of choice? Madonna’s “Material Girl,” which they rocked on acoustic guitar while advising a lyric sheet.
All day, every day?: Russell Simmons
His Twitter account says it all.