‘Rock and Roll,’ Lou Reed at the Conspiracy of Hope concert

Lou Reed Conspiracy of Hope


In 1986, rock artists including U2, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Bryan Adams banded together for a six-date tour in support of the human rights organization, Amnesty International. The biggest show of this tour, titled Conspiracy of Hope, was the last one, an all-day affair at Giants Stadium, broadcast live on MTV.

The lineup, which featured many artists who had not been at the previous five shows (which took place in arenas, not stadiums), was not quite as star-studded as that of Live Aid, which had taken less than a year previously. But it was cooler, in some ways. Joining U2, Sting, Gabriel and Adams were the reunited Police, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, the Neville Brothers, Miles Davis, Howard Jones, Yoko Ono, Rubén Blades, Fela, Carlos Santana, Jackson Browne, Joan Armatrading, Stanley Jordan, Bob Geldolf, Little Steven, Darlene Love, John Waite, Peter, Paul & Mary, the Hooters, Third World and John Eddie.

Here is Reed, in good form, rattling the stadium with his anthem “Rock and Roll” (originally included on his last album with the groundbreaking Velvet Underground, 1970’s Loaded).

Highlights from this show and other Amnesty benefits were released as two-CD and six-CD sets last year, under the name, ¡Released! The Human Rights Concerts 1986: A Conspiracy of Hope.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


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