Video to aid Yugoslavia fails to interest distributors

August 18, 1992|By New York Daily News

A Croatian-American musician wants to know why the music industry, which cared about African starvation, apartheid and AIDS, doesn't seem to care that his homeland has become a killing ground.

Nenad Bach has put $15,000 of his own money, along with donated time, material and services, into a multi-star "We Are the World"-style song and video called "Can We Go Higher?" But he can't persuade any major recording label to distribute it.

The main purpose of the video is to call for peace and to raise awareness of the Yugoslavian conflict, with proceeds going to war orphans.

"The indifference of the industry, unfortunately, mirrors the indifference of the U.S. government," says Danny Schecter, the co-executive producer. "We've been turned down by some labels, others are considering us. It's hard when so much in the business today is driven by market forces."

Artists who sing or recite on the song include actors Ellen Burstyn, Michael York, John Malkovich and Martin Sheen, plus Richie Havens, Michael Penn and Rick Danko and Garth Hudson of the Band.

Mr. Bach had 3,000 CDs manufactured, and he has convinced a few New York stores, including Tower and HMV, to sell them.

"But this is a message for all of America and the world," Mr. Bach says. "What is going on today is like Germany in 1939."

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