28 Aug 2010
IT'S more than just 2010's greatest gig - it's a salute to our Our
Boys and Girls injured in the cause of keeping us safe.
The Heroes Concert at Twickenham on Sunday, September 12 will see a
host of top stars paying tribute to the Armed Forces.
Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow will headline the show which is
expected to raise £750,000 for the Help For Heroes charity.
Tickets are selling quickly with more than half the 60,000 places already sold.
Here The Who frontman Roger Daltrey explains why the concert is the
hottest ticket of the year and why buying one will deliver more than
just a chance to watch some of the world's greatest musicians.
ROCK stars and soldiers - an unlikely mix, perhaps!
Yet I'm proud to say that's what is going to happen in two weeks'
time at the Heroes charity rock concert that is being held at Twickenham.
It will be a remarkable event where superstar musicians and comedians
- from Robbie Williams to Peter Kay - come together to raise money on
behalf of the brave young men and women of our Armed Services who
have suffered terribly fighting for their country.
It's a stark contrast to the late Sixties to mid-Seventies when my
generation was bitterly opposed to the Vietnam war.
I remember one event I attended while in America during the week the
Vietcong drove the US out of Hanoi and that war ended.
I was invited to the home of Stephen Stills of the then-supergroup
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, who had been very prominent anti-war
During the evening our conversation inevitably got around to: "How
great it was that the war had ended" and I could not have agreed with
But as the congratulatory tone went on I threw a curve-ball into the
conversation with: "Who's going to take care of the guys coming home?"
There were a few minutes of silence and it became clear to me that
they had not really thought about the troops coming home to their
country, some in better health than others.
The effects of war - mental and physical - are well known now and in
some ways US society is still paying the price of not bothering to
address that question.
So here I am, 35 years later, and coming up against the same question.
Never in my lifetime has war been so divisive as the conflict in
Iraq, and now Afghanistan. It is astonishing to me that people's
attitude to our permanently injured troops can be equally divided.
"They know what they're signing up for when they join" has been a
phrase I've sometimes heard during the last few months when trying to
raise support for Twickenham's Help For Heroes concert.
While I appreciate that a lot of these people were fiercely opposed
to the war, to carry opposition of it into opposition to the support
of our injured troops is an anathema to me.
I know that some of the artists appearing on the show may not support
the war but they all recognise that we as a society have a
responsibility to the young men and women who have paid a very high
price for the politics of this country.
It's far too easy to say the war was not in my name, because we have
to accept that rightly or wrongly it was.
The decisions of the British Government are OUR responsibility. We
voted them in.
The Armed Services do not get to pick and choose their engagements.
They are in the service of the Government.
If we as a nation feel the need to have Armed Services, for whatever
reason - and remember a lot of their work will be peace-keeping or
relief aid - we must be prepared to support them, not just with the
right equipment but with physical and psychological assistance in
their time of need, just as they will support us in ours.
I know from experience how generous the British people are in
supporting charitable causes.
I'm sure we can show that we have learnt from the mistakes of the
past and give our wounded heroes the support they deserve.
That's why Robbie and Peter are appearing at Twickenham on Sunday,
I hope you buy a ticket not just to see a brilliant show, but also to
show your support for the boys and girls who have sacrificed so much
in our name.