Radio programmers across the country have adopted Live's "Overcome" to reflect last week's devastation and the subsequent confusion consuming the nation.
The day after the September 11 tragedy, the documentary Web site CameraPlanet.com created a montage of New York rescue scenes and relief efforts and combined them with the Live song. The resulting video was aired repeatedly on VH1 beginning two days after the attack.
The powerful presentation overwhelmed nearly everyone who viewed it not least of all members of Live, who had no foreknowledge of the video.
"My wife and I woke up, flipped on the TV and the video came on," recalled Live frontman Ed Kowalczyk. "I was shocked and overwhelmed by how striking the images of the rescue workers were. It was amazing."
Live have decided to create their own video for the song by combining CameraPlanet's footage with studio shots of Kowalczyk. Live enlisted video director Mary Lambert, best known for her work with Madonna, and on Tuesday (September 18) she filmed the vocalist singing under an artificial waterfall in a Los Angeles studio. Lambert worked for free and Kodak donated the film.
But CameraPlanet.com CEO Steve Rosenbaum blanched when he learned the band wanted to use his company's film alongside studio footage.
"We said to Ed, 'Look, if you're gonna make a video, it has to feel honest,'" said Rosenbaum, "'and putting something from the studio over those pictures is just wrong.' Ed called me and said, 'We've thought about what you said and we think you're right.'"
Rosenbaum invited Kowalczyk to visit New York to experience the shell-shocked city first-hand. Wednesday night, CameraPlanet.com filmed the singer visiting the wreckage site, a fire station and various memorials. Band manager Chris Harden said an "Overcome" video combining that material with the rescue footage will be released soon. The Lambert material may wind up as an alternate version of the video, Harden said.
Kowalczyk was affected deeply by the scope of the damage. "It's overwhelmingly huge," he said. "It hits so hard. There's such a wrongness about all this."
Instead of lashing out in rage, however, Kowalczyk's Buddhist faith compels him to help and heal. "We're going through a profound test as human beings and Americans," Kowalczyk said. "We have to concentrate on passing that test, and part of that test is loving. Practicing love is a difficult thing to do. It's much easier to get angry. But to answer this type of tragedy with more hate is almost a bigger crime. It's horrible to do that in the face of all this suffering."
Live plan to spread love and understanding by performing onstage and will proceed with their scheduled North American tour, which begins at the Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 2. Shows in Philadelphia; Toronto; Bristow, Virginia; Mobile, Alabama; and Atlanta will follow. Live will then jet to Europe for performances in Belgium and the Netherlands before returning to America to play Madison Square Garden in New York on October 15. Gigs in East Rutherford, New Jersey; Pittsburgh; Auburn Hills, Michigan; Rosemont, Illinois; and St. Paul, Minnesota will follow.
Shows have been booked through October 23, but additional dates will likely be announced shortly, said the band's publicist. Live will also appear on the September 27 "Tonight Show With Jay Leno."
"Music is a spiritual event and a means to realize freedom," explained Kowalczyk. "Individuals have to find a place to experience a profundity of feeling, and art is a means to that. I think musicians, artists and directors will come to that party and make sure people have the means of contemplating what's going on in the physical world."