Normal History Vol. 735: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 40-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Back then, in 2006, the song referred to AIDS in Africa. Now, it basically applies to COVID in Africa.

“Why me? Why him? Why her? But the real question underlies the theme. We know you have the drugs. You keep them under lock and key in the west, away from us. You choose who live, who dies.”

Way back in 1983 or so, I wrote “Are You Hungry, Joe?” about food banks, thinking that lyrics presented with music could change the world. Maybe not the best way, but as a form of cultural activism, I still believe music has this inherent potential.

“The Message” from The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006) (download):