Black Sheep’s Willie Basse Talks About Ending Hunger in America. - Interview

With protestors on Wall Street and the economy in the state that it is in, many people are left without jobs, homes and food. For one musician, Willie Basse, the idea that people are left without meals is a scary thought. The founder of Black Sheep and advocate of ending hunger in America recently stopped by to talk about his goal of getting food to every American in the country.

Q – Thank you, Willie, for talking with me.

A - Thanks for asking me.

Q – You founded the rock band Black Sheep and recently got off tour with Adler’s Appetite. You’re about to set off on the U.S. Feed America-Now tour that deals with ending hunger. Why did you decide to put this tour together?

A - Many educated, capable, productive people are out of work and are having trouble making ends meet. Hunger is a reality right here in our own backyard. It's become an epidemic.

Q - Have you ever gone through periods where you could not afford food?

A - Fortunately I've been OK, but I know people with (college) degrees that can't find a job and are having a tough time. One guy had worked at the same job and company over 20-years with a six-digit income. Got laid off in March. He has a job as a security guard, but now has lost his home and he and his family are now homeless.

Q – How will the tour benefit the cause? (Will there be programs during the tour, proceeds of tour going to organizations, etc.?)

A - Our beloved government is cutting assistance programs by 20-30%. Some programs will be cut off all together. 100% of donations and canned goods given will go to a food bank near each venue. (There is discount admission to my concerts with non-perishable canned goods). There is NO political agenda, or middle-man!

In a perfect world, I will get corporate sponsors to cover my expenses to show up with loads of food for everyone in each city! I can also set up online donation channels that go directly to the food banks.

I can also record music and shoot footage that will be dedicated income for food banks.


Q – With the economy in a state of turmoil and the unemployment rate higher than ever, more people are going without food, etc. What type of correlation have you seen between the lack of jobs and hunger in this country?

A - No work, no money, no home, no food. Until America can start product manufacturing again, we have to help each other. When was the last time a TV was made in America? What about furniture or even music equipment?

Anyone should be able to get a meal, if in need. Even though I've been turned down by Kellogg, Kroger, Ralphs, Scott Simplot of Simplot Potatoes and Feeding America, I will not stop. The sad truth is these companies throw away more food than I need to feed (30) cities! I won't stop until everyone can eat! The FOOD is the star of this concert series.

Q – Have you managed to get other musicians involved?

A - I've been recording with Ken Scott, (The Beatles) Bobby Owsinski (Elvis/Jimi Hendrix) and playing bass with a band called 'SNEW.' They have donated graphics and website construction to www.Feedamerica-now.org.

Micki Free is on the tour along with a great band from Philly called Still Standing.

Micki works with Seminal Native Americans, setting up music programs for the underprivileged. Many Native Americans have no food, or basic utilities, or even running water right here in "The Land of Plenty."

Q – What can everyday people do to help out other than go to one of the stops on your upcoming tour?

A - Visit http://www.feedamerica-now.org/. Hit the big blue 'Donate Button.' Give a buck or two for those less fortunate than you. Also, go to a local community food bank, volunteer, help out and be of service!

Q – Where can we learn more information about this cause?

A - http://www.feedamerica-now.org/, http://www.rockforrecovery.com/ and http://www.williebasse.com/.

Q – Thank you again. Is there anything you wanted to add?

A - We all are one. Real love drives fear away. Through entertainment and music we can come together and make a huge difference in a short amount of time.


BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.
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