B-52s conversation, concert kick off Trojan Family Weekend on McCarthy Quad
Band members share their thoughts on social activism before a lively set that kept Trojans on their feet
Trojan Family Weekend got off to a rocking start Thursday as USC welcomed The B-52s to the University Park Campus.
About 3,500 students and parents, faculty, staff and alumni joined the worlds greatest party band for a conversation and outdoor concert on McCarthy Quad. The event was part of the Visions and Voices series, the arts and humanities initiative launched in 2006 by USC President C. L. Max Nikias when he was university provost.
In a pre-concert conversation with Professor Tara McPherson of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, band members Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider and Cindy Wilson discussed everything from their unique persona (starting out, they didnt realize how weird they were) to their fashion sense (they shopped at thrift stores because they didnt have any money).
The musicians also talked about their personal take on social activism. We dont have one particular charity, said Pierson, noting they have supported issues from climate change to AIDS awareness. We go where we are called.
And they talked about their collaborative, if unconventional, writing and recording process. I couldn’t hear what Cindy was saying, Schneider said, and I said, Your what? And Cindy said, tin roof rusted.
The evening was not without its poignant moments: Thursday was the 32nd anniversary of the death of original band member Ricky Wilson, Cindy Wilsons brother. The group dedicated Summer of Love to him during the show.
Just before the start of the hourlong set a hit-filled trip from Planet Claire to Rock Lobster, with a stop at the Love Shack, of course the band offered one bit of advice.
If youre a writer or a musician, and you think an idea is too crazy, write it down or record it, said Schneider, to which Pierson added: And wear a wig.