Amnesty concert draws 55,000...
Organizers proclaimed the ''Conspiracy of Hope'' tour a success as the series of concerts to raise money for human rights wound up in Giants Stadium yesterday.
Amnesty International drew 55,000 fans to a show featuring jazz, folk, rock and reggae greats such as Miles Davis, Joan Baez and the Police.
Even, Yoko Ono said, John Lennon was ''here in spirit'' to benefit human rights around the world.
Davis, the legendary jazzman; Ono, Lennon's widow; and the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary were among the first to take the stage yesterday. The Police, who had reunited for part of the Amnesty tour, ended the concert.
''I don't know of any other way you can make a household name in two weeks, but we did it,'' said Jack Healey, executive director of Amnesty International-USA, the U.S. chapter of the Nobel Prize-winning human rights organization.
The six-city tour, which was expected to net $3 million, was ''bigger and better than I ever thought this could be,'' Healey said.
He praised the ''total cooperation'' of the musicians who donated their services. The final 12-hour concert yesterday included such stars as Sting, Peter Gabriel, U2, Joni Mitchell, Ruben Blades, Lou Reed, Jackson Browne and the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary.
Ono sang the slain Beatle's idealistic vision of world harmony, 'Imagine', introducing it to the cheering audience with: ''John is here in spirit with us.''
''This is dedicated to all the people in South Africa who have been imprisoned this weekend,'' said Peter Gabriel, leading into a song titled 'Biko' about the South African labor activist who died while in police custody.
The noon-to-midnight concert at Giants Stadium at the New Jersey Meadowlands was the last in the series organized to celebrate Amnesty International's 25th anniversary, raise money and bring in new members.
Mary Daly, an Amnesty International spokeswoman, estimated that 25 million people watched or listened to the star-studded final concert, which was broadcast by MTV, the rock music cable channel, and by Westwood I and other radio networks.
U2 got the day's most tumultous response, a standing ovation before they even reached the stage as darkness fell.
(c) The San Diego Union-Tribune