Photo of Michael J Downey
  • Acoustic / Pop / Rock
  • SANTA CRUZ, California, US
  • Profile Views: 39,838

Michael J Downey's Blog

New blog postWrite a Blog Post
Going to Korea by Michael J Downey on MyspaceShare your blog

Going to Korea

We're going on tour to Seoul, South Korea next week. After months of recording the "Bridge of No Return" album, then shooting the "Bridge" video, rehearsing the band, setting up the tour, practicing my clumsy Korean, negotiating with booking agents, TV stations, labels... it's finally here.

The timing is interesting - Kim Jong Il continues to test his manhood, the border (where the 'bridge of no return' is located) is more tense than ever, yet is getting more visitors and tourists than ever at Panmunjeom. I worry that Korean people or ex pats living there will see the video as another example of American presumptuousness. But the feedback so far has been mostly positive, and right on target. The message is simply two things:

1. How sad it is when a country, group, or family is divided

2. Sometimes love can break through those walls

And hopefully the recognition that there are some Americans that have a respect for and interest in Korean culture, history, and people.

We're gonna go play rock n roll in Seoul. But the message is bigger than that. Sponsored by, we're about reaching out with the hand of friendship - one person to another, one country to another.

And I'm so stoked to be going with two of the finest musicians on the planet! Christina Rasch(keyboards and vocals) and Tanner(bass and vocals). They're both really tall, too, so I'm considering them my bodyguards, too.

We'll keep you posted.


Michael J Downey
    Michael J Downey

    With less than a week to go, I'm gratified by the number of emails and messages I've gotten about the video and the upcoming tour. While most of the emails have been postive and encouraging, I've gotten a couple of really well thought out, sincere responses that have been critical of the video, and skeptical of my intentions.

    Truly, while I'm saddened at the possibility of offending anyone, I take heart in the fact that even these...especially these critical responses open up a dialogue, that I believe is much needed. Unfortuntely, the American international agenda in the last few years has done damage to the ability to reach out in friendship, or to have a spirited, but constructive dialogue between people, between countries. So, I'm glad when people understand that I am not out there to further the American agenda.

    Here's a response I sent to one of those valued letters:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to view our video, and especially for your well-thought-out response. Hey, I'm on your side. You just exemplified everything I admire about Korea today, and try to educate Americans about through my music and non-profit organization - I believe Americans have much to learn from the fierce pride and strength that you and your country exhibit today.

    It's true, from a narrative standpoint, I mangled historical facts - mixing Shilla/Chosun-period costumes with 1953 Korean war guards - 3 kingdoms era and modern North/South divisions as the impetus for the song and video.

    But there are only two reasons I wrote this song and made this video:
    1. How sad it is when a country, family, or group is divided
    2. How sometimes love can cross that divide.

    I deeply apologize that those things did not come through for you by watching the video. Just please know that my intentions were simply to reach out and say 'there are some of us here, that value and are interested in your history and your culture.'
    Again, thank you so much for taking the time to write.
    All the best, and keep up the good work promoting independent music in Seoul!

    5 years ago