Steven Van Zandt on Spreading Nelson Mandela's Message

Musician discusses the 1985 song "Sun City" which raised awareness about apartheid in South Africa.
3:00 | 12/11/13

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Transcript for Steven Van Zandt on Spreading Nelson Mandela's Message
In the 1980s when many Americans hadn't heard of -- -- -- in South Africa a group of musicians united by the message of Nelson Mandela recorded a song. Called Sun City. Which was a ritzy whites only south African resort. The song was organized by Stevie -- that the actor and guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's. -- and tells us in his own words how the -- Sun City brought about real change. He went from being just another song on my next record to something -- -- need more attention and I -- -- -- -- -- well. The best way to do this is -- expose this whole situation by using the Sun City resort. -- get 11 artists in the genre. Six or seven people within that up more than fifty every person came in either -- the whole song. Or express themselves on the subject. Anyway they wanted so to the -- -- some -- wrap things. Miles Davis played -- six minutes then at the time it was quite courageous for the artists have to be on this record. We we we crossed the line from social concerns to political. Sun City the most -- Politically aggressive maneuver in the history of rock. General that would MTV and -- it would be CNN they really embraced it and and -- -- a lot. Congressman and senators children were coming up to them saying. We have Sus videos was -- South Africa they know about it completely re energized. You know it's your party movement which is -- hit the wall at that point. Bruce Springsteen and The E. Street Band will perform in South Africa for the first time early next year. Playing three shows and -- has the band plans to recognize the extraordinary work of Mandela during their concerts.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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