Musician remixes anti-war hit "19" for Afghanistan

Thu Apr 1, 2010 12:23pm EDT
 
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By Mirja Spernal

LONDON (Reuters) - British musician Paul Hardcastle is releasing an updated version of his international anti-war hit "19" 25 years on, but this time his focus is on the Afghan conflict rather than Vietnam.

The 1985 hit topped charts in 13 countries when it was released, appealing to audiences with its dance beat, catchy tune, anti-war message and accompanying video featuring harrowing footage of U.S. troops fighting in Vietnam.

It was inspired by a documentary Hardcastle saw which stated that the average age of a combat soldier in Vietnam was 19, compared with 26 in World War Two -- figures which are disputed by some.

On April 19, the musician is releasing a re-mixed version and new video which cuts film of British troops serving in Afghanistan with the older footage in the original.

"I was always going to do a 25th anniversary edition," Hardcastle said in an interview to promote the single.

"Seeing what is happening now, and my son's friend is actually one of the people that died in Afghanistan ... I thought maybe I should feature what's happening now as well, so that was the main reason of doing it I guess," he added.

Georgie Sparks, his son's friend, was 19 years old when he was killed in 2008.

While Hardcastle supports troops in the field, he criticized the government for failing to equip them as well as they would like, said they were paid too little and took issue with sending men and women into battle at such an early age.   Continued...

 
<p>A U.S. soldier with 4th Brigade combat team, 2-508, 82nd parachute infantry Regiment waits for a Black Hawk helicopter to land in the Arghandab valley in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, February 20, 2010. REUTERS/Baz Ratner</p>