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Parliament Rocks

February 18, 1996|Dave Jennings, from London

After helping bring out the youth vote that aided Bill Clinton's election in 1992, Rock the Vote is opening a British branch, aiming to boost the rolls of young voters before the next general election--expected any time between next month and early 1997. An inaugural party is being held tonight at the London dance club Ministry of Sound, with a Rock the Vote day in the Houses of Parliament planned for March 20, when young voters will be able to meet with politicians from all parties.

Among those leading the charge is Ed O'Brien, guitarist for the band Radiohead. The group was introduced to Rock the Vote while touring last year in the U.S. as opening act for R.E.M., which had a booth for the organization at all shows.

"It is a bizarre thing when musicians or comedians have to say, 'Go and vote,' " O'Brien says. "But at the end of the day if it means that more people are going to vote, then that's the lesser of two evils. You have to get involved if you want to change things."

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