THE CALL: The Walls Came Down

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Michael Been, a singer, songwriter, guitarist and founding member of the Northern California modern rock band the Call, which broke out with the 1983 MTV hit “The Walls Came Down,” has died. He was 60. Been (pronounced Bean) died Thursday after suffering a heart attack at the Pukkelpop festival in Hasselt, Belgium, where he had been serving as a sound engineer for his son Robert’s band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. His death was announced in a statement from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s publicist, Juliana Plotkin. […] Been and the Call had famous fans in both the rock world — Peter Gabriel once labeled the band the “future of American music” — as well as in the realm of movies — director Martin Scorsese cast Been as the apostle John in his 1988 film adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Then Al Gore chose the band’s 1989 anthem “Let the Day Begin” as a theme song for his 2000 presidential campaign, closing the Democratic National Convention at Staples Center with the rousing, optimistic celebration of working-class citizens.

“Here’s to the babies in the brand new world,

“Here’s to the beauty of the stars,

“Here’s to the travelers on the open road,

“Here’s to dreamers in the bars … ”

Although the band wasn’t consulted in advance about the selection — Been found out when he returned home late to find congratulatory messages on his answering machine. He was philosophical about it. “It might be one of those things where you just have to donate it to the country,” Been said at the time. MORE