The Rolling Stone Blog

Benji Madden: Bill Clinton Was the ‘Grunge President’

The Rolling Stone Blog

The night before Bono and the Edge, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder
and more rocked
the Hollywood Bowl
, an invite-only affair honoring President Bill Clinton
and the Clinton Foundation was held at the Hollywood Palladium featuring a
performance by Stevie Nicks.

"When you're President of the United States for eight years and then you walk
away from that you can go, 'I'm going to take all that corporate knowledge and
political knowledge and I'm going to make a foundation and really help people
and I happen to really love rock & roll, so I'm going to contact people and
I'mgoing to gonna bring them in.' All of the musicians have platforms and can
help him, and we're all very willing to help him."

Benji and Joel Madden said they were nostalgic for Clinton's presidency. "I
think we all look back fondly on his presidency because it was a golden era for
us, especially for our generation," Joel said. "I think he was a great president
and obviously he's continued to do really great work."

"I like to think back to the music that was going on during his presidency.
It's awesome," Benji said. "He's the grunge president."

Actor Zach Braff concurred. "He was the first president to introduce cool
music. Remember when he was campaigning and it was like 'Don't Stop'?" Braff
says. "He was the first president that really used music to appeal to the voters
in a cool way."

As obvious as Clinton's charisma and appeal remain 11 years after his
presidency, this weekend was about acknolwedging all of his philanthropic work.
"I really admire what he's doing post-White House," Braff said. "He's just
someone for everyone to look up to."

Former world champion boxer and Dancing With The Stars contestant
Sugar Ray Leonard says Clinton's accomplishments are the mark of someone who's
made a tremendous difference. "Whenever I think of a person I think of their
impact, and President Clinton's had impact on peoples' lives for so long,"
Leonard said. "And he continues to do that time and time again. There is no one
word to define who he is or what he's done. He's just a special man."

Gaga, Bono Rock for Clinton Foundation


Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

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