Last November 1, as the sun rose over a farm near Dover, New Hampshire the Eyes Wide Open crew once again began laying out more than two thousand pairs of boots representing the U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq. But this was not a standard stop on the nation-wide tour of AFSC’s acclaimed anti-war exhibit.
The boots were being prepared to play a role in a music video for blues musician Robert Cray’s poignant new song, “Twenty”, telling the story of a young soldier, who questions his mission in Iraq, but is killed before his deployment is up.
The video, directed by Robert Cray’s wife, Susan Turner-Cray stars Aidan Delgado, a 23-year-old Iraq-war veteran who served in Nasiriyah and at Abu Ghraib prison, before securing conscientious objector status and returning to the U.S. David Goodman, one of the Eyes Wide Open tour managers, has a cameo role in the video as a Vietnam Veteran.
The Crays had heard about the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, but had not seen it when they began developing ideas for the music video. They contacted the Chicago AFSC office and began arrangements to feature the exhibit in the production. After many potential sites were considered, the rolling hills behind the New Hampshire farmhouse of Todd and Kristin Adelman was offered and chosen. Cinematographer, Jonathon Millman signed on to shoot the video and other local actors and crew joined the effort – donating their time out of commitment to the concept.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Cray’s album, also named “Twenty” has been nominated for a Grammy as Best Contemporary Blues Album.