Hillary Clinton’s popularity with New York City’s firemen and policemen immediately following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 did not seem favorable when New York’s Bravest and Finest roundly booed her 15 years ago at a Madison Square Garden benefit concert for 9/11 first responders.
On October 20, 2001, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, and Eric Clatpton were among other rock stars who performed at the Garden as part of the “Concert for New York City.” Around 80 million tuned in to watch either all or part of the broadcast.
Many celebrities and political figures like Howard Stern and then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani gave patriotic speeches and performances. Most of the appearances went over well with the first responders in the audience except for three speakers, Christopher Sanford writes in the Rolling Stone biography: “The Fifty Years.”
Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton was booed before she could even say, “Thank you for being here tonight.” The audience also booed actress and liberal activist Susan Sarandon when she stumped for then mayoral candidate Mark Green. Actor Richard Gere also received a negative audience response for his pacifist views. Bill Clinton, however, received a positive audience reaction from New York’s firemen and policemen.
The booing was digitally removed and replaced with cheers in the DVD of the concert, Sanford noted.