Yusuf Islam, You Are Always Welcome Here

By Kabir Helminski - May 14, 2009


After more than thirty years away from musical performance, Yusuf Islam (previously known as Cat Stevens) returned to the stage in a small theater on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles for the launch of his first pop CD, Roadsinger. With a small band that included a keyboardist, a bassist, and two other guitarists, and in front of a small group of invited guests, this pop star from the sixties (and seventies) turned Muslim activist/educator, reappeared as his old, and new, self.

Against a backdrop that included a streetlight and an image of an old VW bus, his first song was about traveling a road and meeting various people in unlikely circumstances along the way, as each of them say, "You're welcome here." He seemed to be describing his own soul's journey; he also seemed to be welcoming these enamored guests, as well as himself, to a situation both strange and, strangely, very familiar.

Find out why Stephen Colbert is angry with Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Yusuf
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Gay Marriage

Approximately four hundred people from the L.A. music and entertainment community were invited by his record label, Universal. Most of them seemed to be devoted fans of all ages, a majority of whom were all too ready to whistle, hoot, and clap at the slightest provocation. Yusuf had been given a small number of tickets to share among his personal, mostly Muslim friends, and this writer was fortunate enough to be included in that group. We had a little time with him after the show, and he seemed honestly interested in how this was experienced from our perspective.

Yusuf Islam performs "Roadsinger."

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Yusuf - Roadsinger
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Gay Marriage

more at patheos