In 1988, Living Colour rode into the hard-rock arena on two mighty riffs:one,the colossal,avant-Zeppelin guitar line of "Cult of Personality";the other,the manifesto that African-Americans,inventors of rock'n'roll,have as much right to guitars,amps,and hair-waving arena rock as white boys do.Both were the work of guitarist Vernon Reid,m.v.p.of New York's downtown music scene,sometime journalist, and co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition-a support network for black, rock-playing musicians including Family Stand, Mother's Finest, Follow For Now, and 24-7 Spyz.While none of these bands went much further than B.R.C. compilation and major-label deals, Living Colour truly broke through to suburbia.Vivid--a politically-minded album of bombastic prog-rock-- sold two million copies and the band toured with the Rolling Stones, loudly challenging racist assumptions and the same people who jeered Prince on his Stones dates


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