I’ve heard Linda Rondstadt was shown the boot at the Aladdin in my town of Las Vegas when she decided to dedicate the song “Desperado” to Michael Moore and encourage her audience to go see the notorious piece of propaganda Fahrenheit 9/11. It has also been reported that people in the crwod booed, heckled, threw drinks, stormed out of the event, and then proceeded to tear down posters of the singer in the casino or throw drinks at the posters as well.
“We had quite a scene at the box office,” said [casino spokeswoman Sara Gorgon]. About a quarter of the 4,500 people in the audience got up and left before the performance had finished, Gorgon said…A statement issued by the Aladdin said Ronstadt had been “escorted out of the hotel” just after her performance and said the performer would “not be welcomed back.” “Ms. Ronstadt was hired to entertain the guests of the Aladdin, not to espouse political views,” the casino said. [CNN]
I must say this isn’t unusual for Vegas crowds, I’m just surprised it’s been reported so widely on the news (on a side note, when in the wilderness and without cable I highly recommend satelite radio, this is one of the greatest inventions to come about in some time). A similar occurrence happened in Vegas not so long ago with notorious liberal singer Elton John who proceeded to take time out of his performance of his hit songs to go on a tirade against President Bush and was soundly booed by the crowd. This incident was mentioned breifly on some national news outlets but didn’t get nearly the amount of attention as this latest flap, probably because the hotel Elton John is playing at didn’t throw him out on his with all of his luggage and personal effects, not to mention his husband.
Entertainers, conservative or liberal or green or whatever, ought to learn from these examples that when they go out amongst the public for the purpose of selling tickets to entertain that people expect entertainment, not political speeches from the uninformed. If they wanted the latter they could just have stayed at home. Or they should save the politics for explicitly political concerts like FarmAid or some other pseudo-communist enterprise.
It is heartening though that despite the red herrings from those who don’t know what they are talking about, that this is somehow an abrogation of Ms. Rondstadt’s first amendment rights, the management of the Aladdin saw fit to remove her from the premises and cancel her tour there because she wasn’t doing her job. Good for them, and bad for her, as it should be.