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Linda Ronstadt banned for tribute to Michael Moore

Elton: "There's an atmosphere in America right now that is deadly," he told Interview magazine. ".. They're all too scared.
I don't know if there's been a time when the fear factor played such an important role in America since McCarthyism in the 1950s, as it does now," he added.
Linda Ronstadt banned for tribute to Michael Moore

Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
Wednesday July 21, 2004
The Guardian

The American singer Linda Ronstadt got a taste of the acrimony of this polarised election year in the US when she was escorted from a Las Vegas casino after she had dedicated a song to the filmmaker Michael Moore.

Calling Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is seeking the truth," she urged her audience to see his film Fahrenheit 9/11.

But Bill Timmins, the manager of the Aladdin hotel-casino, took exception to the introduction of politics into the Nevada holiday city.

"It was a very ugly scene," Mr Timmins told the Associated Press. "She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose."

The singer's actions, he said, "spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests and we had to do something about it. As long as I'm here, she's not going to play".

After her comments, dozens from the 1,300-strong audience left,with some reportedly tearing down posters. Ronstadt, 58, was not permitted to return to her suite and was removed from the building.

She had made political comments earlier in the show, dedicating one song to Enron and attacking California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for labelling his political opponents "girlie men".

Moore, whose film has become the first documentary to reach the number one box office spot in the US, immediately issued a statement in defence of the singer, aimed at Mr Timmins. "For you to throw Linda Ronstadt off the premises because she dared to say a few words in support of me and my film is simply stupid and un-American."


The statement was accompanied by an offer: "Invite her back and I'll join her in singing America the Beautiful on your stage."

Before the one-night engagement, the singer had told a local newspaper: "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back."

In an earlier interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ronstadt explained why she thought Moore's film should be seen.

"I don't try to instruct people how to vote or think," she said. "But Michael Moore has raised some really important points that a lot of people haven't given thought to ... So if I can just lend my voice to his efforts ..."

At the weekend Sir Elton John spoke out against what he termed the "atmosphere of fear" in the US that prevented artists speaking out against the war in Iraq.

"There's an atmosphere in America right now that is deadly," he told Interview magazine. "Everyone is too career-conscious. They're all too scared.

"I don't know if there's been a time when the fear factor played such an important role in America since McCarthyism in the 1950s, as it does now," he added.

Whining PC Conservatives 21.Jul.2004 10:25

Varro

All these conservatives whining about political correctness, then the casino owner does this?

Methinks conservatives are all to willing to be PC when it suits themselves...

I would have.... 21.Jul.2004 14:01

Wyatt

I would have quietly asked for a refund after the show. Not throw shit and act the fool like some of the guests did.

I would not have paid good money to listen to someone's political views in a Vegas casino. If I want political ideology, I'll turn to one of the many news channels or web sites, they are free. But if im paying to hear the bitch sing, she better sing and leave the politics to the pundits....

indeed Varro 21.Jul.2004 14:16

reader

Wyatt shows his sexist attitude and complains about paying to see a singer who expresses her political beliefs. Yet, he also complains about not being able to see Pink Floyd, a political act. I guess we should all be so lucky as to be able to dictate who is allowed to express political beliefs and who isn't. As Bush said, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

As for pundits, given their poor ability to provide any meaningful analysis I'd say the only reason to tune into them is for entertainment. I'll take politics from musicians over pundits any day. They may get just as much wrong, but at least they're honest.

As for Vegas, well, the desert will swallow it up soon enough and no amount of money or jingoism will prevent it.

Art is political, Wyatt 21.Jul.2004 15:19

oldster

many of the songs the bitches sing are about power relationships, government repression, living in poverty, birth, sex, and dying.

Hail the bitches, daughters of the earth!

Speak up People!! 21.Jul.2004 15:36

loudmouth

Yes, definitely musicians should be expected to overtly state their beliefs, and if you don't agree, suck it up or don't go. That is part of the ritual of a concert, one person or group expresses, others listen. You don't agree? hold your own concert. Want dialog? go to a debate. Performers who don't bare all are copping out. The product (in this case the performer) should reveal itself. Companies that donate alot to the GOP should say: "we fund imperialism, totalitarianism and shielding of swindlers and polluters from prosecution. Buy our soap".

How about.... 21.Jul.2004 19:08

Wyatt

I wouldn't know if Pink Floyd turned their stage act into a political rally, as I was too young to attend their concerts while they were touring. Freedom of speech is fine, but when you got people paying what they are these days for tickets, how about less damn talking and more singing????

I don't think that's unreasonable.

Read the story, Wyatt 21.Jul.2004 23:34

Ronstadt's a pro

She dedicated the song Desperados to Moore at an ENCORE, for pity's sake. This is just another example of manufactured lies. Stay out of Vegas, unless it's for NUDES ON ICE.

Roger that.... 22.Jul.2004 04:30

Wyatt

Nudes on ice?? I'll be there.

love 23.Jul.2004 02:13

earthwomb

wyatt, you must really be suffering, because if you felt freedom in your heart and spirit, you would happy to see others taking their freedom. the good news is that you can find a way out of your suffering wyatt, and that is through recognizing your fears. what do you fear? when you know that, then you may find a more peaceful path to walk upon, one where all people are free to express matters of their heart, even you.

Not suffering... 23.Jul.2004 10:00

Wyatt

Not suffering. Just wondering if there is a double standard here. If some of the people here on these forums were at a concert and the performer said something like "Bush is great!!" or "Buchanan for president!", if they would be as agreeable for someone's free speech. Or would they hiss and boo and throw shit at the stage. I would be willing to bet that a lot of the people on these forums would.

Like I said, I have no problem with Rondstat's political views, but I felt it may have been more appropriate as an article submitted to a major newspaper or at a press conference. I doubt she was going to change anyone's views in a minute long spiel...

But, looking back, it's her stage, so she can say whatever she wants in the end.....