by John Hawkins | July 21, 2004 7:23 pm
Washed up pop-singer Linda Ronstadt was recently fired unceremoniously by the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts for causing an uproar by promoting Michael Moore of all people at one of her concerts…
“Aladdin President Bill Timmins ordered security guards to escort pop diva Linda Ronstadt off the property following a concert Saturday night during which she expressed support for controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.
Timmins, who was among the almost 5,000 fans in the audience at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts, had Ronstadt escorted to her tour bus and her belongings from her hotel room sent to her. Timmins also sent word to Ronstadt that she was no longer welcome at the property for future performances, according Aladdin spokeswoman Tyri Squyres.
How much weight that carries is debatable, since the bankrupt Aladdin is in the process of being sold to a group headed by Planet Hollywood International Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Earl.
Near the close of her performance, Ronstadt dedicated the Eagles hit “Desperado” to Moore, producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and the room erupted into equal parts boos and cheers.
She said Moore “is someone who cares about this country deeply and is trying to help.”
Ronstadt has been making the dedication at each of her engagements since she began a national tour earlier this summer, but it has never sparked such a reaction.
Hundreds of angry fans streamed from the theater as Ronstadt sang. Some of them reportedly defaced posters of her in the lobby, writing comments and tossing drinks on her pictures.
Timmins told Las Vegas Sun gossip columnist Timothy McDarrah: “We live in a city where people come from all over the world to be entertained. We hired Ms. Ronstadt as an entertainer, not as a political activist.
“Whether you are politically on the left or on the right is not the point. She went up in front of the stage and just let it out. This was not the correct forum for that.”
Timmins said she was wrong to bring her politics to the stage.
“Our first and only priority is the enjoyment of our customers,” he said. “I made the decision to ask Miss Ronstadt to leave the hotel. A situation like that can easily turn ugly and I didn’t want anything more to come out of it. There were a lot of angry people there after she started talking.
“If she wants to talk about her views to a newspaper or in a magazine article, she is free to do so. But in a stage in front of four and a half thousand people is not the place for it.”
My first thought after reading about that was, “Well of course there were people booing. She might as well have been waving a Soviet flag around the stage as lauding that America hating kook”.
Well…that’s not entirely accurate. What I said about Moore was entirely accurate, but that was actually my second thought.
My first thought was really, “How in the world did Linda Ronstadt of all people manage to draw 5000 people to a show?” Honestly, I can’t even remember any of her songs. The only thing that came to mind was “The Warrior” and after checking it out on Google, I realized I was confusing Ronstadt with Patti Smyth of Scandal. Just look at her greatest hits? How does this woman fill a theatre? It’s just bizarre.
But, I digress. As expected, there are already people coming out of the woodwork to complain about poor Linda Rondstadt getting fired. For example, here’s a typically silly snippet from an editorial on the subject from the New York Times…
“Elsewhere, audiences have reacted to the mention of Mr. Moore by cheering, booing, walking out and sometimes glaring at one another in parking lots. At the Aladdin, a few audience members tore down posters, threw drinks and demanded their money back. According to one person who was present – William Timmins, the Aladdin’s president – it was “a very ugly scene.” Mr. Timmins promptly made it even uglier. He had Ms. Ronstadt ejected from the premises.
This behavior assumes that Ms. Ronstadt had no right to express a political opinion from the stage. It implies – for some members of the audience at least – that there is a philosophical contract that says an artist must entertain an audience only in the ways that audience sees fit. It argues, in fact, that an artist like Ms. Ronstadt does not have the same rights as everyone else.”
“This behavior assumes that Ms. Ronstadt had no right to express a political opinion from the stage.”
Yeah, that’s exactly correct. She wasn’t getting paid to sit in on Crossfire, she was there to sing. If she wants to talk politics, she should do it on her own time if her bosses have a problem with it. Heck, if I started injecting my political beliefs into conversations with my customers at work, I’d EXPECT to get canned.
Moreover, Linda Ronstadt has a right to spew her ignorant opinions about Michael Moore if she so desires, but not on her employer’s dime. The idea that he should continue pay her to offend half the people who came to his establishment to have a good time is asinine. I’d say the same thing if we were talking about a conservative singer (I think there are like 4 of them) who was up on stage talking about how great Bush was and saying people who voted for Kerry are idiots. The audience didn’t come there for that, they came there because they confused Linda Ronstadt with Patti Smyth or perhaps Joan Jett, you know, some other more talented washed up singer. On the other hand, maybe these are just people who still own 8-tracks and Linda Ronstadt and one of her albums was the most current thing they had in their collections…it must be something like that.
I would of let it go at that, but this comment by Linda Ronstadt was just too good to pass up…
“It’s a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I’d rather not know.”
Do you know what would be really hilarious?
Linda Ronstadt is up on stage, she’s just starting to sing at her latest performance, and she’s just starting to look over the audience.
Then, about three rows back, someone holds up a sign so that Ronstadt can see it, without blocking anyone else’s view, that says “Bush / Cheney 2004”.
Being a professional singer, Ronstadt keeps her composure even though the concert is ruined for her. She scans back over the other side of the audience, then, reluctantly, she looks back towards the guy holding the “Bush / Cheney 2004” sign.
Just as she focuses on him, he turns the sign around revealing a message on the other side that says, “Sing if you love Jesus”.
Ah…that would be just toooooo sweeeeeet!
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