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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

UPDATE: Buju Banton show canceled - Neumo’s letter

Posted by on September 26 at 13:10 PM

Neumo’s just released its official statement of its reasons for canceling the controversial Buju Banton show scheduled for tomorrow night.

From Steven Severin, one of Neumo’s (Neumo’s’s?) owners:

After much debate, Neumos has cancelled the Buju Banton show.

Our mission of providing for the free expression of art must give way in this situation to our responsibility to the health and safety of our patrons and the community. Only in this extreme situation where it appears that there is a potential of violence due to extremely heated opinions regarding the lyrical content of this artists lyrics do we take this action. To our patrons, we apologize that you will not be able to see an artist you wanted to see.
To those in the community that were deeply offended that we would bring an artist as controversial and overtly homophobic to the heart of capital hill we apologize.

Neumos is mindful that this action comes at significant social costs. As a performing arts venue we take pride in allowing artists to freely express their views without censorship or prior restraint. We believe that dissension and disagreement are vital and healthy parts of a community. The song, “Boom Bye Bye”written by Buju Banton over a decade ago when he was fifteen is abhorrent and cannot be defended by anyone. We sympathize with and understand the strong emotions that the publication and dissemination of the lyrics have incited in our community. Because of this, the show cannot go on.

To keep from getting sued, the owners are paying Banton in full for the show — that amounts to the hefty hit of $15,000, according to Severin, who says the show would probably have sold out. “To some people, that may not seem like a lot of money,” says Severin, “But for a new business, we just got new owners in August, it’s a hard nut to swallow.”

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Kerri Harrop raised a vaild point in another slog post.

Axl Rose is coming to play Everett. What will the nanny police do about it?

Remember this little ditty?

"One in A million"
Police and niggers
That's right
Get out of my way
Don't need to buy none of your
Goldchains today
I don't need no bracelets
Clamped in front of my back
Just need my ticket till then
Won't you cut me some slack

Immigrants and faggots
They make no sense to me
They come to our country
And think they'll do as they please
Like start some mini Iran
Or spread some fucking disease

They talk so many goddamn ways
It's all greek to me
Well some say I'm lazy
And others say that's just me
Some say I'm crazy
I guess I'll always be
But it's been such a long time
Since I knew right from wrong
It's all the means to an end, I,
I keep on movin' along

Radicals and racists
Don't point your finger at me
I'm a small town white boy
Just tryin' to make ends meet
Don't need your religion
Don't watch that much TV
Just makin' my livin', baby,
Well that's enough for me

Um, yeah, but look at Axl Rose now.

While I feel for Neumos/Severin, you'd think that if you're going to cave to neighborhood pressure, you'd at least have the common sense to spell that neighborhood's name correctly.

Can we have a fundraiser for Neumos to help reimburse the cost? I believe in supporting local businesses that are conscientious of their clients and I applaud this decision. I'd certainly donate $50-$100 to them as my piece of thanking them and helping making that nut a bit easier to swallow (mmmmmm... swallowing nuts)...

Still looking for the GNR track where Axl calls for the murder and torture of gays, instead of just calling them bad names.

Jesse you really don’t get it do you? We need to be urging gays to withhold financial support from businesses that cut checks to people who advocate for the murder and mutilation of gay people. Period! (This isn’t that complicated.)

its sad that some are going to see this as a victory against Buju Banton. he still gets paid, and doesnt even have to show up. I think i just found a racket! anyways, to all of you that called for this show too be cancelled: Shame on you! I think Mr Bantons views are deplorable, but so what, i wasnt gonna go to the show.... Oh and by the way, Where the hell were all yall when Elephant man played chop suey? "step pon chi chi man, Set fire pon chi chi man" -- Elephant man. I guess this is the power of the slog, which i dont believe was up then....

What if this song was about shooting women in the head, pouring acid on them and lighting them on fire? Or black people? Wow... that song wouldn't have been PUBLISHED. Yet, bashing gays is still on the fringe - it's freedom of speech. "Boom Bye Bye" isn't naming calling a la Axel Rose or personal expression... IT'S POURING ACID ON GAY MEN. Shame on anyone who doesn't think this is completely out of line. It's not censorship, it's human dignity. We get so caught up in "freedom of speech" and "censorship" that we completely forget to respect people, and we endorse those that don't by paying them. And to AC, you weren't going to go to show... would your advice for Rosa Parks have been to not take the bus? There is such a thing as going too far and standing up for human rights and equality - I'll take equality and compassion over freedom of speech, and I endorse all the Rosa Parks that voiced their opinion and influenced this cancellation. Things don't change by ignoring them.

Nemos shouldn't cut a check for this asshole. Have some fucking balls and tell him to take his concert and shove it.

The Stranger should come up with $15,000 to pay off the company.

This musician is doing great, he's getting money for shows he never played, and you've all given him tons of publicity.

actually, i believe rosa parks actions led tooo hmmmmm lets see.... NOT TAKING THE BUS. In fact her arrest led to a boycott of the montgomery bus system, which was very effective. So Yes that would be my advice.

Book-Burning party at Stranger headquarters?

We can start with the Kuran!

To poster #8 Do most gays respect other peoples views? Like say Christians or Muslims? What if an Gay rights artist comes to neumos that bashes Christians or Muslims. Do Christians and Muslims have the right to protest and better yet will you cancel that artist's show due to presure from these groups?

I will seriously fucking boycott any artist that shows up at Neumos that has uttered anti religion lyrics. And trust me many religious people will rally up to protest if called upon. Why the double standard?

I dont support what Mr.Banton remorsefully wrote in a song 10 years ago. But damn you dont believe in second chances? Capital Hill is a place thats full of second, third, fourth and fifth chances.

hard nut to swallow



Are the gay artists merely criticizing Christians & Muslims, or are they advocating shooting them in the head, pouring acid on them, and lighting them on fire?

'cause if it's the latter, then yeah, they should be boycotted, and I'd be more than willing to stand on the line with you. If it's the former, then protest away brother, but count me out.

Oh, and the second Mr. Banton gets in front of a microphone and publically repudiates his previous statements, asks forgiveness from those he's offended, and pledges never to repeat his vile, hateful incitements to violence, then yeah, it would be pretty "unChristian" not to give him a second chance.

You'll note I have not begun holding my breath...

the owners of Neumo's is what you were looking for. When it comes to proper names stated in possessive, you just turn the term around and state it at length.

Alas, I'm with Comte on a comment he made on another entry, that people ought to show some support for the venue given they just ate $15K to appease an angry public, and go down and get a drink or three at the venue.

The owners of Neumo's should have had the good sense not to book this act in the first place. I'm all for artistic freedom, but there is an appropriate time and place for every artistic work, and an artist advocating violent death for homosexuals is not an appropriate choice for Capitol Hill. Come on, folks - this isn't rocket science.

As for their statement, "As a performing arts venue we take pride in allowing artists to freely express their views without censorship or prior restraint", quite simply that's a red herring. I would accept that from a non-profit arts venue with a stated mission to present the widest possible views to the public, but not from a for-profit enterprise. As first and foremost a BUSINESS, their mission is to make money. Pure and simple. They book the acts they think will will bring in the most cash. Their pretense of "taking the high road" is a smokescreen for what was frankly just a poor business choice.

Own up to your mistake, pay for your error in judgement, and move on, guys.

I want to start by saying I don't support the lyrics to this song, and am the farthest thing from homophobic. BUT COME ON ... DUDE WAS 15. Move on. Have any of you listened to his other works? He writes some of the most uplifting lyrics I have ever heard. It was poor judgement. Isn't there anything ya'll can do that would be more positive, productive and uplifting than holding up signs and protesting and pointing fingers. Do something for the world, open up some doors. Getting a concert cancelled by an artist you've never even heard isn't really is pointless to me. And after all, he got paid didn't he? My main point however is the actual reason for the cancellation of the show...

"it appears that there is a potential of violence due to extremely heated opinions regarding the lyrical content of this artists lyrics do we take this action"
This is utter nonsense. I have seen Buju several times over the years and have never once heard him perform the song. And never once has there been anything remotely resembling violence. NEVER. He attracts peaceful, fun loving, diverse reggae crowds. All of my friends listen to Buju and go to see him, and not one of them has become homophobic or violent or any such matter because of his lyrics. Seriously people, move on.

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