The City of Longview, Texas, has paid rocker Ted Nugent $16,000 not to perform at a Fourth of July Festival.
A city spokesman said the Motor City Madman was “not the right feel for this kind of community event.”
The city had reached a verbal agreement with Nugent, scheduling the rocker as the headliner who would play inside the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center during the town’s Independence Day celebration. To break that agreement, the town paid Nugent half of his guaranteed performance fee of $32,000 from Maude Cobb’s annual budget.
The move comes amid criticism of comments Nugent made about President Barack Obama in January 2014, calling him a “subhuman mongrel.” Nugent, who campaigned with Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott amid the controversy, apologized for those comments in February.
A rather grudging apology, to be sure.
The local Republican party chair was unhappy with the decision.
Keith Rothra said he disagrees with the city’s actions regarding Nugent saying it was “very expensive political correctness.”
“I’m sad the City of Longview has done this. I think it was done by a great deal of political correctness, political pressure,” Rothra said. “We have various performers who have made all kinds of statements that rattled people’s conscience and yet they are still slated as performers.”
Oh, well. Unless The Nuge performed the psychedelic classic from his Amboy Dukes days, “Journey to the Center of the Mind“– which he probably wouldn’t have– it’s no great loss.
So which town (or towns) would pay you to stay away?
Update: Ted Nugent may have been paid off to stay out of Longview, but 110 years ago the great labor agitator Mother Jones was ordered by the governor to leave the entire state of Colorado, and never come back, for “stirring up” striking coal miners.
I know which one I admire more.
As she wrote in her autobiography:
The militia took us to La Junta. They handed me a letter from the governor, notifying me that under no circumstances could I return to the State of Colorado. I sat all night in the station. In the morning the Denver train came along. I had no food, no money. I asked the conductor to take me to Denver. He said he would.
“Well,” I said, “I don’t want you to lose your job.” I showed him the letter from the governor. He read it.
“Mother,” he said, “do you want to go to Denver?”
“I do’,” said I.
“Then to Hell with the job;” said he, “it’s to Denver you go.”
In Denver I got a room and rested a while I sat down and wrote a letter to the governor, the obedient little boy of the coal companies.
“Mr. Governor, you notified your dogs of war to put me out of the state. They complied with your instructions. I hold in my hand a letter that was handed to me by one of them, which says ‘under no circumstances return to this state.’ I wish to notify you, governor, that you don’t own the state. When it was admitted to the sisterhood of states, my fathers gave me a share of stock in it; and that is all they gave to you. The civil courts are open. If I break a law of state or nation it is the duty of the civil courts to deal with me. That is why my fore-fathers established those courts to keep dictators and tyrants such as you from interfering with civilians. I am right here in the capital, after being out nine or ten hours, four or five blocks from your office. I want to ask you, governor, what in Hell are you going to do about it?”
I called a messenger and sent it up to the governor’s office. He read it and a reporter who was present in the office at the time told me his face grew red.
“What shall I do?” he said to the reporter. He was used to acting under orders. “Leave her alone,” counseled the reporter. “There is no more patriotic citizen in America.”
From Denver I went down the Western Slope, holding meetings, cheering and encouraging those toiling and disinherited miners who were fighting against such monstrous odds.