Fans Hope 3rd Time a Charm for 2-Time No-Show Stewart
If the third time is, indeed, the charm, local Rod Stewart fans just might be in luck.
The British rock singer bowed out of his scheduled appearance at the San Diego Sports Arena Friday due to truck failure, then was rebooked Saturday and failed to show again because of a throat ailment. He has been booked into the arena Tuesday for what promoter Bill Silva hopes is the third, and last, time.
“I’m really disappointed that Rod’s fans have had to go through such a tremendous amount of hassle,” Silva said. “Rod is a consummate professional, and Saturday night, he didn’t want to give his fans anything less than a great show, which would have happened had he tried to perform anyway.
“And Friday night, it was was just one of those things that happens once in 150 shows: mechanical failure leading to the postponement of a concert.”
Saga Began With Phone Call
The frustrating saga, both to Silva and Stewart’s fans, began shortly after midnight on Friday with a phone call Silva received in his car.
“I picked up the phone and on the other end was Rod’s manager, who had just been informed that they (Stewart’s road crew) were having a problem with one of the trucks leaving the Fresno show (Thursday night) and that they were unsure how long it would take to resolve,” Silva said.
“In any event, they felt that the production (set-up in San Diego) would be sufficiently delayed to warrant considering moving the show from that night to the next (Saturday).
“So I immediately woke up the Sports Arena manager at home and secured the building for Saturday night, and then put everything in gear to move the show--this included notifying all the stagehands, security guards, caterers, and other production personnel--by making a string of phone calls, all between 12:15 and 1 a.m.
“Radio stations all jumped on it and gave us assistance in notifying fans of the move, and on Saturday, we were off and running.
Unfortunately, Stewart wasn’t .
Trouble Brewed Again
“Saturday night, the show was completely in place, and it wasn’t until we got a phone call from Rod’s assistant at his hotel room sometime around 8 p.m. that we knew there was trouble brewing again,” Silva said.
“Rod has this daily ritual when he’s on the road that culminates with a vocal warm-up in which he plays a tape and sings along to it. The warm-up usually starts around 6 p.m., a couple of hours before the show, and allows him to loosen up his vocal chords in the event that they’re tight and thus work out any potential problems.
“Saturday, however, proved to be one of the rare instances in which the warm-up didn’t help him and, in fact, made his throat even worse. Rod’s manager called him back and urged him to continue trying to work out the problems, but the situation failed to improve and at 8:30 they finally decided to cancel.”
By that time, Silva said, most of the sold-out crowd of more than 11,000 was already seated. He felt bad, he said, and so, apparently, did Stewart.
“So we immediately came up with a new date, Tuesday,” Silva said. “We made the announcement, told the audience that anyone who couldn’t make it Tuesday was entitled to a refund, and that parking would be free that night--Rod felt so bad that he insisted on paying everyone’s parking.”
Stewart is also paying for all the production costs for the Tuesday show that Silva originally incurred on Saturday, the promoter said.
“Had he played Saturday, he would have made more than $100,000,” Silva said. “But tomorrow (Tuesday) night, he’ll be lucky to walk away with $30,000 or even $20,000, because we have to pay all the expenses in putting on the show a second time and this time, it’s coming from Rod.”
Ray Hamel had made plans to attend Friday’s concert and his friends had even hired a limousine. After learning that the concert was postponed, Hamel said, “I was bummed.”
How did he feel Saturday night when he actually went to the arena and, half an hour after taking his seat, learned that Stewart was a no-show again?: “Really bummed.”
“I didn’t think he was sexy and didn’t want his body,” Hamel said, in a spoof of one of Stewart’s songs. “People were cursing, they were so mad.