Ice-T Is ‘Vetoed’ From 2 Guns Shows
Controversial rapper Ice-T has been “vetoed” from appearing on the Guns N’ Roses/Metallica concert bills Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Oct. 3 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The rapper, whose song “Cop Killer” was the focus this summer of a national debate over lyric content in music, is doing at least five dates with the two rock bands--including Oakland tonight and San Diego on Wednesday. Ice-T and his rock group Body Count also had been asked by Guns N’ Roses to do the two Los Angeles-area shows.
But concert promoter Brian Murphy said he believed that an appearance by Body Count was inappropriate because of negative “perceptions.”
“I thought it was an inappropriate act, given the circumstances of where our show was taking place,” Murphy said Wednesday.
He said that he had no fear of violence, but was concerned that the controversy surrounding the band could hurt sales by compounding fears of some rock fans about attending a concert at the Coliseum so soon after the Los Angeles riots.
“I want to keep the perception of our show credible with our audience and reduce any concerns anyone might have about going downtown to the Coliseum,” he added. The Rose Bowl date was dropped at the same time.
Ticket sales for the Coliseum show are reportedly well below expectations. Predictions now call for only about 35,000 to 40,000 fans out of a potential 70,000. The Rose Bowl has sold out, with sales of more than 70,000 tickets. The English hard-rock band Motorhead will appear on the two Los Angeles area shows instead of Body Count.
Body Count manager Jorge Hinojosa didn’t criticize Murphy for his actions. “We’re glad to be doing the dates we are on the tour,” he said.
Guns N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose branded the elimination of Body Count from the shows as “shallow-minded.” He added, “Both Ice and myself are tired of all the racial crap. This was our chance to play together and show people that we’re about artistic expression, not violence or prejudice. It comes down to this--freedom of speech is OK, as long as it doesn’t piss off some public official.”
Ice-T withdrew the song “Cop Killer” from Body Count’s debut Sire album in July after various police organizations complained to Time Warner, which distributes Sire Records, that it encouraged violence against police officers.