by: Graham Hartmann
Blackie Lawless showed his prima donna side by walking out on a gig because of a $198 restaurant bill. The W.A.S.P. lead singer refused to pay the bill and stormed out of The Crocodile Rock only hours before he was supposed to take the stage. THE MESS, who were slated to play after W.A.S.P. took the opportunity to tell their side of the story on their Myspace page:
Well, our chance came when we were given the slot for last night’s gig at The Crocodile Rock (March 15th). Again as we rehearsed 2 nights before the gig the rumblings began again about cancellation problems. Apparently there was an issue in NY’s Gramercy. We were a bit relieved when we heard a statement indicating Blackie didn’t want to rip the fans off by charging for autographs and whatnot. So we thought that was kind of admirable, although it seemed a bit odd to not rip fans off by shunning the whole show.
So yesterday we reported to the box office of the venue and settled our ticket sales. We’d sold 100 tickets for the gig in a month’s time. Pretty incredible considering our fan base is 100 miles away in Scranton, PA who all came out on a Monday night.
Everything seemed all good when we got our gear loaded in. I spoke to Doug Blair and Mike Duda of W.A.S.P. for a bit and they seemed genuinely cool. But all the while no Blackie in sight. I gotta say the one thing I wanted to say to him was, “Hey, just wanted to tell you The Crimson Idol changed my life, thanks for the great music.” Not only did we not get a chance to see him, we witnessed the crew rip down the W.A.S.P. stage and pack the gear back up and out to the bus.
Nothing says “I’m unprofessional” like canceling a gig mere hours before doors open. My heart broke to find that we, “the fans” got screwed. I had to tell the crowd that unfortunately for circumstances I still don’t entirely understand W.A.S.P.would not be performing.
There’s chatter from a lot of people saying Blackie canceled due to poor ticket sales, and let me tell you I worked my ass off to sell our portion of the tickets, but we did it, and God love our fans for making the trek 100 miles on a Monday night to come out and support us. An even better testament to their loyalty is that not a one of them left. So I just wanted to share a side of the story as a fan and as a musician.
As cool as it was to be the headliner of a W.A.S.P. show, it was very sad to see one of my heroes show his true self. If you don’t want to “rip the fans off” like you claim Blackie, maybe you should consider all the people who are dedicated enough to drive from long distances and still support you. It’s as simple as playing the shows you agreed to play. I’ve defended Blackie through good and bad for as long as I can remember and last night I can honestly say it was the most unprofessional display I’d ever witnessed.
In my eyes he’s got a lot of explaining to do to everyone who got screwed out of what was to be a really great night of W.A.S.P. music. I wish you luck in booking more US gigs Blackie. I never thought W.A.S.P. would fall under the Guns N Roses category of canceled gig champions, but it’s looking like that’s how it’s going to be. After everything that went on I will go on record to defend the staff and owners of The Crocodile Rock for the way they treated us. They’d clearly been through this before with W.A.S.P. and were nothing but gracious to us. So that is my take on the events that occurred last night."
Jay Luke of The MESS
The Crocodile Rock also released a statement:
“very low tickets sales for poor old blacky… BLACKI LEFT THE BUILDING AFTER NOT PAYING HIS $198.00 FOOD BILL.. WE AND OTHER BIG CLUBS WILL NOT REBOOK HIM ANYTIME SOON! AND I WAS A FAN!!! THIS HAPPEND AT OTHER SHOWS LAST WEEK IN NEW YORK! AND NEW JERSEY..WE WILL PRAY FOR HIM…. ROCKLORD
., WAR MACHINE, RAIN, KNUCKLEHEDZ, FELTSIDEOUT, THE MESS, HANGMAN’S CRY, FU2, FRACTURED DAIRYTALES
THANKS TO BANDS LIKE HANGMAN’S CRY, AND MESS FOR MAKING THE NIGHT WORK..THANK YOU SO MUCH”
C'mon Blackie… it's bad enough that you won't play Animal (Fuck Like a Beast) anymore, but now you refuse to pay your restaurant bills too? For shame Blackie, for shame.