Country music front man Jamey Johnson and his band got into a dustup at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC, causing his performance there to be canceled. Fans were angry, the House of Blues was fuzzy on details, and media spread a few allegations that turned out to be untrue.
Initial reports claimed Johnson tried to bring a gun into the venue. Johnson served in the US Marines, and he is the antithesis of many of the pop crossovers in what is labeled ‘country’ today.
As the story gained legs, though, it looked like the dustup had more to do with approaches to security than an actual weapon. Country singer Melonie Cannon and TC Coleman who served in the US Army and now also plays drums with Johnson’s band posted information that upended media reports.
Here’s Coleman’s take, posted on social media by visitors including Cannon:
“AS A MEMBER OF JAMEY’S BAND, HOUSE OF BLUES MANAGEMENT “LIVE NATION ” WAS WRONG FOR HOW THEY TREATED THE SITUATION. JAMEY WAS READY TO GIVE AN AMAZING PERFORMANCE AS HE HAS DONE EVERY NIGHT SINCE THE YEAR AND 3 MONTHS I’VE BEEN IN HIS BAND. I STAND WITH HIM ON THIS. HOUSE OF BLUES DID’NT NEED TO TREAT US LIKE WE WERE TERRORIST. THEY PUT A MEDAL DETECTOR BETWEEN JAMEY’S BUSSES AND THE STAGE ENTRANCE AND THE ONLY PEOPLE COMING IN AND OUT OF HIS BUSES WAS US. HIS BAND AND CREW AND WE ALL HAVE LAMINATED STAGE IDENTIFICATION. WE DID NOT COME TO HOUSE OF BLUES TO BE TREATED LIKE WE ARE GOING TO KILL THE FANS. IF SOMEONE CAME BACKSTAGE TO HARM ANYBODY YOU BETTER PRAY THERE IS A JAMEY JOHNSON TYPE INDIVIDUAL AROUND. THE BACKSTAGE AREA IS SUPPOSED TO BE TIGHTLY SECURED FOR OUR PROTECTION NOT TO PROTECT US FROM OURSELVES. HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ANY ARTIST TO GIVE A GREAT PERFORMANCE IF YOU ARE GONNA GIVE HIM OR HER A BUNCH OF SHIT BEFORE WE PERFORM. I STAND WITH JAMEY BECAUSE HE’S A DAMN PERFECTIONIST ABOUT GIVING THE FANS A GREAT QAULITY PERFORMANCE WITHOUT ANY PHONEY CELEBRITY BULLSHIT. TOO BAD LIVE NATIONS CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT. AND FOR LIVE NATION CONCERTS SAYING THE ARTIST DID NOT ENTER THE BUILDING IS A DAMN LIE. WE DID A HOUR PLUS SOUNDCHECK. NO ARTIST SHOULD BE TREATED LIKE THAT.” Tony TC Coleman
It looks to me like the band was offended by the venue’s attitude towards members, treating them as though they might be violent. Coleman’s statement suggests the dustup had more to do with Live Nation than the local House of Blues. I know some venues wand guests, but I’ve never come across a policy where the band members are wanded or searched.
Johnson chose to become an indie artist after recording on major labels. His new label is Big Gassed Records.
Cannon made it clear that much of media had the story wrong. She said, “No one in our band or crew carried a gun in that building….FYI.”
Some media continue to maintain the opposite of what Cannon said despite evidence to the contrary from people who were present when the disagreement occurred.
House of Blues-Myrtle Beach issued a statement claiming Johnson “refused to adhere to our safety and security guidelines and would not enter the building.” HOB didn’t explain how Johnson and crew could do a sound check without entering the building. The HOB statement is posted on Facebook.
More information about Johnson is on his official Web site.
(Filed by Kay B. Day/July 26, 2017)