Advice to musicians: Don’t beat up fans like this singer allegedly did

Photo of Social Distortion by Illa Zilla

Depending on the type of music, concerts can sometimes go south very quickly. Now there’s a story breaking about a punk rock singer who allegedly spit in a fan’s face and then allegedly proceeded to hit the man too. The dustup was about politics, ever-present today in some music scenes partly as a means of the band catering to the corporate machine controlling their revenue. How’d it all get started?

Tom Hildebrand had gone to see Social Distortion at a California venue. Thus far we have heard only one side of the story:

“Hildebrand says he the singer gave him two black eyes, a busted lip, a concussion and almost knocked out one of his teeth. The chaos broke out at a concert on July 17, but before things turned physical, Hildebrand says the show turned political.

“I pretty much said I paid for your music, not your politics.”

In my opinion, that’s the fan’s first error. When you go to certain concerts or entertainment galas, expect politics. I’m not sure why there’s fervor to inject politics into everything we do these days, even at church, but there is.

So if you go to see a band like Social Distortion, you should bear in mind they’re into anger, homogenous thought , and left of center politics. If it bothers you, keep your money and just take advantage of free videos on YouTube or whatever.

If you go to see most bands who aren’t left of center, you probably don’t have to worry much about politics. Any musician who isn’t left of center and who hasn’t reached the level of Elvis knows to keep his or her mouth shut. Social media, tech titans, and legacy media are firmly rooted left of center. Speak out against this establishment and you will pay dearly.

Based on the news story, it sounds like the fan got mad when the band started delivering a mini-stump speech.  So the fan protested silently:

“I stood pretty much with my silent protest with my middle finger up for the next two songs.”

Then the fan and the lead singer started “yelling at each other” according to accounts. Then it got physical on the part of the singer allegedly.

If all that’s true, I suspect the band will hand over some dough for the injuries they caused the fan. A good attorney can set things in order I am certain.

None of this makes sense to me, but then, I tend to only spend money on art I deem worthy of my time. Social Distortion isn’t my cup of tea although the band, with different members over the years since forming in the late 1970s, has certainly been successful. In America we pay for bottled water, so I guess that pretty much says it all. People will indeed pay for anything.

If you’re about to hand over money to a band eager to preach politics at you, think twice about it if their politics annoy you.

What’s crazy is you can get whatever politics you want pretty much for free. You can turn on your TV 24/7 and hear politics from all corners. You can go on the Internet, on social media, Twitter in particular, and gobble up all the politics you want.

Why would you want to pay someone who can’t tolerate free expression, wants to force uniform ideas and partisan politics on everyone, and allegedly decides to beat you up? That is the essence of oppression, and it is the opposite of art.

(Kay B. Day/Aug. 15, 2018)

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