Promoters Unleash Wrath of Biblical Proportions on Michelle Shocked Tour

March 19, 2013 | 16

shockedUPDATE! ALL of Michelle Shocked’s US tour dates have now been canceled. She will be speaking with Nicole Sandler live on Thursday morning, 8AM Pacific Time on radioornot to explain her side of things. Should be interesting – to say the least.


Dixie Chicks style badly timed free speech, anyone?

Michelle Shocked felt the lightning quick power of the Gay/Bi/Lesbian/Trans, Internet and show booking communities after her entire US tour through May 5th was canceled. leaving only one Madison, Wisconsin, performance at Harmony Bar that shows tickets still available online.  

This follows a bizarre incident at Yoshi’s in San Francisco on Sunday night that baffled and upset her audience, who left in droves, ultimately shutting down the club. 

Matt Penfield live-tweeted the show on Shocked’s Twitter account from the stage and said he was concerned about her state of mind as they hung out during intermission. “To be that close to someone who is clearly having a breakdown of some sort is not an emotionally comfortable place to be. I’m still a little bit shaken up. And I don’t like to see people vilified,” he told Chris Willman of Yahoo Music. Penfield, his wife Christine and most of the audience walked out after Shocked used the second set to go on a tear about gays and religion. Yoshi’s quickly cut her microphone and shut down the club, banning Shocked for life.

On Twitter:


Audience member Lisa Hubbert had this to say:

“I don’t want to discuss MS’s rant. It’s clear she’s had a breakdown. Her career is over, so she’s gotten what is deserved.”

“There’s no way you could have been there and not taken it for anything but a complete breakdown. A planned breakdown.”

Shocked retweeted a few tweets last night including one of support from a harmonica player that joined her onstage at Yoshi’s and another venomously angry tweet urging her to commit suicide. Otherwise she has been silent on the matter.

There may have been a few warning signs that Shocked was about to implode. The day before the incident, on March 16th, she tweeted:  “I’m still here, consistently abiding, for the sole purpose of serving and encouraging others…”

Her “favorite quotation” listed on her Facebook page seems to sum up the Yoshi’s incident: “Free speech means the right to shout ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire.” Abbie Hoffman

A very sad situation all-around and we hope Michelle gets the help, empathy and support she so obviously needs at this time.

Michelle Shocked’s Aborted Tour Schedule

  • 3/23 – Los Angeles, CA, McCabes – CANCELLED
  • 3/28 - Santa Cruz, CA, Moe’s Alley - CANCELLED
  • 3/29 Novato, Californaia, Hopmonk Tavern - CANCELLED
  • 4/24 - Winters, CA, Palm’s Playhouse - CANCELLED
  • 4/25 Portland, OR, Alberta Rose Theater - CANCELLED
  • 4/26Seattle, Meander’s Kitchen - CANCELLED
  • 4/27 -  Eugene, Oregon, Cozmic - CANCELLED
  • 5/3Boulder, CO radio show, eTown - CANCELLED
  • 5/4 – Madison, WI, Harmony Bar – tickets still available  CANCELLED
  • 5/5 -  Evanston, Indiana, Evanston Space - CANCELLED


Comments (16)

  1. Sparky Satori

    “The secret to a long life is knowing when to leave.”

    She said it, but didn’t do it.

    • wonderfeline

      Ah, Sparky “Satori”, I would remind you of the meaning of karunā, and the words of The Buddha:

      “Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed.”

      - The Buddha.

      Just sayin’,
      Love from Texas.

      • JK

        The Buddha, like many a historical sage whose biography and personal philosophy have been questionably preserved, might not be the best person to respond to a contemporary person engaging in a press-baiting fantasy (or breakdown). I’d even say, Mr. The Buddha, that compassion isn’t what I’d recommend to someone broadcasting a lie like “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays…” No, I’d rather ask for my money back and let everyone else supporting this person that they can choose to direct their compassion toward the persons being lied about, as opposed to the liar.

        • Mee Yowzer

          JK – compassion is always right. You can give it away endlessly and never run out. You can do everything in your power to deny MS a platform to spew hate, cancel her shows, walk out and demand money back – but still do it with compassion. Christians aren’t usually very good at that whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing but it’s actually the most transformative, radical thing we can do …

        • wonderfeline

          Hi, JK. I know where you’re coming from, but I feel like I need to clear up a few things.

          First, The Buddha is not Jesus. Sanskrit is not Latin (or Aramaic or Hebrew or…) And Buddhism and Christanity have really, really different histories, so you might check before saying stuff like that. I understand your anger toward organized religion, though.

          Secondly, it would be “Ms wondefeline” or “Dr wonderfeline”, to use your terminology. I am an ancient lesbian who still loves disco (more into EDM these days, of course), I have marched on Washington, and I got myself down to the polling place in a manual wheelchair not too long ago.

          In that same rant you’re quoting, MS also went on at some length in Spanish. There were not a lot of monolingual Spanish speakers in her audience. Seems kind of weird. Now, I’ve had a tiny black woman scream in my face, calling me among other things The N Word, and I am whiter than white (ask MEOW.) The woman yelling in my face, looking straight at me, was not yelling at me. She was yelling at the things in her head. It might help you to conceptualize if you think of it this way: For mentally ill people, sometimes the things in their heads get louder than the things outside their heads. I believe something along those lines was going on with MS. That’s why I pointed out to someone else who might be familiar with the concept that karunā is what is called for here: compassion, in English.

          I’m not saying not to demand a refund, or not to change the station if you don’t want to hear her voice. I’m just saying she’s ill, and don’t take it personally.

          • Trina

            Out feminist queer, here- thank you for your comment dr wonderfeline; I agree. I’ve always liked MS- not an ultra fan, not disinterested. But like her music and appreciate the role she and her music had in my life. Never knew she was born Mormon. She’s obvious ongoing through hard times, is def 1 of us, needs help. Hope she pulls through and comes home. We’re waiting for her and the tea is fresh.

  2. ilikedthecampfiretapes

    A few interesting quotes from

    The thing I fail to do is fully comprehend what’s given back to me by the audience. You would think you would be a performer partly so you could feel all the appreciation or adulation, but I haven’t quite managed that yet.

    Writing and singing does give me some kind of release from the demons of my past, it is a therapy of sorts, but to be honest, my marriage played a more important role in the acceptance of myself than performance has ever done.

    Record Companies know how vulnerable creativity is and that the slightest attack can make artists feel like abused children and they’ll retreat. I refuse to look at them as my parents. I just look at them as equals in a power struggle.



  3. I don’t at all agree with the opening statement which compared the Dixie Chicks speaking out on Bush and his bad foreign policy decisions to Shocked and her hate speech towards a room full of gay people who had paid to see her. These are two very different scenarios … surely a person doesn’t have to be gay to know the difference.

    Bad timing? Is there EVER a “good” time to spew hatred and homophobia?

  4. Minority female

    The issue is not about a single individual but about gay marriage. Not everyone believes that gay marriage is a good thing, including some Gays and Lesbians. The accounts of what happened at MS’s concert vary. But you cannot deny that MS is brave for speaking out no matter what her real point of view is. To discredit her by calling her crazy or suggesting that she needs compassion or understanding is self serving for single minded folks. Gay marriage is a divisive issue and it’s not going to squeak by unnoticed. Too far too fast.
    Some minorities are looking at this as a white issue, pardon, my frankness.

    • If you don’t agree with gay marriage then don’t have one.

    • Tri

      I don’t call her brave. I call her actions mean.
      I do understand that some members of minorities look at this as a white issue but others of us don’t.
      You can like it or not but God makes LGBTQA people in all ethnicities & cultures. To call this a white issue makes life needlessly harder for our Black Gay Brothers & Sisters just like racism does….systemically devaluing people based on one’s own opinion or mob opinion rather than valuing all as God’s Own Creation.
      We all gotta stick together.

      Because we do gotta stick together I choose compassion & love for her as would Jesus Christ. Not calling her crazy at all but looking at the rest of her life, this behavior is unlike her & she was obviously stressed and largely incoherent . That’s why I’m concerned for health. I’m not being derisive.
      Peace and Grace,

    • Greg

      How dare you! There are many gay people of color, including myself…this is not a “white thing” any more than it’s a “gay thing” – it’s a civil rights issue! I’m glad that at least some of the prejudice against people of color has abated…gay people are at the same place people of color were in the 60′s & 70′s – Remember when inter-racial marriage was illegal? Not so long ago…don’t dismiss our fight and say “we made it, pull up the ladder!” This opinion of yours is hurtful and bigoted!!

  5. I would add that while many gay people don’t agree with the idea of getting married, I challenge you to find an openly gay person who does not believe that gay people should have the RIGHT to get married if they want to.

    I am one of those gay people who doesn’t believe in the ritual of marriage, however I should have the right to marry if I want to – just like any other American citizen. I should not be denied any right granted to a heterosexual person because I am homosexual. Because that is called DISCRIMINATION.

  6. blackchick

    A white issue? huh? there are most likely more black and Latino gay men in America than white. So would be ok if gay white men said civil rights is a black issue and shouldn’t be supported by anyone not black? Brave? yes the KKK I guess is also brave for being opposed to black and white marriage or do you have a problem with that, but I sure do.

  7. obviously it’s not a white issue … sure many working class gay people do find gay marriage to be somewhat of a class issue because many of us working class queers place a higher priority on issues like housing and employment discrimination. but that said, I would seriously doubt there are any openly gay people fighting against the right to marry, or any issues regarding our fight for equality.

    and yeah blackchick I agree with your comments wholeheartedly. I find anyone who spews bigotry to be anything BUT brave. racists are cowards, as are homophobes … pure ignorance hiding behind a delusional sense of inherited superiority, whatever that is.


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