In light of the NC General Assembly passing a broad discrimination law should entertainers, businesses, sporting events, etc boycott doing business in NC? It's a tough call because I'm sure that most parrotheads are in favor of equal rights for all. The NBA is already considering pulling the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte. The NCAA is looking at preventing any (not just basketball) tournament games from being played in NC. Large corporations that have a presence in NC have stated they are against the legislation. I would hate for the NC shows to be cancelled but how does Jimmy, and all of us, take a stand and show support for the LGBT community?
As a traveling musician for 40 years, I played many shows years ago, in many states where you could go to prison for 20 years for smoking a joint. It was a stupid law based on stupid assumptions. Time has fortunately reversed a lot of that way of thinking. But now another stupid law, based on stupid assumptions, has sprung up like kudzu in North Carolina, where we are scheduled to play shows next week in Raleigh and Charlotte.
North Carolina was there for me as a performer in the early days and I have always felt a loyalty to fans there that goes deep. Rightly so, a lot of people are reacting to the stupid law. I happen to believe that the majority of our fans in North Carolina feel the way I do about that law. I am lucky enough to have found a job in the business of fun. These shows were booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law. I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year. We will be playing in Raleigh and Charlotte next week.
That said, as for the future of shows in North Carolina, it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed. That is up to the good people of North Carolina and there are many, and I am confident that they will see that the right thing will be done. As Forrest said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
I really don't care about the law one way or another. That said, I'm glad Jimmy didn't cancel. I got my tickets for Charlotte for my birthday and I look forward to see him every year. I, nor any other fan, deserves to be punished for something we had nothing to do with. Heck, I'm not even from or live in North Carolina. I would have been highly upset had he chose not to perform and I believe I would have been justified. Once the concert has been booked and tickets sold then the performer needs to keep his/her politics out of the situation and just play. If they chose not to come back to NC then so be it, but play the show that is already booked. Just my two cents anyway.
There are jobs and chores and questions and plates I need to twirl, but tonight I'll take my chances on the far side of the world