On his current tour with his band BODY COUNT, Ice-T has seen the cops force the cancellation of shows in Pittsburgh, and Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and hotels refuse accommodations to band and crew. On the other hand, the Student Concert Committee at Penn State University told the local cops to take a hike when they demanded a November 22 Ice-T show be scrapped. First-day ticket sales were the highest at the school in three years. Picket lines of hundreds of cops failed to disrupt shows in Green Bay and Chicago. In Poughkeepsie, New York, the ACLU kept the city from closing a municipal parking lot in front of The Chance club, which would have limited public access to the show.
Robin Fernandez, owner of the strip district METROPOL club in Pittsburgh, made what he termed as "a business decision" when he canceled the December 22 show. A number of sources in Pittsburgh have told THE ROC that Fernandez was clearly made aware by Pittsburgh Police that having BODY COUNT play at his club definitely wouldn't be in his best interest. In a statement to the press, Vic Walczek, director of the ACLU said, "The intolerance displayed by police officers is a form of censorship. The police now have the improper power over who performs in Pittsburgh and who doesn't.
Ironically, it has also been reported that Fernandez was upset when the remaining acts on the tour (EXODUS, D.R.I. and PRO-PAIN) refused to play minus BODY COUNT. EXODUS's Steve Souza told THE ROC, "That's not how it goes, we're all on this tour together, and if BODY COUNT don't play, neither do we."
R.O.C. had the privilege of attending the Cleveland show on December 27 at the AGORA THEATRE, which was an awesome event that went off without trouble, protest or police interference of any kind. We had our R.O.C. table set, and did quite well. We got to hang out a bit with BODY COUNT and presented them with our new "FUCK THE PMRC" t-shirt and baseball caps. Watch for them to pop up wearing them at a show on down the line. Thanks to Charlie Jamm, and everyone at RHYME SYNDICATE and a special thanks to George and Yohan at the AGORA.
The next show at Chicago's VIC THEATRE on December 28 was quite different from the Cleveland performance. Outside the show, over 400 cops demonstrated for over three hours. (Gee, I wonder how many real crimes went on while the Chicago porkers wasted time at a thrash show?) Despite the cops presence, music fans were not intimidated and packed the show. When it came time to sing the song, COP KILLER, Ice-T gives a detailed rap about why he sings it. In my opinion, an explanation that even the most ignorant critic of the song could grip if they just took the time to really hear what Ice-T is saying. He calls for our support and admiration of honest and conscientious cops, and acknowledges that there is no harder job than trying to be an honest cop. "But," Ice-T points out, "we're not singing about those type of cops. We're singing about those type of cops...we're singing about the ones who beat you down because you're different, because you're the wrong color, because your hair's long or because you listen to the wrong kind of music. You know the type of cop I'm talkin' about. I'm talkin' about the ones I wanna take out back and put a fuckin' gun to their forehead." At this point the crowd erupts and BODY COUNT just kicks your ass with the song. Don't miss BODY COUNT if they show up in your hood. And if your local club owners get weak bladders about booking the show, get all your friends together and demand that it gets booked. And remember, ONE NIGHT WE WILL GET EVEN! -JW-