Trenchcoat Scapegoat Superstar

Denver Station scraps Marilyn Manson Concert after Mayor's plea for cancellation

by Sly Spurling

In the wake of the senseless tragedy in Colorado, the media has been quick to point fingers at a number of possible causes of the Columbine High School shooting. Marilyn Manson, and "goth culture" in general, have been listed as possible influences in these two boy's actions. And, sure enough, when the media assigns blame and officials get into the act, censorship happens.

After the massacre, according to a UPI report on the internet, Denver mayor Wellington Webb asked the promoters of Marilyn Manson's gig at the Red Rocks Amphitheater to cancel the event "in respect" of the victims of the shooting. Lo and behold, Denver radio station KBPI said Thursday that "out of respect for the victims" it had cancelled the 'birthday bash' concert.

"In light of everything that has happened the last few days at Columbine High School, it would be in poor taste to throw ourselves a party," said Dave Rodriguez, promotions director at KBPI. But the question remains: would this concert have been cancelled if it were Van Halen on the top bill instead of Marilyn Manson?

This sounds a little too choreographed, doesn't it? One wonders what sort of communications may have taken place between the Mayor of Denver and the radio station, if any?

I also find it ironic that, on the website of KBPI, (, there's a sign that says "We've done all we can to piss off the citizens of Denver... now we figure it's time to piss of the Internet world. So enter at your own risk!" That macho attitude seems to have melted away rather quickly..., wonder where it went, and why?

It's probably too late to change the course of events, but at the very least those of us who value freedom of expression, and are sick of watching the music we like get scapegoated like this, need to take action.

Contact the radio station and ask them if the concert would have been canceled if it were someone else on the top bill. Be sure to drop a line to the Mayor's office as well and ask what "respect" has to do with this cancellation. And be sure to keep an eye on the news for the next few weeks: I suspect that these sorts of things are going to happen quite a bit as the drama unfolds.

KBPI Radio:

1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1300
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 899-3699
(general inquiries)
(promotions and marketing) or

Mayor Wellington E. Webb

1437 Bannock Street, ST 350
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 640-2721

The station is owned by Jacor Corp., one of the country's largest broadcasting groups.

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