Embattled singer Michelle Shocked stages ‘sit in’ at canceled show


Staff and Wire Reports

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Face covered and mouth taped shut, alternative folk and rock singer Michelle Shocked staged a sit in on Thursday night outside a Santa Cruz, Calif., nightclub that canceled her show because she made an anti-gay slur at a San Francisco club earlier this month.

The tape across her mouth said “Silenced By Fear.”

When asked a question, Shocked shook her head vigorously and strummed her guitar while seated on the ground outside popular music venue Moe’s Alley. She pointed to a sign inviting people to pick up a Sharpie marker and write on the white disposable safety suit she was wearing.

Alternative folk singer Michelle Shocked sits outside Moe’s Alley nightclub in Santa Cruz Calif., and strums her guitar on Thursday night. Shocked had her face covered and her mouth taped shut. She dressed in a white disposable safety suit and invited people to write on it. AP Photo

Earlier in the day, she had tweeted her plans: “Moe’s in S Cruz tonight ok? Its an art project ‘My Summer Vacation’ I want your autograph. Bring Sharpie.”

Moe’s Alley owner Bill Welch, who talked with Shocked as she strummed her guitar outside his club, had replaced her with bands Beaver Fever and Frootie Flavors.

“We will not be bashing Michelle Shocked,” he told the Associated Press. “Rather we will celebrate music, diversity and send some healing Santa Cruz energy her way.”

On March 17, during an exchange with audience members minutes into her second set at Yoshi’s San Francisco, Shocked said, “If someone would be so gracious as to please tweet out, ‘Michelle Shocked just said from stage, God hates faggots.’ Would you do it now?”

Her remarks, which included her opposition to same-sex marriage, led to most of the audience walking out of the venue. (Audio of the exchange is here.)

Reaction to Shocked’s performance was swift. In the 48 hours that followed, ten of the eleven venues, remaining on Shocked’s U.S. tour — including Moe’s Alley — cancelled her performance, citing the San Francisco incident. The remaining venue said Shocked herself cancelled that performance.

In a statement issued two days later, Shocked claimed her remarks were “misinterpreted.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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