Marilyn Manson cancels tour in wake of Colorado shootings

Wednesday, April 28, 1999

City leaders pressured by citizens to cancel Marilyn Manson performances in the aftermath of the Littleton, Colo., shootings have found an unlikely ally in the band itself. The shock-rock group yesterday announced it had canceled the final five concert dates of its latest tour “out of respect for those lost in the school tragedy.”

“People are trying to sort out what happened and to deal with their losses,” the band said in a statement posted on its Web site. “It’s not a great atmosphere to be out playing rock ‘n’ roll shows, for us or the fans.”

In the week since two students at Columbine High School killed 12 students and a teacher and then committed suicide, many have cited Marilyn Manson’s music as a possible catalyst. Many have also blamed the incident on the Gothic lifestyle because the two shooters often wore black and seemed obsessed about death.

In its statement, Marilyn Manson chastised those who have linked the band and Gothic culture to the killings.

“The media has unfairly scapegoated the music industry and so-called Goth kids and has speculated — with no basis in truth — that artists like myself are in someway to blame,” the band said. “This tragedy was a product of ignorance, hatred, and an access to guns. I hope the media’s irresponsible finger-pointing doesn’t create more discrimination against kids who look different.”

The band said it would postpone concerts scheduled for May 3 in Reno, Nev.; May 4 in Fresno, Calif.; May 5 in Las Vegas; May 7 in Phoenix and May 8 in Los Angeles. The statement didn’t say if the concerts would be rescheduled.

The band had been scheduled to perform in Denver on April 30, but the radio station sponsoring the show cancelled the concert.

The band has been no stranger to threats of cancellation or censorship. In the few months before the Littleton attack, officials in Richmond, Va., and Syracuse, N.Y., attempted to stop the band from playing local venues. Earlier this month, a Kentucky court upheld the harassment conviction of a woman who a Marilyn Manson T-shirt to a fair.

Since the Littleton shootings, officials in Fresno and Reno have passed resolutions denouncing musical acts such as Marilyn Manson but have stopped short of prohibiting the upcoming concerts. School officials in Portsmouth, N.H., last week banned students from wearing Marilyn Manson T-shirts.