John Hinckley Jr. concert cancelled after protests

AP Photo/Barry Thumma, File

When would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. won his unconditional release from federal custody last year, I assumed that he would avoid the public spotlight going forward. Instead, he’s launched a career as a singer-songwriter, though he’s running into a problem. As it turns out, some folks are taking issue with his new venture, and at least one of his upcoming shows has been cancelled. Promoters in Hamden, Connecticut put out the word this week that a July concert at the Space Ballroom in Hamden is off after a large number of complaints.

Concert promoter Manic Presents announced online Wednesday evening that the show has now been canceled. The announcement follows an outpouring of only invective against the decision to host the performance. Not surprisingly, the announcement to cancel the show has subsequently sparked online criticism, as well. (Sample: “ONCE AGAIN THE WOKE MOB SUPPRESSES FREE EXPRESSION”)

This story is so bizarre that the writer in Connecticut felt the need to post a disclaimer stating “This article is true. It is not republished from the Onion,” but I have a hard time imagining even a satirical news site coming up with this twist. And honestly, I’m not sure what’s more surprising; the fact that Hinckley, Jr. has had a concert cancelled, or the fact that his first show has already sold out.

Hinckley announced on Twitter that he’d be performing at Market Hotel — a Bushwick venue more accustomed to hosting post-industrial acts like Machine Girl and Dreamcrusher than folky singer-songwriters of Hinckley’s variety — on July 8. On Tuesday, after a weekend of speedy ticket sales, he proudly proclaimed that he’d sold out the club, an assertion backed up by Market’s landing page for the show. And this afternoon, he further shared that he’d be adding more dates to the “John Hinckley Redemption Tour.”

I suppose in a world where murder suspects can have platinum records while on the run from police and shooting suspects can use their major label signing bonus as bail money after being accused of shooting a cop, John Hinckley, Jr.’s new career as a troubadour shouldn’t surprise me, but I can’t imagine forking over $20 to hear the man who tried to murder Ronald Reagan sing lines like “I don’t know what’s wrong with this world/but I want to see some love.”
So I won’t be attending any of the dates on Hinckley’s upcoming “Redemption Tour” this summer, and I’m not sure why anyone else would want to do so either, other than the curiosity factor of watching someone who’s more infamous than a genuine celebrity strum his guitar and sing off-key. If you want that, you can always check out his YouTube videos or Hinckley’s Spotify page, where he boasts of having 18 original songs available to stream.
There’s nothing illegal about Hinckley trying to reinvent himself as a modern-day Woody Guthrie, but it’s definitely unseemly. While Hinckley might see his road show as a “redemption” tour, it will be his notoriety that drives most of the attendees at his concerts. I suppose we should just be thankful that he’s playing Brooklyn and not Broadway. After all, there’s a role that he was literally born to play just waiting for a revival.