UPDATE: now with audio of the incident.
What is going on with Michelle Shocked? The Texas alt-folk singer-songwriter, formerly known as a leftist-feminist relic of the late 1980s/early ’90s, apparently went on a homophobic rant at one of her two Yoshi’s shows this past Sunday in San Francisco.
As the Bay Area Reporter notes, Shocked, who seems to have found religion in the past decade, told the Yoshi’s crowd: “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization and Jesus will come back.”
As Queerty.com reports, “The singer has been open about being a born-again Christian, but was still active in progressive politics. (She was arrested at an Occupy LA event in 2011).”
Here’s more from the Bay Area Reporter on the incident this weekend:
One woman shouted: “Don’t say that shit in San Francisco.”
Shocked replied, “Where do I go to say it?”
In response to audience reaction, Shocked offered a Spanish prayer that “God loves you. God loves us. God loves us all everywhere.” Later, in English, she said: “God bless us everyone.”
Many fans questioned the singer out loud: “What are you saying?”
With a broad smile, Shocked said. “You are going to leave here and tell people ‘Michelle Shocked said God hates faggots.'”
By that point, much of the audience had walked out in disgust, and Yoshi’s management later cut the mics and turned on the lights, as Shocked continued to perform.
The story blew up on Twitter, as audience members tweeted confused reactions to the singer’s offensive comments.
Yoshi’s SF director of marketing and public relations Lisa Bautista answered my call this morning and said she was not there when the incident happened, but she did get a phone call from Yoshi’s artistic director Derek Hunter after Shocked’s show. Hunter confirmed they did indeed stop the show. Bautista also got additional comments from people who were present.
In his official statement to Bautista, Hunter said, “This was Michelle Shock’s third visit to Yoshi’s San Francisco; her first was March 2009. She has never given any indication that she is anti-gay or racist in her previous plays. She obviously has some serious issues and unfortunately chose our venue to vent them.”
Added Bautista to me, “[Shocked] won’t be back.” Bautista also had venues nationwide calling this morning to verify if Shocked made such remarks.
Novato’s Hopmonk Tavern sent out a release this afternoon canceling Shocked’s scheduled show: “Due to comments made by Michelle Shocked at Yoshi’s in San Francisco last night, March 17, we have decided to cancel our show with Michelle on March 29. Refunds can be made at place of purchase.”
Truly, an upsetting incident for all those involved, especially ticket-holders and former fans of the singer.
**UPDATE: @yoshisSF_OAK tweeted this at 1:40PM today: “WE AT YOSHI’S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK.”
**UPDATE 2: An anonymous audience member was recording the incident and sent us the file, which you can listen to below: