The Bands Who Are Refusing to Let Coronavirus Stop Their Tours
While the coronavirus pandemic has shut down live music all over the world, two acts, psychobilly's Reverend Horton Heat and Scottish punk legends the Exploited are remaining on the road.
Heat, whose given name is Jim Heath, wrote on Facebook, "Reverend Horton Heat is not cancelling any gigs because of Covid-19. Any gigs that are cancelled will be because the promoters cancelled. I encourage everyone who lives in a jurisdiction where local governments are restricting rock and roll to push back. Write emails and call your local government agencies to remind them that we have the right to assembly. They can’t stop rock and roll!"
In the comments, many fans criticized his decision, calling it "dumb," "wrong" and "irresponsible." Heath has been responding to them with his justifications. "It’s dumb to panic to the point of giving up your first amendment right of assembly," he wrote to one. "Don’t be a sheeple to authoritarian government. A lot of younger bands and one music legend have texted me to say thanks for the post. My band and crew have mouths to feed, rent and taxes. They also have a first amendment right to assembly."
Many other responses by Heath follow along the same line, that there are people in his organization that are financially dependent on him.
"Fuck coronavirus!" as Walter "Wattie" Buchan, the Exploited's longtime frontman, was quoted as saying on the Facebook page of DRW Entertainment. "I have had five heart attacks a quad heart bypass and a heart pace maker fitted. Cancel gigs for a virus? We ain’t fucking Green Day piss - We are the real deal. No danger will we be cancelling our upcoming gigs."
The 62-year-old, who suffered one of those heart attacks on stage in Portugal in 2014, then referenced the title of his band's 1981 debut album, "Punks Not Dead!"
The Exploited began their tour of New Zealand and Australia last night in Auckland. Horton Heat has a solo show tonight in Tampa, with numerous dates still scheduled between March 28 and May 7.