Billy Gibbons Cancels Last Date of Australian Tour, Cites Promoter Misrepresentation
An attempt by Billy Gibbons to do something different for his Australian fanbase has backfired. He's canceled the last in a series of dates in the country, and he walked off-stage during his show in Newcastle last night after only 45 minutes into a projected two-hour-and-10-minute show.
Gibbons had booked four "Up Close and Personal" dates in Australia, where he would be talking about his love of hot rods with his friend Jimmy Shine and playing a few of his classic ZZ Top hits. The evenings were billed as consisting of "intimate life stories, while kicking back with Billy as he plays and reflects on some of his favorite tunes and famous riffs."
However, Gibbons, according to Vintage Vinyl News, only spent 15 minutes on stage during the first two nights, both of which were at Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul. Numerous fans complained on the theater's Facebook page, mostly that Gibbons had only played three songs the first night and four on the second, and that a portion of the show was devoted to an auction for memorabilia.
Then, last night at the Civic Centre in Newcastle, Gibbons was midway through his third song when, without an explanation, he left the stage and didn't return. According to the Music, fans responded by throwing glass on to the stage, causing New South Wales police to be sent to the venue.
Tomorrow's show at the Eaton’s Hill Hotel in Brisbane has been canceled. His management issued the following statement (as found by Vintage Vinyl News).
Audience expectations regarding Billy Gibbons' role as a performing musician in the recent Up Close & Personal dates through Australia seem not to have been in line with what he was asked to do when his services were engaged last year.
Mr. Gibbons was contracted to appear on those dates to discuss his passion for custom cars and hot rods with Jimmy Shine and to sign autographs and greet fans with no musical component called for or anticipated in the arrangement. It should be noted that, based on that understanding, he didn’t even bring, nor did he request musical equipment appropriate to such a performance.
It appears that these dates were promoted in such a way as miscommunicate to ticket holders that a substantial musical performance would be part of these events. Billy Gibbons, ever the consummate professional, had not planned nor prepared that kind of program and regrets that his role in those dates appears to him been grossly misstated.