Wednesday, November 15, 2006

KPRI - Their side of the story for Ray LaMontagne

Here is the text of an e-mail I received from KPRI this morning:

Dear Rosemary,

If you attended the scheduled Private
Listener Concert with Ray LaMontagne On Wednesday November 8 at the Hard Rock,
you know that Ray did not perform because of illness.

Some of you asked me why we didn't tell
you sooner. Here's the time line: At 8:07PM, I got a call from KPRI's Tammy
Thompson telling me that Ray was "not feeling well." At about 8:15
PM. I arrived at the Hard Rock and immediately met with his tour manager, who
reported that Ray had been to the doctor, and had been advised to rest. Tammy
& I quickly met with the Hard Rock's management and discussed several
options, none of which appealed to any of us. By 8:30, we had located Lisa
Sanders who was in the club and asked her if she could step in. By 8:45, we had
cleared her to use Ray's guitar and tech set-up, Lisa had designed a set list,
and we began the show 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

That's what happened.

We've done dozens and dozens of these
shows, and this is the first cancellation of a KPRI event that we've
experienced. Maybe we were overdue. As I'm sure you know, this happens, even to
major artists. Sting, David Gray, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and other
artists have all cancelled major dates recently because of illness or injury.
It's one of the hazards of touring and being exposed to germs etc. (Although in
Keith's case, I'm not sure it was a "germ.")

I know this is of no comfort at all to you
if you stood in line for hours only to be ultimately disappointed. While I hate
that this happened, as someone who uses his voice everyday, I'm always ready to
give the artist a break when it comes to something as important as the health of
his vocal instrument. I know you join me in wishing Ray a speedy and complete

Some of you asked if we could re-schedule
a date with Ray. We would love to do that, but it depends upon his schedule and
what happens to his career between now and the next time he heads this way. We
hope it will happen, but we're unable to promise.

In the meantime, if you would like to be
on a "priority invitation" list for a future event, please reply to this e-mail.

Thanks for being a Freeq.
Robert Hughes
KPRI Owner

I'm sorry, I don't buy it. If I had gone to a doctor (presumably between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and was told to rest, then I wouldn't negotiate whether or not I should heed his/her advice for 4 hours. If I feel like shit, I know it from the minute I wake up in the morning. Also, I don't know if this apology is significant enough for people who had to make two to get the tickets in the first place and the second to downtown...imagine the white tennis shoe crowd having to get babysitters, many driving down from North County, only to be let down. No offense to Lisa, she is amazing, but we can see her around town a bit more easily than Ray. I am bitter. And I'm still assed out on the PY thing.


catdirt said...

wow! is that a personal email in response to your blogging? that's clout! maybe one of these days i'll figure out where to listen to this "kpri" radio station i keep hearing about.

Rosemary Bystrak said...

This was a mass e-mail sent to "Freeqs" (which you can tell by "if you were at the show", but the fact that it's come a whole week after the show makes me wonder why a whole week later they finally give a defense of the situation.

KPRI is FM 102.1 but the signal comes from a tower in North County so it loses strength south of the 94.

Robert Hughes said...

I agree with Rosemary, had Ray gone to the Dr between 8AM and 4PM, making everybody wait until 15 minutes before the show would have been very bad form.

But that's not what happened.

Ray left the Dr after I got the the first call (8:07PM when I was told "he's at the Dr and he's doubtful") and the time I arrived at the Hard Rock (8:15PM when I was told "He's left the Dr & he's definitely not doing it"). As to when he started to feel ill, I have no info on that.

I assume Ray is pretty much like you & me. From time to time we feel like crap, but we do our jobs anyway - provided we can. I don't think artists deliberately jerk their fans around. It's really bad business.

The e-mail ( a week after the event) is a follow up to the announcement I made at 8:45PM that night at the Hard Rock. If you were there, you heard it the first time directly from me. At that time, I said: "You don't have to write anything done, we'll e-mail you." If you missed the announcement because you left in disgust etc, we sent the e-mail to be sure you know what happened and what we were doing about it.

Robert Hughes

Rosemary Bystrak said...

Wow! Thanks for the response, Bob. Nice to see you reading.

So obviously I made many assumptions stirred with some gossip I'd heard from a personal friend of Tristan. I guess I wish I had a doctor that would see me at 8, but I'll take your word for it.

If you saw my earlier point, I was disappointed by Ray, not the station, especially since you are the only ones brave enough to play artists who aren't selling hundreds of thousands of records. For the record, I didn't leave in disgust, I just heard before the official announcement and decided to head back to the City Beat party.

Still, I hope the PY show works out but I guess I'm assed out on that one.


Robert Hughes said...

No problem. I like your blog. The details I'm relaying are not from "a friend of a friend who knows a friend who heard..." - they're direct from a knowledgeable source, namely Ray's tour manager.

Do I buy it? Yes. If an artist were to develop a reputation for capriciously cancelling shows - it would end his or her career. Ray LaMontagne is not that dumb. Even if he is totally brain dead - his management would never stand for it. Getting a reputation for flaking out just kills the business.
It's "just not done."

As far as finding a Dr at 8PM, that's actually easy - check the emergency dept at every hospital. Also most good hotels have on-call docs who make "room calls."

Oh, and quit bellyaching about PY - it's a free show, for Pete's sake! (Sorry). Get tickets and go. I know you can do it. ;->

Robert Hughes