Okay guys, we’ve had a show on the books for a while at Fitzgerald’s. It’s put us in a pretty tricky spot. For those that don’t know the story, last week an exchange between the owner and a producer blew up on social media. It’s painted Sara Fitzgerald in a pretty bad way, raising allegations of racism, and damaged the reputation of the venue.
After sitting down and talking about it we decided to play the show.
Sara is entitled to her opinion, however misguided it may be. It’s also true that freedom of speech isn’t freedom from consequence. For us, it’s potentially a lose/lose situation. Either we’re the guys who played a show amidst allegations of racism or we’re the guys who caved to pressure. We don’t know what the consequences will be for the band moving forward. We just hope that the message of courage, hope, love, and equality in our music speaks for itself. And we hope that the people who know us will trust that we would never support hateful, ignorant or exclusionist belief sets. It’s also true that we don’t believe in demonizing people. Expressions of anger and outrage, even when entirely justified, are only the beginning of a process that we hope can include the necessary dialogue to change people’s minds when they express hateful or ignorant beliefs. There’s always room for one more person who wants to fight the good fight.
Some people might be wondering why we’d take the risk. First, there are simple bread & butter issues. Being a band is tough, despite what people think. It’s even tougher on the road, as each of us can attest, and we felt that our touring friends deserved the opportunity to ease some of that burden by earning their pay and not having to face a lost show due to factors outside of their control. It’s also important that we acknowledge that recently other groups and artists were not afforded that same opportunity due to factors that were out of their control. It’s not our intent to cheapen that or detract from it and we hope that people won’t come away with that impression.
On a more personal level, we all feel like Fitzgerald’s belongs more to the Houston music scene than to any one person. Each member of this band grew up going to shows at Fitz. Each of us can point to friends made, memories indelibly etched in our minds, personal heroes close enough to touch as they poured their hearts out onstage, playing our first “big” shows there, and so forth. So much of Houston’s live music heritage has fallen into decay or disappeared entirely, and it’s excruciating to think that an iconic club that has survived so much could be killed by an exchange of emails.
We wholeheartedly acknowledge the hurt and outrage that a lot of people are probably feeling right now. We hope you’ll come to the show, but we also understand if you choose not to. At the end of the day we all have to do what we think is right.