The all-star David Bowie tributes slated for New York’s Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall tonight (March 31) and Friday night, respectively, will be a few artists short after the Roots unexpectedly pulled out of the gig on Wednesday night.
Their reason? “Bitchassness.” Let Roots drummer Questlove explain. “Mood. I’ve never been so insecure or petty as to deny a fellow musician use of ANY of my equipment (or my band’s equipment—-or resources or contacts or knowledge or ANYTHING) it angers me when that same courtesy is not reciprocated,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagam post in which he announced that his band, as well as Bilal, Kimbra, Wendy Melvoin, DD Jackson and Ray Angry would not be participating in either night’s show.
Mood. I’ve never been so insecure or petty as to deny a fellow musician use of ANY of my equipment (or my band’s equipment—-or resources or contacts or knowledge or ANYTHING) it angers me when that same courtesy is not reciprocated. (Believe you me I was about to get #TomPetty or #PettyWap or #PetRockAndCLSmooth or #BlackPetty or however you wanna roll wit it)—keeping a level head and not being self destructive is a weak point I’m working on. But I’m also keeping it true: The Roots/Bilal/Kimbra (w/ Wendy Melvoin, DD Jackson & Ray Angry) pulled out of these Bowie gigs. We have patience. But we do NOT have patience for the #Bitchassness. Enjoy your precious equipment.
The post from the typically unapologetic musical superfan ended with the bitter kiss-off “enjoy your precious equipment,” without going into details about what the gear issue was. If you’re interested in watching “The Music of David Bowie” show you can stream it on the event’s website and check out sets from Blondie, the Pixies, the Flaming Lips, Michael Stipe, J Mascis, Jakob Dylan, Rickie Lee Jones, Perry Farrell, Cat Power and a many others.
At press time the Roots were still listed on the show’s official website.
In a statement to Billboard Promoter Michael Dorf explained, “There was a production miscommunication about some shared equipment last night on the tight City Winery stage for the rehearsal show. Very unfortunate. I would hope that after a nights sleep and knowing we have a much larger stage with multiple drum kits and other equipment that The Roots will still join us this evening. They have been a regular part of our tribute series and we deeply love and respect them. I remain hopeful they will still join the important celebration of David Bowie’s music tonight and tomorrow and the two sold out shows can experience their powerful performance as one of the 20 amazing songs planned.”
Updated: 3:33 p.m. ET March 31: An updated statement from promoter Dorf Presents was sent to Billboard which omitted mention of one of the bands involved in the incident.