Singer Linda Ronstadt was thrown out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas on the weekend after dedicating a song to liberal filmmaker Michael Moore and his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11," a casino spokeswoman said Monday.
Now before people get all exercised about this, with cries of censorship or whatever, read this article that appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal before the concert in question:
"I always feel bad about being a (casino) shill," Linda Ronstadt says of her periodic visits to Las Vegas. She nonetheless returns to the Aladdin on Saturday, ... and that really amazes her.
The outspoken singer isn't a big fan of Las Vegas -- "It's such a strange, weird place" ....
[F]ans shouldn't expect to hear every one of their old favorites. Some songs "are not who I am anymore," she explains.
"Your story changes as your life goes on. We're not one self or editions of ourselves. You can carry those (editions) over, and they add weight to the current edition, but some songs don't lend themselves that well. They really need to stay back there for that particular moment."
The singer's political profile -- including her late '70s relationship with former California governor Jerry Brown -- are a past edition that does linger. "I've been dedicating `Desperado' every night to Michael Moore, trying to get people to go see `Fahrenheit 9/11,' " she says.
"They say the country is evenly divided, and boy is that true. One half of the audience cheers and the other half boos."
"I don't understand this country sometimes and I really fear for it," she adds. "The government is making everybody in the world hate us, including the people that used to be our friends."
Anyone who disagrees with that is welcome to get in line, behind whoever she manages to rile at the Aladdin this time.
"I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back," she says with a laugh.
So what's going on here, really? It smells more like a contracts dispute or a publicity stunt than a political controversy. The Las Vegas Sun notes that she wasn't really up to the performance:
Ronstadt was merely going through the motions. ... Her performance was uninspired and generally flat. She lacked stage presence, doing little more than sleepwalk from song to song.
So, reduced to singing old songs in Las Vegas, a place she hates, Ronstadt leveraged the loathsome task into publicity that, perhaps, she hopes will make her seem relevant and important again. I'd guess she's delighted that the concertgoers "spilled drinks, tore down posters and demanded their money back" and produced "quite a scene at the box office." It seems that she'd like to publish a new "edition" of herself. Let's see how much help the press gives her.