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Doubled Over With Nausea, Vince Neil Cancels Personal Appearance At Restaurant

By Newsferatu, Writer
Thursday, March 16, 2006 @ 8:46 AM


Piece of Your Haaaaaackshun.

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From The Roanoke Times:

Hard-rock music fans expected to meet MOTLEY CRUE lead singer VINCE NEIL live at a Roanoke restaurant Monday night when a disc jockey released heart-breaking news: Doubled over with nausea, Neil would be unable to make it.

Barry Caldwell, general manager of the Awful Arthur's at Towers Shopping Center, recalls only a brief conversation with Neil's manager, who called to explain. Caldwell's initial retort captured the shock and resentment that later gripped the crowd of more than 175 ticket holders: "What the hell are you talking about?"

Several days hence, the silver lining is that Awful Arthur's came out ahead, having protected itself with a cancellation clause. From the perspective of a bar or other venue, such a clause is there to claw back any fee or deposit paid in advance if the artist doesn't show up. Artists offer such terms infrequently when negotiating personal appearances, but promoters who insist on such protection during negotiations usually can obtain it and sometimes, a damages provision as well, Chicago entertainment lawyer Michael McCready said.

Across the entertainment industry, the no-show clause is invoked after missed personal-appearance engagements "with more regularity than you would think," said McCready, who represents both artists and venues. "Musicians are very temperamental. If they don't feel like going, they're not going to go."

The personal-appearance end of the entertainment business is the ultimate sideshow: Nightclubs, restaurants and other entertainment venues pay thousands of dollars to book visits by celebrities. The start time is spelled out in advance.

So is what the celebrity has to do.

It begins at a level McCready calls "generally available," which means the entertainer might only stand behind a velvet rope. The next higher level of engagement is the "meet and greet," which gives patrons a chance to shake hands and say something such as, "Hey, you're cool. I love your record," McCready said.

Photos are forbidden unless that's in the contract.

About the only variable left to chance is the entertainer's mood. If feeling shy or mellow, he or she might stick to the minimum requirements of the contract. Another entertainer might groove with the party, strike out on his own or mingle with the crowd, he said.

During Monday's concert at the Roanoke Civic Center, which was about half sold-out, Neil, 45, performed energetically through the show's end. He showed no apparent sign of illness. He gave some hint to his demeanor when he commented that places such as Roanoke are "the heart of rock 'n' roll," but then uttered an expletive-laden chastisement after noticing few audience members had flashed cigarette lighters in agreement. Although Neil might have shown some irritation, the turnout pleased the band's staff and the event promoter, city spokesman Larry Brown said.

As the concert wound down, the Awful Arthur's crowd was getting revved up. About 175 people had paid $15 in advance for tickets to Neil's appearance. An estimated 50 people were waiting outside Awful Arthur's to get their tickets, too.

A limousine was ready to pick up Neil, who was due at 11:30 p.m. Extra security was on hand to escort him from the door to a 20-foot row of tables set end to end -- one side for Neil and whoever he arrived with and the other side for fans. In his role as general manager, Caldwell and a booking agent who initially contacted him about Neil's availability had discussed all the particulars. Neil was to sign autographs in a "meet and greet" style and, if he felt like it, address the crowd on stage at a microphone.

Paid $6,000 in advance, Neil was to stay at least an hour.

About 10:40 p.m., Neil's manager called and canceled. "He was in a state of panic pretty much," Caldwell said. "He acted, you know, pretty short and was like, 'Vince is throwing up.' He said he was throwing up blood. 'There no way we're going to be able to make it out this evening. We're going to get him to a hospital.' "

Neil's reported condition could not be confirmed. Medical personnel standing by at the concert did not treat anyone, said Billy Altman, Roanoke's EMS operations chief. No band member was treated at either of Carilion Health System's two Roanoke emergency rooms, said Carilion spokesman Eric Earnhart. However, Rob Hocken, a booking agent with Upper Deck Concerts, which arranged the appearance, said Neil has his own doctor who either travels with him or is reachable by phone.

Faced with a disappointed crowd, Caldwell turned the table that was supposed to be for Neil into a refund booth. However, once given their $15 back, most of Neil's fans stayed and partied anyway. The bar continued serving until 12:30 or 12:45 a.m. on what is typically one of the two slowest nights of the week, Caldwell said.

Caldwell noted that it was Neil's name that filled the restaurant, but he was told by the booking agent to expect a refund of the $6,000 any day, so the draw was without cost.

"I came out ahead, actually," Caldwell said.


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