Irvine Councilman Objects to Band’s Message Against Police Brutality

OC Register columnist Frank Mickadeit showed both his age and his Republican chops in this story about a concert coming to the Great Park this week featuring some rather edgy bands.  While Frank takes great delight in lampooning Council members Beth Krom and Larry Agran, Councilman Jeff Lalloway who raised the biggest stink gets a pass for showing leadership on this.

Mickadeit compares the Warped tour, which kicks off at the Great Park next Thursday with Altamont, a concert that happened 43 years ago when many of the Republican leaders Frank so admires were teenagers.  Geez, a quick Google search shows a man was stabbed at a heavy metal concert in Irvine in 1993 at what was then called “Irvine Meadows.”  And there are far more frequent incidents of concert violence,  But Altamont?  Somebody needs a subscription to Rolling Stone or Spin.  Wasn’t the Register’s music writer available for a quick fact check?

But reading Lalloway’s comments, it certainly seems like he’s far more concerned with the band’s use of the F word than police brutality which the song is about.

From Frank’s column:

Councilman Jeff Lalloway led the charge, wondering whether a city routinely named America’s safest had just opened itself up to a day of mayhem. Should a “family-friendly” park, he wondered, be hosting a band called Anti-Flag whose chorus to its song, “F*** Police Brutality,” goes: F*** police/F*** police/F*** police brutality/ (repeat four times, rinse mouth).

Didn’t we just have a recall election in Fullerton over Police Brutality?  AntiFlag’s song is calling out the evils of police brutality not encouraging violence agaist the police.  Lalloway also talks about how this concert is inconsistent with family friendly events.  Warped isn’t a family friendly event for those who have little kids.  Families won’t be going to this musical event and the Irvine police surely have an idea on how to enforce the law and the rules about the park.

While praising Lalloway, Frank takes exception with Krom and Agran.

Councilwoman Beth Krom, whom I’d mistakenly pegged as a post hard core metalhead, seemed mainly worried that the kiddies had enough sunscreen, but she too seemed puzzled as to how Warped landed in straight-arrow Irvine. Even Larry Agran, whom I’d have sworn was a neo-metal post-core freak if there ever was one, was parroting Lalloway. The Great Park, he said, is “the safest public space in the safest city in America. Everything about this suggests really risking that reputation.”

Some tell Mickadeit about the open mikes at areas Stand Up Clubs. What’s the over/under on a heckler expressing his free speech rights?

I enjoy spirited debates with Mr. Lalloway who sometimes carries himself as the only concerned father of little girls ever.  I have to wonder, does his family own a copy of Katy Perry’s last album?  How might he explain the lyrics of “Last Friday Night” to his little ones?  I can remember driving my then 5 year old on a short trip; she asked me to put on Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” which I hadn’t heard.  And then I listend to this sweet five year old sing “I heard that you were talking $hit and you didn’t think that I would hear it.”  Turns her, it was a CD my wife bought for my daughter (and it’s a great album).

On facebook, Lalloway was more specific:

To be clear, I am mostly concerned with the public safety issues. The question we need to ask is whether this concert, considering all factors, is appropriate for our city.

Is it appropriate?  Probably not.  But when Jimmy Buffet shows up at Verizon Wireless Ampitheater and sings “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” the crowd sings along with him.  Is that appropriate either?  This underscores the beauty of the First Amendment.  And part of the freedom of speech is the freedon not to listen to speech that offends your sensibilities.

From the column and comments from the dias, it’s certainly obvious that Lalloway is more hung up on the F-word.  As for me, I have no plans to attend this show.  My kids have other plans, so they aren’t going.  And I have confidence that the Irvine police will maintain order and enforce the law.  I do expect concert goers will be arrested,


  3 comments for “Irvine Councilman Objects to Band’s Message Against Police Brutality

  1. Ltpar
    June 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Having worked many concerts in Irvine over the last thrity years, including the Gratefuul Dead reunion, I personally can’t get too excited about the one coming up at the Great Park. If curse words and Police slurs were a prerequsite for eliminating bands today, half would be gone. Sorry, but it comes with the territory.

    I suspect that Mr. Lalloway, a pseudo-paragon of virtue and integrity is merely seeking a soap box to preach from, since his minority status on the City Council don’t carry much weight? The Police Department has always had full authority to engage whatever enforcement was needed for the various kinds of concerts. Even Larry Agran reinforced this with his comments to the Police Chief about zero tolerance at the upcoming event. I am confident that the Police Department will do their usual excellent job of event management and hope the Park makes a few dollars in the process.

  2. henry lipton
    June 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I think they all totally overreacted. Whos the guy that was all baout No smoking of any kind. give me a break.

  3. Phil
    June 16, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Agran came to speak at the ACLU here in OC a few years ago. I distinctly recall him saying the Great Park would be the biggest free speech area in the OC.
    I’m going to remind him of this now and say, Larry, I don’t like what you’re saying now. No one has the right to stop a band from playing in a public facility, particularly if the band does not have any history of incidents.

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