Brooklyn’s Market Hotel Defends John Hinckley Jr. Booking
John Hinckley Jr. — the man who shot Ronald Reagan in 1981, two months after his inauguration as president, in an attempt to impress Jodie Foster, with whom Hinckley was obsessed — has a history with music. He recently took Devo to task over royalties from their 1982 song “I Desire,” which uses passages from a love poem Hinckley wrote to Foster. He’s also been trying to get his own music career off the ground since being granted permission by a court to publicly display his creative works under his own name in 2020. This pursuit has led him to distribute his music through YouTube and, recently, to book a tour.
That tour, with unannounced “special guests,” is coming to Brooklyn concert venue Market Hotel on July 8. As you might expect, that news has inspired a range of responses, some of them negative. Those in turn have elicited a defense from the Market Hotel management.
Saturday, responding to a critic on Twitter who wrote, “better cancel this . What are you thinking,” the person manning Market Hotel’s account wrote, “The man served 40 years in prison / mental health treatment, paid his debt to society. Several darlings of indie music had mental health issues + committed violence / tried to kill people. Daniel Johnston for instance attempted murder more than once and tried to crash an airplane.” In a subsequent tweet, they added, “A passing glance at your Twitter shows you to be Left-leaning. As such, you should believe people can be redeemed, and that society isn’t served by permanent banishment — regardless of the crime. This guy was incapacitated by mental health issues and in any case, served his time.”
Another account replied, “Doing time satisfies your time with the state, doesn’t absolve you from being a piece of shit. Where did this notion come from? ‘Well he touched a baby and did 7 years, he is no longer trash’. Such a ridiculous way of looking at.” Market Hotel’s response: “We hear you. You’re advocating for a culture where people who did bad things in their past get disqualified from participating forever — a ‘cancel culture,’ if you will.”