Gary Susman
July 21, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Linda Ronstadt has been dedicating the song ”Desperado” to Michael Moore throughout her current tour, and even though the action got her booed off the stage in Las Vegas and banned from future performances at the Aladdin resort there, she tells the Los Angeles Times that she’ll continue the gesture on upcoming shows. ”This is an election year. I want people to get their head up out of their mashed potatoes and learn something about the issues and go and vote,” she told the Times, explaining why she’s been urging her audiences to see Moore’s ”Fahrenheit 9/11.” She added: ”I’m not telling them how to vote. I’m saying, ‘Get information about the issues.”’

Ronstadt recently told the San Diego Union-Tribune that her praise of Moore typically divides her audience. ”I’ve been dedicating a song to him — I think he’s a great patriot — and it splits the audience down the middle, and they duke it out,” she said. She may have been speaking figuratively, but wire service reports of Saturday’s show at the Aladdin said the audience reaction almost became violent for real, with patrons tossing drinks, tearing down her posters, and demanding refunds. The show ended early, with Aladdin management escorting her off the stage, locking her out of her suite at the hotel, and vowing never to book her again. Talking to the Times, however, Ronstadt said: ”They didn’t throw me out. I didn’t even know there was trouble.” Besides, she said, ”I had already said I never want to come back.”

Ronstadt isn’t the only musician raising eyebrows for her partisan political commentary these days. Radio stations in many cities are playing the Jadakiss hit ”Why” but editing out its line that seems to blame the 9/11 attacks on President Bush. Bonnie Raitt, currently touring Europe, is dedicating ”Your Good Thing (Is About to End)” to the incumbent president. And elsewhere in Vegas, at Caesar’s Palace, the Las Vegas Sun reports that current headliner Elton John frequently makes anti-Bush remarks during his shows. The audience response is usually a mixture of sparse applause and mild booing, the paper says, adding that Caesar’s management has never meddled in John’s onstage commentary.

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