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Different Drum

Ronstadt booed for praising Michael Moore -- The classic rocker causes a near-riot among 4,500 concertgoers at the Aladdin when she urges them to see ''Fahrenheit 9/11''

Before her one-night-stand at the Aladdin in Las Vegas on Saturday, Linda Ronstadt told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, ''I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back.'' Looks like she got her wish. According to wire service reports, Ronstadt's concert ended in an uproar when she made a point of praising filmmaker Michael Moore and urged concertgoers to see his documentary ''Fahrenheit 9/11.'' The resort's management not only escorted the 58-year-old classic rocker off the stage but booted her from her luxury suite at the hotel as well. ''Ms. Ronstadt was hired to entertain the guests of the Aladdin, not to espouse political views,'' the casino said in a statement. Aladdin president Bill Timmins told the Associated Press he would ban her from performing there again. ''As long as I'm here, she's not going to play,'' he said.

During the show, Ronstadt dedicated the song ''Desperado'' to Moore, calling him a ''great American patriot'' and ''someone who is spreading the truth.'' ''It was a very ugly scene,'' Timmins said. ''She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose.'' According to Reuters, some patrons protested by spilling drinks, tearing down the show's posters, and demanding refunds. At least a quarter of the 4,500 patrons walked out.

Moore capitalized on the fracas by sending an open letter to Timmins, calling his actions ''stupid and un-American.'' He suggested a way for the casino make it up to Ronstadt. ''Invite her back and I'll join her in singing 'America the Beautiful' on your stage. Then I will show 'Fahrenheit 9/11' free of charge to all your guests and anyone else in Las Vegas who wants to see it.''

Originally posted Jul 20, 2004
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