Would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley was booked to play a concert in Georgia. Then came the backlash.
John Hinckley Jr.’s improbable goal of moving on from would-be presidential assassin to touring musician was met with resistance locally this week after a booking in Athens was canceled shortly after being announced.
Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan and three others in Washington, D.C. in 1981. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity the following year and was held in a government psychiatric hospital until his release in 2016. All post-release restrictions were fully lifted in June of this year.
Hinckley’s “lifelong dream,” according to a Washington Post story earlier this month, was to play music in front of a live audience. But a string of dates in the Northeast and Midwest on his self-described “Redemption Tour” were abruptly canceled, with the clubs citing safety concerns after receiving online threats.
Hinckley announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he was booked to play a show in October at the World Famous, a club in downtown Athens, Georgia. On Wednesday he tweeted out a show poster that appears to incorporate his FBI mugshot from 1981. The show was off several hours later.
An employee who answered the phone at the World Famous on Thursday confirmed to WABE that the show is canceled. The club’s management did not respond to further requests for comment.
A representative for the club told WGAU that the show was canceled “after listening to some of the response to [the] show announcement and gathering more information.”
“It was never the intention to cause harm in the community or offend anyone,” they said. “We apologize for being ignorant to the implications of the show.”