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Michelle Shocked outside Moe's Alley Thursday night. Photo by Georgia Perry.

Michelle Shocked outside Moe's Alley Thursday night. Photo by Georgia Perry.

Alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked had been scheduled to play Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz tonight, until her anti-gay rant at Yoshi's two weeks ago led Moe's owner—and every promoter who had booker her—to cancel her show.html. But no one could have seen the latest twist in the story coming, as Shocked showed up at the club anyway this evening, making a bizarre appearance outside that only served to further mystify those who had once been her fans.

Dressed in white laboratory scrubs with a sack over her head and duct tape with the words “Silenced by Fear” covering her mouth, Shocked sat down on the ground outside of Moe’s while crowds arrived to see performances inside by lesbian “butch power pop trio” Beaver Fever and “legendary queer party band” Fruity Flavors (whom Moe's owner Bill Welch had pointedly booked to replace her). Shocked strummed her guitar and motioned for patrons to respond to written prompts she had tacked to the wall behind her with poster board. The signs read:

“What would you say to Michelle Shocked if you had waited to hear her side of the story not what was reported? Were you there?”

“Is Michelle Shocked obligated to publicly state her personal view about Prop 8?”

“Does speech really scare you that much?”

“Is it possible Michelle Shocked was a target of fear-mongering in the name of a protection racket?”

Shocked told the Weekly, via the dry-erase board she was using as her only means of communication, “ They shouldn’t have allowed it to be triangulated until my side of the story was represented.”

Shocked also indicated that she intends to stay silent for a total of three days.

Tony Russomanno, a local gay rights activist, lives nearby Moe’s and came over once he heard that Shocked was here. He stood over her as she loudly strummed her guitar.

“I feel pity for her,” he said plainly. “If she had a hat out here, maybe I’d throw a dime into her hat.”

Earlier today Shocked tweeted, “Moe's in S Cruz tonight ok? Its an art project 'My Summer Vacation' I want your autograph. Bring Sharpie. #truthvsreality.”

Russomanno responded to this, speaking loudly over her strumming so she could hear, “Michelle Shocked said she was on vacation, coming to Santa Cruz. And I’m wondering what she was on vacation from, since her show was cancelled due to her homophobic rant. So she doesn’t have a job to be on vacation from…She’s strumming away. I haven’t heard anything too artistic yet.”

Moe’s owner Welch, who refers to Shocked as a friend, said he cancelled her performance because the venue “will not tolerate bigotry or hateful views from anyone, regardless of musical talent.”

As Shocked played, he told the Weekly, “This is unexpected. She just showed up. Why? I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s gonna solve any of her problems…She’s a very talented musician but I think she said some things that were pretty dumb…It’s sad, the whole situation.”

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Johnny at the Harbor

    You tell em Michelle…free speech is just that, free speech…when you’re doing a show like yours,,,someones going to get offended…so what..mamby pamby people nowadays….go get em girl…

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Johnny at the Harbor

    You tell em Michelle…free speech is just that, free speech…when you’re doing a show like yours,,,someones going to get offended…so what..mamby pamby people nowadays….go get em girl…

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Lynn Jacob

    OK, you’ve got my ear, Michelle. WHAT IS ‘your side of the story’? Were all the people who walked out of Yoshi’s NOT understanding what you were saying? I want to make space for you to tell me what really did happen… would you please tell us your side of this?
    Having made a large portion of your career from LGBT people, I’m sure you can understand that we are shocked and dismayed at what we have been told. Please tell us otherwise, if we have been mislead. Otherwise, you cannot be too shocked and dismayed at this outcome.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Lynn Jacob

    OK, you’ve got my ear, Michelle. WHAT IS ‘your side of the story’? Were all the people who walked out of Yoshi’s NOT understanding what you were saying? I want to make space for you to tell me what really did happen… would you please tell us your side of this?
    Having made a large portion of your career from LGBT people, I’m sure you can understand that we are shocked and dismayed at what we have been told. Please tell us otherwise, if we have been mislead. Otherwise, you cannot be too shocked and dismayed at this outcome.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Rabbit

    Didn’t pay my ticket price to hear I am doomed because of who I do!!  I can hit a church for that.. Came to hear muSAK

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Rabbit

    Didn’t pay my ticket price to hear I am doomed because of who I do!!  I can hit a church for that.. Came to hear muSAK

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Robert Singleton

    Freedom is a two way street. You can say whatever you want, that is free speech and a right. But I also have the freedom to not tolerate it, or if I am a private club owner/promoter, I also have the freedom to not it give my business.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Robert Singleton

    Freedom is a two way street. You can say whatever you want, that is free speech and a right. But I also have the freedom to not tolerate it, or if I am a private club owner/promoter, I also have the freedom to not it give my business.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Kyle

    Why she so crazy thoe?

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Kyle

    Why she so crazy thoe?

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Tony Russomanno

    Audio from the entire 23 minute Yoshi’s show is posted here: https://soundcloud.com/therealtofuandwhiskey/michelle-shocked-2nd-yoshis

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Tony Russomanno

    Audio from the entire 23 minute Yoshi’s show is posted here: https://soundcloud.com/therealtofuandwhiskey/michelle-shocked-2nd-yoshis

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Jim Binwin

    No.  Free speech means that she should be able to say anything free of consequences.  You don’t get to “un-book” her appearance.  That’s illegal.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Jim Binwin

    No.  Free speech means that she should be able to say anything free of consequences.  You don’t get to “un-book” her appearance.  That’s illegal.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley John

    Actually, you can’t say “anything” you want. You will go to jail for shouting “fire!” in a theater, for example. Anyway, freedom of speech is only about government restraint. Private parties are perfectly free to censor and reject each other’s speech. And performance contracts are usually revocable by either side. Just ask Morrissey.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html John

    Actually, you can’t say “anything” you want. You will go to jail for shouting “fire!” in a theater, for example. Anyway, freedom of speech is only about government restraint. Private parties are perfectly free to censor and reject each other’s speech. And performance contracts are usually revocable by either side. Just ask Morrissey.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Tina

    “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” That is Michelle Shocked’s constitutional right to free speech. If someone went to work and told all the women that work there that they should be beaten to death for not being housewives, that person would be fired, and rightly so. Shocked has the right to speak her opinions, and she is legally protected from government censure for speaking them. But we, as private citizens, have the legal right to shun her for them.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Tina

    “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” That is Michelle Shocked’s constitutional right to free speech. If someone went to work and told all the women that work there that they should be beaten to death for not being housewives, that person would be fired, and rightly so. Shocked has the right to speak her opinions, and she is legally protected from government censure for speaking them. But we, as private citizens, have the legal right to shun her for them.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley MrE

    Free Speech protects you from the Government … it does nothing to protect you from me or any other citizen. People have every right to react to what is said in their own way, so long as it doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights. If you take a stand that is unpopular, people who don’t agree with you may make judgments about you based on your publicly stated beliefs and may withdraw their support from you (or even take action against you), and that shouldn’t be a surprised.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html MrE

    Free Speech protects you from the Government … it does nothing to protect you from me or any other citizen. People have every right to react to what is said in their own way, so long as it doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights. If you take a stand that is unpopular, people who don’t agree with you may make judgments about you based on your publicly stated beliefs and may withdraw their support from you (or even take action against you), and that shouldn’t be a surprised.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Tony Russomanno

    MrE, Tina, John and Robert, you are correct. Freedom of speech means freedom to publish without government pre-publication censorship. Those words are specific and have specific meaning. It absolutely does not mean freedom to infringe on private property, or freedom to overrule a concert booker’s decision on who to hire for his shows. To Robert’s specific point, “un-booking” an act is a function of a contract between the two parties. Most talent contracts have boilerplate language giving the employer the right to cancel the contract for any number of reasons. I had to negotiate that language on my behalf for many years.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Tony Russomanno

    MrE, Tina, John and Robert, you are correct. Freedom of speech means freedom to publish without government pre-publication censorship. Those words are specific and have specific meaning. It absolutely does not mean freedom to infringe on private property, or freedom to overrule a concert booker’s decision on who to hire for his shows. To Robert’s specific point, “un-booking” an act is a function of a contract between the two parties. Most talent contracts have boilerplate language giving the employer the right to cancel the contract for any number of reasons. I had to negotiate that language on my behalf for many years.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Brett

    The more she said, the deeper the hole she was digging for herself.  Her act may play well in ultra-conservative areas and so be it.  It does not play well here.

    I don’t understand why gender can be a barrier to the love between two people, irregardless of their faith.  I would have walked out at Yoshi’s too.  Free speech is awesome but intelligent folks know there is a reason we have two ears and only one mouth.

    How about my right to listen to what I chose to hear?

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Brett

    The more she said, the deeper the hole she was digging for herself.  Her act may play well in ultra-conservative areas and so be it.  It does not play well here.

    I don’t understand why gender can be a barrier to the love between two people, irregardless of their faith.  I would have walked out at Yoshi’s too.  Free speech is awesome but intelligent folks know there is a reason we have two ears and only one mouth.

    How about my right to listen to what I chose to hear?

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Jim Bob

    Just the act of “un-booking her” is considered speech. Speech works two ways. It’s a pretty simple concept.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Jim Bob

    Just the act of “un-booking her” is considered speech. Speech works two ways. It’s a pretty simple concept.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/03/28/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley Kimber Spooner

    Laura Love posted a thoughtful and quite provocative about what Michelle Shocked is going through right now.  According to Laura, she is witnessing mental sickness and believes M.S. needs professional help. I read this before I heard about her showing up in Santa Cruz and this most recent act only furthers my belief that Michelle is indeed quite ill.

  • http://www.santacruz.com/news/michelle_shocked_crashes_moes_alley.html Kimber Spooner

    Laura Love posted a thoughtful and quite provocative about what Michelle Shocked is going through right now.  According to Laura, she is witnessing mental sickness and believes M.S. needs professional help. I read this before I heard about her showing up in Santa Cruz and this most recent act only furthers my belief that Michelle is indeed quite ill.