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Tours de Farce: Letter Perfect

12:00 AM Friday 7/22/05 | |

Before we get started, we'd like to say that we were as shocked as anyone else.

About the tour schedules posted on this Web site, that is. We've been posting concert itineraries for years and years, and we've never had this problem before. Not with Luciano Pavarotti, nor with New Model Army, and definitely not with Red Elvises, Eels and Sleater - Kinney. In fact, we never even dreamed it was possible. That is, until that senator started yappin' about us on TV.

After all, how were we to know that rearranging the letters in certain artist and band names would result in descriptions of sexual perversion and gratuitous violence? We've been posting concert calendars on the Web since 1931 and we never dreamed such a thing was possible.

But we can't argue with the evidence. As Bill O'Reilly pointed out last night on Fox, if you take some of the letters found in names like Jimmy Buffett, Paul McCartney and The Kissers, you can recombine them to spell words and phrases that are not fit to print on a family Web site such as this one. Needless to say, we were shocked. Yes, shocked that something like this could happen in this day and age.

However, that's not to say it's our fault. It's not like we're doing the rearranging. We're not the ones taking some of the letters used to spell KillRadio and The Nadas, and turning them into lewd and lascivious phrases. Instead, that's the work of a few dirty-minded users. They're the ones turning Pollstar.com into a smutfest. Not us.

But isn't that how these things go? It only takes a few irresponsible people to ruin the fun for the rest of us. They take the letters used to spell artist names like Bruce Springsteen and David Gray, and combine them with the letters most people use to spell out Green Day or Emmylou Harris, and then recombine them to spell something so obscene that we can't even mention it in public. The next thing you know, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are decrying us as yet another example of liberals ruining American society with detailed descriptions of perverse acts and deviant behavior.

That's why we've taken steps to remedy this situation once and for all. For starters, we're removing specific letters from our Web site, so that certain miscreants won't be tempted to rearrange them into spelling out something naughty. From this day forward Green Day will be listed as Grn Dy, Hilary Duff as Hil Df and U2 as Ewe Too. As you can guess, it might take a while to remove all the potentially offensive letters in names like KMFDM, John Butler Trio and Franz Ferdinand, but rest assured, we're working on it.

In the meantime, we'd like to send this message to all the perverted and immoral miscreants out there that think it's a great joke to take the letters used in spelling artists' names like Neil Diamond and Tori Amos, and then rearrange them in an obscene manner: This is ending right now. No longer will you be able to mess with the names like Nnenna Freelon and Rufus Wainwright. No longer will you be able to take certain letters from band names like Judas Priest, System Of A Down and Pixies and rearrange them to spell out a particular act that most God-fearing concert fans find totally sinful and obnoxious. No longer will you have the capability to ruin the good clean itineraries for Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones with your putrid smut and your wicked, wicked ways. Not here. Not on Pollstar.com.

Pollstar Premium on the other hand - well, that's a different story. After all, membership does have its priveledges.