Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel Wages PR War Against Concert Promoter
Jake E. Lee fans who turned out for his band Red Dragon Cartel's June 6 gig in Wolverhampton, U.K. found themselves turned away after the show was canceled at the last minute -- and the circumstances surrounding the cancellation may have an effect on the rest of the band's British tour.
Classic Rock Magazine reports that the show, due to take place at Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, was abruptly called off via an announcement adhered to the door of the club. Offering refunds and apologies, the note explained that the concert wouldn't be happening because of "unforeseen circumstances" -- something Lee disputed by taking a marker and scrawling on the glass that "Jake E. Lee was here and ready to go!" CRM notes that Lee added a second note, which "named promoter Denise Dale as the person responsible for the call-off."
Red Dragon Cartel drummer Jonas Fairley weighed in via his Facebook page, posting a snapshot of Lee's graffiti over the note and writing, "Total f---ing joke. The Red Dragon cartel sincerely apologizes. This decision was made by a completely unreasonable, immature, unprofessional booking agent."
Not surprisingly, Dale disputes the band's version of events; in fact, she argues that canceling the show was a matter of keeping her company out of legal hot water. CRM's article quotes her as saying, "Jake E. Lee's American girlfriend is in the U.K. on a tourist visa, but has been helping to sell merchandise and stating she's taken over management of the band. Neither of these is permitted on a tourist visa. When she was asked to leave the premises she and Jake E. Lee refused. The show could not go ahead under these circumstances -- it is a criminal offense for a U.S. citizen to work in the U.K. without the correct visa. Allowing the shows to go ahead would have put Metal Music Bookings and the promoters in contravention of U.K. law."
The band has already fired back with a Facebook post of its own, calling Dale's allegations "categorically false and untrue" and accusing her of harassing their "tour manager and guitar tech, demanding they leave and threatened arrest based on groundless empty claims." Alluding to "philosophical differences" between Dale "and a close personal friend of Jake's," the post accuses her of "a series of unprofessional, childish actions" and insists, "Mrs. Dale was given multiple opportunities and solutions to defuse the situation. She refused and chose to escalate matters."
Unfortunately for Red Dragon Cartel, the Wolverhampton gig wasn't the only one canceled; as Dale pointed out in her rebuttal to the band's claims, "Another promoter has now cancelled the Buckley Tivoli show on June 13. It is not in our interest to cancel shows for any of our artists. The shows are cancelled for the reasons outlined."
CRM's report points out that the group's U.K. tour is currently scheduled to conclude on June 15 at the Download Festival, but if Dale's version of events is true, festival organizers may need to make a change. Either way, this is a disappointing setback for Lee, whose work with Red Dragon Cartel represents a return to the spotlight after years of keeping a low profile following his abrupt exit from Ozzy Osbourne's band. Here's hoping everything gets sorted out in time for the show to go on as planned.