Mountain View Voice

News - August 31, 2012

Rapper E-40 says city officials kept him out of Shoreline show

MV city officials say they've got no say over Rock the Bells lineup

by Daniel DeBolt

When the Rock the Bells hip hop festival hit the Shoreline Amphitheater on Aug. 25, Bay Area hip hop icons Too Short and E-40 were conspicuously absent after performing in the first leg of the tour in San Bernardino.

E-40 claims Mountain View doesn't want the duo at Shoreline, but city officials say they have nothing to do with the show's line-up.

"For some reason, the city of Mountain View won't let E-40 and Too Short perform," E-40 said in an interview with Fuse TV last week.

"They can't even give us an excuse or nothing. The city of Mountain View don't want E-40 or Too Short to perform. They don't want us performing on our own soil."

In an interview with another local media outlet, E-40 says it is the "third or fourth year in a row" that he's been kept from performing at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, and that he trusts it's not because the organizers don't want him, calling them "good people."

City Manager Dan Rich says the city is not to blame. While the city works closely with the Shoreline Amphitheatre's operator, Live Nation, to make sure concerts are safe, Rich said he is unaware of "any conversation with city officials about the artist line-up and have no idea why that is what is being said."

Violence at Shoreline is occasionally an issue during and after concerts, including a fatal shooting after the 2005 KMEL Summer Jam and a multiple stabbing during a brawl at the 2009 KISS FM Old School Fiesta. In 1995, KMEL and Bill Graham Presents accused Too Short of being involved in a scuffle backstage at the amphitheatre, causing that year's KMEL Summer Jam to end before E-40 could go on stage.

"The City of Mountain View does not dictate or necessarily have control over who performs at the Shoreline Amphitheatre," said a statement Rich sent to the Voice. "Live Nation makes those types of business decisions for the Shoreline Amphitheatre. In this particular case regarding Too Short and E-40, no one from the police department, city attorney's office, city manager's office, or any member of our council had any discussions with a Live Nation employee over the line-up at Rock the Bells."

Event organizer Chang Weisberg said in a statement issued by Live Nation that efforts are under way to have Too Short and E-40 at the 10th anniversary of the show next year.

"In an effort to bring clarity to the issue of E-40 and Too Short not being on this year's Bay Area Rock The Bells Festival, we are currently in the process of working with Live Nation and the City of Mountain View to allow E-40 and Too Short to be a part of the 10-year anniversary next year," Weisberg said.

"E-40 and Too Short have made historic performances at our other festivals. We look forward to working closely with both of these artists and the local community to bring them back. Unfortunately, we were unable to get it done this year, but we are excited that the process is under way to have these two Bay Area legends return to Rock The Bells very soon."

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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