With the one-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon looming, most artists touring the U.S. are planning a solemn day off for Sept. 11. The Rolling Stones tour, which opens Sept. 3 in Boston, will skip that date, as will outings by Cher, the Goo Goo Dolls, Aerosmith and Bonnie Raitt/Lyle Lovett. George Strait will wait until Sept. 12 to start his next trek, while tours by Bruce Springsteen, the Who, Jimmy Buffett, Santana and Creed have all scheduled multiweek breaks that keep them off the road on Sept. 11.
Most in the touring community believe Americans will want to spend Sept. 11 quietly at home with their families. "I think that everyone _ agents, artists, promoters _ all felt the same way: We should not be playing that night this year," says Larry Vallon, senior vice president of House of Blues Concerts. "Partying down with rock stars doesn't seem to be the most appropriate thing."
(According to ticketmaster.com, major concert halls in the Tampa Bay area so far do not have shows scheduled for Sept. 11.)
Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac says he wouldn't have minded playing that day, and that he was not involved in the decision not to. "The idea behind the whole (terrorist plot), you gotta remember, is to foil everyday life. So if we had had a show that day, I wouldn't have said I didn't want to play."
Booking giant Clear Channel Entertainment did not set a corporate policy for the date; however, few of its venues are booked for Sept. 11. One exception is Saratoga, Calif.'s Mountain Winery, which has slotted Jewel for that date. Kenny Rogers will perform that night at the Skyreach Centre in Edmonton.
TBA Entertainment's Charlie Brusco is readying two fund-raisers for families of the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police victims, starring such bands as Styx, Bad Company, REO Speedwagon and Survivor. But Brusco is planning the gigs for October.
Several musical tributes appear to be in the works for Sept. 11. The President's Commission on the Arts and Humanities _ headed by first lady Laura Bush _ is developing "A Concert for America 2002" at Washington, D.C.,'s Kennedy Center. Pop and classical artists will be on the bill.
New York's Madison Square Garden has put a hold on Sept. 11. Creative Artists Agency's John Huie says some of his artists have been asked to participate in a gospel-oriented affair, "An Evening of Hope and Grace," tentatively planned at the venue.
In addition, a group of Seattle singers is organizing a series of worldwide choir performances of Mozart's Requiem for Sept. 11 and already has 30 choirs signed on. Each performance will begin at 8:46 a.m. locally _ the time of the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York _ starting at the International Date Line and moving westward.