Reverend Horton Heat, the stage name of American musician Jim Heath, is refusing to listen to government advice surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and will not cancel his tour dates.
Heath, who has been described as the “godfather of modern rockabilly and psychobilly” by many of his fans, will continue to play live shows despite the major health risks of large gatherings.
“Reverend Horton Heat is NOT cancelling ANY gigs because of Covid-19,” he wrote on Facebook. “Any gigs that are cancelled will be because the promoters cancelled. I encourage everyone who lives in a jurisdiction where local governments are restricting rock and roll to push back.
He added: “Write emails and call your local government agencies to remind them that we have the right to assembly. They can’t stop rock and roll!”
Alas, Heath’s desire to keep rock music rolling has proven to be more nothing more than a financially driven decision… much to our shock. After being encouraged to reschedule the shows, Heath replied: “My crew guys have bills to pay. If you don’t want to come to the show, it’s your right not too. I’m for rock and roll. I’m for freedom.”
Later, he was branded selfish for his decision. Undeterred by criticism, Heath doubled down on his comments: “My crew members, my band and their families rely on RHH. They have mouths to feed, college tuition to pay etc. but that’s beside the point.”
He added: “The point is that life goes on. You can’t stop rock and roll. Party!”
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of 15 March, more than 157,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed but the number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 5,800 people having died from the virus, coronavirus has now spread into more than 130 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO has now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.