Artist News

Andrew WK no longer a cultural ambassador

By | Published on Tuesday 27 November 2012

Andrew WK

Ah, for 24 hours we lived in a world where Andrew WK was going to spread the message of peace and partying on behalf of the American people, but then some square at the top got wind of the project, gave WK’s greatest hits a quick spin, and now the whole thing’s off.

As previously reported, WK announced this weekend that he was heading for Bahrain where he’d deliver some of his famous motivational speeches at schools, music venues and a university, all at the invitation of the US State Department and America’s Bahraini embassy. The rocker told reporters: “I feel very privileged and humbled by the chance to represent the United States Of America and show the good people of Bahrain the power of positive partying”.

But then yesterday, just as the world braced itself for an end to all conflict in the Middle East at the hands of the ‘Party Hard’ geezer, the big JPEG promoting the mission on WK’s own website was altered so to include a bit fat ‘CANCELLED BY THE US STATE DEPT’ line on it.

An accompanying statement read: “After a year of planning and development, the US State Department has unexpectedly cancelled their plans for Andrew’s trip to the Middle East this week, after changing their minds and deciding that it was ‘a mistake and not appropriate’. More information and a statement from Andrew coming soon”.

Reports suggest that the original idea for WK’s trip came from someone living in Bahrain who approached the local US embassy about it co-sponsoring the initiative. The embassy, which routinely backs cultural trips to the country, initially agreed to support WK’s talks, but backed out after more senior staff reviewed the rocker’s songs, including ‘Party Til You Puke’ and ‘Girls Own Juice’.

A spokesman for the State Department told Reuters: “[The trip] was initially approved and then when more senior management at the embassy took a look at this, the conclusion was that this was not an appropriate use of US government funds. The conclusion was, when they looked at the body of his work, that we didn’t need to be part of this invitation. There may have been some preliminary conversations with him but he is not going to be going to Bahrain on the US government’s dime”.

So there you have it. I think the world is a slightly less good place than this time yesterday.