[Updated] The Roots Reportedly Pull Out Of David Bowie Tribute Concerts

By Andy Kahn Mar 31, 2016 10:40 am PDT


  • Mar 31, 2016 • 10:40 am PDT

    Event producer Michael Dorf issued the following statement regarding The Roots cancellation to Spin magazine:

    There was a miscommunication about the use of the Holy Holy’s drum kit last night on the tight City Winery stage for the rehearsal show. Very unfortunate. I would hope that after a nights sleep and knowing we have a much larger stage with multiple drum kits and other equipment that The Roots will still join us this evening. They have been a regular part of our tribute series and we deeply love and respect them. I remain hopeful they will still join the important celebration of David Bowie’s music tonight and tomorrow and the two sold out shows can experience their powerful performance as one of the 20 amazing songs planned.

Tonight and tomorrow night New York City will play host to a pair of The Music Of David Bowie tribute concerts produced by Michael Dorf. It appears The Roots will no longer be participating in the all-star event at Carnegie Hall tonight or at Radio City Music Hall on Friday night.

According to a message from drummer Questlove, a disagreement regarding the sharing of equipment led The Tonight Show house band, as well as collaborators Bilal and Kimbra, to back out of the two concerts. In an Instagram post, Questlove shared a bit of background on the decision to cancel their appearance, writing:

Mood. I’ve never been so insecure or petty as to deny a fellow musician use of ANY of my equipment (or my band’s equipment—-or resources or contacts or knowledge or ANYTHING) it angers me when that same courtesy is not reciprocated. (Believe you me I was about to get #TomPetty or #PettyWap or #PetRockAndCLSmooth or #BlackPetty or however you wanna roll wit it)—keeping a level head and not being self destructive is a weak point I’m working on. But I’m also keeping it true: The Roots/Bilal/Kimbra (w/ Wendy Melvoin, DD Jackson & Ray Angry) pulled out of these Bowie gigs. We have patience. But we do NOT have patience for the #Bitchassness. Enjoy your precious equipment.

Among the artists still expected to appear tonight at Carnegie Hall includes Debbie Harry, Pixies, The Flaming Lips, J Mascis, Ricki Lee Jones, Michael Stipe, Jakob Dylan, Cat Power, The Mountain Goats and more. Friday’s concert at Radio City, which is available to webcast, will feature many of the same performers as well as Mumford & Sons, Esperanza Spalding, Ann Wilson, The Polyphonic Spree and others.

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