On the Beat

Joe Walsh playing North Carolina, under protest

Joe Walsh in concert with The Eagles in concert at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC Friday night, Feb. 28, 2014.
Joe Walsh in concert with The Eagles in concert at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC Friday night, Feb. 28, 2014. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

Joe Walsh is the latest prominent musician to weigh in against North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2.

The Eagles guitarist has two North Carolina dates scheduled this summer, including Aug. 9 at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. In a statement on his website, Walsh announced his plans to play both shows with net profits earmarked for Equality NC and the ACLU. He also urged repeal of the law; the complete statement is below.

Walsh’s announcement follows similar moves by the Lumineers, scheduled for Sept. 15 at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre; and Dave Matthews Band, playing Friday in Charlotte. Cyndi Lauper’s upcoming June 4 Raleigh show is also an anti-HB2 benefit.

Last week, both Maroon 5 and Itzhak Perlman canceled Raleigh shows to protest the law, joining a list that includes Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr, Demi Lovato, Ani DiFranco, Boston and Cirque du Soleil.

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Joe Walsh message to his fans about playing in North Carolina:

I have a few shows coming up in North Carolina: June 30th in Charlotte at the PNC Pavilion on my tour with Bad Company and August 9th in Raleigh at the Red Hat Amphitheater as part of my solo run. North Carolina has been in the news lately because of the new legislation passed (HB-2) that dictates which bathrooms transgender individuals are to use and overrules LGBT anti-discrimination measures passed by local governments in the state of North Carolina. It also deprives the rights of LGBT persons to fight back when their rights are denied in the workplace.

This legislation is deeply disconcerting and offensive to me and it hits close to home because, in addition to my diverse friends and peers from all walks of life, I have a gay stepson of whom I am very proud and that this legislation would directly affect. Because I am against discrimination of any kind, I encourage a full repeal of this law.

I believe that music is a language that connects people – without bias – and that my shows are a place where all are welcome and all can feel safe. This is why I have chosen to proceed with concert dates as planned in North Carolina and will be donating my net profits to Equality NC and the ACLU. Both of these organizations will be on site at my show passing out information and collecting donations. You can also find links to their pages on my website where you can get more information or make a donation. Please consider contributing to these organizations who are working to repeal HB-2 and join me in coming together to protect equal rights for everyone including our LGBT children today and for years to come.

With gratitude and love,

Joe Walsh

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi