Lesson to all potential Fall Out Boy hecklers: If you plan on plying your craft, perhaps it's better to do so from the relative anonymity of the arena cheap seats rather than during a private party attended by roughly 200 industry peeps and/or friends of FOB.
That latter scenario is exactly what went down early Tuesday morning (June 12) at Chicago rock club Schuba's, which hosted a Spin magazine party following Fall Out Boy's concert at the nearby Charter One Pavilion. The band was scheduled to perform a brief acoustic set at the soiree, but thanks to one particularly aggressive patron, bassist Pete Wentz decided to add a full-blown beatdown to the festivities.
According to a Schuba's patron — who requested anonymity — in between songs during FOB's set, "a guy started calling Pete a sell-out, asking him 'Where's [girlfriend] Ashlee [Simpson]?' and making fun of his hoodie." (See "Pete Wentz Denies Working With Ashlee: 'I Want No Part In Selling A Relationship.' ")
Wentz apparently laughed the incident off — and even engaged in a little good-natured jawing with the heckler — but when FOB exited the club's tiny stage, things quickly sparked back up again.
"They did their last song, walked off the stage and headed toward a side door to go out onto the sidewalk. But that's when the scuffle happened," the concertgoer told MTV News. "The crowd surged back, then snapped forward. From my vantage point, I could see Fall Out Boy security was pounding on the guy. The guy was down on floor, shirt ripped, bleeding from ear and nose. There was a lot of blood."
From there, FOB were escorted out of the club, and the heckler "was helped up by his friends." According to the concertgoer, Chicago police were called to the scene, though it wasn't clear if any charges were filed; at press time, the Chicago Police Department had not granted MTV News' requests for information on the incident.
The story quickly began to make the rounds on FOB messageboards and celebrity gossip sites, but according to Wentz, most of them got it wrong.
As Wentz told MTV News, this wasn't just a case of him beating down some dude who was poking fun at his hoodie, but rather a case of self-defense.
"The story on the Internet is absolutely false," he wrote in an e-mail. "Yes, we were playing an acoustic afterparty for Spin. It was a good time for the most part. Yes, the guy was heckling me and the band, so were other people, most in good fun. But we get heckled onstage all the time, and while I'm a jerk, I'm not the kind of person who would ever lash out at someone simply over this. I mean I'm not as big as Akon and haven't written as many good songs. [See "Akon's Attorney Denies Criminal Conduct in Fan-Throwing Incident."
"The truth is on the way out the door I had to pass directly next to the guy and I knew it, so I kept my head down and walked out. As I did, the guy reached out and grabbed me and said something I couldn't really hear — it was a glorious use of the English language, though," he continued. "As he grabbed me, I punched him. Yell all you want at me, say whatever, but in a situation like that I will defend myself. After that, of course, it got chaotic, [but] we have several independent witnesses that gave statements saying he grabbed me first ... I am not worried over the outcome, as I was clearly in the right. Anything anyone else is saying or writing is simply not true."
The scrap at Schuba's is the second Wentz has been involved in this year. In January, he battled a security guard at the Sunshine Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after the guard allegedly shoved a member of FOB's security team (see "Pete Wentz's Punch-Out: Fall Out Boy Bassist Fights Security At Wild Gig"). No charges were filed in that incident.