Marilyn Manson Wins Case Of Canceled Concert

Judge rules that arena proprietor had no right to stop shock-rocker's August show.

Although the judgment came about six months too late for fans in Calgary,

Alberta, shock-rocker Marilyn Manson has won a belated victory of sorts against

the Calgary group that canceled his July 25 show in that city.

"I'm quite thrilled to finally be proven that I was right all along," said Mark

Norman, senior V.P. for Universal Concerts Canada, the concert promotions firm

that had gone to court seeking damages from Larry Ryckman, who was in charge of

the arena where the show was scheduled to play.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Russell Dixon handed down a summary judgment on

Wednesday in which he found Ryckman Amateur Sports Society liable for breaking a

contract to host the band in the venue. The justice scheduled a later hearing to

determine monetary awards in the case. UCC had been seeking $66,000 in damages.

Following the show cancellation, Ryckman was forced to surrender management of

the venue, the Max Bell Arena, on Aug. 8 -- after defaulting on the lease and

owing approximately $75,000 in back taxes and utility bills, according to Mike

Gavan, current superintendent of the venue.

At the time when he canceled the performance -- two weeks before it was to take

place -- Ryckman said that Manson would never play his arena, despite the fact

that the show had been booked for some time. He also said that he refused to

allow Manson to perform at the arena because he claimed he was never made aware

of Manson's "offensive" stage show, which includes Bible ripping, profanity and

sexually suggestive behavior.

Mike Mestinsek, lawyer for Ryckman's Amateur Sports Society, said his client

believes Norman misrepresented Manson's act. "There are controversial rock acts

and then there are those that are obscene and demeaning," he said. "They were

far more than controversial. That's the crucial issue."

The judge ruled, however, that Ryckman had been told in advance of the band's

controversial reputation. "We made him well aware of it, in an affidavit,"

Norman said, adding that he had conversations with Ryckman's people and sent

them resumes with the phone numbers of the buildings that Manson had played and

the promoters who had worked with them -- along with a list of phone numbers for

the police in those cities. "They said they didn't need them," he added.

Norman called the effort "far above standard procedure" and said he took the

action because he was well aware of the controversy surrounding Manson's act. "I

left it up to them to call the numbers."

While happy for the victory, he said he was less optimistic about the

possibility of winning the damages that his client had been seeking. "The

unfortunate thing is that at the end of the day, it will cost me $25,000 that

won't be recovered, because you can't get money from a stone."

[Fri., Dec. 12, 1997, 9 a.m. PST]