U. S. Tobacco's Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare

Screen shot taken this morning of a page on the R.O.A.R. tour web site. Note that 60ft Dolls are included in the line-up. Their management says they never agreed to participate in the tour.

U.S. Tobacco's attempts to create a positive link between rock 'n'

roll and smokeless tobacco with this summer's R.O.A.R. rock tour appear to be

going up in flames.

Not only has Natasha Hale, co-manager of British pop

stars 60ft Dolls, a band currently listed on the R.O.A.R. (Revelation of

Alternative Rhythms) Tour web site as

being part of the line-up, stated that smoking is "a disgusting unhealthy

addictive habit...," but both of the group's managers say the Dolls never

agreed to participate in the tour. "We turned it [a place on the tour] down

purely because of its involvement with tobacco," Hale wrote in a May 6, 1997

letter to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids that ATN acquired a copy of

yesterday.

Hugh Williams, the other co-manager told ATN this morning (May

20) that, "We were never confirmed to do this tour. I'm surprised we were on

any literature."

In her letter to the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids Hale

wrote, "I want to make it as clear to you as I possibly can that 60ft Dolls are

not playing on any of the R.O.A.R. dates... The main singer, songwriter in the

group [Richard Parfitt] is an anti smoker and so did not want to do the

shows."

U.S. Tobacco recently recognized R.O.A.R.'s potential to become a

public relations fire hazard. Last Wednesday (May 14), the company issued a

press release announcing that it would "modify certain aspects of its

sponsorship, including removal of references to our sponsorship from all future

R.O.A.R. Tour print advertising, press releases and promotional material." The

release noted that "some such reference will occur in books (e.g., magazines)

already printed."

While Dolls manager Williams offered the band's support

for the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, he said, "We'd rather not be so vocal

about [the tour]. We'd rather say we'll leave it at that and not be seen to be

screaming and shouting about it. Because we were never at the stage where we

were doing the tour any way."

Alan Kaiser, spokesperson for U.S. Tobacco

could not explain why the band is listed as part of the tour lineup...

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