Stevie Nicks is playing three shows in New Zealand in the coming months with the Pretenders opening. Sounds kind of cool, but I’d have to wonder why someone like Chrissie Hynde, or Stevie Nicks, or anybody with morals for that matter, would want to play music, tour countries, or even be in the same room with somebody convicted of possessing and duplicating child pornography.
Yeah, the current guitarist in Stevie Nicks’ touring band (due in NZ in a new weeks), Robert “Waddy” Wachtel took his computer to get repairs and a technician found child porn within and called the police. The police then raided Waddy’s home and found that “he had a computer with child pornography,” said a detective with the juvenile sex crimes unit.
This man should have lost his career, or whatever was left of it. But not only did Stevie Nicks think he was the best person to take Lindsey Buckingham’s proverbial place on the guitar, he seems to be having no trouble popping in and out of different countries as the tour necessitates – including most recently Australia and New Zealand. Quite the life. He hasn’t touched down in NZ yet, their first date isn’t for another two weeks, but seems to have slipped under the radar in Australia at least.
I think it shows an incredibly shocking disregard to not only Waddy’s victims, but all victims of pedophilia and abuse, that he can stand on stage like some idol every night with a living legend, his hair swimming in the wind while he cranks out the most impressive notes and licks on his guitar, lapping up the crowd’s applause and adulation from his solo spot. This abuser gets to go back to his paid-for hotel suite, check his emails, probably some other stuff, and go to bed comfortably thinking “Wow, I blew those people’s minds tonight, what a great gig!”, and get paid a few grand for an hour and a half’s work. I wonder how many parents of abused children might go along to the gig for a fun night out without even realising they’re supporting an abuser.
I think, considering recent events in the media, and considering our new PM’s progressive stance, we shouldn’t let him in the country. It’s not about how big a celebrity he is (or isn’t), it’s about a known pedophile utilising our country ‘s resources to make money. No one should be exempt, we can’t just focus on the people who might get more clicks – ala Spacey, Weinstein et al.
People, specifically entertainers -even more specifically black entertainers – have been barred entry in to NZ for less. Much less.
Odd Future were banned entirely from entering the country to perform a sold-out concert with Eminem at Western Springs – 55,000 odd tickets sold. Reasons cited were that fans had allegedly rioted at their concerts before. Ironic considering one of NZ’s most beloved performers, Dave Dobbyn, is most infamous for apparently sparking the Queen St Riots. If you’re seriously worried about your community sparking a riot at a concert, maybe the problem is in the heads of those weak enough to do so. I could stand up and shout “RIOT!” out my window now, and if anyone was dumb enough to go looting they should be held accountable.
Beenie Man was dropped from the Big Day Out festival line up in 2010 because of his homophobic lyrics. A single person complained, Jay Bennie, who wasn’t even attending the festival. I don’t condone homophobia in the slightest, nor am I defending anyone who uses such bigoted language- but I can appreciate the oddball, offensive, insanity of early Eminem songs, for example, which do admittedly contain words like “homo” and “fag”. One of Eminem’s best mates is Elton John, so I doubt he has any true disinclination towards gay people. However, I have zero, zero, lenience for abusing people, children especially. It’s never funny, or clever, or artistic, or interesting. Beenie Man was also again dropped from the NZ Raggamuffin line up in 2014 for similar reasons as the Big Day Out.
Mike Tyson, who now does one-man shows sharing how he quit drugs and turned his life around, has been repeatedly barred from entering NZ where he had planned to speak at a charity event. Most recently, in 2012, being granted a visa, only to have it revoked after a complaint from a single Life Education Trust volunteer – which, ironically, was always the organisation that came to talk to us at school about drugs and alcohol, and whom Tyson had agreed to donate a portion of his earnings from his time in NZ to. The reasoning being that he was convicted of rape in 1992, which he denies, and is raft with controversial evidence. He was only supposed to be in the country for 20 hours.
But hey, I hope our happy, white pedophile Robert “Waddy” Wachtel has a great couple weeks here in New Zealand playing to stadium crowds, no doubt lapping up all the perks and benefits that come with being in a rock band touring both our beautiful islands, fresh from Australia. I’m sure those unaware will want photos with him, autographs, he might even receive some cool, free NZ merch. Contrarily, his victims lives are irreparably damaged, but he has not only gotten away with it, he is thriving.
It is now, when victims are gaining more and more courage to speak out, that we need to put our foot down and say no, it’s no ok, WE don’t want you here. Regardless of skin colour, or social or financial status. If I happened to see him in Real Groovy the next few weeks flipping through albums on a day off, I would drop him in a second.