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Now Trump denies he ever asked Bocelli to sing

December 20, 2016 by norman lebrecht

45 comments.


Tom Barrack, the head of Trump’s inauguration committee, has been doing a media round today denying that Donald J Trump ever asked the Italian crooner to perform on his big day.

Barrack told CNBC: ‘Bocelli and his wife … have been friends of Trump since the very beginning.’ He said Bocelli approached Trump with an offer to sing but ‘Donald said, “You don’t need to. We’re not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You’re my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.”‘

Bocelli is saying nuttin.

You decide.


Comments (45)

  1. Michael says:

    You lost me now. Who really cares? Seriously? I came to blogs like this because they give me a vehicle to forget about news, but you’ve successfully blown it for me.

    1. Olassus says:

      Yes, I hope Slipped Disc can remain a site free of the stuff we go to music to avoid.

      But the signs are not good … and it is easy to imagine how Russian S.D. readers may have been feeling over the Putin-bashing.

      1. jim says:

        Music exists in the world. Sometimes it is intimately intertwined with the events of our time. It can be political. It can also be a distraction, but Jehovah help us if that becomes its ultimate purpose – to get us all sticking our heads in the sand and withdrawing from the great issues of our time! I’m guessing you don’t care much for Shostakovich – he was not great at helping us “forget about the news”.

        1. Olassus says:

          You must be right. Bill O’Reilly on Fox News just covered this story, with Tomi Lahren as guest. O’Reilly suggested Bocelli may have been “threatened with reprisals” by the entertainment industry.

        2. Olassus says:

          I should quickly add that I don’t watch Fox News. The clip is on a Real Clear Politics summary.

    2. Pianofortissimo says:

      Well, maybe, and I wrote maybe, Mr Bocelli has been bullied not to sing in the American presidential inauguration. That is a relevant issue for a blogg dedicated to ‘classical music and related cultures.’

    3. David Nice says:

      Actually I may not care for some of the entries here – dead people I’ve never heard of, one irrelevant Trump note – but this is genuinely interesting and important. It connects ‘music’ with the world’s second most powerful liar (next to Putin, that is, should Trump really take up the Presidency in January). And it’s yet another link in the chain of falsehoods this horror-clown has already managed to spin in the weeks between the election and then.

  2. Petros Linardos says:

    Since when are we supposed take Trump at his word?

    1. Bruce says:

      Every single time, no matter what he says (or what he said before).

    2. Holly Golightly says:

      From January, 20, 2019. Let’s hope he won’t blow a hole in the budget like Obama did, or be anywhere near as weak. He’ll make mistakes, sure, but he won’t be sittin’ pretty in the Oval Office with his rappers talkin’ like a preacher man.

      1. V.Lind says:

        Oh, please. Your naïveté is unbecoming. It’s an excuse in advance for the tribe of followers, who are going to be let down (i.e. find out they were lied to, if they would but admit it), let alone for those who believe in the Constitution, ethical practices (first up, conflict of interest), very dangerous assertions — mostly on Twitter (watch out for China — they are not kidding about Taiwan), breaches of freedoms previously cherished by Americans (speech, press, assembly), and a return of racism the likes of which has not been witnessed in a century. To say nothing of anti-science people in science departments, anti-labour in any to do with work, anti-poor in social service areas, and everywhere anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-immogrant in general.

        Have you ever before seen the ascendence of a new President where the most one can hope for is that he is not as bad as he seems, and that he will not behave as badly and irrationally and unpredictable and irresponsibly as he has to date?

        He could start by taking intelligence briefings. Then he could binge The West Wing to get a feel for the scope of the job.

        1. Bruce says:

          Pretty sure that Holly’s “naïveté” is cynical in nature, not naïve. She comes across as someone who has hitched onto Trump for self-related reasons, and who will continue to say “yeah, yeah… that’s what I wanted” every time he changes his story.

        2. Christopher Culver says:

          “…and a return of racism the likes of which has not been witnessed in a century.”

          Why do you think that would bother Holly? She did, after all, recently make a racist remark about the Obamas so extremely that Mr. Lebrecht had to edit her comment and warn her not to do it again. Her comment on this story should be read in the light of that earlier one.

  3. Bruce says:

    This is probably technically true, in the sense that Trump himself may not have called Bocelli personally to make a direct request. If he told an underling “Let’s get Bocelli — call his manager,” then he can still say he never made the request. (Not that I believe Trump would bother with such hair-splitting)

  4. Martin Ramby says:

    I find it quite sad that our talented artists have to worry about destroying their careers if they sing at a GOP presidential inauguration.

    Have we really sunk that low?

    KEEP THE ARTS OUT OF POLITICS.

    1. jim says:

      Sorry, the arts were always in politics, and vice versa.

      1. Debby says:

        Of course the artists are a big part of the political world. They are the most upset about Clinton not winning. California gave her the popular vote. 4.8 million. Trump won the popular vote in the rest of the country.

        1. NYMike says:

          Your oft-repeated lie about CA giving HRC the popular vote doesn’t stand up to either logical or mathematical analysis. Try reading or looking at something besides Faux News. Twenty years of GOP gerrymandering on the local and state levels gave Herr Trump the Electoral College vote.

          1. Debby S. says:

            Actually it was not Faux Fox news. Investors Business Daly had a complete breakdown of the nationwide votes. I love Bocelli and would have liked to see him perform. I am a woman and Christian and have Hispanic grandchildren not polish grandchildren and am NOT a racist just an American and retired small business owner. I am NOT a radical like most on this site. I do believe that we have a new President taking office and look forward to many changes not the least of which is vetting and securing our borders and fixing our healthcare system.

          2. William Safford says:

            @Debby:

            I say the following without rancor or snark, but with great sadness:

            You are going to be disappointed.

            Trump is not going to fix health care. He is going to dismantle the reforms and leave millions of people high and dry.

            The dirty secret is that Obamacare IS the Republican health care plan. It was developed by the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation (pre- Tom DeLay), and first rolled out by Romney in Massachusetts before Obama took it national.

            The Republicans do not have an alternative plan because their plan is the law of the land! At least until the Republicans jettison it. Mind you, after over 60 symbolic votes in the House to overturn it when they knew that each vote was moot, now they plan to overturn it but delay it for three years — until after the midterm elections, so backlash won’t redound to them. How convenient.

            If Trump “secures the border,” it will be through a vast increase in the size and power and invasiveness of the police state, with the forced deportation of millions of people, and an enormous boondoggle of a construction project that will make military spending look parsimonious in comparison, and that will fill the coffers of his cronies and possibly himself.

            Just look to the people he intends to bring into his administration. He is not draining the swamp; he is stocking it.

            I believe you when you say that you are not racist. The same cannot be said about Trump and many of the people he wants to bring into his administration.

        2. Saxon Broken says:

          Eh…you can’t gerrymander state borders. The only place where gerrymandering can have an effect is in the House of Representatives since you can redraw boundaries within the state (and the effect of this on Congress is over-stated anyway).

    2. Debby S says:

      I think performing at an Inaugural would be a great honor! I think Maybe we should stop buying tickets to concerts for a performer that will not acknowledge that honor.

    3. Cyril Blair says:

      That’s what you think this is? “A GOP presidential inauguration”? Just any old GOP inauguration? It ain’t. Please allow the scales to fall from your eyes.

    4. Pianofortissimo says:

      The human is a political animal…

    5. Sixtus says:

      As Senator Tip O’Neill might have put it: All politics is vocal.

    6. David Nice says:

      a) this is not a ‘talented artist’ at the highest level and b) everything’s connected in this peculiar world of ours. Are you a Putin or Trump troll, perchance, Mr ‘Ramby’?

    7. William Safford says:

      The issue is not artists performing at “a” GOP Presidential inauguration.

      The issue is artists wisely declining to perform at *this individual’s* Presidential inauguration, irrespective of whether this President-elect were a Republican or a Democrat (since he has been both at different times over the years).

      I agree in the abstract that professionals, whether caterers cooking food for the reception or musicians performing at the ceremony, should not be vilified for being employed.

      The reality, however, trumps (so to speak) abstraction.

      This man is bringing poisonous policies and principles into power, and is about to enter the Presidency both corrupt and committing impeachable offenses.

      Few people want to risk being tainted by any association with him — unless, of course, they don’t view association with someone documented as doing everything from discriminating against African-Americans to groping women as taint.

      Finally, there is the small detail of the fact that he is known to stiff workers and contractors…

      1. Debby says:

        Trump has not even taken office yet and all these presumptions are just that. I suggest (but the haters never will) that we confirm his actions when he has been in office and actually the President. That is only fair and American. I voted for a businessman not a Sunday School Teacher.

        1. William Safford says:

          Have you paid attention to the news?

          He has not even taken the oath of office, yet:

          – He has insulted and offended the Chinese government by taking a call from the President of Taiwan;
          – He has threatened to renew the nuclear arms race with Russia, prompting Russia to launch a satellite-killer missile as a very strong signal;
          – He has attempted to interfere with Israeli-US diplomacy;
          – He has threatened to withdraw the U.S. from treaties to which we are signatories, ranging from Iran to Russia;
          – He has roiled stocks of companies ranging from Boeing to Lockheed-Martin with his tweets, without disclosing whether or not he owns positions in those companies and thus could benefit pecuniarily therefrom.

          And this is without touching the issue of his choices of people for his administration, many of whom have documented histories of racism, anti-Semitism, etc.

          Even this partial listing barely scratches the surface.

          He is attempting to arrogate authority that will not be his until January 20th. He hasn’t taken office yet!

          Heaven help us when he does!

  5. Austin says:

    I’m surprised Trump even knows who Bocelli is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. Daniel F. says:

      Not surprised. DJT knows the entertainment industry, is part of it, and in his very dull way AB is certainly an entertainer.

  6. Dave says:

    I landed on this website some time ago thinking I might read some news from the classical world. The joke is on me. This has become a third class music information site. I would probably learn more from reading ‘The Sun.’

    1. Pianofortissimo says:

      Maybe you will find something interesting on page 3.

    2. David Nice says:

      Did you land expecting to quash the more interesting news from the musical world? From Planet Putin or Trump? In which case, bye-bye. This is valid.

  7. herrera says:

    It is a tradition to invite a poet to deliver a special poem during the inauguration. Few are memorable (Robert Frost at JFK’s inauguration), most are forgettable.

    Donald Trump has invited Kanye West to deliver the first inauguration rap.

    1. V.Lind says:

      Does that mean he (the Donald) will “be sittin’ pretty in the Oval Office with his rappers talkin’ like a preacher man”?

      I wondered how La Kardashian was going to swing attending the Inauguration. Let Kardashian Camelot begin — if it must.

  8. MWnyc says:

    Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

  9. Alank says:

    This is getting really old. Lebrecht is a classic liberal obsessed with hatred of Trump. I can read this garbage in my Washington comPost or NYT. I come to this website to read about music. Yes music is not disconnected from the political world or world events in general, but if this is a main theme for the next four years I will move on. It would also be easier to accept if Mr. Lebrecht ever mentioned the current residents of the WH who clearly are complete ignoramuses when it comes to western art music and have done nothing to promote high culture during the last 8 years. The same was true for Bush and Clinton. I have no expectations of high culture prevailing in a Trump WH but he is no more of a philistine than the Obamas.

    1. John says:

      Guess you haven’t seen any of the concerts that the ignoramuses of the White House have hosted.

      And what, pray tell, is “High Culture” ??? Is that synonymous with “White Culture” ???

      I hope you will absent yourself from Mr. Lebrecht’s blog. Enjoy the next four years in Trump’s America.

      1. Alank says:

        Yes I have looked at the lineups of WH performances in the last 8 years and the lineup was almost entirely pop culture of which rap music is a subset. Only a few occasions were jazz artists were put on display and I do not believe a classical music performance took place once in 8 years. So much for diversity.

        I am not a great fan of Trump but the undue reverence for Obama is mystifying. His administration has further lowered the cultural IQ of the US, a trend that has been going on for 25 years and transcends party lines

        1. V.Lind says:

          We thought the Kennedys ushered in an era of learning, culture and grace. That tragically short-lived era was about the last to exemplify those traits, notwithstanding Nixon’s piano playing and Carter’s fine intellect. Reagan was movies, the Bushes, père et fils, were cultural deserts and the latter intellectually challenged, Clinton was fairly well-read but really a movie fan. The Obamas, at least have had grace and charm, but indeed their musical tastes are very pop. Trump’s tastes, I thought, would be scattershot, and probably on the vulgar side, but he will be further hampered by the fact that he will have trouble attracting serious talent.

          Let the reality show of his Presidency begin, and damn the torpedoes.

          1. Marg says:

            Dont know where you looked but Itzak Perlman played in 2012 in the Whitehouse for starters. That just immediately springs to mind.

          2. Marg says:

            This is a response to Alank – sorry V. Lind

    2. William Safford says:

      If you have paid attention to what Trump has said and whom he plans to bring into the government, you should also fear for our country.

      We face a terrifying time in our country. I fear for it and for us.

  10. William Safford says:

    This is typical of Trump. Get used to it — it’ll be the least of our worries for the next four years.


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