Whether you know him as Blacksnake, from his work with The Shrines or from his (now former) collaborations with BBQ (aka Mark Sultan), King Khan is one of the more fascinating and unpredictable musicians around. But even unpredictability is an understatement for the events that recently transpired in Australia, which left a partnership reportedly dissolved and a musician expelled.
Possibly because of their location, the Sydney Grand Opera House, Khan was asked to tone down his routine for the King Khan & BBQ Show’s two performances at Vivid Sydney Festival last month. And it sounds like the Canadian of Indian descent gave it a good try, though his interpretation of “safe for work” might be a bit different than most. Here’s Khan in his own words, via Poloroids and Androids:
“ I heeded the warning… no snake….no food…. I merely spilt some wine on the floor several times, an ancient gang ritual to commemorate the dead. (Jay Reatard & BJ Womack R.I.P.) At the end of the show instead of the snake i launched my guitar into the audience. The audience caught it and threw it back…. this exchange happened several times and the show was over. Returning to the backstage i opened the door to a scowling BBQ…. A HUGE SCREAMING MATCH ensued and so went the demise of the King Khan & BBQ show…. we agreed that this would be the last show ever. Wow…. what a way to die!!!! After nearly 7 years…. oh well… Lets get fucked up!!!!”
Though Khan does later confess to some emotions, he seems more emotional about the racial profiling the brown man is experiencing in the lower hemisphere “[the next day] I proceeded to the green room
“[…] Here is when the shame started….. The security confiscated my backstage pass away and told me that i was no longer allowed to see any more shows. They said due to my behaviour last night i pose a threat to the opera house. They said if i made any attempt to come back they would call the police and i would be charged with trespassing…
It looks like Jay Reatard was wrong….. THEY CAN KICK JIMI HENDRIX OUT OF WOODSTOCK!!!! […] There you have it Austrailia…. SHAME ON YOUR OPERA HOUSE…. and the white power it is built on. If I could take legal action against the opera house for humiliating me and taunting me in what was meant to be the highest point in my career as a musican/magician I certainly would […] MAY YOU FEEL THE BLACK HAND OF JUSTICE SLAP YOU….Ask any Thai Masseuse…. this was no happy ending…. Please help me light a candle under the powers that be…. BOYCOTT THE OPERA HOUSE…..”
Albeit clearly a biased rendering, the fact remains that the seemingly tight duo appears to be no more. At least there are about 5 more projects featuring one or both of these guys, so you will get your fix, we assure you.
All that being said, King Khan & BBQ Show are still on the schedule for next month’s Sled Island Music Festival in Calgary, Alberta. Update: The band will not be appearing at the festival. Khan also served as one of the festival’s curators.