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Fallout From Libya Crisis : Pop Acts Shelve Plans For European Tours

April 23, 1986|JOHN VOLAND

Prince and the Manhattan Transfer will not tour Europe this summer for fear of terrorist reprisals in the wake of the United States' bombing of Libya.

In addition, several other acts--including Lionel Richie and the Bangles--acknowledge concern about their safety in Europe and the Middle East.

Prince's manager Steve Fargnoli said Tuesday they had been exploring summer European dates for the pop-rock star, but any further negotiations have been shelved because of "the recent Libyan conflict."

Manhattan Transfer publicist Alan Eichler said that the vocal quartet's cancellation of a 21-date European tour was the direct result of "tension arising from the current world situation."

"They were just afraid to go, it's as simple as that," he explained. "It was the group themselves that decided not to tour Europe, and we had to respect their wishes."

Eichler added that the group, winners of three Grammys in February, is sacrificing about $500,000 in potential concert revenues by the cancellation. The tour was to have included stops in Rome, Vienna, Stockholm and the jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland, and Copenhagen. The group will instead concentrate on U.S. concert dates this summer. No U.S. dates have been added yet, he said.

The Bangles will proceed with its European tour, which begins in June in West Germany, but the Los Angeles-based rock group has scrapped plans to shoot a promotional video in Cairo during the tour.

"Even though I can't honestly say (the Libyan/European situation) hasn't been an issue for us, it hasn't caused us or the group to seriously consider canceling the tour," said Mike Gormley of L.A. Personal Direction, the Bangles' management firm.

"We're concerned about their safety, but it's an issue of exposure versus risk, and we think the risk in the places they're playing (England, Holland and West Germany) is less than it might be elsewhere."

Gormley said that Wall of Voodoo, another of the rock groups handled by his firm, has been touring in Europe--including cities in Spain and Italy--for two months and has experienced "no trouble of any kind."

"And we're still going ahead with plans for Oingo Boingo to tour Europe later this summer," Gormley added.

Popdom's general mood regarding European appearances this year is one of caution. Vicki Rose, a publicist with the Howard Bloom Agency in New York, said that Lionel Richie, who was considering a European tour later this year, has postponed such considerations indefinitely.

"The whole Libyan thing has made (Richie) very nervous; he'll probably wait until things have cooled down a bit over there," Rose added. "I mean, Cambodia seems safer than Southern Europe right now."

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