Band outraged at CAB cancellation


The Campus Activities Board’s decision to cancel a potentially controversial band has sparked the outrage of the band involved.

The band, P. Nice Joplin, was supposed to play Wednesday at noon at the MLK Commons as part of CAB’s Homecoming concert series.

However, the band’s performance slot was pulled by CAB after the organization read a review of the band in last Thursday’s Weekender and reviewed fliers the band had printed up for self-promotion.

“The Homecoming director showed up and he told me that we had been canceled because of our fliers,” said band member Robert Furtkamp, a former NIU student.

“Their main objection was an ‘abortion saves lives’ flier. This is basically no different than all the Christian organizations on campus who say ‘abortion is murder.’ All I’m doing is presenting the opposite point of view,” he said.

Furtkamp said CAB objected to remarks concerning CAB on the flier, such as “Another fine CAB production, another fine waste of student fees.”

He said the band was told it had to make references to CAB’s funding of the event, but was never told it couldn’t “have fun with the fliers.”

“We’ve put a lot of effort into this, getting people to come out, working with the band, putting stuff together and they cancel me over a flier that had UP&A (University Programming and Activities) approval,” he said.

Although the band never signed a written contract for the performance, it claims there was an oral agreement, backed by the Homecoming Committee’s advertisement of the band in promotions.

“It’s obvious they had an intent to play us and intent to pay us,” he said.

CAB Adviser Mark Shafer disagreed. He said there was never a contract signed, and thus they had no legal obligation to pay the band or let the band play.

“They were interviewed by the Star. The message they gave was that the band was going to be the most offensive band. We thought that would violate the spirit of Homecoming,” Shafer said.

Shafer said the band wasn’t being censored, since they had the opportunity to play at an open stage Monday night. The band refused to participate, however, saying by doing so it would be giving into CAB.

He also charged the band with tampering with the fliers after they had the proper approval stamp.

Dave Homerding, the CAB entertainment coordinator for Homecoming, said that was untrue.

“Mark (Shafer) brought it up when I met with him on Friday. After we discussed the problem, he said it was okay and took full responsibility for them being stamped,” Homerding said.

He said the only thing that could be construed as a modification to the flyers was the addition of the words “SA allocated, open to all” at the bottom of the flyers, and that was done before the stamp of approval was given.

Furtkamp said it was also upsetting since the band never had the chance to alter the fliers or pull them all together. They were simply canceled, he said.

Another justification Shafer gave for canceling the band was a short interview with Furtkamp in last Thursday’s Weekender. In that interview, Furtkamp said, “We feel that we are the most offensive band ever to play NIU. We’ll be worse than the Insane War Tomatoes (a band that was banned a few years ago from the student center as a result of their obnoxiousness).”

Furtkamp admits to saying that, but says it was just bravado to get people to come out and see them.

“We were never asked (by CAB) what’s going on, what are you going to do?”