April 24, 2009
Bluegrass Hotel Promoter Steals NGR Identity, Holds Self Ransom At Gunpoint
All Proceeds To Benefit American Humane Society
LOUISVILLE, KY — With an astonishing combination of digital age savvy and gangsteresque boldness, Texas event producer Bradford Shifflette has pulled off a plan that radically redefines the entire enterprise of bluegrass concert promotion.
Even his detractors, who have expressed some concern about Shifflette’s “appalling lack of shame” and “very, very low integrity,” are hailing his latest feat as an ingenious and totally original coup de grace.
Shifflette, who claims to be promoting a concert for the fortieth anniversary of the historic Bluegrass Hotel, has staged the supposed abduction of former New Grass Revival guitarist Curtis Burch and is using it as leverage against numerous celebrities.
The Bluegrass Hotel was a Kentucky boarding house that in the 1970’s hosted a string of bluegrass luminaries such as Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Curtis Burch and JD Crowe.
These stars were the first bluegrassers to achieve the celebrity milestone of living full-time in a hotel.
“Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Little Richard and countless other rock and roll icons have all lived in hotels,” said bluegrass historian Dr. K. Landreth.
“Granted, this wasn’t the Crowne Plaza, but it was still critical in modernizing the whole concept of bluegrass stardom,” he continued.
Sometime several months ago, Shifflette assumed Burch’s identity, sending a highly-believable, carefully-crafted series of digital communications falsified using Burch’s name.
This was the first step in an elaborate plot that culminated with Shifflette’s abduction of himself at gunpoint from a Dobro jam in Texas.
“I’m confused. How is that even barely possible?” said one bewildered music fan.
Shifflette, who now claims to be holding Burch for ransom, has made a wide range of demands associated with the Bluegrass Hotel concert.
But beyond the fact that Shifflette has not actually kidnapped anyone, there is another twist.
“This is not a revenue-producing event,” said Shifflette, “this is a benefit for the American Humane Society.”
“What the hell?” said one bluegrass superstar who preferred to remain anonymous. “I’d like to take a stand against the kidnapping of Curtis, but I can’t have everyone thinking I favor cruelty to helpless animals.”
“Shifflette’s got me in checkmate, so I guess I’ll just pay him and do his concert or whatever,” he added.
The original Bluegrass Hotel anniversary concert, which was promoted by an allegedly different individual, failed to take place after a highly publicized debacle in which several top stars very understandably withdrew. They cited, among other things, shady business practices and vague, unverifiable contracts.
According to Sam Bush’s publicist, “after extensive consultation with legal council, Sam reluctantly decided he could not go forth in such a manner of chaos and liability.”
Notably, that incident marked the first occasion on which a bluegrass musician had ever turned down a performance opportunity simply because it involved chaos and liability.