Last week, The Medicine Dolls frontman Gregory Allen, was the subject of two attacks – one physical and the other verbal – simply over his choice of clothing and hairstyle.
The singer posted about the first assault on his Facebook saying, “Over the years, I’ve gotten used to being called a faggot… being punched in the face by a guy twice my size, and then having my chest and neck stood upon by another, for no reason other than my choice of clothing and hairstyle… is much more rare. It’s pretty revolting, thinking about last night.”
Unfortunately it didn’t end there. On Friday the 16th of August he performed at Station Masters in Durban, a pub that according to its Facebook bio is: “A great place to be seen. Our friendly staff, great food and relaxed attitude is sure to make your experience a pleasurable one.”
Except Greg’s experience of performing there was anything but pleasurable. Instead, he had to endure the owner, Tom Harper, shouting homophobic slurs at him while he was performing.
“Yeah, it was revolting behaviour, made more revolting by the fact that it was owner of the venue,” Greg explained to me when I asked him about the incident. “I’m really glad I was only told who the character was near the very end of my set… otherwise, if I’m honest, I probably would have handled the situation way more politically, as to not forfeit my pay at the end of the night. Luckily he didn’t handle that part of the goings on and there wasn’t any issue with payment.”
“It’s also pretty unbelievable that nobody from Station Masters has made a public comment or apology, not just to me but to everyone that came out to listen to myself and Barron Harley play music. For me the homophobic slurs hit my ears much harder than any usual heckle… two days before this incident, I was assaulted after a gig in Port Elizabeth, called a ‘faggot’ and sucker punched by a bloke twice my size, and then pulled to the ground and having my neck and chest stood upon by another. It’s pretty disgusting that these things still occur.”
What’s even more disgusting is that Greg thought that his behaviour towards the owner might have affected his pay at the end of the night, because in all honestly, something like this is highly likely to occur.
It’s not okay for musicians to be subjected to slurs like this for the sake of a performance fee – or at all for that matter – and Station Masters’ silence speaks volumes.
Watch the incident at Station Masters as it occurred below.