Published Nov 27, 2012A few days ago, Andrew W.K. made the truly bizarre announcement that he would be travelling to Bahrain "to promote partying and positive power" as the new U.S. Cultural Ambassador to the Middle East. Soon after, the trip was cancelled and fun-loving rocker expressed his disappointment. Now, he has issued a full statement through his website to explain what transpired.
According to the singer, he was originally offered the motivational-speaking gig more than a year ago. He had been scheduled to leave on December 2, but the U.S. Department of State pulled the plug just six hours after sending over the official itinerary for the trip.
W.K. states that there were rumblings of a "higher level controversy," but he was unable to get a full explanation as to exactly why his visit had been nixed. A representative from the State Department subsequently revealed, "The embassy determined that was probably not a best choice and didn't meet our standards."
He noted, "They were aware of how I look and my high-energy rock music," adding, "You can't judge a book by its cover. I would've done a great job and represented our nation with dignity and pride."
Of course, Andrew W.K. won't let this hiccup stop him from continuing in his mission of having a good time. He wrote, "I vow to continue partying, and working everyday to to unite our human race through the power of positive partying."
The singer's full response is below.
I'm disappointed and puzzled by their change of heart and last minute decision. I was personally invited to take this trip by The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain over a year ago. They came to me. The first email they sent me is dated September 13th, 2011 asking me to give a motivational lecture in Bahrain. I was overjoyed and accepted their invitation immediately. We moved forward and completed their extensive approval process, background check, booked all the flights and travel, and had numerous phone calls with the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Office in Manama, Bahrain, who were handling the details. I was scheduled to fly to Bahrain on Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012. We received our official itinerary from the State Dept. at 5:58am, on Monday, November 26th, 2012. Less than six hours later, we received an urgent telephone call informing us that the entire trip had been canceled, due to some higher level controversy. We couldn't get any more information or answers as to why this was suddenly canceled at the last minute. When I was originally invited by our contact, it seemed everyone was aware of what I stand for with my positive attitude. They were aware of how I look and my high-energy rock music. They were excited to bring my message of living life to the fullest to the people in the Middle East. I was thrilled at the opportunity to represent my country and the spirit of inclusive and open-minded freedom that makes our nation so special and inspiring. So, for a Department of State representative to say Andrew W.K. 'doesn't meet their standards' after they invited me and planned my trip for a year… well, that doesn't meet my standards either. You can't judge a book by its cover. I would've done a great job and represented our nation with dignity and pride. Despite all these challenges, I still would love to go and I vow to continue partying, and working everyday to to unite our human race through the power of positive partying.