U.S. officials halt Bahrain outreach featuring ‘King of Partying’ Andrew W.K.
WASHINGTON — The US State Department was forced to deny Monday that it had invited a notorious rock star behind such classics as “Party Til You Puke” to represent America in the conservative Gulf state of Bahrain.
Musician, DJ, motivational speaker and self-styled “King of Partying” Andrew W.K. had earlier claimed to have been named a US “cultural ambassador” to the troubled Arab kingdom, a close US ally beset by sectarian tension.
“We will unite the human race with love and partying,” he declared.
But, in a set-back for this bold plan, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that there had been a misunderstanding.
“We had a Bahraini entity who approached the embassy about co-sponsoring a visit by this guy who I take it is pretty popular there in Bahrain,” she said.
“That was initially approved and then, when more senior management at the embassy took a look at this, the conclusion was that this was not an appropriate use of US government funds,” she explained.
Asked whether Andrew W.K. had ever been formally invited, Nuland said: “There may have been some preliminary conversations with him, but he is not going to be going to Bahrain on the US government’s dime.”
The musician appeared a little crushed by the news.
“I’m just blown away,” he tweeted. “After a year of planning, the US State Dept. just canceled my Middle East trip because I’m too party.”
His website was quickly updated with a banner splashed across the earlier announcement reading: “Cancelled, by the US State Department.”
[Image via Iain Purdie, Creative Commons licensed]