Kid Rock has caused controversy after winning permission to install a new, 20-foot-tall neon sign for his Nashville bar. The sign is shaped like a giant guitar with the base shaped like a bottom.
According to The Tennessean, the Metro Council gave permission for the sign to go ahead with a vote of 27-3.
One council member, Kathleen Murphy, explained why she voted against the approval to The Tennessean. She said: “We’ve worked very hard as a city to become somewhere that is a tourist destination, an ‘It City’, somewhere that is family friendly.”
She continued: “This one I feel crosses the line between good taste, family-friendliness and I think what we would like Nashville to portray to people who come to visit us. If we allow this, what is going to come next? I think we can all use our imaginations there.”
By a 27-3 vote, the Metro Council approved the 20-foot neon sign outside Kid Rock 's Lower Broadway bar.
Leslie Knope and I said “NOPE” to a very tacky “Big Ass” sign in Downtown Nashville!
— Kathleen Murphy (@murphykd) January 4, 2019
A lawyer for the council, Mike Jameson, advised those voting that First Amendment protections extended to regulations on signs by local governments. He said: “If a local government decides to issue regulations that would constrain the contents of a sign, it has to have a specific governmental interest that it is protecting.”
He added: “Prohibitions on puritan interest or vulgarity has been deemed to be a legitimate government interest but it is fraught with peril in defining what is obscene.”
Last year, Kid Rock was forced to change the name of his tour after legal action from a circus company.
Feld Entertainment, owners of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, filed a lawsuit in December after Rock named his US stint The Greatest Show On Earth Tour, a trademarked tagline owned by Feld.
Rock changed the tour name to The American Rock N Roll Tour. His tour had previously been named after the opening track on his latest album, ‘Sweet Southern Sugar’.
In a court declaration, Kid Rock said: “While I firmly believe that I am entitled under the First Amendment to name my tour after my song, I have changed the tour name because I do not want this lawsuit to distract me or my fans from focusing on what is important in my upcoming tour — my music.”