Raunchy rocker loses chance to be U.S. cultural ambassador

Reuters Middle East

WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has

decided that "party til you puke" may not be the best message

for the embattled Gulf state of Bahrain.

U.S. rock musician Andrew W.K., a self-proclaimed "king of

partying," said on his website that the State Department and the

U.S. Embassy in Bahrain had invited him as a "cultural

ambassador" to visit elementary schools, a university and music


The State Department on Monday said someone in Bahrain had

approached the embassy about possible co-sponsorship of the trip

but U.S. diplomats had second thoughts after reviewing W.K's

catalog, which includes songs such as "Party Til You Puke,"

"Girls Own Juice" and "Party Hard."

"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 U.S. government

funds," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on

Monday in response to a question.

"The conclusion was when they looked at the body of his work

that we didn't need to be part of this invitation," Nuland said.

"There may have been some preliminary conversations with him but

he is not going to be going to Bahrain on the U.S. government's


The rocker's website announcement was updated with a red

banner headline reading "Canceled by the U.S. State Dept."

Bahrain, a close U.S. ally in the culturally conservative

Middle East, has been rocked by political unrest following last

year's government crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

The State Department regularly sponsors artistic and sports

groups on trips to promote cultural ties. The U.S. Embassy in

Bahrain last month sponsored a hip hop program with visiting

U.S. dancers and artists, according to its website.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Jim Loney)

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