Rosanne Cash Snaps Back at Band That Used Johnny Cash’s Image for Anti-Vaccine Mandate Message
The Steel Woods used a picture of Johnny Cash pointing at a tattered American flag to let fans know they won't stand for vaccine mandates. Cash's daughter, Rosanne Cash, did not approve.
In response to Rolling Stone's tweet with a link to the article explaining Wes Bayliss and company's stance on venues that require COVID-19 vaccines for entrance, Rosanne Cash makes clear the remarks are the Steel Woods', "not my dad's from beyond the grave."
The photo that the Steel Woods used to convey their message is the cover of Cash's 1974 album, Ragged Old Flag.
"This is an irresponsible and thoughtless misuse of the image and supposed beliefs of someone who cannot offer his own opinion," Rosanne writes on social media. "Please remove his picture from your press release. I hope you all #getvaxxed."
With 30 minutes of her tweet, the Steel Woods had removed the Instagram post, but below is the photo, followed by the bulk of their caption, per Rolling Stone.
We are an American Band with American values. We aim to create music that is healing and play shows for all who want to attend. We believe in an individual’s right to choose what they want to put into their body and that no one should be forced to do anything for their own good in order to go about their lives. The recent news that AEG and Live Nation venues – and specifically our show in St Louis on 11/5 – will require vaccination or proof of negative test effective beginning of October is not something that we fully support or are willing to comply with.
Though they say they're not against the COVID-19 vaccine, the Steel Woods say they, "will not participate in any show in the future that requires proof of vaccination or negative Covid test result for entry. This includes all headline shows, festivals and all shows we are supporting."
A Nov. 5 Steel Woods show in St. Louis has been canceled, they add. A new post with their own pictures went up shortly after the Cash photo was removed. The message was the same:
Bayliss and Jason "Rowdy" Cope formed the Steel Woods in 2016, and the band has remained active after Cope's death in January from complications of diabetes. In May, the group released All My Stones, their third studio album. A single canceled show will hardly put a dent in their touring calendar, as thirty-three shows are listed through December at the Steel Woods website.
Other artists have expressed similar concerns about what they view as forced vaccinations. Travis Tritt asked fans and followers on social media to stand up and fight for freedom in rejecting policies set by Live Nation and AEG Live, which will take effect in October.
Live Nation is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for attendance at their hosted events, while AEG is only allowing vaccinated fans in. Both policies are in response to rising COVID-19 numbers nationwide. According to data provided by the New York Times, the 7-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases more than doubled over the last 30 days. The number of deaths has more than tripled in that same amount of time.