John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan in an attempt to ‘impress’ actress Jodie Foster more than 40 years ago, is playing a sold-out concert in Brooklyn this summer.
Hinckley, 66, tweeted on April 9 that he was ‘very excited about [his] upcoming show.’
‘Ticket sales are good. July 9, Market Hotel in Brooklyn, NY.’
Tickets for the hotel show at 1140 Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick were selling for $20 on Venue Pilot. On April 12, the Oklahoman tweeted again, announcing that his show was ‘sold out!’ The venue has a capacity of 450 people but it’s unclear how many tickets were sold for the show.
On March 30, 1981, Hinckley seriously injured then-President Reagan and three others when he fired six shots outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. White House press secretary James Brady was shot in the head and permanently disabled, Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in his side, and D.C. policeman Thomas Delahanty was hit in the neck.
The president was shot in the left lung – the .22 caliber bullet missed the 70-year-old’s heart by just inches. Regardless, Reagan walked out of the hospital under his own power, and famously quipped to his wife that he ‘forgot to duck’ after his surgery.
In a note that was found soon after the attempted assassination, Hinckley – who was 25 at the time – stated that he committed the unthinkable crime to get the attention of actress Jodie Foster after stalking her for years.
Hinckley would send letters and even call the actress at Yale after developing an unhealthy obsession with her when he saw ‘Taxi Driver.’ Hinckley reportedly described the shooting as the ‘greatest love offering in the world’ shortly after the shooting took place.
He was found not-guilty by reason of insanity, and spent 35 years in a psychiatric hospital after the assassination attempt. There, he was diagnosed with narcissistic and schizoid personality disorders.
On the campaign trail in 2016, the year Hinckley was released, Donald Trump said the would-be assassin should remain institutionalized.
Since he was granted the right to produce music under his own name in 2020, Hinckley has released songs on YouTube and streaming services, and even intends to release a 14-song LP under his own record label, Emporia Records.
Hinckley’s YouTube channel, where he began posting covers and such original songs as ‘Everything is Gonna’ Be Alright in 2020, has more than 26,000 subscribers. Most of those he has written are love songs.
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John Hinckley Jr. is pictured left at 25 years old, on the day he attempted to take then-President Ronald Reagan’s life, and recently at 66 on the right. He announced on April 11 that tickets to his July concert in Brooklyn had sold out
Hinckley is pictured last September after he was granted ‘unconditional release,’ lifting a slurry of strict court-ordered conditions and supervision
White House press secretary James Brady and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty lie wounded on the ground after John Hinckley Jr. fired six shots at President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, on March 30, 1981
The concert, which sold out on April 12, will take place at the Market Hotel in Brooklyn, pictured
Tickets for the show have sold out
‘You’re not gonna find this man on a Grammy stage anytime soon,’ entertainment attorney Domenic Romano told News Nation host Ashleigh Banfield on Tuesday.
‘The federal judge ruled that he’s a low risk for violence, not a high-risk to society and so finally, the restrictions are coming off, as of June, and so he’ll be allowed to live his life.’
On social media, the response to Hinckley’s Brooklyn concert was mixed.
‘Mid-drafting my essay about the Hinckley trial and the real man announces he’s playing a concert in f****** Brooklyn, this is the craziest moment of my entire life,’ wrote @AnnikaALaMode.
‘Tickets acquired. There’s no such thing as coincidence.’
‘I believe in redemption for some criminals but anyone who purchased a ticket for John Hinckley’s concert should be ashamed of themselves,’ wrote @evan_grollman.
Another user quipped that they ‘tried to bond with [their] dad by telling him [they] got tickets to the John Hinckley Jr. show.’
Hinckley is shown arriving in chains at the Quantico Marine Base, after arriving by helicopter from the Federal Correctional Institution in this August 18, 1981 photo
Last September, Hinckley was granted ‘unconditional release’ after years of court-ordered restrictions. He is pictured shortly afterwards
Hinckley seriously injured President Ronald Reagan (pictured) and three others in 1981
Last September, Hinckley was granted ‘unconditional release’ after years of court-ordered restrictions.
Under previous conditions of his release, Hinckley was not allowed to contact Foster and her family, the family of President Reagan, the family of Brady, Delahanty and his family, and McCarthy and any member of his family.
He was also prohibited from travelling to any area where the ‘current or former presidents, vice presidents, or members of Congress’ will be, and must give details of any car he is travelling in and the license plate number to the Secret Service.
Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis, 68, has since condemned the unconditional release and says she believes Hinckley Jr. doesn’t feel any remorse for shooting her father, or injuring three others in an attempt to get to Reagan.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Davis, who was 28 at the time of the assassination attempt, wrote that she now lives in fear Hinckley will try to contact her.
Before last year, he was ordered to live within 75 miles of his mother’s home in Virginia; she has since passed away.
He was not allowed to consume alcohol or drugs with the exception of the Zoloft he takes for depression and a prophylactic dose of Risperdal for his psychosis, and could not own a gun.
Hinckley is pictured arriving in court in 1987, left, and again in 2003, right
Pictured is one of the notes that Hinckley sent Jodie Foster just weeks before he shot Reagan. Hinckley – who was 25 at the time – stated that he committed the unthinkable crime to get the actress’ attention
Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis, 68, has since condemned the unconditional release and says she believes Hinckley Jr doesn’t feel any remorse for shooting her father, or injuring three others in an attempt to get to Reagan
Jodie Foster is pictured in 1981. Under the terms of his 2016 from psychiatric care, Hinckley was initially barred from contacting the actress or her family
Among the songs Hinckley covers are Elvis Presley’s Can’t Stop Falling In Love and Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind, with his channel so far nearly racking up more than 800,000 views among all of his songs.
His self-penned ballads include Majesty of Love with the lyrics, ‘the world is in so much pain, we have much to gain’, and Everything Is Gonna Be Alright, where he croons ‘there ain’t nothing wrong with the rain, it is good to wash away the pain.’
A 1995 civil settlement had banned Hinckley from financially benefiting from his name or story.
But in October 2019, his lawyer, Barry Levine, argued the settlement should not bar him from selling artworks, allowing him to profit from his creations.
At the time, Hinckley said: ‘No one can see my art. I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about… I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan.’
‘I create things I think are good and, like any other artist, I would like to profit from it and contribute more to my family.
‘I feel like I could help my mother and brother out if I could make money from my art.’
Before the ruling, according to court records, Hinckley sold books anonymously on Amazon; he is also a keen painter.
He had told doctors over the years that he regrets not being able to show or sell his paintings, most of which are landscapes, according to previously filed court documents.
But afterward, his therapists helped him release music via Soundcloud and YouTube.
‘I worry he’s a well-known figure and I worry about someone trolling him,’ one therapist said.
Another, Carl Beffa, wrote in court papers: ‘I would very much like to see him be able to make an income from his artwork. If it coincidentally happens his name is attached to it, I don’t see it would be an issue.
‘I would be surprised if it reverted back to this narcissism he had with Jodie Foster, because it has not been present in any way whatsoever.’
Hinckley released books anonymously on Amazon before a judge ruled that he was allowed to produce under his own name – in addition to his music, he is also a poet and a painter. In this photo taken March 18, 2015, former Eastern State Hospital librarian, Sandra Kochersperger shows a painting gifted to her by Hinckley
Before he was granted permission to produce work under his name, Hinckley said: ‘No one can see my art. I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about… I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan.’ Pictured is his signature at the bottom of a painting
Last year, Hinckley accused DEVO, known for the 1980 hit Whip It, of withholding royalties for a song he said he ‘co-wrote’ with the band, according to Newsweek.
‘Back in 1982 I co-wrote a song with DEVO called “I Desire,’ Hinckley tweeted last October.
‘It is on their album “Oh No, It’s DEVO.” The album is still selling worldwide, especially in Japan and Europe. I haven’t seen royalties in 35 years. What’s the deal?’
DEVO’s Gerald V. Casale told the outlet that the song was developed from a poem – an obsessive verse about Jodie Foster – penned by Hinckley and published in a tabloid following the assassination attempt.
The artist said the band was ‘blown away by the poetic sociopathy’ of Hinckley’s poetry, calling it ‘inspired and pathological.’
‘We did take two verses from one love poem and then I wrote subsequent verses that completely twisted the meaning of his verses on their head… so that the narrator is telling the girl… to run from him because he’s a dangerous guy.’
Hinckley was listed on the album as a co-writer for the song, and Casale told Newsweek that he did not known whether his claims about royalties were true, as the band has little to do with the disbursement of those royalties.