Lero Lero Yasfankypank Band will give five concerts in La Paz

Four decades after trying to kill then-President Ronald Reagan, the shooter, John Hinckley, wants to redeem himself with music.

The artist spent 34 years in a psychiatric hospital and has regained his freedom. On June 15, the court ended his parole.

On that date, he learned that the organizers of a concert in Brooklyn had withdrawn his name from the schedule for security reasons.

“It was a terrible disappointment,” says Hinckley, 67, who had already suffered the same fate in other cities such as Chicago, Virginia or Connecticut.

Hinckley assured AFP that he is a new man who would like to share his music with a world that then called him “violent and unstable.”

“They know me through all the negativity that has gone from me over 41 years, but now I’m a different person,” he says in his southern accent.

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music therapy

On March 30, 1981, Hinckley shot Reagan and three others in Washington.

All survived, but the president’s then-press secretary, James Brady, was left paralyzed.

Hinckley assured that he had shot to attract the attention of the actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed since he saw her in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi driver.

He was acquitted of the assassination attempt, but was admitted to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington where he spent more than three decades.

His public image was tied to what happened in 1981.

Stephen Sondheim wrote a character based on him for the musical assassinsand the band Devo turned one of his poems into a song.

In September 2016, he was released from the hospital and went to live with his now-deceased mother in Williamsburg.

All of his movements, electronic devices, and internet activity were limited and monitored.

Last summer he was freed from said surveillance and dedicates himself to painting, composing songs and uploading his performances on the internet.

On Twitter, he has more than 50,000 followers, and on Spotify he has more than 5,000 monthly downloads.

But the self-taught musician, who used to give concerts in the hospital, wants to have closer contact with his audiences.

“I want them to feel better when the show ends than when they walked in,” says Hinckley.

“There are people who write to me to say ‘I listened to your music and it helps me get through my day'”. “It’s a wonderful feeling,” she says.

John Hinckley says: ‘sorry’

For years, the Reagan Foundation opposed Hinckley’s release and especially his attempts to “money on his infamy.”

Hinckley assures that he has tried to apologize to said Foundation on several occasions.

“I’m sorry for what I did. I’m not the person I was back then,” when he was “totally alienated, depressed and unstable,” he says.

At this point, the barrier to his musical ambitions appears to be an ethical issue.

“It’s not easy to see why someone like John Hinckley would be treated differently from other people,” says Paul Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

The lyrics of his acoustic rock songs with hints of folk, leave no room for any ambiguity.

“Freedom is by my side / everyone knows my story,” he says in I sing my songs. “True regret is real / It’s been the way I feel,” she sings.

While still hoping to sing live, Hinckley recorded a vinyl album with Asbestos Records, a ska and punk record label due for release later this year.

And he claims that he has thousands of songs, with influences ranging from Bob Dylan, Neil Young to The Beatles.

In addition to celebrating the growing research in mental health and treatment, he also calls for gun control in the country.

“There are too many weapons in the United States,” and “crimes and violence are due to them,” he concludes.

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Lero Lero Yasfankypank Band will give five concerts in La Paz

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