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Published: 2012/10/23

Meters’ Leo Nocentelli Allegedly Denied Lodging Because Of His Race

Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli was denied lodging at a San Francisco hotel in an allegedly racially motivated incident last Thursday. According to SF Weekly, a manager from the Travelodge on Market Street refused to accept credits cards from three members of the Meters Experience because they were black.

Jason Perkins, who runs the Brick and Mortar Music Hall, where the Meters Experience was set to perform, told Boing Boing:

“I bought 4 rooms for the band and prepaid for them on debit card. After sound check, Leo and the band went to the hotel and tried to check in. The manager refused to accept 3 of 4 members credit cards for incidentals (4th member is Rich Vogel/white dude). Leo called me and (my family and I) drove to the hotel at 7:30 pm. I asked what the hell and manager pointed at 3 members and said he wouldn’t accept credit cards and ‘those people’ need to pay cash deposit. When I asked what did he mean by ‘those people’ – he pointed at Leo and said ‘black people.’

I felt like I was hit in the face. It was stunning. I called the police and when they arrived, the police went through it with him and then he caught himself and said that they cannot check in any longer as he didn’t feel ‘safe.’ He then refused to talk. Leo and Bill Dickens then had to console ME as I was beyond upset and they explained that as older fellows who grew up in the South, they understood this happens….

The manager refused to give his name until Police instructed him to give a contact reference and that is when I received a card for ‘Ginger’ (Latu) who now supposedly does not work there!”

The story has since picked up steam and a number Bay Area news outlets, as well as New Orleans’ Times-Picayune, have reported on the incident. Nocentelli is currently nominated for the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the original Meters, George Porter Jr., Art Neville and Ziggy Modeliste.


There are 11 comments associated with this post

mary ann long October 25, 2012, 05:54:23

This so pitiful . What if our President & family tried to ck in ? huh …...... ignorant bastards !!!

TCinNYC October 23, 2012, 12:42:14

There are no words. What a disgrace.

Chucky cheese string October 23, 2012, 12:42:21


DANKERATOR October 23, 2012, 12:56:58

Really sad!! Racism is still alive in well ! Wouldn’t expect that in San Fran. “Travelodge” what a dump!! (I work in the travel industry i knw) Can’t wait to see the metermen on the 30th!!

Cliff October 23, 2012, 13:04:34

Is this the 1950s in Alabama? WTF?

drasticjasper October 23, 2012, 13:17:02

Wow pretty sad in this day and age although travelodge is a bit of a dump and a crack hotel to begin with but as a bay area resident this is disgraceful and appalling…we love you Leo not everyone is like that out here

21st Century October 23, 2012, 14:24:23

Seems to me that posting this article on Brick & Mortar Music Hall’s website, if they have a “Recommended Hotels” link, would help ensure that this cockroach motel suffer its’ deserved fate.

david October 23, 2012, 18:26:55

i’ve gotton a little spooked by the Funky Meters when they’ve completely take over my body and soul w/ the funk!!! along w/ every other emotion! In all seriousness one of the best bands in modern history —wtf ginger??

jack straw October 23, 2012, 20:39:57

the number for the market travelodge is 415 621 6775. please call and express concern. have as many friends as you can call. hrey hey hey…hey pocki way

Peter October 24, 2012, 01:27:17

Travelodge corp offices need to brought up to speed on this. While I am sure that there are some very good people working for the company this is horrifying. I am 100% confident that this would never happen at a Starwood property, my lodging of choice.

SymphonicDelight October 25, 2012, 01:44:02

Unacceptable behavior. Luckily, Leo is just the type of cool cat, who can handle this, and expose this bullshit for the world to see. See you at BBs.

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