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    You never forget where you are when big news breaks. For me, it was 9:16 p.m. and I was on the toilet, catching up on Twitter on my iPhone when I saw this devastating HullabaLOU development via a reTweet: "Unfortunately Richard Marx isn't available to perform his ballads due to conflict. Full festival lineup announcement in a few weeks!"'s investigative team confirmed the terrible Tweet (while still on the toilet) by Googling "HullabaLOU Marx," which led to the festival's Facebook Fan Page (15,130 fans, really?) and this post at 12:35 p.m. on Jan. 15: "Well everyone, unfortunately Richard Marx won’t be available to perform his classic ballads due to a conflict. Still on pace to announce the full festival lineup in a few weeks!"

    HullabaLOU's news page, however, has no mention of this stunning development. Why the hush-hush, Churchill Downs Entertainment?

    Will Marx fans who already purchased tickets in anticipation of seeing a scorching rendition of "Right Here Waiting" at America's most famous horse track get a refund?

    Marx's website (yeah, I didn't think he merited one either) also had no information.
    With no info on the cancellation greater than a social networking status update, rumors and innuendo are running rampant:

    • Did Churchill Downs Entertainment decide Marx's appearance wasn't worth the ridicule, so it put his act down Eight Belles style?
    • Was Marx's conflict an appearance at the much-rumored new music festival Suck Fest 2010?
    • Did Marx look at the rest of HullabaLOU's lineup and decide the gig was a bad career move?

    The public demands answers. Or not.

    Update: Feb. 15, 2010

    Dear Richard Marx's six fans,

    Thank you for your feedback. I took the last week to reflect on your comments and would like to clarify my position: Not only is Richard Marx responsible for some bad music, but he's to blame for a bizarre and stalkerish fan base as well:

    • It is not laudable that Marx backed out of HullabaLOU so he could play four shows instead of one. He broke his commitment to his fanbase so he could chase down more money. You'd think someone who's supposedly so successful and rich would be true to his word and not his wallet.
    • I took a quick look at your message board. Let me offer some observations: No, Richard Marx will not be asked to make an appearance on "American Idol." No, Richard Marx does not secretly post on his own message board--even he has better things to do. As for the "What would your Christmas present be from Richard?" thread? I was afraid to open it.
    • Thanks to whoever referenced my adorable little innocent 1-month-old daughter by name for the sake of defending Richard Marx: you made this caustic blogger into the one who took the high road. Well played!

    Thanks for your time. You may now return to killing Richard Marx's house pets.

    Zach Everson

    You also might enjoy: Zach's weekend picks: The Starry Sky, Paul Poundstone, Halfway to Forecastle.

    Photo: Courtesy Richard Marx

    Zach Everson's picture

    About Zach Everson

    Journalist • Reporting on conflicts at Trump's DC hotel & other businesses • 1100 Pennsylvania newsletter • Tips:, cell/SMS/Signal 202.804.2744

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