It's unusual for a musician to sell out their first-ever paid gig, and even fewer have done it at a 450-capacity venue. But most musicians don't play their first gigs at age 66, or 41 years after attempting to assassinate a sitting U.S. president to impress a teenaged movie star. John Hinckley, Jr., who shot and wounded a cop, a secret service agent, Press Secretary James Brady, and President Ronald Reagan in an attempt to woo an 18-year-old Jodie Foster — and has now sold out his first live performance only five days after announcing it — is a rare exception.
This past Friday, Hinckley announced on Twitter that he'd be performing at Market Hotel — a Bushwick venue more accustomed to hosting post-industrial acts like Machine Girl and Dreamcrusher than folky singer-songwriters of Hinckley's variety — on July 8. On Tuesday, after a weekend of speedy ticket sales, he proudly proclaimed that he'd sold out the club, an assertion backed up by Market's landing page for the show. And this afternoon, he further shared that he'd be adding more dates to the "John Hinckley Redemption Tour."
After over four decades in various forms of incarceration, Hinckley is scheduled to be unconditionally released in June. He spent most of the past six years in the care of his mother, Jo Ann Hinckley (who passed away last July), after doing a long stint at St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital in Washington D.C. Of late, he's been making introspective, eccentric music that's drawn comparisons to the work of the late Daniel Johnston, though these are no doubt due in part to both artists' struggles with mental health.
Listen to a small sample of his songs below.