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Leo Nocentelli, Founding Member of The Meters, Meets Racism at San Francisco Travelodge

A world-renowned guitarist nominated for induction into the Rock-And-Roll Hall Of Fame was allegedly told he couldn’t put a credit card deposit on a San Francisco hotel room because he is black.

Guitarist Leo Nocentelli, a founding member of The Meters, was attempting to check in a the Travelodge on Market and Valencia when he was allegedly hassled by the hotel manager who demanded a $100 cash deposit from him and his African-American band mates, while a white band member was allowed to put his deposit on a credit card.

“I would have to call it racism, because that’s what I came up with,” Nocentelli said.

Nocentelli said the Travelodge manager demanded a hundred dollar cash deposit from him and his African American band-mates, but the white band member was allowed to use a credit card. Concert promoter Jason Perkins had already booked the rooms with his own credit card. The band called him in to mediate.

“The manager said, ‘we don’t take credit cards from those people,” recalled Perkins, who asked what the manager meant. “And he said, ‘Black people. We don’t take credit cards from Black people.’”

“And at that point it was like someone hit me. I was so stunned that in my home town, in San Francisco, 2012, that there words like this coming out of someone’s mouth,” recalled Perkins.

Perkins filed a formal complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission on Friday. Executive Director Theresa Sparks said the Commission will look into the allegations.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer or if he just picked up a guitar in the city. All people have rights in the city, and the right is to live without discrimination,” said Theresa Sparks of the Human Rights Commission…

Read more: CBS San Francisco

 

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