John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate then-President Ronald Reagan and wounded his press secretary James Brady in a shooting attack, has been developing his music career over the past years and has just announced that he sold out a concert in Brooklyn.

Hinckley became infamous in 1981 when he shot Reagen nonfatally after firing a revolver at him six times. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity, primarily because his assassination attempt was driven by an obsession with the actress Jodie Foster, who he had been stalking for years at this point. He was likely trying to replicate events of the film Taxi Driver that Foster co-starred in, where the main character Travis Bickle attempted to assassinate a presidential candidate.

The show, which is taking place on July 8, is happening at the Brooklyn concert hall Market Hotel. Hinckley was allowed to be released from his psychiatric facility in 2016 and had been creating music anonymously for some time with little success. In 2020, it was determined by a judge that Hinckley could release music under his own name, and he has since developed a small following on YouTube with his home-recorded performances.

His videos include both covers and original songs performed mostly all on Hinckley’s guitar. In early videos, he was asking viewers for advice on record labels to pitch to, but he has since apparently put that responsibility in his own hands and founded a record label himself, called Emporia Records. He says their first release will be a 14-track CD including his original songs and cover tracks. He also put a call on his YouTube channel asking for band-mates to join him in making music.

The concert’s venue, Market Hotel, is a well-known venue in the city with a propensity towards indie music but plenty of other genres at display in their concerts. Market Hotel has stayed adamant in keeping the concert on even if some critics flamed them online for booking Hinckley.

One tweet from the Market Hotel said that Hinckley “paid his debt to society,” and also mentioned, “Several darlings of indie music had mental health issues + committed violence / tried to kill people.” A reply in the same thread from Market Hotel also said “Ha! Hinckley didn’t f–ck up a billionth as many lives as the Reagan admin did. And Hinkcley at lease faced some comeuppance for what he did.”

Read more about: