NEW YORK (AFP) – The former Cat Stevens on Wednesday moved a New York show to Philadelphia on his first US tour in more than 35 years, saying that antiquated laws had encouraged scalpers.
The British folk-pop singer, who changed his name to Yusuf Islam when he became a Muslim in 1977, said that fans told him of “extortionate” prices for tickets to his scheduled New York show.
Yusuf said that New York state law required paper tickets, “enabling them to be bought and sold at inflated prices.”
“I have been a longtime supporter of paperless tickets to my shows worldwide and avoiding scalpers,” he wrote on his website.
“Looks like the Peace Train is going to arrive at New York a little bit later than expected,” he said in reference to his 1971 hit song, voicing hope to play in America’s largest city sometime in the future.
Yusuf will instead play on December 4 in Philadelphia. He will also perform in Toronto, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
It is his first tour of North America since 1976, after which he stopped performing in line with his religious conversion.
Yusuf played a small show in New York in 2006 and in Los Angeles in 2009. But plans for a wider tour in 2009 were cancelled over what were described as problems with his US work visa.
Yusuf, 66, is promoting an upcoming album, “Tell ‘Em I’m Gone,” which is inspired by the blues and features both original songs and covers of classics.