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great crabby artists

Joe_F 13 Dec 09 - 07:54 PM
Cluin 14 Dec 09 - 03:24 AM
Acorn4 14 Dec 09 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,seth in Olympia 14 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 14 Dec 09 - 03:39 PM
GUEST 15 Dec 09 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Joseph de Culver City 15 Dec 09 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 04 Dec 19 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,HiLo 04 Dec 19 - 11:41 AM
punkfolkrocker 04 Dec 19 - 12:20 PM
BrooklynJay 04 Dec 19 - 01:12 PM
CupOfTea 06 Dec 19 - 12:15 AM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 06 Dec 19 - 09:03 PM
meself 06 Dec 19 - 09:55 PM
keberoxu 06 Dec 19 - 11:13 PM
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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:54 PM

Auden, in a review of a biography of Wagner, says:

"...It is sad, but a fact, that while the lives of decent folk usually make dull reading, the lives of bad hats are nearly always interesting, and Wagner, in spite of being one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived, was a very bad hat indeed.

    "In financial matters,... he was a... crook:....

    "Socially, he was a spoiled brat:....

    "...It was precisely about those composers from whom he had learned most that Wagner was nastiest....

    "In his sexual life, he indulged in one affair after another... but... in opera after opera, extolled the virtues of renunciation and charity....

    "Such weaknesses... make amusing reading, but there is nothing funny about Wagner's hatred of the French and the Jews. He was furious at Bismarck for not razing Paris to the ground.... Most nineteenth-century anti-Semites would have been genuinely horrified by Auschwitz, but one has the uncomfortable suspicion that Wagner would have wholeheartedly approved...."

This last is followed by a quotation that could have come straight out of _Mein Kampf_.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: Cluin
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:24 AM

I recall seeing an interview with composer Steve Reich who compared Wagner with one of his contemporary composers, someone whom I'd never heard of, nor can recall the name of now. The upshot was that this other composer had as charitable and philanthropic and humanistic reputation as Wagner's was as an anti-Semite and a miserable prick. How is it to be reconciled that Wagner's music was so inspired while the other fellow's was mediocre and forgettable?

"As to aesthetics and morals I believe they are essentially not connected - though we dearly, naively, would like them to be. We have only to think of Wagner, a Nazi and simultaneously a musical genius.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 05:04 AM

I've heard reports that Ralph McTell has been known to throw his toys out of the cot on occasions, though I've never actually seen this.

Sometimes artists can be crabby with very good reason and this put me in mind of a Dougie McLean story. He was doing a gig in the seventies in Leicester and this was in the days of vinyl. During the interval when he was selling his merchandise, a drunken bum spilled a pint on the box of albums, at which DM was, quite understandably, not very pleased.

I only mention the story because, about 15 years later, that drunken bum became Lord Mayor of Leicester. If I ever bump into DM at a festival, I'm sure he'd take some comfort in knowing that.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: GUEST,seth in Olympia
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM

Miles Davis, the standard from which all other crabby musicians are measured, though I never saw him in performance or a club. So it's all hear say for me, but there sure are a lot of anecdotes about his attitude, even mentioned in the Eddie Jefferson lyrics to " So What"
I guess he only got irate when some stranger told him how much they liked his music
seth


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:39 PM

I've enjoyed self-effacing musicians such as Sam Hinton in folk and Charlie Byrd in jazz. I've also seen arrogance and volcanic tempers from several folks who shall remain nameless, triggered by on-stage glitches in some cases and pure cantankerousness in others.

However, "I hear tell" is not evidence. I generally wait until I am personally insulted before passing judgement. Truth to say, I have seen more "attitude" from rockers than from folkies or jazz performers.

I almost think some individuals' musical talent, in the extreme, is a bit like the talent of a savant. It develops with few distractions and with total focus. Social skills do not always accompany it.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 09:06 AM

As far as Ralph McTell is concerned, and as a fan for many many years (and who's got to know lots of other fans), I've never heard of an incident at a gig where he's lost his temper, at least not recently! I know that it happened more than once during the tour after Streets of London became a hit,(mid 70's) but he was later diagnosed with depression, and said to be on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown at the time! I've heard that he is fussy about some things, however - a few years ago apparently he lost his temper with a theatre manager who said that it didn't matter that the wheelchair access to the auditorium was blocked with rubble - something that it's worth loosing your temper over, I reckon!
Have to say, he's always polite and patient with his fans, though, and frequently makes a point of thanking his tour manager/sound engineer during shows - and apologising to him if he over-runs!

(Is 'crabbiness' the same thing as 'fussiness' or perfectionism when it comes to giving a performance? Though I'd hope any performer that I pay to see is at least a litle fussy about getting things right, I imagine that perfectionism could easily become crabbiness!)


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: GUEST,Joseph de Culver City
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 01:58 PM

Two musicians come to mind--

Howlin' Wolf--saw him play more than a few times, he seemed resentful of the audience most of the time, but he sure gave a great performance. Twice I saw him play with Willie Dixon on bass, Willie was one of the warmest performers I have ever experienced.

Leo Kottke--Outright rude to many audience members, though some of the audience members may have exacerbated the situation. He is, without a doubt, a perfectionist within his own standard , and a fine guitarist.

BTW, John Fahey overrated? Hmmm...Not in my book.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 10:40 AM

I saw Joni Mitchell live at the Blossom Music Festival center in Kent, Ohio.

I could say she was provoked;
a sopranino-voiced fan in the audience
punctuated the breaks between songs -- many breaks --
with a shrieking request for "Californiaaa!"

"Somebody help her," Mitchell chuckled at one point.
But the shrieks continued, until
Mitchell stopped cold and declared that it pissed her off.

The audience seemed genuinely startled -- I recall gasps and whispers.
And the people in whose company I attended
made more of Mitchell's criticism than
they made of the squeaky shrieky fan.

Oh, and the fan DID shut up after that.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 11:41 AM

I am a big fan of Neil Young but he can be a surly bugger. Saw him in concert once, at the end of the last song he flung down the Guitar and stomped off stage...no goodnight or thanks for coming and an encore was out of the question. Great concert though.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 12:20 PM

Why should artists tolerate extremely annoying arseholes in an audience..
Why should audiences have to tolerate them either...

[question marks intentionally omitted...]


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 04 Dec 19 - 01:12 PM

Oscar Brand. Tales of his irascibility abound. It's no secret that the character of Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street was at least partly inspired by him.

Here's a story told to me by the person it happened to:

I had a friend named Jeff Segall who encountered Mr. Brand many years ago when he was a Junior High School student. Jeff was an aspiring folk musician and when he tried to talk to Brand before the performance, he was firmly rebuffed and told, "I work alone!"

Several years later, when Jeff was in college, Oscar Brand performed in concert and when Jeff saw him and asked if he remembered him, Brand shot back angrily, "Yeah - you're the kid who tried to steal my act!"

Oscar the Grouch, indeed...


Jay


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: CupOfTea
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 12:15 AM

When I was in Grad school in Dekalb IL, working on the coffeehouse ("New Prairie Cafe") committee, one of the folks I was most interested in seeing was brilliant & distinctive harmonica player Howard Levy. Though I knew him originally from Trapezoid's recordings, he also had a jazz combo, years before the Flecktones. NIU was keen on jazz in the music department, so booking his Jazz (think it was a quartet) was a no-brainer. Come the night, prolly 7 people showed up, including the committee. He was seriously pissed off, and tersely took us to task for the lack of audience - BACKSTAGE. Great show, and nobody would have been the wiser about his crabbyness out front.

Joanne in Siberia on the Lake


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 09:03 PM

Scanning this entertaining thread, I note a couple of names -- Leo Kottke and Townes Van Zandt -- whom I encountered separately and long ago at gigs in Chicago. They both struck me as approachable and friendly, devoid of attitude. When I knew him in his early days before he was famous outside the local folk scene, Steve Goodman was, er, a good man.

On the other hand, you might look up Andrew Calhoun's "Going Down to See John Prine" and pray that nobody ever writes a song like that about you.


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: meself
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 09:55 PM

Goin' Down to See John Prine


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Subject: RE: great crabby artists
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 11:13 PM

Andrew Calhoun's lyrics.

Andrew Calhoun's website.


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