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Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2

SharonA 21 Jan 02 - 09:26 AM
wysiwyg 21 Jan 02 - 09:34 AM
SharonA 21 Jan 02 - 09:46 AM
53 21 Jan 02 - 11:26 AM
GUEST 21 Jan 02 - 01:13 PM
wysiwyg 21 Jan 02 - 02:11 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 02 - 02:15 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 02 - 02:19 PM
wysiwyg 21 Jan 02 - 03:39 PM
Bert 21 Jan 02 - 03:51 PM
paddymac 21 Jan 02 - 05:51 PM
GUEST 22 Jan 02 - 09:16 AM
PeteBoom 22 Jan 02 - 10:23 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 22 Jan 02 - 10:44 AM
GUEST 22 Jan 02 - 12:27 PM
GUEST 24 Jan 02 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 24 Jan 02 - 07:48 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 16 - 12:38 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Dec 16 - 01:19 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Dec 16 - 01:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Dec 16 - 03:47 PM
Deckman 27 Dec 16 - 04:16 PM
Donuel 27 Dec 16 - 08:17 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 16 - 01:02 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Dec 16 - 02:31 AM
Tattie Bogle 28 Dec 16 - 04:41 AM
Thompson 28 Dec 16 - 05:01 AM
Joe_F 28 Dec 16 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,Jon Heslop 29 Dec 16 - 08:26 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Dec 16 - 01:01 PM
Thompson 31 Dec 16 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Rigby 31 Dec 16 - 01:28 PM
The Sandman 31 Dec 16 - 01:30 PM
Jack Campin 31 Dec 16 - 04:36 PM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jan 17 - 12:18 PM
GUEST 04 Jan 17 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,SB 04 Jan 17 - 09:54 PM
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Subject: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 09:26 AM

This discussion is continued from part 1. Here's a link to that thread: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 09:34 AM

I'd like to strongly recommend that people read the opening posts and (if possible) all of Part One on this topic before posting... it was a potentially-difficult discussion in some respects but the first round of it was mostly notable for some serious and generally positive, respectful discussion. I would hope that tone can continue.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 09:46 AM

Just for reference (and to keep us "on topic"), here's a repeat of the opening post of Part 1, submitted by Little Neophyte last March:


Recently I attended an evening of music where I watched the performers drink a bundle. You could see they had quite a 'buzz going'. It kind of bothered me to see them drink so much. I was advised [that] when performing [it's] best to keep the celebrating to after I was finished. Okay, maybe a glass of wine or a beer to take the edge off but I was told it is wise to stop after that.

Did the alcohol affect their performance? I'm not too sure. Yet I would have much preferred listening to these folks play with out so much booze involved. Seems their music was fine but I did not find them present with the audience.

Maybe it is just me. I'm not much of a drinker although I love a glass of wine (or two).

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: 53
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 11:26 AM

i think that it was a good idea to start a part 2 cause we do have a lot of drunks out there posing as musicians, and i think the at there is a lot to talk about. BOB


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 01:13 PM

I agree 53. It seems like the overwhelming majority of posters to the first thread either drink themselves while working, or consider it acceptable for other professional musicians to drink while working. Doesn't say much for the profession, does it?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 02:11 PM

There was no overwhelming majority in Part One of this thread, nor even very much of anyone trying to tell others what to do-- it has been a nice collection of diverse, individual perspectives and personal experiences.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 02:15 PM

Maybe folks don't want to discuss this in this thread (start a new one, or post it to "preparing for a performance" thread?), but I'm also wondering why so many people think that there is no carry over effect from one performance to the next (particularly when doing a number of gigs in a row, as one must do while touring or performing at festivals over a period of days) from drinking.

In other words, I no longer drink after the gig either, unless I don't have to perform for at least two more days. Granted, I'm a singer and the alcohol really wreaks havoc with the vocal cords drying out (don't forget--alcohol, especially in copious amounts, is a terrible dehyrdrator of the body). But I also am just not sharp enough after a night of drinking after a show to feel on top of my game at the next gig.

Maybe it is because I'm getting too old to want to have to work my body that hard to get the results which used to come easily in my early 20s when I drank to excess and used drugs with a fair amount of regularity. But nowadays, even putting the professional factor aside, I physically feel like hell and can't perform well after a night of drinking after a gig, even if I had nothing to drink before and during.

A night of drinking for me nowadays I would define as anything more than a glass or two of wine, or a beer or two. Even three for me is too much.

And it isn't really a matter of whether I feel I can pull off a gig sounding good, it is more a matter of how I feel physically. I hate feeling physically below par, whether from drink, a cold, lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise, unnecessary stress--any of it. My tolerance of those things nowadays is very low, so I've become much more aware and deliberate about my lifestyle choices in that regard. Any others have this experience?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 02:19 PM

WYSIWYG--I reread the entire part one before posting. It seems to me that the majority of posters felt drinking in moderation was acceptable while performing professionally, especially if one was performing in pubs or venues where alcohol was being served. While only a few people said they actually do drink for their own paid gigs, they did say they didn't think it was unacceptable if others drank at paying gigs in moderation.

That is how I read the thread, though I didn't count the for and against. It seems to me the majority seems to support the idea--at least for others--of tolerating moderate drinking onstage for paying gigs. The most popular reasons seeming to be not wanting to be judgmental, or live and let live.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 03:39 PM

I think when you have a continuum that is so braod, of what people think is acceptable for themselves or others, it doesn;t make sense to conclude that there was a group that agreed together about anything. The only majority I saw was people saying what they had experienced and often what they had learned as a result. I think that to draw any inferences from what a group of rugged individualists say, here, about anything, is inaccurate thinking and a poor basis for deciding or evaluating much of anything.

I also think that characterizing the posts (as was done above by one person) detracts from their impact, even when no trolling is intended. This is because each and every experience shared stands clearly and eloquently on its own two feet, for however one may respond to it. No one needs to draw an inference just to have a viewpoint against which to make one's own point-- let each one make their own point from their own experience, I say.

I also would like to say that in this thread, I (for one) can see why some people are choosing to post completely anonymously. I am pleased to see that it does not (yet) seem unacceptable to folks to discuss more anonymously, in this thread, than is usual around here. This (IMO) is one of the toughest subjects there is, to talk about safely and openly. I like it that people are saying what they think. I don't care that there are no names attached to some of these, and I hope no one else will.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Bert
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 03:51 PM

I have this recording I made, singing with a friend while we were both rolling drunk. It's so awful that I try never to have more than a beer or two while performing (don't always succeed though and always regret it later, check Mudcat Radio Archives)


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: paddymac
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 05:51 PM

I was chatting with another musician not long ago about the problems of too much drink or drug before or during a gig. His story was that he had formerly been something of a pot abuser, but always thought he played exceptionally well when stoned. Then another friend gave him a tape of one of his stoned performances. When he listened to it "free of the influence," he realized that he was most always a fraction of a beat off in his playing, thereby dragging down the entire group's sound. He summarily quit toking for gigs.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 09:16 AM

Somewhere early on in the original thread, someone stated that the idea that drugs or alcohol enhanced performance was a myth.

I'd echo that--in folk and blues music, it is one of our most powerful, gripping myths. It is very difficult for many folk performers to immerse themselves in the music, without immersing themselves in it's mythological drinking and drug taking.

Even when some have the evidence of their own poor performance under the influence shoved in their face while sober, they will continue to deny the negative effects on their performance. Sadly, those who are so deeply in denial also seem to be incapable of taking into account the effects of "living the myth" has on their relationships off-stage as well.

As with any other sort of romantic addiction, attempts to "live the myth" never have happy endings, do they?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: PeteBoom
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 10:23 AM

I've been sitting here reading this, trying to remember the last time I had more than 2 drinks (pints, whatever) when playing more than three sets. When I played jazz lo those many years ago - it was tea or coffee and a glass of water. Doing the folk thing, is a little different atmosphere than most jazz clubs I've worked in.

Now, at a two set gig in a bar or club or whatever, I'll have water and a pint of beer. And have beer left over at the end. Most three or four set gigs I'll get one more set up before starting the last set - and finish it after tearing down. I'm not really sure why this is - other than a glass of ale or stout makes a tremendous prop. For wetting the whistle - water with a slice of lemon does the trick. Setting up, I still tend to drink coffee or tea, depending on where the gig is.

I rather strongly suspect that many opposed to ALL use of alcohol by a musician is inappropriate would find my usage improper and classify me as a drunk. At the same time, ONE fellow I know accused me of being a "clean liver" and drank in such small amounts because I was a "lightweight." We proceeded to kill a little short of a bottle of whisky between us, and I tucked him into his tent. Then proceeded to finish the whisky (couldn't fiind the cork and did not want to waste it!) Next morning he refused any breakfast wine while cooking the bacon and eggs. Hmmmm... Maybe I'm a "lighweight drunk"....

Pete


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 10:44 AM

I like drinking beer but drinking to much is no good (you could fall over and hert yuorself) I like drinking on Tuesdays.john (I also like chocolate pudding with rice pudding but too much makes me fat).john


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 12:27 PM

What is sad to me Pete, isn't that you might have a pint and use it more as a prop than as a drink, but that you felt there was some honor to defend when you were accused of being a lightweight drinker.

There is a very strong aspect of machismo attached to this romantic notion of folk and drink. I guess that is why so many contributing to this thread have felt they couldn't come right out and say that professional musicians, like any other professionals, shouldn't be drinking on the job, regardless of myth or reality.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 06:39 PM

I drink a pint of beer and then water only if I'm getting paid or hoping for bookings. If I'm playing for fun I do about a pint of best per two hours. When I start to lose concentration I stop and grab some tea or water and lay off the beer for a while. This way I can drink all day and still sing and play after an all-day session.
I hate pretentious pratts that get stewed and become foul mouthed and abusive at the end of an evening. Trouble is, there's a few of them out there and they never mature with age.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 07:48 PM

I am a voice teacher and I can tell you that when you drink, you cannot sing. The first thing that happens with the first drink is that your lips get numb and then your tongue. The only reason that you think you can sing well after drinking is because the next thing that gets numb is your hearing. Stupid alcoholics.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 16 - 12:38 PM

I once worked with a guy who had a couple of pints to 'loosen up' before gigs, then theorised that your body got rid of a unit per hour therefore, if you sipped slowly, it was impossible to get drunk. He also categorised tune by pints, a 'three pinter' being a more complex tune than a 'two pinter' etc. He was a lovely, clever, funny man who died far too young of liver failure. Like Duke Ellington said; 'It's OK to go to the party but you gotta know when to go home'.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Dec 16 - 01:19 PM

A professional musician told me, many years ago (I think it was in the late '60s) that "The only person who thinks you play better drunk is you".

I'd been in the habit of tanking up before gigs, but that piece of advice changed my attitude and, from then on, I drank very little before taking to the stage. I've been teetotal since December, 2005, so no need to follow the rule.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Dec 16 - 01:25 PM

Oops! Just seen the age of this thread! Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Dec 16 - 03:47 PM

There's all the difference in the world between having a beer and getting drunk, for most of us. Moderation in all things.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Dec 16 - 04:16 PM

A hundred years ago, when I was younger, I was one third of a trio. The other members shall remain nameless. In 1959, we did a feature gig at the Seattle Yacht Club. It was quite a "prestigious" gig for us and we were the envy of the "U" district for a while. Unfortunately, the speaker who proceeded us was long winded and we were invited into the bar to wait our turn. The beautiful lady (NEVER form a trio without at least one beautiful lady) proceeded to quickly down three glasses of wine. Being the virgin that I was, I stayed with soda.

When we finally got on stage, I knew we were in trouble. Sure enough, the beautiful lady could barely stand, let alone remember her words or sing on pitch. As we started to sing a duet that we'd practiced for many hours, she completely lost it. The other trio member helped her off stage and I finished the set my myself.

We did get paid, eventually, but we weren't asked back. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Dec 16 - 08:17 PM

I could not possibly count all the duties and obligations of a performer. It takes years, luck and a lifetime.

There are promises made by all sorts of performance enhancement strategies. To list a few are superstition, food, drink, beta blockers, pot, stimulants. You only have control of your baseline performance.

Any given session has the potential for an epic fail or success. The more you burden the equation of performance the riskier it gets.

In the real world you have to feel it, be it, go for it and kick some ass.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 01:02 AM

Drummers, especially drummers, should NOT drink, while performing. Their timing goes to hell in a hand-basket..meanwhile, guitarists should NOT drink while practicing..they can't remember a damn thing they were playing!!...

..but then, you are allowed to be as tasteless as you want, but don't expect great reviews!


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 02:31 AM

"There's all the difference in the world between having a beer and getting drunk, for most of us. Moderation in all things."

Absolutely correct, Kevin. But for a relatively immature 18-year-old, impressionable, new to alcohol, and surrounded by older, heavy drinkers, that difference isn't necessarily easily recognised or understood. Fortunately in my case, advice from a pro put me on the right track.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 04:41 AM

It's my impression that fewer performers drink alcohol on stage than used to in the past: part of this may be "health and safety", screwtop water bottles being safer among all those electrical cables than potentially spillable glasses. Also maybe looks better to not be seen to be drinking alcohol on stage, though that does not exclude it happening backstage either before or after!
What surprised me is what some agents build into their performers' contracts in the way of "riders". OK, they might need some sort of meal and tea/coffee/water/juice if they've come a long way, but "3 bottles of best Rioja" (sic) between 5 performers? They are getting a good fee: surely if they want alcohol they could/should buy it themselves?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 05:01 AM

An interesting viewpoint is to look at other professions. For instance, it is a matter of some contention in Ireland that there is not one but two bars in the Dail (our parliament/congress house). Why should lawmakers need to drink during work hours, people say, I don't do it in my job in the civil service, digging the roads, arguing cases, or whatever. And in one or two long sittings of the Dail in the last couple of years it was clear that some if not many of the TDs (lawmakers) were quite drunk.
Would you approve of this? And if you didn't, would you think that you'd be offering the same kind of insult to those you serve if you indulge yourself by drinking while you perform?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 06:11 PM

My impression is that *politicians* need alcohol to ease the pain of doing dirty deals. Other professions don't have that excuse.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST,Jon Heslop
Date: 29 Dec 16 - 08:26 AM

Some do, some don't, that's the way things are. I personally don't drink if I'm doing a paid gig. OK a pint awhile before or after but not during. a very good reason to stay sober is that your audience have paid to come and see/hear you and your songs so they deserve the best you can do. Another good reason is that in most cases I have to drive afterwards and drink-drive is not a recommended combination.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Dec 16 - 01:01 PM

Well said, Jon.
Re the comment I made above about riders: it was perhaps a standard contract, and the same 3 bottles of Rioja were requested for a solo performer from that same band: Obviously totally ridiculous for one person! I emailed the performer, and he said all he wanted was a nice carton of "smoothie" as he would be driving afterwards. Under £2 in the local supermarket!


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Thompson
Date: 31 Dec 16 - 07:40 AM

Didn't Leonard Cohen famously get through three bottles of some very fancy French wine each night in his terror of performing?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 31 Dec 16 - 01:28 PM

A few years back I saw Will Oldham (aka Bonny Prince Billy) at the Junction in Cambridge. He and his entire band were completely shitfaced before they went on stage, to the point where they could barely play.

I went along with a friend out of curiosity, not knowing much about him, and we turned to each other after one song and said 'He's pissed out of his head!' But we talked to some hardcore fans who refused to believe he was drunk, and thought the show was absolutely stellar. Weird.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 16 - 01:30 PM

Alan Smethhurst aka Singing Postman yet another.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Dec 16 - 04:36 PM

And in the classical world, Jussi Bjoerling was once too sloshed to stand up when about to go on stage for an opera. So the stage manager rearranged the set furnishings so he could lean against a table through the entire act, having been propped up there before the curtain lifted.

The sloshedest singer I've seen on stage was a woman doing Brecht/Weill songs in the Edinburgh Festival around 1980. Agnes Bernelle maybe? She brought a bottle of wine with her and chugged it down (straight from the bottle, I think) during the show.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 12:18 PM

Shane McGowan: drinking from cans of cider: I think more went down his shirtfront than in his mouth, though some had obviously been imbibed!


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 17 - 08:45 PM

Better to play sober...Diet cokes and tea are good but make me speed the tempo! So you really have to watch excess...drink after the gig, but not too much! I learned this the hard way...lucky to still be here..


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2
From: GUEST,SB
Date: 04 Jan 17 - 09:54 PM

Not entirely unrelated. One reason I stopped Morris dancing in the 1980s was all of the drinking and driving that went on. I simply couldn't justify the risks to my life in accepting lifts from drunk team members.

And as for ceilidh dance bands the most stoned and/or drunk I have ever seen were at Sidmouth 'Late Night Extra' gigs from top so-called pro. musicians and callers. They know who they are.


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