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worst performances live acts

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GUEST,kevinhowcroft@hotmail.com 06 Apr 02 - 04:29 AM
Menita 06 Apr 02 - 02:01 PM
greg stephens 06 Apr 02 - 02:26 PM
Celtic Soul 06 Apr 02 - 03:29 PM
mack/misophist 06 Apr 02 - 06:23 PM
Little Hawk 06 Apr 02 - 09:43 PM
Cappuccino 07 Apr 02 - 04:24 AM
Menita 07 Apr 02 - 08:15 AM
Liz the Squeak 07 Apr 02 - 01:47 PM
The Shambles 07 Apr 02 - 02:42 PM
vectis 07 Apr 02 - 03:06 PM
Big Mick 07 Apr 02 - 05:20 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 02 - 12:19 AM
KingBrilliant 08 Apr 02 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler at the library 08 Apr 02 - 09:36 AM
alinact 08 Apr 02 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,maryrrf 08 Apr 02 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,Foe 08 Apr 02 - 11:54 AM
AliUK 08 Apr 02 - 12:32 PM
AliUK 08 Apr 02 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Slickerbill 08 Apr 02 - 01:37 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Apr 02 - 01:51 PM
Cappuccino 08 Apr 02 - 01:54 PM
Big Mick 08 Apr 02 - 01:55 PM
Steve Latimer 08 Apr 02 - 01:59 PM
Big Mick 08 Apr 02 - 02:02 PM
Bullfrog Jones 08 Apr 02 - 06:19 PM
Chanteyranger 09 Apr 02 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 09 Apr 02 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,jonesey 09 Apr 02 - 08:54 PM
Coyote Breath 10 Apr 02 - 12:03 AM
DonMeixner 10 Apr 02 - 12:13 AM
GUEST,Liquor Lovin' Larry 10 Apr 02 - 09:39 PM
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53 10 Apr 02 - 10:38 PM
Leeder 10 Apr 02 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Petit Glory 11 Apr 02 - 03:31 AM
Gervase 11 Apr 02 - 05:15 AM
Janice in NJ 11 Apr 02 - 07:07 AM
Steve Latimer 11 Apr 02 - 09:57 AM
Art Thieme 13 Apr 02 - 06:25 PM
greg stephens 13 Apr 02 - 07:36 PM
Peter T. 13 Apr 02 - 08:01 PM
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Subject: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,kevinhowcroft@hotmail.com
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 04:29 AM

Leaving aside the sad performance by the incredible string band in sidmouth which upset me for a week, Iwonder what the worst folk performance you can remember was? I was at a Fairport Convention gig in Shrewsbury years ago, when Dave Swarbrick was mucking about poking Bob Peg in the face with his bow while playing, and Bob laid him out cold with his fender bass. the band walked off stage , Dave was taken to hospital we all were sent out and got no refund. Oy Veh


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Menita
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 02:01 PM

Well I'm gonna think about this for a while. I'd just like to say welcome to Mudcat. Hurry up and register we're havin' a great party here! (What about that chap in the 6 Bells with the Sax? Naah, he's ok really!!!)

LA


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 02:26 PM

At the Sefton Park carnival in Liverpool, a guy got on stage in the "open mike" bit and started off "woke up this morning and found I'd pooed my pants." After that it got worse and two organisers got up and physically removed him from the stage. Well,that was by no means the worst performance I'd seen but it qualifies as something or other.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 03:29 PM

How to do this diplomatically...

There was a band that played a show we used to do regularly a long time ago. They were a 3 person group with a bazouki player, a guitarist, and one person with a pair of bones. Not a bad combination of instruments, certainly. The bazouki player was OK, the guitarist was OK, and the bones player should have learned how to use them instead of holding one in each hand and banging them together in the simplest of rhythms (4/4). Now, this in and of itself is not all that bad, but add to this that none of them could really sing very well (one was completely tone deaf), but sang they did, and that they did not stay on stage (or even near one another, for that matter). The doppler effect of them not being able to hear one another made them off time, and added chaos to the cacophany. Even with their attempts to be engaging by coming into the audience, they seemed to miss the fact that this alone would not make that happen. They did not make eye contact, they did not smile...they simply wandered around a little like zombies and played off time and off key.

In their defense, they were working for one of the biggest skin flints in that particular arm of the performing business. They were likely asked to "form a group" by said management, and were likely not getting paid anything at all.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: mack/misophist
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 06:23 PM

Sandy Bull, nodding off on stage. A damn shame. That much talent wasted.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 09:43 PM

Kris Kristofferson at the Riverboat, so hung over he could not play. He paid for everyone's refund, however, and we all came back to see him the next night. Good ol' Chris...what a guy! :-)

Dylan's Isle of Wight show sounded not too terribly good to me, but I wasn't there. He's been wonderful whenever I've actually seen him.

- LH


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Cappuccino
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 04:24 AM

The worst performance I've ever heard was one I was involved in.

I was playing bass in a three-piece Irish folk band - although I'm English. The leader played a 12-string so physically hard that strings rarely stayed in tune for more than a couple of minutes, and he regularly broke four or five a night (I promise you that is true!). The fiddler was good, but occasionally out of tune.

We were playing an Irish pub in Oxford, and doing some diddly-diddly intrumental which just got faster and faster, and the guitarist was playing some tempo I had never heard - it wasn't 4/4, 3/4, 5/8. 16/12, or anything I'd ever come across, but as it got faster and faster, he got more and more out of tune. I looked over at the fiddler who gave me a look as if to say 'don't blame me!', and kept on playing his own tune. So I continued just trying to establish some kind of common tempo which would bridge the gap between the two of them.

So eventually the inevitable string broke, and the guitarist's sound ground to a halt with a noise like a freight train hitting the buffers.

In the momentary silence that followed, he turned and said 'Ian, you're putting the whole ****ing band off!'

I quit!

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Menita
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 08:15 AM

This thread seems to be veering over a bit, but all of this brings to mind an episode when I was a 'young farmer' performing in the vicar's Christmas concert on a school stage. I was 15 and had arranged for my boyfriend's band 'Everything under the Sun' to play 'Summertime Blues'. So they set up their equipment, pulled back the curtains and went hell for leather into the number. The head master of the school went rushing to the electrical supply and unplugged! He said he'd been outside the building and it was half a yard off the ground! Did the ground open up for me? Does it ever!


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 01:47 PM

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds I might incriminate myself, but it wasn't me and she was very VERY drunk.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 02:42 PM

The very worst must surely be the acts that don't turn up.

I wonder who the worst offending folk acts are?


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: vectis
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 03:06 PM

One scottish fiddler has failed to show up twice. On one occasion he had been rushed into hospital and could not contact us. We are still waiting to hear why he didn't show up about four months ago.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 05:20 PM

Shane McGowan at the first Guinness Fleadh held in the US on Randalls Island, NYC. It was embarassing and disgusting. I love his wordcraft, and the imagery he creates. But his live performances are horrible. The man was so drunk that he couldn't remember a lyric, keep time, or sing on key. He was slovenly. Went off stage and urinated in the grass. Second time that I bothered to go see him with the same result. Won't do it again.

Mick


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 12:19 AM

The egotistical asses who ignore their assigned time allocations and steal time from other performers.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 06:05 AM

One of the worst (and funniest) I've heard (and I'm sure the perpetrators would agree) was at a song & tune session. Two of my friends decided to have a go at The Eagles' New Kid in Town - despite several beers, total lack of practice, and with just a printout of words & chords to work from.
They went and sat at one end of the room (in the sort of stage-ish area), and commenced. One can only say that it went from bad to worse.......rapidly
Meanwhile, their girlfriends and I looked at eachother first in horror, then in helpless laughter.
Terrible!!!!
Fortunately, they are usually very good - so can be forgiven ... just about

KRis


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler at the library
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 09:36 AM

Anyone who was at the Stoney Stratford lunchtime Saturday session in Feb who heard my pitiful contribution will know there is no contest.
RtS (I've emptied bigger rooms than that!)


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: alinact
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 10:49 AM

kevin

You have totally shattered my memories of Fairport and my illusions of ISB.

Was dissension in the Fairport camp a common thing? and can you tell me a bit more about the ISB debacle?

Allan


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 11:22 AM

Well, I was involved in one that was pretty bad. I had two acquaintances who had a Mexican trio that played romantic boleros, etc. I did a lot of latin music at the time but not the same kind that trios usually do. I went to a festival where they would be playing just to see their act. I was dressed pretty sloppily, it being an outdoor festival and very hot outside. The two of them were onstage and when they spotted me coming up one of them ran down and told me in a panicked whisper that the singer hadn't shown up. He dragged me onstage and before I knew it they had introduced me as "Maria" from Chile. Problem was we didn't have very much of a repertoire in common, so we had to sing the same few songs over and over. I was glad when that was over, and I'm sure the audience was too!


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Foe
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 11:54 AM

Went to a Kristofferson concert many, many years ago at Constitution Hall in DC. Rita Coolidge was singing backup and harmonies. At the beginning of the 1st set someone in the audience ran up and sat a fifth of Jack on the edge of the stage. Kris started taking a slug after every song and half way through the set he was weaving. From then on he didn't finish any song he started - just stopped and complained to the sound crew that the sound was terrible. Didn't come out for the second set and Rita Coolidge filled in.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: AliUK
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 12:32 PM

Me and my mate Rob in the Cambridge club tent a few years ago. We´d formed a duo and were doing pretty well at the local clubs but wanted to extend our range, so we decided to do a showcase at the Cambridge FF. Problem was Rob spent most of the night before and the morning embibing in alcoholic beverages. We got up on stage and he somehow managed to get his guitar over his head and put the capo on the guitar and launched into The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda...about two octaves higher than I normally sing. I tried to point this out to him but he just looked and me and said "Sing ya fucka" So I grabbed my balls and did an Aled Jones impression for the audience and never felt so embarassed in all my life...well except for the spaghetti incident, but that´s another story.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: AliUK
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 12:34 PM

Me and my mate Rob in the Cambridge club tent a few years ago. We´d formed a duo and were doing pretty well at the local clubs but wanted to extend our range, so we decided to do a showcase at the Cambridge FF. Problem was Rob spent most of the night before and the morning embibing in alcoholic beverages. We got up on stage and he somehow managed to get his guitar over his head and put the capo on the guitar and launched into The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda...about two octaves higher than I normally sing. I tried to point this out to him but he just looked and me and said "Sing ya fucka" So I grabbed my balls and did an Aled Jones impression for the audience and never felt so embarassed in all my life...well except for the spaghetti incident, but that´s another story.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Slickerbill
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 01:37 PM

Went to a show in Winnipeg featuring Toots and the Maytals, (the seminal reggae group). The band comes out about 45 min. late. Band starts playing, gettin' the groove going. Toos comes out, sings about two lines, and stops the band to yell at the sound guy. Starts the tune again; one line in he screams at the sound guy, smashes, and I mean smashes the mic down on the stage and storms off stage, hauling his band with him. We sit for about another half an hour while the guitarist is doing a "sound check", calling "more gain. more gain. more gain" on the monitors. We figure, "Oh there's not gonna be too much feedback when he comes out again!!" Got up, got a refund, and got out. I never heard whether he ever did get on with it, but that's me last Toots concert. SB


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 01:51 PM

KingBrilliant...

"There's a new kid in town (I don't want to hear it)...ahhhh ooooooh!"


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Cappuccino
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 01:54 PM

George Jones, or 'no-show Jones' the country singer, was notorious if he ever arrived and got onstage. At a Wembley country music festival, he said after the first song that he would stay and sing all night if we wanted... after the second song he walked to the side of the stage and gave the sound man such a bollocking that everyone heard it; he stalked off, and I could see backstage that George Hamilton IV, that absolute gentleman, was trying vainly to pacify him.

I felt sorry for his band, who had clearly seen it all before, and just waited patiently, onstage, in front of 8,000 people.

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 01:55 PM

Can't believe that no one has mentioned Sly and the Family Stone.

Mick


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 01:59 PM

Mick,

What a waste of talent. I never saw them live, but I heard they were a disaster. Too bad, they were a talented and innovative group. Cocaine's for Horses, it ain't for men.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 02:02 PM

Yep, Steve. I felt the same way. Some of the lyrics, and their recorded material was superb, as good as has ever been done in that genre. Saw them once at Grand Valley State College. Same reaction as I had to Shane. I vowed that I would never show that type of disrespect for an audience.

Mick


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 06:19 PM

Lou Reed circa 1973. I'd been a big fan of the Velvet Underground and then Transformer came along and blew everyone away. Unfortunately at The Rainbow gig in London he only wanted to do songs from the follow-up album Berlin, which was dire. Added to which he was out of his tree on God-knows-what and when he wasn't singing (badly) spent most of the show keeping time by banging his SM58 on the Hammond organ, which is painful to watch, let alone listen to. The evening wasn't a total write off, though. The support act was The Persuasions, a totally brilliant acapella soul quartet, they were as professional as Reed was pathetic.

BJ


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 04:08 AM

Worst I ever saw was a completely pissed highland piper at a reception/fundraiser aboard the ship BOUNTY while docked at Martha's Vineyard in the summer of '91. He couldn't complete one tune. He would play a few bars, then begin to squawk a few times, and then stop and try another tune. He was sent packing early by the party organizers.

chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 07:36 AM

Any floor spot that I ever did before I realised that as singers go I was a pretty good dancer.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 08:54 PM

Great songwrier and worst live performer I've ever seen was Van Morrison. Stood there and sang for an hour while never saying a word to the audience. Walked off the same way. Best performer I ever saw was James Brown. A close second, believe it or not was Billy Ocean. He was amazing. Played all the instruments in his band as well as the guys playing them. The only reason he finished 2nd is that he aint the 'Godfather'!! Oh, right...I recall Joe Cocker in the mid 70s careening around the stage with a foaming Budweiser in his hand, falling into the drum riser and cutting his head on a cymbal stand. Squawked out a regrettable version of 'You Are So Beautiful' while all the girls squealed. "God, this really sucks", I thought. And I was right!


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 12:03 AM

We had a member of the San Francisco Folk Music Club who loved to sing acapella. His voice was clear and he kept the key and he had an interesting repetoire. The problem was he felt it absolutely neccessary to sing in 'dialect' or what HE though the 'dialect' should be. When he sang an Irish song he did a bad imitation of Barry Fitzgerald no matter where the song was from in Ireland. He sang his idea of a Scot's accent, an English 'accent', you get the picture. His worst was "The Handsome Cabin Boy" during which his 'accent' shifted from one part of the Isles to another. Even his genuine ability as a singer couldn't save him. By the time he was "gathered round did commence to stare" most of us were rolling on the floor with laughing, he would then get this pleased with himself look on his face, certain that the humour of the song had us in stiches and we'd laugh all the harder. Now that I think about it maybe it wasn't such a BAD performence as a outlandish one.

CB


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 12:13 AM

I have seen some awful shows. Jerry Jeff Walker so hammered he couldn't talk let alone sing. Eric Frandsen breaking a finger nail and screaming about how he couldn't play now. Also hammered insensible.

I nterestingly and contrary to Jerry Rasmussen's comment. One of the best shows I can recall from recent memory was The Kingston Trio at the Turning Stone Casino in NYS.

Don


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Liquor Lovin' Larry
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:39 PM

I saw Pete Seeger a couple of years back and he had no voice.

Most 80 year olds know that its time to retire.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: aussiebloke
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 10:33 PM

Chuck Berry. Melbourne Australia. 1971 or so...

He started 1 1/2 hours late, during which time the 'bouncers=thugs' amused themselves by beating up the restless concert-goers. The mood got really ugly.

When he finally came on, he constantly berated the scratch backing band - who were all very competent and very popular local musos. He was keeping the tour costs down by working with a local scratch-band in each town.

He played for one set = forty-five minutes and walked off - show is over.

The delay in starting the show was caused by him waiting backstage for a large wad of cash from the gate - over and above his contract price. Karma got him - he was busted in Brisbane that same tour attempting to smuggle wads of aussie dollars out of the country. He pulled the 'holding-out-for-gate-cash trick' more than once that tour.

The performance itself? Hard to say...

ausiebloke


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: 53
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 10:38 PM

Bob Dylan.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Leeder
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 11:29 PM

Leon Redbone at Fiddlers' Green in Toronto, sometime in the late 60s/early 70s. Arrived so drunk he could barely walk, collapsed into a chair onstage, then produced a tape recorder and played tapes of himself, occasionally mumbling along.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Petit Glory
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 03:31 AM

Chester Folk Festival Circa 1981 A Cockroach circus was on the bill. The Barn in which they were to perform was packed - everybody wanted to see this!! They were late starting .. very late.... slow hand claps and crying children. And when the handlers arrived they were wearing white lab coats. The act consisted of large ( 2inch ) Cockroaches with pieces of blu tac stuck to their back. Pieces of string were stuck to the blue tac and short lengths of bamboo enabled these lab technicians to use the live cockroaches as kind of living puppets. Higlight of their act was a re-enactment of the Battle of Britain - with cockroaches in front of a backdrop of cloud covered cardboard while a cassette played the Dambusters march. The cockroaches kept coming unstuck from the blu tac and falling to the ground (No parachutes were provided) The act was terrible - not even funny at the time. And I have never seen an audience at a folk event become so hostile. And then the guys in white coats happened to mention that during the day they actually use these cockroaches in their experiments at an animal testing lab..... I think they got out alive.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Gervase
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 05:15 AM

Has to be Dylan at the Fleadh in Finsbury Park a few years back. He followed Van Morrison (who, though morose as ever, was darned good) and was bloody awful. His voice was more nasal than ever I'd heard it, the material was lacklustre and it wasn't helped by a PA mixer with Van Gogh's ear for music.
In the end I gave up on Bob, wandered off and found Moving Hearts playing in a nearby tent. Now that was a cracking set!


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 07:07 AM

Worst live performance by a big name: Dave Van Ronk at some club in New York at least 25 years ago. Got on stage nearly half an hour late. Did one song, then said "I gotta pee." Got off stage. Came back 10 minutes later and did two more songs.

Worst performance by an unknown: Three young louts who sang God Save the Queen, then reached into their back pockets and pulled out little British flags (Union Jacks) which they used as snot rags. I presume they were trying to be funny. Easy to do when you're in Far Rockaway, NY. At least they were cute looking.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 09:57 AM

Jonesy,

I have been a Van Morrison fan for years. I had never seen him perform and was pretty excited when he came to Toronto a few years ago. I have never been so insulted by a preformer in my life. To his credit, he started exactly on time. He was touring a new album, kind of an R&B one. Well, he played songs from it for about forty minutes. They were fine, but I could have got the same thing byt staying home & watching a video of the Blues Brothers. Fianlly, the band started up "Tupelo Honey" the first song that I recognized. VAN WALKED OFF STAGE WITHOUT A WORD AND LEFT HIS DAUGHTER TO SING IT!!!

He came back, did more R&B, the band started another familiar song, same drill, happened about three or four times. I understand that if you're touring a new album that you need to play some material from it, but this was riduculous. We had eight people go to the show, 4 left. I foolishly stayed thinking that things would get better, they didn't. Ove the next few days people would ask how the show was. My reply was "name a Morrison song that you like". My reply to 80% of there answers was "they didn't play it", to another 10% "His daughter did it".

I still think that Van is one of the best songrwriters I've ever heard, but I now also think he's an arrogant jerk.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:25 PM

Am real glad I didn't make this thread.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 07:36 PM

most people are being pretty quiet about themselves. So will I


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Peter T.
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 08:01 PM

The Beatles concert I saw in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens 1966 could have been the worst or the best, I still have no idea.

The review of Billy Joel's concert a month ago with Elton John that I read in the New York Times is by far the nastiest (and clearly well deserved) I have read in a long, long time. Joel was obviously completely gone.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 11:42 PM

Bob Gibson told me once that our shows are usually much more even than we'd probably want to admit. Our worst show is rarely as bad as we thought, and, conversely, our best show (the ones we think were great) are rarely as good as we think.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: MAG
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 01:27 AM

Art, I can't imagine you ever showing up pissed for a show; you were always the perfect gentleman to the audience. I don't see any point in dissing the fine performers I've seen who did -- the stories abound, and they did themselves in.

There was one fashion plate mentioned above I thought sucked.

I'm really, really trying these days to judge not, lest I be judged. I'm not a religious person' it's just good advice.

MAG


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: fogie
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:19 AM

My vote for the best entry goes to Petit Glory, what the folk circuit needs is more variety, and pest control. The rest as they say is pisstory.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Mike Billo
Date: 07 May 02 - 09:33 AM

Ramblin' Jack Elliot at the Freight and Salvage talking endlessly about cocaine being a soothing topical anesthetic for the itching and pain of hemorrhoids. No, I'm not making this up.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:53 AM

This thread has been a great read. It is refreshing to read about people's personal experiences with the so-called "greats" as well as the not-so-greats.

There are the bad nights every musician has, but we don't seem to be hearing about those, as much as we are hearing about the act being too under the influence, showing up late or not at all, and what seems to be the very rare occurence of prima donnaism.

Very interesting. Worst concerts ever for me were Canned Heat (even travelled some distance for it) and (very sadly) Jeff Beck.

Most frightening audience experience was a tie, and included the above Jeff Beck concert (general admission, no chairs, and a surge toward the stage that nearly killed several audience members who were trampled a la the Who debacle) and a Led Zeppelin concert in an arena when the lights came up suddenly for no apparent reason, the band stopped, and people began panicking thinking there was a fire.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Amergin
Date: 07 May 02 - 12:06 PM

I haven't had any experiences like the above....the shows I have gone to were just wonderful...some even surprisingly great (John Prine-did not know much about his music when I went save a couple of songs, and PPM (more high class than I am used to)...

but there was one that left me feeling kind of funny...kind of disillusioned I guess...not sure what...but a very well known singer/songwriter I went and saw a few months ago, mentioned that he had a few cds and songbooks out front to sell....and that he would be out front in the lobby after the show...to sign autographs....

Now that latter part I had no problem with...in fact I was thrilled to be able to meet the man....and he was very nice...but the other part struck me kind of off...I mean here was a very well known musician...peddling his cds and songbook...advertising them...when he had no need to do so...because folks would have boughten them anyways...to me it was like saying buy my stuff and I will sign it if you want...but more importantly just buy it...I don't know...it just didn't strike a good chord in me....

I realise that it is next to impossible to make a decent living as a musician....just like it is with writing...it would have been one thing if it was some one on a regional circuit...but this was a fellow who was on the international circuit and has been for 30+ years...


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 May 02 - 01:14 PM

Ashley McIssac (Or how every ya spell it)

He showed up at our local "Celtic Fest" last year alone... no back up band no nothin'... looking like he'd just crawled out of Shane McGowans "hand-me-down" closet... He took the stage after smoking a big fattie and just started sawing away like he does... well, after 2 or 3 tunes that all sounded exactly the same, John Allen Cameron, in a drunken stupor (Is he ever in any other state) lurched up onto the stage and proceeded to "back up his boy"... The stumbled over each other trying to introduce YET ANOTHER set of tunes... They false-started in different keys more often than not... Every tune set seemed to be at least 7 minutes long... It was awful... The crowd milled around trying to not even look -towards- the stage, let alone holding their applause... us local musicians stood off to the side and made plans on how to 'save' the night...

When the MC came up on stage after AMC was done, he didn't even TRY to get the crowd to "Give it up" for him... Instead he just launched into the "Next up we have..." speech, and the crowd started to slowly return during the next bands sound check...

When we turned around AMC and JAC were, mercifully, no where to be seen...

I heard through the grapevine, that AMC at least had the good grace to still be gone when the fest tried to pay him... So they kept their money...


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: RichM
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:13 PM

I first saw Jerry Jeff Walker live in Ottawa at the fabulous "Le Hibou" coffeehouse. I was always in awe of the place whenever I walked in; it was a local icon of folk talent. That night I was prepared to be blown away, my hero was here, live! The first set was great...but in between sets, he went across the street to a no-nonsense working man's tavern, and proceeded to get royally hammered (Le Hibou served only coffee and no alcoholic bevs).
Ditto after the second set.
In the third set he began to insult the audience... and slur his words, and mess up his chords. Still I liked his music, but I never felt like seeing him live again.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,WyoWoman at Work
Date: 07 May 02 - 07:08 PM

Best of Show, definitely goes to Petit Glory. But I wondered if it was the guys in lab coats who got to live, or the roaches. I know this story is awful, but it's so hilarious I'm raising my co-workers' eyebrows.

I saw Chuck Berry in Albuquerque in the early 1980s, like maybe 1981. I had only been a reporter for a year or two and was working for the Albuquerque Journal. Wrote a story about Chuck Berry -- don't think I got an interview with him, just one of those icky stories you have to do on deadline because the damned subject never called you back and there's a hole in the paper with your name on it so you have to come up with something. And I did. But my fella at the time was a radio announcer whose station was sponsoring the show, so we got free tickets and I was really looking forward to the performance. I couldn't figure out where, exactly, on the horseracing track they were going to do this performance.

Well, time came and went for the show to start and after about 45 minutes, the audience was getting loudly restive. The bleachers were set up by the track and all of a sudden out of Gates 4,5,6,and 8, a big truck hauls ass, pulling a flatbed trailer behind it. And there was Mr. Berry, holding onto a sort of large guitar stand for dear life -- I honestly think they just tied him to the mast -- and trying not to fall off the trailer.

The truck comes to a dusty halt in front of the bleaghchers and Mr. Berry springs, sort of, into action. He was so completely wasted it didn't matter what song he was singing, since no one could have picked out two complete words in a row. He just sort of stayed in one place, cradled by the man stand. Then, the pathetic part really started. He got out of his little stand and did a couple of passes along the front of the trailer doing a hollow shadow of his famous "duck walk." The backup band was good -- it also was a bunch of local pickup musicians -- and the show would have been fine if they'd just stuffed a sock in ol' Chuck and partied on. The really sad thing was that a bunch of kids had come to the show and they left thinking THAT was the old-time rock 'n' roll.

Notice how much substance abuse has to do with the worst of the worst here? Small wonder. I have one itsy bitsy drinkie poo and my pitch slides south and the lyrics go to the bottom of the glass. Two drinks and I'd probably be reciting nursery rhymes in an unknown tongue.

WW


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Nemesis
Date: 08 May 02 - 06:56 PM

Dare I say it? Bob Dylan on Saturday at the Brighton Centre was incomprehensible, baffling, meaningless and ultimately very boring - and a rip off for GBP27.50 standing room only


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: van lingle
Date: 08 May 02 - 07:12 PM

At the Warner theatre in Washington, D.C. in the mid -70's Bonnie Raitt was doing a superb show on acoustic and then a drunken Stephen Stills ambled out, seemingly uninvited and joined in for one or two numbers playing some very sloppy slide guitar and then slithered off and the show then got back on track. The one and only time I saw John Prine, also back in the 70's he was so drunk that he mostly guffawed his way through his short set preceding Steve Goodman (talking about sublime/ridiculous). vl


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 May 02 - 06:33 PM

Just caught up with this thread.

Re Petit Glory's post... the Old Pull and Push's Flying Cockroach circus went down a storm when I saw it at Sidmouth about 20 years ago. Mainly because the audience already had an idea of what to expect from the Old Pull and Push. And also because they were actually very funny.... and also because Caroline was dressed in black leather hot pants, so not many people were looking at the cockroaches


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 May 02 - 09:37 PM

According to Spaw, I believe, *** ANDY KAUFMAN *** should get top billing for consistently doing the most rotten performances in history!!!

You don't agree? Take it up with Spaw.

- LH


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: pict
Date: 09 May 02 - 09:48 PM

John Martyn has put on a few famously bad gigs one of which he arrived 3 hours late for played for 5 minutes then proceeded to vomit into a bucket before collapsing on stage in a state of total stupefaction.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 May 02 - 10:17 PM

petit glory

i recall [nearly said re-member] that 'act' with the cockroaches. it was disgusting. a lot of the audience, including me, were horrified; and some children were terrified of these large insects.

the part that sickened me most was the heartless way the handlers treated these creatures,by 'accidently' on purpose walking on the ones which had fallen onto the ground and producing loud cracking noises as they were squashed underfoot


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 10 May 02 - 12:40 AM

I hate to say it, but Bob Gibson performed terribly the one time I saw him. I was a college student and looking forward to hearing him. I had heard about him for years, about what a dynamic performer he was. He was filling in for Jamie Brockett (who had cut his hand and couldn't play) at Amazing Grace Coffeehouse in Evanston. The first show was sold out, so we came back for the second show. Gibson was acting like he would rather have been anywhere else but on stage. I suspect ingested substances played a role, as he was swaying through the entire performance. After hearing what Art said about how good a performer he was, I wish I had seen him when he was in top form.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 10 May 02 - 03:27 PM

In the rock arena, one of the worst concerts I saw was at the famous Marquee club in London in 1975. The group Strider played. They were loud, I didn't think the guitarist could play, but he did spit on the ceiling a lot. I wondered how I let myself be dragged out to this. A couple years later a friend got some free passes in Chicago to see a triple bill of The Fabulous Poodles, The Godz, and The Ramones. The Godz bass player was slugging down southern comfort and slurring his speech by the end of the night. A bunch of drunken children (to borrow a phrase from Rosalie Sorrels) amused themselves by throwing beer cups at the band. I don't know why a bad biker type band was booked with two new wave bands. But, I didn't feel sorry for them, they were so bad.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 10 May 02 - 03:54 PM

As a lifelong Newcastle United fan I've seen my share of shite performances over the years, but musically I have to add to the list of Bob Dylan duds: Isle of Wight. Good grief.

I walked out on the Walker Brothers and Mott the Hoople, but I have to add myself to the list for an embarrssing performance in the Bolivar, Darlington, circa 1969. And take note of this lest you are tempted to try something similar. Don't EVER sing Fleetwood Mac's 'Long Gray Mare' without the band playing the intro first so you can hit the right key. I was off by a mile and never got it back. The audience AND the band pissed themselves laughing. I still have nightmares ...


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Ballyholme
Date: 10 May 02 - 04:38 PM

Can I add yet another Dylan gig to this thread? I've seen him three times and despite being a life-long fan of his recorded work, his live performances have always been, er ...... disappointing?

The worst experience was when he played the Dondonald Ice Rink in Belfast. He was awful - out of time, out of breath, and out of order. To make matters worse, it was a stand up concert and the organizers had placed a layer of carpet over the ice rink. It was fine at the beginning of the gig but was the night wore on, the chill from the ice began to creep up our legs. By the end of the evening my nether regions were in serious danger of frost bite.

As usual, on his visits to Ireland, Dylan's ass was saved by Van Morrison, who came on and sang a few songs with him. Never again!


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 May 02 - 05:49 PM

Ya... but who saved Van Morrison????


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 10 May 02 - 11:13 PM

Ballyholme,

You mean there's a way to see a concert without standing on a covered ice rink?

Steve (who's seen too many shows at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens).


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: van lingle
Date: 11 May 02 - 07:24 AM

I forgot(or rather repressed)a performance I gave at the Folkarts Festival at Koreshan State Park in Estero, FL about 5 years ago. My partner at the time and I had been rehearsing for this gig for weeks as someone who booked "folkie" acts in SW FL was going to be there. A few days before the show I came down with a nasty strep throat and went on and sang ( or croaked) anyway at the insistence of my partner. I must have sounded like Wallace Beery with a burlap sack over his head. At any rate the instrumentals were well recieved but we never heard from that agent.vl


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 May 02 - 12:59 PM

A number of the finer live performances I've ever seen have been by Bob. I seem to miss his off nights. "I can't help it if I'm lucky..." :-) I agree that Isle of Wight was godawful (judging by the recorded material), but I wasn't there to see it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Cockroach
Date: 15 May 02 - 05:49 PM

I must take issue with Petit Glory (11.4.02) and his rather ungenerous remarks about the Cockroach Spectacular. I was there, I was a member of the cast and little of what he/she said bears any resemblence to the actual events that night. We were fantastic, the audience loved us (no slow handclaps/crying children) and furthermore we were extremely well looked after by our handlers. In fact we stayed at a very 'swish' hotel yards from the festival site.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 02 - 06:10 PM

As to Dylan as a live performer, I think that with Dylan, as with any of the mega superstar types, how much one worships/loathes the artist in question seems to color most people's perceptions of the quality of their performances.

Very few people are able to objectively evaluate musical performances of those they either love or loathe, IMO. But then, if you go into a performance without the extreme emotions one way or the other, but just with anticipation for someone you heard good things about, or enjoy their recordings, I think it is much easier to give objective reports on the performance.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Yorkshire Tony
Date: 15 May 02 - 08:02 PM

I think the worst that I have ever been involved in was on a ship coming out to Australia. We had a concert night and a few of us put together a scratch folk group. We were on early and the spot went pretty well BUT ....

We indulged in a beverage or twenty while watching the other acts, then the MC decided to call us back for an unscheduled second spot - we were terrible - it reminded me of the line from Eddie Baker:

There were different tunes in different times and all in different keys ...


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Ballyholme
Date: 16 May 02 - 10:15 AM

Guest,

I regard myself as an avid Dylan fan, and much as I'd love to say that I've seen him give a great performance, I have to be honest and say that I haven't. In fact, I'm currently 3-0 in that respect. Nothwithstanding the fact that he is Bob Dylan, I wouldn't offer him a gig at my local folk club on the basis of what I've seen.

That said, I know that he can give powerful live performances. Enough people have testified to that down the years.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 16 May 02 - 10:44 AM

Ballyholme,

I'm sorry to hear that. I saw him in the eigthies and vowed I'd never go again. I then heard positive feedback on his shows in the nineties and I've seen him twice in the last few years. He and his band were outstanding.

Little Hawk, I guess by now you've heard he's coming to the Molson Amphitheatre on August 16th.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 May 02 - 01:30 PM

Anne Murray in the late 80s - she was drunk and got into a verbal altercation with a couple of hecklers to the right of the stage. Then she told us that if we'd really clap loudly she'd dance for us. I think that is when I left.

My worst was the night I got drunk in self-defense up at Challis in the Custer Saloon. Last song was Tennessee Stud and the guy who requested it and I both passed out at the same time. To my credit I fell backwards and did not injure my faithful guitar.

Steve

The other side of this is I've only had the one negative experience in seeing folks. But then I've only been to 3-4 concerts in my life.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 May 02 - 01:46 PM

Heh... Anne Murry, drunk... I'd pay money to see that!

LOL!!!!


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 May 02 - 02:53 PM

Well CH - it was funny - and that is a fact. And I don't think she can dance LMAO

Steve


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 May 02 - 03:02 PM

Steve - I had not heard. Hmmmm... Maybe I'll go this time, and see ol' Bob again. I'm sure my friend, Johhny Death, will be there. Gotta give him a call and see...

Thanks!

- LH


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,The Jester
Date: 17 May 02 - 08:22 AM

You got a lot of nerve to say you are my freind when I was down you just stood ther grin'in


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Guest Baillie
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 08:34 AM

...about 25 years ago I witnessed a dreadful but very amusing floor spot by a scotsman at the Bradshaw Tavern Folk Club near Halifax, West Yorkshire. He got up to sing with his guitar and (unfortunately) a drum machine that he'd made himself, he started off OK but as his song progressed the drum machine took on a life of it's own and began to go faster and faster, rather stupidly the guy tried to keep up with it until the roars of laughter from the audience eventually drowned him out and he made a hurried and embarrassed exit! laugh! I thought me pants would never dry!


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 01:22 PM

LOL! I wish I'd seen that one. Sounds like what might happen if Malcolm Buggeroll did a live sex show in Amsterdam.


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Subject: RE: worst performances live acts
From: GUEST,Lash LaRue
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 06:44 PM

Memorable and awe-inspiring to my 15-year old self.
Village Corner, Toronto, mid-'Sixties.
Paul Clayton, may he rest in peace, drove up to the gig in a little sports car with Mississippi plates. During intermission, he came out to find the tires slashed (probably by someone who thought they were making a civil rights statement).
Proceeded to sing "Sam Hall."
At the point in the song where the lyric is "Goddamm your eyes, you muckers all" (if I remember it correctly) he violently rips a string off the guitar. And continues to rip another string off after each line
until the bridge was torn off and pieces of the top lay at the audience's feet.
Then he actually said it was a borrowed guitar and walked off stage.

Gotta travel on . . .

Lash LaRue


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