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Worst performance I've ever seen.

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GUEST,Nick 07 Apr 02 - 09:50 PM
Sorcha 07 Apr 02 - 09:57 PM
Steve Latimer 08 Apr 02 - 09:21 AM
Midchuck 08 Apr 02 - 09:26 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Apr 02 - 09:48 AM
Rick Fielding 08 Apr 02 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Patsy Warren 19 Jul 10 - 08:27 AM
Leadfingers 19 Jul 10 - 08:34 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Jul 10 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,kendall 19 Jul 10 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Jul 10 - 09:21 AM
Old Vermin 19 Jul 10 - 10:55 AM
olddude 19 Jul 10 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,CAP 19 Jul 10 - 11:38 AM
GUEST, Fido 19 Jul 10 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 19 Jul 10 - 11:43 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Jul 10 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Gail 19 Jul 10 - 11:51 AM
Old Vermin 19 Jul 10 - 11:53 AM
Clontarf83 19 Jul 10 - 11:55 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 10 - 12:04 PM
Lonesome EJ 19 Jul 10 - 12:28 PM
Bobert 19 Jul 10 - 12:49 PM
beeliner 19 Jul 10 - 01:02 PM
Phil Cooper 19 Jul 10 - 01:39 PM
Don Firth 19 Jul 10 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,jeff 19 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM
Lonesome EJ 19 Jul 10 - 04:55 PM
oggie 19 Jul 10 - 06:02 PM
Alan Day 19 Jul 10 - 06:12 PM
Herga Kitty 19 Jul 10 - 06:54 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Jul 10 - 07:21 PM
Joe_F 19 Jul 10 - 09:01 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 10 - 09:53 PM
Bobert 19 Jul 10 - 10:28 PM
Jayto 19 Jul 10 - 11:47 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 20 Jul 10 - 02:59 AM
Rob Naylor 20 Jul 10 - 04:59 AM
Will Fly 20 Jul 10 - 06:10 AM
Acorn4 20 Jul 10 - 06:13 AM
alex s 20 Jul 10 - 07:53 AM
Old Vermin 20 Jul 10 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,essex girl 20 Jul 10 - 09:34 AM
Don Firth 20 Jul 10 - 01:37 PM
Young Buchan 20 Jul 10 - 02:26 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Jul 10 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Meadowmuskrat 20 Jul 10 - 04:56 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Jul 10 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Jul 10 - 03:21 AM
Rob Naylor 21 Jul 10 - 05:37 AM
mousethief 21 Jul 10 - 12:29 PM
Don Firth 21 Jul 10 - 02:17 PM
Tattie Bogle 21 Jul 10 - 05:35 PM
Taconicus 31 Jul 10 - 12:33 PM
Art Thieme 31 Jul 10 - 09:09 PM
Don Firth 31 Jul 10 - 10:19 PM
Janie 31 Jul 10 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,I'm not here, right? 01 Aug 10 - 03:54 AM
C Stuart Cook 01 Aug 10 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Jim Moray 05 Aug 10 - 04:22 AM
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Subject: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 09:50 PM

I saw a Bob Dylan bit on TV once that was hard to understand. I mean he was hard to understand.

What is the worst you have ever seen? The worst!

Drunken rock stars fallig off stages, or Open mike performers peeing where they stand?

Or perhaps something you did?

Let us share!

Ni


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Subject: RE: BS: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 09:57 PM

All at Winfield---(Walnut Valley Bluegrass)
Byron Berline so drunk he couldn't play a lick.
Mark O'Connor having been in the studio doing side work so long he couldn't play the melody or read the audience anymore.

Of course, some of the best perfs I have seen were at Winfield, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 09:21 AM

In the seventies I saw Joe Cocker so obviously trashed that he could barely stand up. His vocal range was almost non existant. I have heard that he has cleaned up his act and is now as dynamic as ever.

I saw Dylan in the 80's, he was awful. I've seen hiem a few time lately and he has been fantastic both times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 09:26 AM

Most of the real disappointments I've had at concert performances were not the performers' screw-up.

The great bugaboo appears to be sound techs who are great at doing sound for rock bands, but are trying to do sound for folk or bluegrass acts. Of course, the poor bastards are half deaf, most of them, so it's logical that they'd set everything so loud it's physically painful, and distorted besides, but it's still unpleasant.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 09:48 AM

Well, let's see... the most insulting was a concert that the Kingston Trio did about ten years ago. I realize that at their peak they were very limited, but like many people, I was introduced to a lot of folk music by them. I would never got to see them, but I was asked to provide an opening act for them at a big venue, and I recommended by friends Sally Rogers and Howie Bursen. Sally and Howie did a fine opening set, but when the Kingston Trio came out they might as well have just said "You're a bunch of pathetic loosers, trying to recapture your college drinking binge/make out days, and you'll eat up everything we sing, no matter how sloppy we are." And they were right. They got into long conversations about how drunk they'd gotten the previous night, and room service, and all sorts of idiotic stuff that had nothing to do with music, and then they'd launch into the most disjointed stab at Tom Dooley or Charlie and the MTA, and the crowd went nuts. After the concert, I was a little stunned at how awful they were, and everyone was walking out, grinning ear to ear, saying how great they were. It was also telling that I'd been running a folk concert series and festival for at least fifteen years in the same town, and yet I didn't recognize a single person in the audience who came to the concerts I ran. And I knew that even though there were 400-500 people there to hear the Kingston Trio, I'd never see one of them at the concert series that I ran... even if I booked Sally and Howie. It was like going to hear the Platters, when nobody in the group was in the original group. Pavlov's music. Ecccchhh!

Then, I saw Johnny Cash stinking drunk, where he could hardly stand up, with Dylan slumped on the stage with his back against the wall, trying to back him up. You could do a thread "Singers I've seen who were so drunk or drugged up that they could hardly stand, and the thread would run on from here to Cleveland." The spooky ones are those who sound God-awful when they are sober.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 01:16 PM

Well written Jerry. From the ages of 18 to 21 I saw many folk acts at the Riverboat Club in Toronto. I remember some brilliant and emotionally invigorating performances....but oh lordy, some evenings were simply pathetic! Big name people who came on stage so drunk or stoned that it was really painful to watch. Even then, I was simply to 'square' to understand how someone could hate their profession that badly.

I also failed to understand (as I do today) how someone who has totally embarrassed themself onstage warrants applause and hero worship.......but they got it.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Patsy Warren
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:27 AM

It was a performance of Judy Garland who I loved, in her latter years I think at the London Palladium my parents allowed me to stay up for it (it was school the next morning) but obviously in such a state that she could hardly get a note out and was rolling around. It was so sad but the audience applauded really because of the Judy they remembered.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:34 AM

The worst I recall was Martin Carthy on stage at a festival , solo ,
and the Sound Man working Vocal And Guitar faders constantly so the Ouput from the main speakers was ABSOLUTELY level ! Then , when Martin was doing an Unaccompanied song , fading his vocal Mic TOTALLY for about Ten Seconds !


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:35 AM

Apparently Judy was so bad at her Talk Of The Town gig (also London) that the audience - in a less forgiving mood - threw food at her. What a sad end for a once-great artist.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:55 AM

The worst one I've seen recently was a guy who thought he could sing Old Man River like Paul Robeson. Pathetic! He couldn't carry a note with a co signer.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:21 AM

I saw Leon Russel once in a club and he was accompanying himself with a Midi program, in thrall to it I should say. It sucked any semblance of spontaneity out of the show. Sometimes the program started the next song before the applause for the previous song had faded. More often the applause had ended and there was 20-30 seconds of uncomfortable silence while waiting for the next song to start. There was no patter, no interaction with the crowd, like watching a white-bearded automaton. I can understand wanting to economize by not bringing a full band on the road, but a performer like him could do just as well with a piano and a couple mics and no other accompaniment, especially in a small club.
   A friend once talked me into going with him to take his 13 year old son to his first concert, Ozzie Osborne no less. Now I can take him or leave him musically but I expected to at least see a good show and it sucked. He only played 35 minutes and 5 of those were spent showing his recent video on a big screen. He projected no energy at all and claimed he was battling the flu. More likely dope sick if you ask me. I later told my buddy it was too bad Kevin's first concert was so bad and he said not to say anything to him because he might not know how bad it was, having nothing to compare it to. And he was right. The worst part was waiting out in the snow while Kevin queued up to get some of the band members' autographs.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Old Vermin
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:55 AM

Heard Seth Lakeman at Guilfest yesterday.

Vigorous, virile, and all that, perfectly clear when speaking to microphone but mostly unintelligible when singing.

Him or the sound engineer? Who cares?


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: olddude
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:06 AM

I have to agree, I have seen Dylan brilliant, and other times it was the biggest waste of money in the world... I would never go to another one. Now that doesn't take away from his greatness ... but I do not wish to spend my money on another repeat of what I have seen in the 80's. Words slurred, guitar work a mess and so wasted he couldn't talk


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,CAP
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:38 AM

Isla st.clare at burtwood festival-the audiance all walked out.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST, Fido
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:42 AM

Where's the bleeding RSPCA when you need them?


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:43 AM

On the subject of Dylan, saw him about 8 years, having seen him years before and been enthralled. he was ... er... not very good.

William Shatner popularised speaking rather than singing the words. Dylan extended this idea by shouting them, (especially when he forgot them.)

We could knock a few people off a few pedestals with this post, but perhaps an acknowledgement that the best have bad days even though we pay to see them at their peak each and every time? (As a football fan, I could wax lyrical about this dilemma.)

Acts I used to revere, (and still do) but must have been a bad day when i was there one time include;

Ewan McColl. (Poorly, but game enough to turn up. Peggy was busy that night.) (1985 ish)
Martin Carthy. (seemed to be going through the motions.) (1990 ish)
Dick Gaughan. (seemed to be orbiting a different planet that night.) (2003 ish)
Fairport Convention. (Ok, blame the sound engineer, but...) (1980 ish)
Bob Dylan - see above (2003 ish)
Pogues - (McGowan had possibly been lubricating his vocal chords ready.) (1984 ish)

In contrast, I have never seen a bad performance by some acts. Off the top of my head, they include Van Morrison, Maddy Prior, Vin Garbutt, Planxty, Chieftains, and many more.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:43 AM

I've long wanted to see Isla St Clair.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:51 AM

Speaking of Van Morrison, his wasn't the worst performance I've ever seen but is one of the few gigs I've actually walked out of.
He left the stage after every single song and the audience kept clapping for him to come back on. I began to feel like a puppet on a string and wasn't prepared to spend an evening begging him to sing at his own gig.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Old Vermin
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:53 AM

Actually went to a good gig from Isla St Clair some years ago. Cranleigh? Pleasantly dirty-minded.

Worst gig I recall going to was Dick Gaughan - perfectly intelligible until he started to sing. First half of one of Eliza Carthy's ran it close - just rubbish sound. She had the grace to apologise. Think it was Jim Causley who may have been a little the better for drink, amusingly.

Alex Campbell by contrast worked his way through a bottle of Scotch on stage whilst retaining a fair degree of competence. Addlestone, early 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Clontarf83
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:55 AM

Me with stage fright--now that's bad.

Most unprofessional--Leon Redbone--kept us waiting for 90 minutes, came out with the personality of a dead sardine.

Strangest--Joan Baez reciting a poem in a "German" accent


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 12:04 PM

Isla St Clair does quite a wide variety of things, maybe "Guest,CAP" just heard doing a genre he/she doesn't care for?

Some performers can get away with a higher level of lubrication than others. I've heard both Cathal McConnell and Barb Jungr put on a great show when barely able to stand up.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 12:28 PM

Some performers can get away with a higher level of lubrication than others
That's certain. I saw Warren Zevon and his band in about 1980 at Moby
Gym in Boulder CO. The crowd had to wait in line outside for 45 minutes, and the rumor going around was that Warren was missing and couldn't be found. After we were finally admitted, he staggered out to the piano and began to talk to the audience in a completely unintelligible drunken/stoned drawl. BUT...you would never have known he was loaded from the excellent quality of his performance.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 12:49 PM

Worst: John Fahey

2nd worst: John Fahey

3rd worst: John Fahey


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: beeliner
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 01:02 PM

Dylan is at his best in the studio. In live concert, he just seems to 'walk through' the songs.

The worst I've EVER seen, it's CEMENTED in my memory, was Will Holt's BIZARRE interpretation of "Sinner Man" on the Ed Sullivan show back in the 1950's.

I wish I could find a kinny of it online so that I could share it with everyone here.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 01:39 PM

Bob Gibson at a 1973 Amazing Grace Coffeehouse performance. The 12:30 set. He was wobbling on stage and acted like he'd rather be any place else.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 03:28 PM

Oh, I've seen some doozies!

One really painful performance I attended was with Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem. They weren't the problem;   in fact, they gave a terrific, entertaining performance. But—the PA system, which this theater didn't really need, was turned up so loud that I damn near walked out just to save my ears! But I stuck it out (not everybody did), and my ears rang for three days!

What the hell is with that!??

This wasn't a "performance" as such. Not on stage or in a club or coffeehouse. It was at a song fest ("hoot") back in the very early 1960s.

Now, I do sing Greensleeves. I do about three verses of it. That adequately tells what's going on (he's trying to buy her and she's not selling), and then enough is enough. But—there was this guy who could play fairly good guitar and he had a pretty decent voice. And he had professional aspirations. But he sang all 793 verses of the bloody thing!!! And not only that, he got positively operatic about it:   putting all kinds of agonized expression into his voice, moaning, whining, weeping!

At first, I thought I was gonna DIE! And then I started thinking, "Take me now, Lord!"

In 1961, I sang at a multi-performer concert with some local singers, along with a couple of singers from out of town. One of the visiting singers considered all of us local singers to be rank amateurs, whereas he fancied himself a real pro. He was pretty good, but there were locals on the program who were easily as good as he was, and some a lot better.

I was scheduled to finish the program, and the last song in my set was Sinner Man. I "build" on the song, singing the last two verses in a high harmony, really belting it. Big finish! Guaranteed ovation at the end!

This gink sneaked a peek at the set-list taped to the side of my guitar, and sang a couple of songs that I had planned to sing—which is to say, he tried to swipe my program. And damned if he didn't wind up his set with Sinner Man! His rendition was downright wimpy—really blah! So I had to make some quick, last-minute changes in my program.

Afterwards, someone from the audience told me that he had heard me sing Sinner Man a number of times and, "compared to yours, that guy's 'Sinner Man' was only guilty of a minor misdemeanor!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM

1st-Van Morrison- GREAT songwriter, horrible performer w/zero stage presence.

2nd-John Fahey- As a 30+ year, seasoned, professional guitarist/singer how this guy was/is considered one of the 'seminal greats' is really quite beyond me...American primitive, indeed. He was drunk, obnoxious, embittered, hostile and a slovenly guitarist.

3d-Kingston Trio- Opened for them at Milwaukeefest in 1980 and found them to be condescending and rude. They were drunk, awful and got by on the audience's energy.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 04:55 PM

Now, I do sing Greensleeves. I do about three verses of it. That adequately tells what's going on (he's trying to buy her and she's not selling), and then enough is enough. But—there was this guy who could play fairly good guitar and he had a pretty decent voice. And he had professional aspirations. But he sang all 793 verses of the bloody thing!!!

Don, I'm pretty sure he performed Saturday night at the Getaway last year.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: oggie
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:02 PM

Most were sound engineer disasters. Fairport in the eighties all I could hear were bass and drums, Johnny Winter last year, never did hear him play guitar,

Steve


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:12 PM

Isla St Clare isn't that one of Paul McCartney's songs?
Al


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:54 PM

Isla St Clair is a fine singer, considering what Herga Morris did to her on the Generation Game....

And she was in good form when I introduced her at the Haddenham festival last December.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 07:21 PM

Agree that Isla St Clair is a very fine singer, especially when she gets into her roots in the N East of Scotland: she sings a beautiful song that her mother wrote: however I am not a fan of what I would call her "singalonga tourist medleys". Stick to your trad stuff, Isla!
And I can think of a few concerts i have been to where the music was technically brilliant, but the sour faces, looking at their boots, and lack of any rapport or contact with the audience left me feeling i might just as well have saved myself the concert fee and listened to their CD at home, where i could maybe have got up and danced around the kitchen to it!
Oh, and the sound guys: sorry but I don't applaud any more if they've nearly sent my head swimming with their excessive decibels: I spent most of one concert recently with fingers in ears (by which I heard the lyrics of the songs better, and maybe helped to preserve the hearing in my one functioning ear!)


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Joe_F
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:01 PM

Must have been about 1960, in Boston, probably Jordan Hall: A concert by Josh White. Nothing wrong with *him*, but he was afflicted with an impresario or handler or whatever you call such people (never mind what *I* call them) who took up at least half the time blathering & telling insipid dirty jokes. White stood it manfully. I tried to read a magazine, but that was hard in view of the low light & high noise levels. The memory is still painful.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:53 PM

I didn't do an exact tally, but it looks like Dylan takes the cake. I went to one Dylan concert, a 45-minute set with no talking, no encore, and very poor-quality music.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:28 PM

I've seen Bob Dylan 3 times going back to 1965 and, hey, Dylan is an acquired taste... Some folks don't get him and probably never will and others got him from the jump and continue to get him... But fir those of you who don't get him, too bad... There is nothin' on this planet like a Dylan live... He ain't out there tryin' to win "American Idol"... He's out there presentin' a highly personal blend of sounds and thoughts...

Dylan rocks!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:47 PM

Charlie Daniels at the Executive Inn in Owensboro KY. That was hands down the WORST concert I have ever seen. I feel asleep and slept through the majority of it and I was not even tired or drunk. That was just HORRIBLE!!!!


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:59 AM

I went to the ARMS(Artists Relief for Muscular Sclerosis), for Ronnie Laine of 'Faces'. On the bill were Clapton, Beck and Paige, Joe Cocker, Jan Hammer, Entwistle (Who), Watts and Wyman (Rolling Stones), among others,..Jimmy Paige absolutely SUCKED BIG SQUARE EGGS!...even the audience began booing!

Another was Steven Stills on Leno's Tonight Show. I was absolutely embarrassed for him. You can probably see it on 'youtube'.

And lastly was Don Firth trying to argue in favor of homosexual civil rights, because it is 'genetic'.

Here's winkin' at ya'!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 04:59 AM

Bobert: I've seen Bob Dylan 3 times going back to 1965 and, hey, Dylan is an acquired taste... Some folks don't get him and probably never will and others got him from the jump and continue to get him... But fir those of you who don't get him, too bad... There is nothin' on this planet like a Dylan live... He ain't out there tryin' to win "American Idol"... He's out there presentin' a highly personal blend of sounds and thoughts

Oh, I "get" him OK. I've seen him twice. One time, yes, he was great, but the other time he just sucked. Didn't attempt to get the words right, or in the right order. Mumbled a lot of them anyway, mainly way out of tune, seemed to not care at all whether he was there, whether he did anything, or whether he had an audience. That was 30 years ago, so not down to advancing age...that night, he was just terrible. Most people I talked to felt the same.

The two gigs were like watching 2 different performers. At the good one he wasn't trying to win "American Idol" either, but at least he seemed to take the trouble to give a shit, and appeared to have rehearsed most of the songs at least once with his band!


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 06:10 AM

So - they're not all perfect all the time. However on many, many occasions I'm sure all the people mentioned above have been perfect, and it's rather sad to hear these people in the "worst performance" category. I also have one or two sorry experiences when hearing performers I was really looking forward to, but the very worst performances I've heard have been from very amateur performers at folk clubs - which is what you might expect.

Let me add some positives to some of the negatives here.

Leon Redbone: Waterford two years ago - superb. Funny, quirky, great singing and whistling and guitar playing. An enthralling evening.

Van Morrison: One or two times at the Dome in Brighton. In good voice and good humour on both occasions - and, yes, I've also heard of occasions when he was truly disappointing.

Warren Zevon: on "Later with Jools" (TV) not that long ago - excellent.

And so on.

The fact that people can quote horror stories about "names" in the business reminds us that the names worked hard to become "names" in the first place. :-)


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Acorn4
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 06:13 AM

Paul Brady + his 'rock' band at Shrewsbury a few years back - complete ego trip and apparent contempt for the audience. half of whom had walked out by the end.

The Levellers at the "Big Session" last year in Leicester. This is a band that obviously write lyrics that are meant to be heard. The sound man saw to it that you couldn't hear a single word of the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: alex s
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 07:53 AM

Bert Jansch, Newcastle City Hall, late 60's


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Old Vermin
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:48 AM

I'd forgotten Flook in the Middle School at Swanage some years ago. They really, really went for speed. Technically very able, but seemed top be playing for themselves rather than the audience. And the seating was too cramped for people to get out.

The same festival, a few years later, Ian Bruce - Scots, largely inaudible and incomprehensible in that setting. Material - so far as we could tell - a mix of maudlin self-penned and Rabbie Burns. Musically pleasant enough, but emphatically not working for us as songs. The realisation sank in that we had in fact probably heard him before - I recognised the left-hand fingering. Tolerated rather than enjoyed, but wanted to get the second half.

Belshazzars Feast were great in the second half, and , blow me, Ian Bruce got to lead the encore. What was funny - and funnier looking back - was various leading lights in the English Ceilidh scene muttering sulphurously in the pews around us. Conversation some months later confirmed our mutual view.

Gaughan being unintelligible is still the worst for me.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,essex girl
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:34 AM

Saw Paul Brady at the Shrewsbury gig & yes walked out. I had been looking forward to see him so much it was a shame & have to agree with Acorn4 it did appear to be an ego trip. The comment about the sound engineers is very true, my daughter learnt from a very compatent engineer who taught her to set the levels half way & ajust slowly untill the words & music are nicely balanced. When she went to collage they critersized her for her knowledge & insisted she put everything full pelt from the start, because she wouldn't they down marked her so she left before the course ended.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:37 PM

Take it to the appropriate thread, GoofuS.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Young Buchan
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:26 PM

Ernie Dyson - wonderful old Yorkshireman who used to do recitations - usually in dialect, often very funny, sometimes parodies.
One day I saw him at Whitby. He began by declaiming the opening verse of Macauley's How Horatius Kept The Bridge. 'Aha!' I thought, 'A witty parody coming up.' By the end of verse two I was thinking that he was taking his time getting to the parody. Halfway through verse three it began to dawn on us that he was going to do the poem straight. The whole poem. All seventy verses of it.
In fact he didn't do seventy verses. It was more like eighty, because he kept forgetting the words and would go back a verse or two in order, in his words, to 'get a run at it.'


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:52 PM

I've seen a performer falling off chair drunk, singing so flat that the other members of the band played louder to cover the singer... trouble is, that just encouraged the singer who sang louder and flatter than before. The applause wasn't so much lack-lustre as just lacking...

Then there was the concert in Saffron Walden by June Tabor.. she was late for her sound check, her pianist complained about the Steinway Grand piano saying he couldn't play it (he was right, he couldn't), her fiddler pranced around with that 'I'm shagging the talent, don't you wish you were me' attitude, they kept the audience waiting outside in the October rain for 45 minutes, she refused entry to a disabled lady who just wanted to come in for shelter and acted all surprised when half the audience didn't return for the second half. And none of the missed notes on the piano were due to the sound man.

For sheer rudeness JT gets my vote (with my feet) every time.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Meadowmuskrat
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 04:56 PM

Jimi Hendrix at of all places Lincoln Center-1967 or 68 I think. He was 1/1/2 hours late, then announced he was "jamming tonite", proceeded to do interminable unbearably loud instrumental breaks. If you can believe it-a classical brass ensemble opened the concert, and to fill in some time Jimi Hendrix's drummer sat in with them. That was pretty awful also.The brass ensemble was fine by itself , but the audience was not the least appreciative. The next night I saw The Incredible String Band for the first time, became a big fan after I saw what could be done with acoustic instruments.
Next worse was The Grateful dead-early 70's. I saw them on the night Wes Montgomery-the jazz guitarist died. I guess they were doing some pseudo-rock jazz mostly instrumental and little recognizable material. You could tell the audience was not into it.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 06:36 PM

I'm surprised to see Ian Bruce in this company. He is normally a voice not to be missed, and while I prefer traditional-ish a fair bit of his self-written stuff is nice. I particularly like "Blue Denim Days".

Also surprised about Tabor - reputed to be a bit of a perfectionist - but one of the best singers of all time particularly when she gets a smidgeon less restrained (eg Hughie Graeme).

Now Dylan, or Dave Cash - can't play, can't sing, never could. Songwriters, not singers.

Pianos are a pain in the bum for folk music. I walked out of someone (I forget who now) at Ely a couple of years back, and I wanted to hear them, but there was this bloody piano ruining everything.

Other than that, the last gigs I walked out of were the Blues Band - a bunch of tired old bank managers going through the motions in an all seated venue quieter than I play my HiFi - oh and Wheeler Street, some moments of quality but there's only so much posing I can stand (and Oh My God their support was dire dire dire).   

Oh and various punk-folk things. Punk is so dead, and if you can't actually play why advertise the fact?

I remember a tizzy distorted guitar sound wrecking a performance of Jackie Oates (who I wanted to hear) also at a different Ely. It might of course have been a flat battery in the guitar, but I suspect the sound man.

But maybe the overall "Worst" award goes to Jack Bruce's Lifetime in the Nottingham Palais in about 1970 - mighty mighty Amcron DC300As on the organ/keys producing simply a wall of shit.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 03:21 AM

Don Firth, I thought it was Doo Fuss...wink!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:37 AM

Will: So - they're not all perfect all the time. However on many, many occasions I'm sure all the people mentioned above have been perfect, and it's rather sad to hear these people in the "worst performance" category. I also have one or two sorry experiences when hearing performers I was really looking forward to, but the very worst performances I've heard have been from very amateur performers at folk clubs - which is what you might expect.

A very good point. And accepting that people are sometimes under the weather for other than self-inflicted reasons, there will be times when otherwise great performers have off-days. I've been there, seen them, and made allowances.

But there is a level of resentment when you've paid a significant proportion of your week's income to see a "name" and they don't seem to be ill or otherwise unfit to perform, but are giving off an air that they can't really be bothered and being up there on the stage is just an ordeal they have to get through before moving on to somewhere they'd rather be.

That's somewhat different to someone like me rocking up at a pub and inflicting a couple of mistake-riddled ballads on a bunch of other people for 6 minutes out of a 3 hour session.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 12:29 PM

Mickey Dolenz, about 5 years ago at a state fair. He appeared to be drunk or high, slurred his words, had no stage presence at all. At times he seemed contemptuous of the audience, as if he was too good to have to play at a state fair.

(Next on the same stage were "The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie" who were kickass. Tuneful and funny, full of energy, grateful to be able to make a living from their music (they said so). More than made up for the monkey.)


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 02:17 PM

GfS, my information on that other thread was based on solid science, which you found unacceptable for your own personal reasons.

Leave it alone, GfS, or I'll expose you again.

Comparison of IP numbers (like Caller ID), remember? Your back-pedalling on a self-revealing post, then trying to lay the blame on others was a pretty pathetic performance. So either drop your snide remarks or open another thread. Let's try to keep this one on the original subject.

Sorry, folks. GfS choses to snipe, and I would PM about this, but the fact that he choses not to register doesn't allow me that option.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:35 PM

Again I'm not going to mention names, but agree that some performers can be great on one night, and the pits on another. One who has been mentioned above turned up once at our local club, and forgot words to nearly every song and sort of bluffed his way through the whole evening: he seemd totally unprepared for the night, and I was not impressed. Think he thought it would be a doddle to play our wee club, and it wasn't: think he learned his lesson as next time I saw him (only because he was part of a festival programme - otherwise wouldn't have paid to go again after the previous shambles)he was on good form and WELL REHEARSED, and a different can o' worms!
Another performer had a lot of memory lapses and was deemed "past the sell-by date", but turned out he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's, so any hard words said that night were later swallowed when the truth later emerged.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Taconicus
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 12:33 PM

The worst, musically, include some Europeans singing American folk music with what they think is an American accent. Which makes me worry about my own singing of Scottish music. I'm not trying to pretend I have a Scottish accent (I lived there for only a short time), but with much Scottish folk music you have to use the old Scottish pronunciation or the lines just won't scan. And then too, I usually sing songs the way I heard them originally, and I usually learned them from Scottish singers, which means... well, I'm sure no one's going to think I'm actually native Scottish and I worry it may sound as though I'm trying to pretend I am.

And again then there's just plain bad pronunciation, like Paul McCartney in the early Beatles recording of Till There Was You...

There were birds in the air,
But I never SORE them winging
No, I never SORE them at all,
Till there was you.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 09:09 PM

It was a sweltering hot end of June day in the assembly hall at Nettelhorst School in Chicago -- circa 1957. Some unbelievably inept teacheer had my brother, Richard's, eighth grade graduating cless do the Puccini opera AIDA.

I'll never forget it!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 10:19 PM

That must have been especially wierd, considering that Aida was written by Giuseppe Verdi.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: Janie
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 11:43 PM

I will chime in regarding bad performances by Dylan. I never saw him perform "back in the day," but have paid good money to see him at small venues (under 2000 seats) twice in the last 20 years. Had hoped the first time was a fluke. It wasn't. I came away both times feeling like the poor quality of his live performance of his music was intentional. I felt insulted and devalued. I wasn't looking for a "show." I was looking for good live renditions of his music.

Still am a fan of his music - as long as it is a recording.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,I'm not here, right?
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 03:54 AM

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, maybe 25 years ago. Painfully loud (louder even than Motorhead) in a hall that was basically just a shell - nothing to absorb the sound: it was just bouncing around. Deafening even at the back I knew their songs but it impossible to make out what they were performing. I left out after about 15 minutes.


I heard of a Thin lizzy concert in Australia where they struck the opening chord, stage pyrotechnics went off - and so did the sound. They coulcn't fix it. End of show!


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: C Stuart Cook
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 05:32 AM

Couple of years ago Richard Thompson at Bridgewater. Support act sound was fine in the 'gods'. RT came on, never heard a single word sung all night in the muddy mix. People in the stalls said it was OK.
A few weeks later Barbara Dickson did a full blown folk rock concert and the sound was superb. Same venue, same seats.
Went to a concert at Bridport. Jim Moray and friends. Small venue with the bass drum miked up. Never heard a single note of Jim's tasty looking guitars all night. Lots of good individual elements that mixed up to a mingy pulp.


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Subject: RE: Worst performance I've ever seen.
From: GUEST,Jim Moray
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 04:22 AM

Stuart : I don't think I've ever played in Bridport in my own right so I guess you're talking about the Transglobal Undergrond UNITE show recently. There were a lot of sound difficulties on that tour and the amount of people and equipment made it quite complex, but I was just a guest so it wasn't my place to wade in. Sorry you couldn't hear us properly.


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