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August 17, 2007 10:13 AM   Subscribe

The on-stage rantings of various famous musicians.
posted by KevinSkomsvold (68 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I highly recommend the Venom stage banter, which has been a classic since its Ecstatic Peace 7" release in the early 1990s.

"Blood... what? I don't think we've got one by that name!"
posted by porn in the woods at 10:30 AM on August 17, 2007


do the non-video media files work for anyone else?
posted by mrballistic at 10:30 AM on August 17, 2007


They worked for me (most of the time).
posted by drezdn at 10:36 AM on August 17, 2007


let me be the first to say - Keith Jarrett is a fantastic musician, but he's a world-class prick.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:39 AM on August 17, 2007


What, no "Having Fun With Elvis On Stage?"
posted by Kinbote at 10:42 AM on August 17, 2007


Nice. The second I saw this, I thought "if Bob Pollard's not on there..." and I didn't even have to carry the thought further.
posted by anazgnos at 10:42 AM on August 17, 2007


If you took out the audience cheering from most of these (especially David Lee Roth's), they'd look completely off their rockers.
posted by spiderskull at 10:44 AM on August 17, 2007


There's a few performers who are absolutely hilarious. Richard Thompson and Ben Folds come to mind.

Chris Kristofferson played at a big gala here last may, and the organizers/musical director had a string quartet on stage for a couple of his songs. He remarked after the first one "Wow, I thought I was Ray Price for a minute... until I started singing." His delivery was awesome.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:50 AM on August 17, 2007


As much as I'd like to find any redeeming qualities in Courtney Love, she simply fails at every turn. Her blowout doesn't contain a hint of irony and/or tongue-in-cheekidness. It's just a sad document on her lack of talent and the ability to deal with success and all of its ancillary crap.

Re: "Having Fun With Elvis On Stage?" Thanks for that link. I had never heard of this album. Woah.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:51 AM on August 17, 2007


I just don't get the Cheap Trick one (#15). It sounds like he's a bit out of breath and saying "This next one is the first song on our new album" like a normal out of breath live show playing guy, not a "kindergarten teacher trying to reach an especially slow class" as they say in the writeup.

And how is it "dope"? Am I missing something? Obvious?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:53 AM on August 17, 2007


Peter Gabriel's song introductions from when he was in Genesis deserved an honorable mention.
posted by anazgnos at 11:01 AM on August 17, 2007


It sounds like he's a bit out of breath and saying "This next one is the first song on our new album"

Yea, I didn't understand the critique in the commentary either, but that line is ...iconic. I can't hear that track without expect the intro to Surrender.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:01 AM on August 17, 2007


Courtenay Love fucked Brad Pitt?
posted by jokeefe at 11:07 AM on August 17, 2007


Bruce Dickinson's had a diatribe about half the times I've seen him. Someday he's going to run somebody through with a sword, or a flagpole. It'll be awesome.

My favorite bit banter was from Carcass, though. Jeff Walker. I can't remember him saying a damned thing all night, except for one introduction: "We don't care if you like this next one or not. We do."
posted by Wolfdog at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2007


It's all the same fuckin' day, man...
posted by freebird at 11:40 AM on August 17, 2007


what, no Pete Townshend kicking Abbie Hoffman off the stage at Woodstock?

oh and I'll never get people calling Courtney Love talentless. Sure, she's a convenient fish in the "easy pop culture targets" barrel, but if you actually listen to Hole's music, she had a hell of a lot of talent. If someone was Yoko in that family, I'm not so sure it was her.

posted by drjimmy11 at 11:41 AM on August 17, 2007


I'm surprised Robyn Hitchcock isn't #1 on the list. The two times I've seen him live, he was peaking on acid between each song--one memorable quip was, "There's nothing quite as lovely as a misplaced 'G'".
posted by fandango_matt at 11:43 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Elvis, as others have pointed out, should own this list.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:43 AM on August 17, 2007


Is there any way to download these?
posted by stinkycheese at 11:50 AM on August 17, 2007


I love how the Black Flag roadie edited out the meat of Venom's songs, leaving just the beginnings and endings, so that each song seems like five seconds of artsy feedback with a dash of drums. And the band sounds so proud of 'em!
posted by Neilopolis at 11:52 AM on August 17, 2007


You want onstage rockstar rants you can download?

Here you go!
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:52 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Alexi Laiho (a man on his own very good terms with the whiskey bottle during a concert) said some stuff, but it was if anything even more incomprehensible than his singing. Safe bet that 60% or more of it was composed of "fuck" in some form or another, though.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:54 AM on August 17, 2007


Thanks TCC, but I've already got those. There are some real treats there though - I recommend the Black Sabbath one, where the guy announces to the crowd that they're not playing and then valiantly tries to hype the crowd for upcoming shows. Big yuks.

Anyways, I guess I'm out of luck as far as grabbing the avclub stuff.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:58 AM on August 17, 2007


I just don't get the Cheap Trick one

If you listen to the whole Budokan concert you will. Every song intro is like that-- "It's... time... for... Southern... Girls" or "I... need... your love. I... need... your... ...love." I like those guys, but it's kind of annoying after a while.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:02 PM on August 17, 2007


stinkycheese: Audacity, my friend. You can record your soundcard output to an MP3. Works like a charm.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:03 PM on August 17, 2007


Thanks Kevin.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:06 PM on August 17, 2007


Ah, CFNY used to play that ranting version of Sweet Jane aaaaaaalllll the time. I'm amazed that I remember almost every scrap of Lou's verbiage. "Give me an issue, I'll give you a tissue."

Awesome link -- thanks!
posted by maudlin at 12:12 PM on August 17, 2007


I've always been partial to Gord Downie's song introductions. I saw them a a few years ago when he introduced Greasy Jungle with a long story claiming that he used to work in a hair salon called Greasy Jungle, and then throughout the entire song he pantomimed like he was washing someone's hair and then cutting it. Brilliant.
posted by The World Famous at 12:16 PM on August 17, 2007


great article.

wfmu has some of these online (mp3 format) in this post
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 12:48 PM on August 17, 2007


Peter Wolf of J. Geils had that rap thing going between songs. It was apparent on their live album an old roommate of mine had.
posted by Eekacat at 12:49 PM on August 17, 2007


John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) tends toward stream-of-consciousness, almost babbling, song intros that are often quite funny.

"This is a song... I know that's surprising, because you thought 'oh, maybe he's gonna do the dance piece now.' I'm not; you can forget about that. If that's what you came to see, I'm sorry, I can't offer you money back for the dance piece that won't be happening tonight. It was really good, but I don't feel up to it. It involved flame pots, and I'm not allowed to do those in here. So this is a song about how if you should happen to find yourself in high school again; it won't happen for any of you, or me, but you never do know; and you find yourself in, sort of, the clique of one (yourself) and then all the people say shitty things to you as you walk by their area of the courtyard, or the gym, or not in the theater because that's where you go to hide from these people, and you think to yourself 'the next four years are really gonna suck, junior high was bad, but this is gonna be really bad, jesus I hope I manage to make it through this and get to college I know they won't all be assholes in college.' And you think that to yourself and you find a nice significant other who is from the same sort of outcast set as you, and that's kind of nice. And then you realize, you don't have to wait to start sleeping together, you can do it right now. And then you think, 'all you jock fuckers don't know what you're missing. Y'all gonna have to wait to go to college to get drunk for this. Meantime, I'm in the backseat of a Honda Civic, two door, in the parking lot of the Little League thing, feeling like a very happy fourteen year old.'"

(Intro to "Broom People", for those who care, at the Gargoyle in St. Louis last year.)
posted by infidelpants at 12:58 PM on August 17, 2007


I saw Bruce Springsteen in 1985 during his "Born in the USA" tour (free ticket, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered). He did prattle on and on between songs, but thanks to the acoustics in the Silverdome, I couldn't understand very much of what he said.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:23 PM on August 17, 2007


Nothing for me will ever beat Wire's entry onto the stage at the Reading Rock Festival in 1992. Graham Lewis walked to the front edge, looked sternly out over the audience and announced, "Number six on your song-sheets: 'Abide With Me'."
posted by Hogshead at 1:34 PM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


My biased vote goes to Gord Downey.
posted by ageispolis at 1:59 PM on August 17, 2007


...and that's an NIE. Sorry, Gord.
posted by ageispolis at 2:00 PM on August 17, 2007


oh and I'll never get people calling Courtney Love talentless. Sure, she's a convenient fish in the "easy pop culture targets" barrel, but if you actually listen to Hole's music, she had a hell of a lot of talent. If someone was Yoko in that family, I'm not so sure it was her.

I do think she has flashes of brilliance but for every ounce of it, there's a pound of crazy not far behind. Her "speech" is a nice little document of that.

I was surprised to see no Zappa on the list. He's was always bantering on stage:

"I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you're out there and you're cute, maybe you're beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin' — there's more of us UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out."
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:02 PM on August 17, 2007


Good post. It's a nice companion to the Heavy Metal Parking Lot videos.
posted by Sailormom at 2:30 PM on August 17, 2007


This thread is incomplete without Moxy Früvous. Reason number one to go to a Früvous show was to hear them, e.g., arguing between songs about whether it is or is not a big deal that Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov at chess. (Text link does not do justice to auditory funny.)
posted by clavicle at 2:42 PM on August 17, 2007


Fun post, KevinSkomsvold - thanks.

Is Josh Homme a mefi member?
'Hey cocksmoker, eat a bag of dicks.'
posted by madamjujujive at 2:45 PM on August 17, 2007


if you actually listen to Hole's music, she had a hell of a lot of talent.

Please...she's been completely propped up at every phase of her career. Pretty on the Inside doesn't reveal any particular songwriting talent. The extent of Kurt's involvement in Live Through This may be debatable, but every album she's done since has openly employed a small army of co-writers and producers.
posted by anazgnos at 2:55 PM on August 17, 2007


Colin Meloy does some awesomely erudite and dryly witty between song patter, too.

Thom Yorke's "Shut up, you stupid cunt", aimed at an audience member last year in London was both admirably concise and effective.
posted by jokeefe at 2:57 PM on August 17, 2007


One of my favorite concertgoing banter experiences was at Bonnaroo 2006 with Mike Doughty. He was about to start a song and then stopped to tell the audience:

"Wow. This guy in the front row who I'm not going to look at just got high. I've been watching him for the past five or so minutes lovingly pack a bowl and then he just lit up and got high, right here in the open. I mean, how does he know I'm not a narc? I could be undercover. What if my entire music career has been leading up to this moment so I could bust YOU, man?"

Then, Doughty stopped, whispered "This is for the stoners," kicked up the distortion on his guitar, struck a serious of really discordant chords and put his voice through some serious flange and reverb and started screaming into the mic, "I can hear your thoughts! SATAN!!"
posted by signalnine at 2:59 PM on August 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


if you actually listen to Hole's music, she had a hell of a lot of talent.

Please...she's been completely propped up at every phase of her career. Pretty on the Inside doesn't reveal any particular songwriting talent. The extent of Kurt's involvement in Live Through This may be debatable, but every album she's done since has openly employed a small army of co-writers and producers.


I'm a big admirer of Pretty On the Inside, and Celebrity Skin, both of which I think are brilliant, and in an argument over whether Courtney is a talentless vampire or some kind of artist wrestling all too publically with what is probably a form of narcissistic personality disorder, I'm always going to come down on the side of the latter.

I'm glad I don't know her personally, though.
posted by jokeefe at 3:00 PM on August 17, 2007


I like the Fugazi one best: "You eat ice cream; everybody knows it. Ice-cream-eating motherfucker, that's what you are."
posted by aerotive at 3:05 PM on August 17, 2007


I saw Robyn Hitchcock play a song using only one note (because he was out of tune with the pianist and only had time to tune up his A string). His aplomb onstage is almost as staggering as his truly psychedelic monologues.

#1 #2 and #3 should go to him.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:20 PM on August 17, 2007


I saw Nirvana at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in '93. Cobain by that point barely even looked at the audience (the amazing part, for the record, is that he still had enough charismatic energy to fill a hockey arena), so the between-song banter fell to Krist Novoselic.

Before one song - I remember it as "In Bloom," but it could've been something else - he put on this sort of wistful air and announced, "One of these nights, one of these crazy crazy nights, you're all gonna wake up really normal." I've always liked that. Kinda prophetic in its way.
posted by gompa at 3:45 PM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw the Ass Ponys at a local festival a few years ago, and Chuck, the lead singer, was so nervous to be at a "festival" that he just flipped out into a stream of consciousness rant that went on for about half an hour. The band, dutifully, just kinda played the music of the set behind him, vamping where they could. Amazing.
posted by notsnot at 3:48 PM on August 17, 2007


Ditto chuckdarwin. Once, ca. 1992, Robyn Hitchcock played a show in Oberlin, OH and mid-set, started playing with a bunch of action figures that had been displayed on one of the amps up until the point when he started making up these elaborate action-figure swoops in mid-air, complete with accompanying stories...

Damn, I love Robyn Hitchcock. I would so have his babies.

I adore Courtney Love, too. What's up with all the Courtney-hate? Sheesh. She's crazy-talented and at the very least pulled-together enough to not blow her brains out when shit gets tough.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:55 PM on August 17, 2007


I guess this was the inevitable next thing, now that youtube has scrounged its way into all but the rarest acts (no Cyrcle yet!), but ...

Maybe it needs to wait for a while, cuz this collection is motley.
posted by Twang at 4:02 PM on August 17, 2007


What's up with all the Courtney-hate?

Well, some of us have read the songwriting credits on her better work (particularly Celebrity Skin). That Billy Corgan sure knows how to write a pop song, I'll tell you what.
posted by The World Famous at 4:18 PM on August 17, 2007


Needs more Roger Waters.

I actually have a recording of this incident that I could post, if anyone could recommend an easy way to do it.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:22 PM on August 17, 2007


Gompa, I saw Nirvana on that same tour, and when a lull came around, Krist sauntered up to the mic and said…

"Nothing witty to say."

I saw Krist on his book tour for "For Grunge and Government" and he was super cool, super smart, and super nice. My hero.
posted by JBennett at 4:24 PM on August 17, 2007


The World Famous, I'll give you that -- but have you looked at the songwriting credits on just about 99.99999% of the music out there today? It's what you do with the song that counts. I'd think of some really asinine covers to back up my point, but...

...HEY WAIT! What about "Islands in the Stream"?? Dolly + Kenny Rogers, one of the best-selling singles of the year it was released, la la la... but was written by neither. Does this make them hacks?

So, in conclusion: it isn't the song, it's what you do with it that counts. And Courtney Love brings some kickass life to her music, whereas Billy Corgan is a morose control freak who steadily went downhill over the years until gracing us with that re-freaking-diculous Mellon Collie and The Infinitely Too Freaking Long Concept Album.

(Disclaimer: I *love* early Smashing Pumpkins. Later SP? Noooooo).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:40 PM on August 17, 2007


I'll give you that -- but have you looked at the songwriting credits on just about 99.99999% of the music out there today? It's what you do with the song that counts.

What did Courtney do on Celebrity Skin other than sing what Billy Corgan told her to sing so that he could run it through pitch correction and pull every ProTools trick in the book so it would sound acceptable? It's not like she produced it, played all the instruments, or really had a hand in the way it sounded.

Moreover, 99.9999999% of the music out there today sucks, and certainly can't be said to be works of genius. The day that Courtney Love writes a brilliant hooky pop song for Justin Timberlake to record instead of her, then I'll give props to Courtney for having genuine musical talent (if not taste).
posted by The World Famous at 4:47 PM on August 17, 2007


Cyrkle?
posted by rodii at 4:48 PM on August 17, 2007


fingers_of_fire writes: "...let me be the first to say - Keith Jarrett is a fantastic musician, but he's a world-class prick."

You may be the first to say it on MetaFilter, but you're sure not the first person to say it!

And hi, f_o_f! Nice to see you 'round these parts again!You writing a "bridge" song?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:05 PM on August 17, 2007


SmileyChewtrain writes: I just don't get the Cheap Trick one (#15). It sounds like he's a bit out of breath and saying "This next one is the first song on our new album"

Yup, that's what he's saying. And that little audio clip, BTW, was sampled and used to great effect by the Beastie Boys as the opener to the record "Check Yr Head". Since the song that immediately followed was, of course, the first song on their new album, it made for a good chuckle.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:13 PM on August 17, 2007


What did Courtney do on Celebrity Skin other than sing what Billy Corgan told her to sing so that he could run it through pitch correction and pull every ProTools trick in the book so it would sound acceptable?

Oi, someone likes music you don't. It's ok. And what's the distinction between ProTools and a drum kit? They're both tools that can be used to make great music.
posted by yerfatma at 7:29 PM on August 17, 2007


Oi, someone likes music you don't. It's ok. And what's the distinction between ProTools and a drum kit? They're both tools that can be used to make great music.

Oi, I like Celebrity Skin just fine. There's some great music on it that Courtney Love didn't create. The distinction between ProTools and a drum kit for the purpose of my comment is that Courtney Love didn't play either one on Celebrity Skin. I guess that's more of a similarity than a distinction, though.
posted by The World Famous at 7:35 PM on August 17, 2007


"Ice-cream-eating motherfucker, that's what you are." Oh, beloved men of Fugazi, come lecture the poorly behaved punk rockers in my neighborhood!
posted by scody at 7:44 PM on August 17, 2007



John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) tends toward stream-of-consciousness


Man, Robyn Hitchcock invented this shit. The first time I saw him in 1984 (dear god!), I thought how pretentious that he wrote out all these bizarre surreal intros to his songs, but I've seen him enough now to know this stuff really does come off the top of his head. It's the reason I still go to see him every time he's in town.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:53 PM on August 17, 2007


There is also the matter of when to deliver your witty stage banter.

When these guys came on stage, Jello Biafra launched into a long political diatribe, totally killing the buzz that occurs when a band first hits the stage and starts to play. But their version of Let's Lynch the Landlord totally rocked.
posted by Tube at 8:02 PM on August 17, 2007


Nth-ing Robyn Hitchcock. Saw him a few months ago for the 4th or 5th time over 18 years or so, and the only thing that's changed is the color of his hair.

Pete Townshend can be hit or miss, but a lot of the between song banter now restored to the recent versions of Live at Leeds are pretty funny, especially with Keith Moon as foil / class clown...

I get sad remembering Elliott Smith's brief, mumbled but clearly heartfelt musings.

Morrissey was surprisingly funny and self-effacing, a fact I know jonmc will memorize and cherish ;-)

Most Incomprehensible: A rotund Leslie West of Mountain (Mississippi Queen) enveloping the mic onstage at the Meadowlands Arena: "Broggh grum grum burble grunt New Jersey grumble gum brougghs!"

Most Annoying: Jon Anderson of Yes, trilling on and on about how we "have to dreeeeem!!!" in his frilly voice.

Most Painfully Uncomfortable: Liz Phair, who's always struck me as uncomfortable on stage period.

Scariest: Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction at the late, great City Gardens in Trenton, goading a swirling mass of skinheads as he pointed to and cursed out all the "pigs" (the meatheaded venue security). There were 10 minutes or so where I really didn't think I was going to get out in one piece.
posted by jalexei at 8:33 PM on August 17, 2007


yeah, i have to mention gordon downie, too ... new orleans is sinking
posted by pyramid termite at 1:14 AM on August 18, 2007


oh hell, one more ... "we've come here to study you"
posted by pyramid termite at 1:27 AM on August 18, 2007


no stooges " metallic k.o." ? the guy should hand in his jotters.

ian brown being naughty
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:42 AM on August 18, 2007


I simply cannot believe not only did Phish not make the list, but haven't even been mentioned yet. Phish's onstage banger is legendary.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:52 AM on August 18, 2007


Yeah, this list is too short and incomplete. Ryan Adams didn't make it, for one thing.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:57 AM on August 19, 2007


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