The origins of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Free Bird' are pretty brief. In this 1970 demo (source), you can hear a short version, with the opening question but no piano intro and extended jam at the end. Though they recorded a long version for their debut album, they also cut a short version for the single. But people want "guitar sagas", such as "Whipping Post," by the Allman Brothers Band,and "Smoke on the Water," by Deep Purple, or maybe it was a silly thing to heckle Florence Henderson and other uncool cats. Decades later, people are still yelling "Freebird!" Sometimes people snap back, like Bill Hicks (NSFW), and sometimes people oblige, like Bob Dylan recently. In case that's not enough, there's (always) more! [more inside]
Jennicet Gutiérrez writes for the Washington Blade on being removed from the White House last night after interrupting President Obama's speech during an LGBT Pride celebration. [more inside]
[NSFW: swear words galore] Hecklers, the bane of many a performance. Here you can watch a documentary about Hecklers [ part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 ] and other critics. Someone at the beginning of that "Heckler" movie says something like, "A show was never made better because of a heckler." If only all of the banter was as funny as when Matt Walsh was heckled at SXSW. More often, it's like how Kyle Kinane states right off the bat during his act: "Every trainwreck needs a fuckin’ caboose; let’s get it over with," before he launches into a semi-drunken 9-minute conversation/shoutfest. But every once in a while, you get the perfect "point, counterpoint" moment. Let's see how different stand-up comedians react when the social contract of audience/performer is broken. [more inside]
Baseball fans heckle Vernon Wells, and he throws them a personally-inscribed baseball which reads "Here’s your ball, now please tell me what gas station you work at so I can come and yell at you when you’re working. Please sit down, shut up and enjoy the game. From your favorite centre fielder, Vernon Wells." (See the followups at the bottom of that article, with pictures of the ball.) This past weekend, Ken Griffey Jr. throws his jockstrap into the stands because a dude has been heckling him. (Everybody is laughing in both of these stories.)
Handling Hecklers (youtube filter - NSFW language) In the wake of the Michael Richards fiasco, many lessons have been learned. Is there a better way to handle the onslaught of loudmouths? Some do it with finesse. Others struggle. What if they actually get up on stage and try to fight you? Can they be overpowered simply by being louder and obnoxious? Sometimes they set themselves up too easily. Comedy legends sure can have their own distinctive approach. Even Clinton knew how to handle the pressure. Musicians themselves are no strangers to poor decisons. What's to say about comics who go after their own? There's also the benevolent way. Can you even blame this guy? You can always try to stay classy, but that just seems to exacerbate things. It's definitely topical enough to make skits out of. Here are a few more thrown in for good measure.