My name's not Brian!
October 17, 2002 2:02 AM   Subscribe

My name's not Brian! Ryan Adams gives a fan a refund and asks him to leave a concert when said fan asks him to play "Summer of '69". Have you ever been to a concert where the performer lost it at the audience? I guess even folk rockers can be divas...
posted by PenDevil (119 comments total)
via Fark.
posted by hama7 at 2:06 AM on October 17, 2002

I guess this border's on news but I thought I'd use it to kickstart a discussion on how artists sometimes treat their fans (although in this case it was someone else's fan) and how they let the I'm famous, worship only me mentality creep up on them.

My own personal anecdote: I was at a Garbage gig in '98 and Shirley Manson went batshit when a plastic bottle cap landed next to her on stage. Stopped the music, gave the audience a dressing down and warned us if it happened again they were gone! Rest of the show rocked by the way.
posted by PenDevil at 2:11 AM on October 17, 2002

At least I've heard of Bryan Adams. Who is Ryan Adams? In other news, Cheyene Adams in mix up at BMV that causes huge gaggle in line resulting in hour long delays. Local restaraunt "Fryin' Adams" files suit against several muscians for copyright infringment. National advertising agency "Ad Hominem" once again closes doors, wondering why it just can't seem to draw in the business like the competitiors. It is madness... sheer madness!!!
posted by internook at 2:13 AM on October 17, 2002

hama7: actually via This actually made it as a top entertainment story...
posted by PenDevil at 2:14 AM on October 17, 2002

I seem to remember Elvis Costello doing something similar many moons ago. As I recall, I drunk heckler who just didn't want to shut up got his money back & shown the door.
posted by i_cola at 2:15 AM on October 17, 2002

Yeah, maybe I am tragically un-hip, but I don't know who Ryan Adams is, either.

Here is a better question: What goofball pays $30 to go to a concert, that he/she didn't bother to read who was playing?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:23 AM on October 17, 2002

internook: Spin magazine review. He's a hot indiepop singer-songwriter, with eclectic influences -- sort of the new Beck.

Since the fan returned to the concert, I think one can assume he was just trolling.
posted by dhartung at 2:29 AM on October 17, 2002

see also: sebastian bach.

ryan adams is also the guy in that gap ad with willie nelson.
posted by pikachulolita at 2:30 AM on October 17, 2002

how they let the I'm famous, worship only me mentality creep up on them

Or could it be that Ryan Adams has heard people make jokes about "Ryan Adams? Bryan Adams, more like" ever since he was ten years old (his d.o.b late 1974, 'Summer of '69' released 1985) and it was driving him off his freakin' nut?
posted by rory at 2:34 AM on October 17, 2002

I don't know who Ryan Adams is either, but I stopped caring what the kids are listening to when I actually heard Robbie Williams.

I thought I'd use it to kickstart a discussion on how artists sometimes treat their fans

Great idea. I might be showing my age, but I remember when the ultimate compliment to an audience was to spit on them. Or spew gallons of blood, filth and body parts from the masters of the genre: GWAR!!
posted by hama7 at 2:34 AM on October 17, 2002

rory: so you would think by now he would be used to it and be able to laugh it off...
posted by PenDevil at 2:38 AM on October 17, 2002

so you would think by now he would be used to it and be able to laugh it off...

Na... Steve Miller jokes still bug me, what makes it worse is that he is from Wisconsin....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:42 AM on October 17, 2002

so you would think by now he would be used to it and be able to laugh it off...

Don't tell me you've never made a mild joke or observation about someone's name only to be met by a cold stare? Annoying jokes don't become less annoying with repetition, they become more annoying.

I stopped caring what the kids are listening to when I actually heard Robbie Williams.

Between this thread and the Led Zep one, there's an ominous aroma of pipes and slippers descending on MeFi...
posted by rory at 2:51 AM on October 17, 2002

I stopped caring what the kids are listening to when I actually heard Robbie Williams.

Yeah. He was rubbish as Mork, and that whole "One hour photo" thing just seems like formulative rubbish.
posted by seanyboy at 3:03 AM on October 17, 2002

rory: Yeah but it's not like they were calling him "Ryan Poopyhead". And maybe it's just me but annoying jokes kinda grow old over time. After a while you just dismiss them with a casual wave or a shrug. Look I'm sure it's irritating for Ryan but irritating enough to get the house lights up and refuse to play until the person leaves?
posted by PenDevil at 3:03 AM on October 17, 2002

Well, yeah, but the guy did shout. Though I admit, I'd be more inclined to laugh at a guy whose thought-processes go something like:

"Hmm. Bryan seems not to be playing any of his recognisable hits. Perhaps his memory is going in his old age - after all, he got his first real six-string in the summer of '69. Strange, he doesn't look that old. Perhaps I'll ask him..."
posted by rory at 3:27 AM on October 17, 2002

Imagine if the guy had asked for "Everything I do, I do it for you"? I suspect a probable homicide.
posted by PenDevil at 3:32 AM on October 17, 2002

About five years ago I was at a Morrissey show in which a kid who was standing at the stage front and center held up a sign that read "Joyce=1, Morrissey=0" - a reference to a court ruling that had just come out (in favor of Mike Joyce). Morrissey saw the sign, stopped singing, and left the stage in a huff. The fans up front got really upset at the sign holder and probably came close to beating him up. Security eventually dragged him away. Morrissey and his band then came back out and started up a different song.
posted by gluechunk at 3:35 AM on October 17, 2002

I saw the Violent Femmes play in Indiana a few years back at some alternative radio station-sponsored gig. Most of the audience was just there to see Matchbox 20 and Dishwalla, and they definitely didn't want to hear anything but "Blister in the Sun" by the Femmes. Instead the band played a lot of older stuff, and the crowd got increasingly unruly. Bottles and plastic cups eventually started getting thrown. Gordon told people to cut the shit out several times, but after five minutes some jerk would start it all up again. Finally the band just stopped playing. Gordon whipped out a toy saxophone and started blasting it into the mike while the drummer and bassist pounded on their instruments. They did this tunelessly at top volume for ten minutes to punish us. Then they walked off to the jeers of the crowd.

Can't say I blamed 'em. (The band, that is.)
posted by web-goddess at 3:37 AM on October 17, 2002

Amazing that he wasn't clubbed to death with gladioli, gluechunk.
posted by rory at 3:38 AM on October 17, 2002

Or could it be that Ryan Adams has heard people make jokes about "Ryan Adams? Bryan Adams, more like" ever since he was ten years old

Yeah, and I bet it cuts like a knife.
posted by jonmc at 3:45 AM on October 17, 2002

As a performer, I can attest to this phenomenon. Nowadays audiences want to be a part of the show, they are no longer satisfied with simply witnessing an event. Now, when I was part of an musical improv comedy group, this served us well. Whenever I do straight theater, this is not welcome.

From my brief stints as a singer various bands (all of them awful), my only observation is that I'm surprised nobody has whipped out a shotgun from behind a drum riser and whacked some heckler. Yet.

Not that I approve of that sort of thing, mind you. But I understand that impulse all to well...
posted by tommyspoon at 3:45 AM on October 17, 2002

Yeah, and I bet it cuts like a knife.

"Play Summer of '69!"
"You bastard."
"Please Forgive Me!"
"Oh, all right."

Together, we can make every Bryan Adams song title into dazzling MeFi repartee. It's that rich a seam, folks.
posted by rory at 4:02 AM on October 17, 2002

I think that these performers (Morrisey, Ryan Adams, Garbage, tommyspoon) are wimps. If you play music you have to be able to take a little criticism, because not everyone is going to like you. What's wrong with a sense of humour? (Heh, I'm trying to imagine Morrisey with a sense of humour...)

True story: at the first performance of my band Baffin Island Party, someone I know brought a sign reading "Alex Reno must be stopped!"

Rather than throwing a hissy fit, during an instrumental break I charged into the audience and wrestled him to the ground. This was a punk rock gig, so it was all in good fun.

I'm not saying this would be an appropriate response for Ryan Adams, but he's obviously encountered this before. Why doesn't he have something worked out? Off the top of my head: play the first verse of 'Summer of 69' at twice (or half) the speed, then whatever's next on the set list.

Nice one, jonmc.
posted by alex_reno at 4:21 AM on October 17, 2002

Together, we can make every Bryan Adams song title into dazzling MeFi repartee. It's that rich a seam, folks

Just Take Me Back cause Everything I Do, I Do For You so I can go to Heaven where the Kids Wanna Rock otherwise they're gonna Run to You for a One Night Love Affair but that's coming Straight From The Heart at least This Time.

you asked for it, man...
posted by jonmc at 4:27 AM on October 17, 2002

I once got yelled at by Tom Chapin for talking during a concert at a little club in Albany, NY.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:30 AM on October 17, 2002

Ryan Adams is the former lead singer/principle songwriter for Whiskeytown, one of the best (IMHO) bands from that whole 'alternative country' sub-genre that started to be talked about a few years back (Faithless Street and Strangers Almanac are both great). Search allmusic to find out lots about Ryan as solo artist and about Whiskeytown.

I've met people who used to work with Ryan and he has a reputation of being difficult. So this is nothing new at all. It was a running joke in Whiskeytown that they couldn't get along well enough to keep the same personel from album to album (which is why the band member lists are often prefaced with things like "this time, Whiskeytown were:")

But even if he is a prima donna, it would get pretty tiring to be mistaken for Bryan Adams all the time, dontchathink?
posted by wheat at 4:32 AM on October 17, 2002

I'm trying to imagine Morrisey with a sense of humour

Surely no-one who has woofed as much on record as Morissey can be seen as humourless?
posted by robself at 4:40 AM on October 17, 2002

I'm trying to imagine Morrissey with a sense of humour

I saw him about 2 years ago, and oddly enough, he was quite self-effacing and very tongue-in-cheek regarding his "diva" status. Perhaps he's just learned to turn that frown upside-down...

As to Ryan, his show last week was fantastic, but all of us joked how cool it would be if he came out with Summer of '69. He could embrace it, but I suppose if you multiply that by 100 shows a year or whatever, you'd be ready to smack someone to.
posted by jalexei at 4:52 AM on October 17, 2002

Oh for heaven's sake....never heard of him? He had a big hit with that "New York" tune right after Sept 11. I don't approve of his jangly guitar antics, but honestly - do try to keep up
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:55 AM on October 17, 2002

Two things... One of my roommates, who is the lead singer for a local speed metal band, happens to be named "Bryan Adams". Really... He gets that kind of stuff all the time.

The other? I saw Sean Lennon a few years ago, and there were several older people in the crowd, obviously fans of his father. In the middle of the show he went on a ten minute rant about the "creepy Beatles fans" who want him to be his father. It was very surreal. I still don't know what triggered it.
posted by greengrl at 5:11 AM on October 17, 2002

I don't care much for RA's music but it's very unfortunate that he basically shares his name with one of the crappiest, most shamelessly commercial pop crooners ever (insert "The Canadian govt has already apologized profusely for Bryan Adams in the past" South Park joke here)
The Bryan Adams jokes (I'm with Dhartung, the guy was either trolling or trying a lame joke) must cut like a knife indeed

Dumb personal anecdote: I was on my way to RA's Milan concert last year, I stopped for a cup of coffee first, and I ran into Adams and another guy (a band member, I guess) in this crappy cafe a couple blocks from the theater in a rather unhip part of town -- well, it was almost closing time, the place was managed by an obviously tired guy in his sixties with no English skills, and I have to say Adams was extremely polite in trying some Italian with the guy to buy his cigarettes and pay.
No primadonna act there -- I guess rich musicians usually have someone buy their cigarettes for them.
So, the guy is probably not an asshole 100% of the time.
Maybe just 99%, who knows
posted by matteo at 5:38 AM on October 17, 2002

He's a hot indiepop singer-songwriter, with eclectic influences -- sort of the new Beck.

On the off-chance that Ryan Adams is self-googling and discovers this thread, that statement will serve to inflate his ego even more, dhartung. Thanks a lot. :)

He ain't Beck. Beck at his best was blindingly original in his blending of disparate influences. Trurth be told, RA's really just another in a long line of pseudo-deep schnooks with acoustic guitars and big thesauruses. For the all the hype surrounding him, his remarkably, well, bland and inoffensive, really. Even back in the Whiskeytown days, his work paled compared to other outfits. Say what you want about the other Adams, and yes he did cough up his share of dreck, he made no apologies for being a pop-rock tunesmith and he at least new how to write a decent hooky single("Summer of '69" Take Me Back"), which is more than I can say for Ryan.
posted by jonmc at 5:57 AM on October 17, 2002

I treated my husband to a Victor Borge concert several years ago. We live in a Navy town and the amphitheater where the concert was held is next to bases. Throughout the performance, jets kept flying by pretty low as they were landing and taking off. Mr. Borge was getting more and more irritated with the interruptions. Finally, as a jet flew overhead, he stopped midsong to pound out the Air Force theme song and then shake his fists at the planes. He then picked up the first song where he left off. It was very funny.
posted by onhazier at 5:58 AM on October 17, 2002

I saw the WHO play the Metropolitan Opera House in NY some 30 years ago . . . the world's smallest opera company playing the world's largest opera house. They played for an hour and a half before they broke into the entire Tommy rock opera. Then for good measure added a 45 minute coda to that . . . all told well over 4 hours.

The crowd went crazy, and being who they were chanted the one thing they knew to chant (no not "bravo"): "MORE, MORE, MORE! . . ."

Townsend returned to the stage leaned against a mike stand and spat out "We've played two f*ckin shows today for 4 hours each and you want more?" . . . after which he twirled the heavy mike stand around and pitched it into the audience. The crowd loved it!
posted by ahimsakid at 6:00 AM on October 17, 2002

In the vein of web-god godess's anecdote, when Steve Earle played town several years ago, he opened with his one hit, Copperhead Road, then told everyone who came just to hear that song to leave (in less diplomatic terms. The lightweights left, and his fans enjoyed the rest of the show.
posted by TedW at 6:16 AM on October 17, 2002

I saw Richard Thompson Many years ago, and people were voicing requests when one guy made a reference to the Who. Richard Thompson stopped with a smirk on his face, re-tuned his guitar, and ripped out the best version of "Substitute" I have ever heard (even if he didn't remember all the words). The crowd went wild and he said "And here I thought you all were folk fans." Substitute became a part of his songlist for a few years after that. All I can say to Ryan is "Mellow out, man."
posted by Eekacat at 6:28 AM on October 17, 2002

Beck at his best was blindingly original in his blending of disparate influences

Pish. Whaddaya mean, 'was'.

Pipes and slippers, man... ;)
posted by rory at 6:35 AM on October 17, 2002

There are plenty of examples of musicians or actors changing their name to avoid being confused with well-known people. Ryan Adams could have considered this before going into music.

<geezer mode>This reminds me of Rick Springfield doing the song "Don't Call Me Bruce" so people wouldn't confuse him with Bruce Springsteen. Uh...right.</geezer mode>

Finally, Bryan Adams was 10 years old in 1969. I suspect that he wasn't actually in a band in 1969 and that there may be some other significance to the title.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:37 AM on October 17, 2002

"What goofball pays $30 to go to a concert, that he/she didn't bother to read who was playing?"

Easy answer - someone visiting Nashville who has been told to see a show at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
posted by pjdoland at 6:45 AM on October 17, 2002

Ryan Adams is the guy die-hard Wilco fans tell you to go back to if you don't "get" Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
posted by ChuqD at 6:46 AM on October 17, 2002 [1 favorite]

I wonder whether riank has the same problem with our own, much better, much more famous briank.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:47 AM on October 17, 2002

Trurth be told, RA's really just another in a long line of pseudo-deep schnooks with acoustic guitars and big thesauruses.

Polishing up your critical chops in anticipation of your new job, jon?
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:56 AM on October 17, 2002

Fiona Apple last year in New York had a damn-close-to-nervous-breakdown on stage after playing half a song. Threw a temper tantrum and started screaming obscenities at the audience and her band before storming off stage and never coming back. She later attributed it to problems with the sound system on the stage.

I say, that's what heroine does to ya.

She rescheduled the show but I had no desire to go back for round 2.
posted by archimago at 6:58 AM on October 17, 2002

You mean Bryman Auditorium, don't you?
posted by donpardo at 6:59 AM on October 17, 2002

I'd like to know how "serious" this was. I have a Ryan Adams bootleg where he randomly starts playing "I Want It That Way," and then engages in a shouting match with a heckler. "Who *are* you, Pete-Fucking-Townsend? You can't tell me that's not a good song? Do you think they *wrote* that song?" Etc. All in good fun. I'm not sure this isn't another Ryan-mixes-it-up-with-a-heckler-to-the-delight-of-the-crowd thing.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 7:09 AM on October 17, 2002

Maybe the guy just thought Ryan Adams could do a really good cover of "Summer of '69", and was making an honest request... (j/k) : )
posted by stifford at 7:10 AM on October 17, 2002

As for musicians covering other's songs, my favorite story is how FZ came to include "Whipping Post" in his live shows (and some albums).
posted by TedW at 7:14 AM on October 17, 2002

posted by whatnot at 7:16 AM on October 17, 2002

Chan Marshall of Cat Power is known for breaking down crying in the middle of songs and walking off the stage regularly.
posted by waxpancake at 7:21 AM on October 17, 2002

Mayhap my favorite "diva" moment:John Zorn and Madeline Albright.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:23 AM on October 17, 2002

"Or could it be that Ryan Adams has heard people make jokes about "Ryan Adams? Bryan Adams, more like" ever since he was ten years old"

"Your name is [B]ryan Adams?...Why should I change my name? He's the one who ass clown"
posted by m@ at 7:30 AM on October 17, 2002

A diva would have summoned security and had them throw the guy out. Ryan has a sense of humor, so he made a joke out of it by giving the guy money from his own pocket. He's covered "Summer of '69" before, as most fans know. I've met him several times, and he's invariably been not just nice but sweet and funny. One time after he had injured his hand, I shook it before I realized it was bandaged up, and he was still nice to me.
posted by teenydreams at 7:30 AM on October 17, 2002

Back about ten years ago my college got The Smithereens to play a gig at our school's auditorium. Now, back in 1992 at a smallish liberal arts college, getting the Smithereens to play was kind of a big deal. I had never been a fan of theirs, but went anyway (since it was free to students). About 5 songs into their set, some drunk jumped up on stage to stage dive (stupid, since it was the Smithereens, after all). In the process, he bumped their bass player, Mike Mesaros.

This apparently was a very bad thing. Mesaros went off on a long rant about how this guy ruined his song, and how much he hates it when his playing isn't perfect. While I agree that it would be annoying to be knocked around by a drunkard when trying to do one's job, his hissy fit just rub bed me the wrong way. It was a complete prima donna act if I have ever seen one. I haven't listened to a single Smithereens song since...
posted by ScottUltra at 7:34 AM on October 17, 2002

I saw the late Frank Zappa at a show in Augusta, Maine around 1980. Some dope lobbed a bottle at him in the middle of Black Napkins. He stopped the band, had the house lights turned on and said he wasn't going to play another note until the person that threw the bottle was found. He just sat on a stool for about ten minutes until security hustled someone out of the crowd. I don't know if it was the right person, but eventually the band started up again and played a very abbreviated set. Frank said that his arm hurt, and apologized to the sparse crowd. Show over. Too bad, because he was really good. Can't say I blame him though.
posted by reidfleming at 7:36 AM on October 17, 2002

I was at a Fugazi show at Fort Reno Park in DC when the band always tired of skin heads moshing and punching and ruining the show for everyone else tried to calm it down. The skin heads started shouting back and Guy decided to put them in your place. He said something to the effect of: "You guys think you're all bad, but, I saw you before the show. I saw you over at the Good Humor truck eating your ice cream. That's right, now everyone knows that you eat ice cream. You aren't so bad, you're ice cream eating mother fuckers." Or somethink like that. To hear the actual exchange see Instrument
posted by trbrts at 7:39 AM on October 17, 2002

That sounds more like it, teenydreams - thanks for setting the story straight.

Summer of 69' (Bryan Adams) Live Versions - 11.13.01 - Ryan and the Pinkhearts came armed on tour in the fall of 2001 with this cover! By this time in his career, fans would start to yell out for Ryan to do Bryan Adams songs as a joke. Eventually, he got into the habit of playing this cover whenever, a request was yelled. This is a complete spoof of Bryan's hit and a great one! The whole song is one big joke and cutdown on Bryan.

Ananova Files Half-Arsed Story Shock!
posted by rory at 7:40 AM on October 17, 2002

Bob Mould lived up to his not-so great reputation when I saw him play in Vancouver a few years back. I had just moved there and it was the first real show I'd ever seen in the big city. Mould was surly throughout, sneering at requests for Sugar and Husker Du songs, and spewing water on the people near the front. He seemed irritated and bored. It was so loud that my ears were ringing for a week afterward. Unpleasant experience all around.
posted by picea at 7:44 AM on October 17, 2002

I've seen at least 400 shows over the last eight years and I've never witnessed anything remotely close to a temper tantrum. I demand my money back!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:46 AM on October 17, 2002

i saw the pixies a couple times and one of them black francis kept screaming at his guitar. eventually (maybe 20 minutes in), he threw it down on the stage, screamed one more time, and left. he never came back. thankfully, pere ubu opened up that night and mopped the floor with them.

i have a live recording of Masada in Prague where one of the members starts screaming at the photographers to "get the fuck away from the stage! we didn't come here to play for you leeches and we're not gonna play another note till you leave." silence in the house. then, presumbaly, the guy realize the photographers have no idea what he's saying so he yells to the audience "how do i tell them to go fuck themselves in german?" ha. wish i was at that show. :)

every time i saw six finger satalite play, the singer would spit onto the ceiling above his head and over the course of the show it would just drip down on himself.

and i once saw david yow (of the jesus lizard) rush into the audience and sit on a girl who was sitting in a chair (everyone else was standing). while the band continued to play, he sat on top of her and grabbed the armrests and wouldn't get up. she put up quite a fight trying to get up. eventually he got off her and climbed up on the stage again. then he said "if you're gonna sit while i sing i'm gonna fart on you. i don't make the rules; i just follow them."

*sigh* i miss the jesus lizard.
posted by dobbs at 7:53 AM on October 17, 2002

Bob Mould lived up to his not-so great reputation

Wow, I've seen Bob Mould play at least a dozen times in various incarnations (being a fellow Minneapolitan) and have never experienced this side of his personality! I've always perceived him as somber and introspective. However, most of my experiences were back in his heroin days. I suppose that makes a difference in one's temperment..
posted by ScottUltra at 7:53 AM on October 17, 2002

Apparently Henry Rollins doesn't think Ryan Adams is too much of a wimp because he invited him to play a cover of Black Flag's, "Nervous Breakdown", on his new album to benefit the West Memphis 3. It's radically different from the original version(one of the best tracks on the album performed by Keith Morris, the original lead singer of Black Flag), but it works and is actually quite good. By the way the album is awesome and worth the money.

I'm a huge live music fan. Along with the name acts I also go to see people I've never heard of either just hoping for a musical diamond. I'd say Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was the biggest surprise a couple years ago. The worst concert EVER was Fiona Apple. I've seem lots of tantrums on stage usually having to do with things being thrown, but the worst comments made to an audience by a "rock star" had to be Everlast who I went to see because he was in a fight with Eminem at the time. He started ranting because there were only 100 or so people there and that seemed to offend him tremendously. He wasn't that great so I left.

Nice thread Pendevil. Thanks.
posted by oh posey at 8:07 AM on October 17, 2002

I would have to bet that this story is taken way out of context.

I'm a big Ryan Adams fan, and have read it's a running joke at his shows to request Summer of `69. (For barenaked ladies fans, just like throwing Kraft Dinner on stage during A Million Dollars)
posted by Adam_S at 8:23 AM on October 17, 2002

I was at a Sloan show in Halifax where Pat and Chris beat the shit out of each other. It was great.
posted by jon_kill at 8:31 AM on October 17, 2002

hama7: I'm interviewing Gwar for my webzine, - check for it in the Nov 15 issue :-)
posted by twiggy at 8:34 AM on October 17, 2002

I saw Taj Mahal play in Tacoma -- brilliant show, just him, lots of Robert Johnson and Leadbelly, and lots of repartee. But an emaciated guy in the row in front of me kept swaying and clapping and hugging his knees and yelling "OHHHHHHH YEAHHHHHH OHHHHH!" during the quiet moments. Then he began yelling stranger comments like "YOU'RE DRIVING A PIANO CADILLAC! A PIANO CADILLAC!" Which Taj tried to brush off. Then, between songs, he yelled:


which I still don't understand. But Taj took it very badly indeed and, at great length, offered to kick the guy's ass over every inch of the stage and to take his teeth out for him, etc. Which ended the repartee for the night and resulted in some very tense (and not bad) blues from then on.
posted by argybarg at 8:45 AM on October 17, 2002

Fugazi #2, circa 1997, Richmond Va: Middle of show, Ian sees audience member being ejected by bouncers. Song stops. After a bunch of "hey, fucker, stop!" calls from Guy and Ian, Ian heads out through the crowd to confront bouncer, bar establishment, generally unfair world. A few minutes later, we are rewarded for our patience with an enraged band and a "wow, what just happened?" audience gets its catharsis with Minor Threat number.

fIREHOSE, circa 1990, Richmond Va: monitors not working to Mike Watt's satisfaction, sound guy not at post. Watt goes into a hilarious "we're just working men doing a job here" rant that asserts that fIREHOSE is not Def Leppard or any other already forgotten hair metal band. Then they play their Blue Oyster Cult cover. Go figure.

Sonic Youth, circa 1991, Charlottesville, Va: fresh from the (I also miss the) Jesus Lizard opening set, the yahoos (look it up) are not about to stop slam dancing and stage diving. Thurston sez that said stage divers have hit Kim accidentally and that "that's not cool" but to no avail. The second time Kim gets hit she's gone and the boys finish the encore on their lonesome.

Plenty of stuff has undoubtedly happened this century, too.
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:54 AM on October 17, 2002

In 1999, Tricky stamped his feet and walked out of the club for several minutes after he droppped his spliff and no one had a new one at the ready for him. We all totally undertood his pain, but man, that harshed the audience's mellow badly. Poor Maxine was just waiting up there for him while the house lights went on.

Surprisingly, I saw Low lose it a little at the Bowrey Ballroom, but it was just after 9-11 and tensions were high. They were getting heckled, but it was all nice heckles of support, and they couldn't hear it.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:55 AM on October 17, 2002

My favorite musician-gets-fed-up incident: Bobby "Blue" Bland (in the Miss. Delta, mid-1990s). Someone in the audience, he notices, has a video camera - a definite no-no. Trouble is, our blues and R&B crooner is in the middle of some typically mellow, but warm and soulful, number, horns and all. A good groove has been found, a mood is set. But he's still annoyed by the video camera. What to do? He effortlessly works a melodic "Somebody turn the house lights on, gotta turn the camera off" into the song. A few seconds later, he's singing, "Ohhhhh, the house lights are on," and the band follows along, while a security guy goes into the audience to confiscate the camera. Bland subsequently returns to the regular lyrics after the house lights go back down, as if nothing had happened and the whole thing was a part of the act.

Bobby "Blue" Bland is freakin' smooth.
posted by raysmj at 8:56 AM on October 17, 2002

At a Frank Zappa concert in Scandinavia once, someone yelled out a request for the Allman Brothers' "Whipping Post". Frank was so impressed by the incongruity of the request that he add the song to his band's repertoire.
posted by timeistight at 9:09 AM on October 17, 2002

a Fugazi show at Fort Reno Park . . . Guy decided to put them in your place

For the record, I'm pretty sure it was Ian who shouted them down, not Guy.

In further Black Francis news, I saw Frank Black in Montreal on his first solo tour, and he got agitated as hell at all the Pixies requests being shouted out, and finally he stepped up to the mic and bellowed, "I've got a new band, you know!" It was kinda funny, actually.

Less funny: Nirvana, Maple Leaf Gardens, In Utero tour, late '93. The moshing louts on the floor, apparently thinking they're at a Eagles show, start flicking their Bics during "Rape Me." I believe it was right after this (though it might've been a few songs later) that Krist Novoselic stepped up to the mic and said, "One of these nights, one of these crazy, crazy nights, you're all gonna wake up really normal." A good line, that.
posted by gompa at 9:10 AM on October 17, 2002


I was at a Bruce Hornsby & the Range show at the Garden State Arts Center in '90 with my roommate from college....first thing Bruce says after the first song is that this was going to be an "all request" show. I thought "whoa, cool!" So anyway, people put their requests on the front of the stage, and some wag (not me :-) puts "Freebird" on their piece of paper.

Needless to say...Bruce sees this, and goes into this hilarious rant about having to play "Freebird" all the time at the dinky bars and clubs he played at before he made it big, and launches into this derisive 30-second version of it. Funniest damn thing I've ever heard. Awesome concert too.

FZ...include "Whipping Post"

There's a version of this also on the "Baby Snakes" video. You have to hear it, it totally kicks ass.
posted by PeteyStock at 9:11 AM on October 17, 2002

Or could it be that Ryan Adams has heard people make jokes about "Ryan Adams? Bryan Adams, more like" ever since he was ten years old (his d.o.b late 1974, 'Summer of '69' released 1985) and it was driving him off his freakin' nut?

tell me about it...i was born in '74, and my last name is Durand. flash forward to the 80's...i cannot tell you how many times idiots asked me if my dad was the guy from Duran Duran, or asked me to sing "Girls On Film." GRRRRRR!
posted by serafinapekkala at 9:15 AM on October 17, 2002

HelLOOOO... I'm flabbergasted at the presence of all these Zappa references AND heckled-artist-adds-song-to-repetoire references WITHOUT any mention of the classic:

"I wanna hear Caravan with a drum sola!"

...from "You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here," Frank's first album. Supposedly someone once said it at an early Mothers show, and they threw it into this (studio) song. Then fans would yell it out at concerts to try to be doubly ironic, so Frank had no choice but to learn Caravan and perform it just to have the last twist.

Ah, Frank. What a loss.
posted by soyjoy at 9:17 AM on October 17, 2002

Hey Dobbs, was that Pixies show at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit? I witnessed Black Francis do something very similar there.

Apparently, he was being shocked by his equipment, and stormed offstage never to return.
posted by greengrl at 9:31 AM on October 17, 2002

I loved Ryan Adams when he was called Johnny Cougar.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:31 AM on October 17, 2002

Ever been to a Locust show? They spit on and get in fights with the audience at least a couple times a show. They thrive on hecklers. All it takes is some drunk tool yelling "Faggots!" for the band to stop what they're doing and mock the shit out of the guy, followed by one of the band members jumping into the crowd to bust some skulls. I've yet to go to a Locust show without seeing blood, spit, or vomit flying all around. Highly recommended!
posted by afx114 at 9:34 AM on October 17, 2002

afx114: see also (or don't) The Dwarves, Candy Snatchers, all twelve people who really enjoyed GG Allin . . . good stuff, but it starts to seem a little contrived when every show ends in a fight. Still, I suppose no less contrived than every show ending in an encore of the "greatest hit."
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:46 AM on October 17, 2002

Steve_at_Winwood: as to the goofballs, maybe the percentage they're paying is too high priced, while they're living beyond all their means...
posted by madprops at 10:01 AM on October 17, 2002

In other news, up and coming singer Rob Dylan shoots self after infinite requests to play 'Blowin in the Wind'.
posted by HTuttle at 10:17 AM on October 17, 2002

Ryan should just get his hits out. And if they're someone else's, well ...
posted by allaboutgeorge at 10:32 AM on October 17, 2002

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones played an all-ages gig at my old uni pub. Ska was in the mainstreams and Let's Face It had just been released; the Bosstones were at the peak of their mass market appeal. There were only a handful of us "old timers" in the audience and we were all getting annoyed by the new fans who knew all the words to the latest single but would just stand motionless for Lights Out.

After a fairly short set, the band leaves the stage. I'd always heard that the Bosstones do an amazing encore - almost as long as the main set - so I wasn't worried. Unfortunately, some drunk old-timer at the side of the stage mumbles something about being a sell-out as Dickie Barrett walks past. Dickie loses it and beats him to the ground. No encore that night.
posted by Monk at 10:33 AM on October 17, 2002

PeteyStock-haven't seen the Baby Snakes video, but did see FZ perform Whipping Post as the last encore in Austin, TX on the "Them or Us" tour; it may have been even better than the Allman Bros. version (which I have also seen a few times). There are several versions on CD, but since I am not at home to review them right now, I can't tell you which is my favorite.
posted by TedW at 10:33 AM on October 17, 2002

Cobain: once stopped in mid-song when he observed a female crowd-surfer getting groped by a male "pit bull." Taunted the offending groper as he was escorted out of the venue.

Barenaked Ladies: Would always say in interviews that they were sick of the Kraft macaroni being thrown at them - especially the Cheese Sauce packets. I always thought if they just didn't play the song for a couple of months on their near-perpetual tour of the world, they might get the point across. I remember some jerkos tried to start another running gag by tossing whole apples at Ed when he would sing "These Apples."

Ryan Adams or Bryan Adams (or Wilco): Robbie Frickin' Fulks.
posted by britain at 11:16 AM on October 17, 2002

I had a chance to see The Magnetic Fields play for CMJ one year at the Knitting Factory. The Magnetic Fields are a pretty quiet band to see live, so if anyone is talking, it's a pain in the ass. Stephin Merritt was getting really annoyed by some chick at the bar that wouldn't stop running her frigging mouth, so he chucked a half full bottle of water at her.

We all cheered. It shut her up.

Unfortunately for Mr. Adams, all the press attention about this little incident pretty much guarantees that "Summer of '69" will be requested at every show he ever does from now on.
posted by BobFrapples at 11:36 AM on October 17, 2002

the glueybrothers are routinely pelted with donuts from the audience when they play the song Donut Quota.

mmm... donuts.
posted by modge at 11:45 AM on October 17, 2002

At a Frank Zappa concert in Scandinavia once, someone yelled out a request for the Allman Brothers' "Whipping Post". Frank was so impressed by the incongruity of the request that he add the song to his band's repertoire.

Audially documented on "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore - Vol 2 : The Helsinki Concert"
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:46 AM on October 17, 2002

I saw Ryan Adams live at a small private gig recently and the show was great and his between song storytelling and banter was hysterical. Very self-deprecating. This has to be a tongue in cheek incident. I also want to add that he may be somewhat derivative (who isn't) but he plays with a lot of heart and I think he's great.

Comparing him to Beck is comparing apples and oranges, can't do it.

When I saw Joe Jackson on his Body & Soul tour, he stopped the set midway through and screamed at the audience that he was trying to play music, so shut the fuck up and listen instead of talking. They did and it was a great show.
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 11:58 AM on October 17, 2002

I heard a R.E.M. bootleg once from the mid-80's when Michael Stipe had his "worshippers". I forget what they were called... "distiples" or something. Anyway, in between songs they were so overcome with his presence that they would constantly yell "Michael" over and over again. This (understandably) irritated him because on the bootleg I heard he says something to the effect of "Quit yelling my name. I now my name is Michael. Please stop doing that."
posted by internal at 12:03 PM on October 17, 2002

Saw Bob Mould (solo acoustic) several years back in Chicago who stopped the set and refused to continue until the stupid frat boys with the cigars who were yelling and faux-fighting with each other thru the set either settled down or got out. They half-settled down, grudgingly, muttering the whole time "who the hell is this dude, anyway?" It was a small show and it sold out very quickly, so I was (and remain) baffled as to why (and how) on earth they got six or eight semi-pricey tickets for someone they'd never heard of.

More amusingly (to me, at least), I watched Smiths-era Morrissey pitch an onstage tantrum (it was never clear from where we were standing what the problem was) that ended with the very dramatic gesture of kicking an amp as he stalked offstage. Sadly for ol' Moz, said amp was apparently more solid than he had expected (either that, or he delivered said kick with more force than he realized) because he yelped in pain, staggered backwards, and had to be helped the rest of the way off. Rumors abounded the next day that he had either sprained his ankle or broken his foot, but we never really knew for sure...
posted by scody at 12:08 PM on October 17, 2002

ryan adams is also the guy in that gap ad with willie nelson.

Turn out the lights, I thought it was Willie's son per the commercial, they said it. Dope, I knew it for those Campbell soup Thick-n-Chunky adds, football star with mom, not really their mom either.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:46 PM on October 17, 2002

I hear GG Allin was good at handling hecklers.
posted by stifford at 12:55 PM on October 17, 2002

I've seen lots of crowd-interaction-heavy shows, including a few instances where bands like They Might Be Giants requested that people "not chuck sh*t onto the stage" and also attempted to get people to stop moshing and crowd surfing (yes, at a TMBG show) by proclaiming that "Grunge is dead."

My favorite instance, though, was also at a TMBG show in Cincinnati a few years back (98 or 99, I think) where the opener (whose name I can't remember, b/c he was super-forgettable) was having a tough time with the crowd. Someone threw a bottle (plastic) and he lost it a little, getting into a little bit of back-and-forth with the guy, and in the end, I seem to recall the performer using a phrase strikingly similar to "f*ck your mother". Everyone just found it so funny and weird and luckily the situation didn't get too out of hand. At the end of his set, the guy just wandered sort of listlessly off stage.
posted by dryad at 12:58 PM on October 17, 2002

Hey Dobbs, was that Pixies show at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit? I witnessed Black Francis do something very similar there.

nope. was in toronto at the masonic temple. i saw them there twice and black was fine the first time (doolittle tour i believe). my dad is dead opened for them and they (he) were superb. second time, with pere ubu was probably two albums later or something.

as for ryan adams, when he played toronto last year he invited up a special guest to sing with him. elton john. when i heard this i pretty much lost all interest in ever hearing the guy again (tried whiskeytown a few times--didn't catch with me.)

consolidated used to stop playing whenever anyone slam danced/moshed. just cut it, mid song and wait for them to stop.

this past weekend i saw the constantines play a small club in toronto and second song in the bass player charged into the audience and sorta dissapeared from site. i have no idea what he was doing out there as i couldn't see him. he returned before the song was over so i assume he was just playing from the floor. goddamn they put on a good show. the bass player than climbed up on the amp (there was not enough room to stand) so he laid down on it and played the rest of the song from this perch. here's a pic (self link).

coincidentally, i heard 3 shouts for Freebird that night.

i saw sweep the leg johnny (one of my very fave live bands) play a few months back and the bass player also ran into the audience. however, when he returned he had a camera and no bass. i turned around and a fellow photographer had the bass wrapped around his neck and was attempting to play it while the bass player took pictures from the stage.
posted by dobbs at 1:02 PM on October 17, 2002

While at a recent show in Vancouver (home of the famous Blind Melon (bottom of page) and Oasis incidents), Glenn Danzig was rumoured to beat the crap out of a fan. Supposedly, the fan was insulting Danzig near the front of the stage, so Danzig said something to the effect of "You want to bait me m**therf*cker, then come up on stage". The fool went on stage and got a swift beating at Danzig's hands.
Sad to say I wasn't there.
posted by trillion at 1:23 PM on October 17, 2002

At a Megadeth concert once about seven years ago, Dave Mustaine stopped the show when some guy in the front row was trying to give the devil horns but instead was giving sign-language for "love." A thorough mocking ensued.

Another great one: at a Milemarker show a few weeks ago, the bassist/singer, Dave, was in a between-song diatribe about the importance of voting. Most of the audience was there to see a stoner-metal band, High on Fire, so they were heckling a plenty. After he said (and I paraphrase heavily) "you know that guy, who stole the election? Yeah, that guy sucks," a voice in the audience responded "YOU suck!" Dave responded "I guess I set myself up for that one." and they launched into another song. Hilarious in person.
posted by The Michael The at 1:24 PM on October 17, 2002

In college I did a review of a concert by one-and-a-half hit wonders Scandal, with lead singer Patty Smythe. In a quiet moment, Smythe began a spoken introduction to "Goodbye to You" and some ass in the darkness yelled "Show us your tits!" Smythe stopped and looked completely taken aback for a few heady moments, then turned to the band and said "Give me a minute here, guys." The band nodded and put down their instruments, crossed their arms and looked at her as if to say "Do your thing."

Smythe then went into a high-volume, ten minute rant at the jerk about respecting women, about growing up and not being an immature idiot, and about the extraordinary depth of his stupidity as indicated by his failure to notice that she was a singer, not a stripper. I've heard people wonder how she handles being married to John McEnroe, but the way she dressed the jerk down makes me believe that she could easily deal with a moody tennis player.
posted by Dreama at 2:56 PM on October 17, 2002

They all sound the same to me.
posted by Carlos Quevedo at 3:02 PM on October 17, 2002

Last October I was down in Texas, tagging along to a few shows of a past client, Phil Pritchett. At one show, someone jokingly shouted out a request for 'Crazytrain', and Phil dropped right into it, finishing with a wry, "Don't fuck with me: I grew up in the '80s".

It's always best when the performer turns the heckling back on on the audience.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:10 PM on October 17, 2002

Samir: No one is this country can ever pronounce my name right. It's not that hard: Nayee-Nanajar. Nayeenanajar.

Michael Bolton: Yeah, well, at least you're name isn't Michael Bolton.

Samir: You know, there's nothing wrong with that name.

Michael Bolton: There WAS nothing wrong with it. Until I was about 12 years old, and that no-talent-ass-clown because famous and started winning Grammys.

Samir: Why don't you just go by Mike, instead of Michael?
Michael Bolton: No way! Why should I change it? He's the one who sucks.

link : Office Space
posted by aaronchristy at 3:42 PM on October 17, 2002

They all sound the same to me

Carlos, I would love to hear you elaborate. I assume you mean all the music sounds the same to you.
posted by JohnR at 3:56 PM on October 17, 2002

Ryan Adam's first name is actually David. Only one person to blame for the ensuing mocking.

Brother needs to chill.
posted by John Shaft at 4:10 PM on October 17, 2002

I really like his song "Jack and Diane," he should play that more often in concerts. That song about living in a small town would be great too.
posted by Stan Chin at 4:20 PM on October 17, 2002

november 1997, yes, a 6,000 seat arena in grand rapids, mi with 5,500 empty seats. (a private party with yes in the living room, in a sense!) during a steve howe acoustic bit some jerk in the 3rd row kept shouting 'wooooooooo!' very loudly. steve stopped, and quite audibly told him to 'shut the fuck up' and then continued his piece to wild applause.
posted by quonsar at 4:51 PM on October 17, 2002

A few years back, I was at a Morrissey show in Chicago. He played about five songs, then stopped, left the stage, and that was that. End of show. No explanation, nothing.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:02 PM on October 17, 2002

On Avail's "live from the Bottom of the Hill" (San Fran, '97, i believe) they're playing the song "Nameless" which includes the lyrics "what the hell are you fighting for/ I hope it's something you really believe in/ someone's got a fist in their face b/c you're feeling weak/ and your causing all these problems nobody needs" a fight broke out. So they stopped the song, and one of the guys in the band says "Are you guys not listening to the song or what?". It's probably my favorite moment caught on a live CD.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:10 PM on October 17, 2002

I never understood how musicians could perform while people were throwing all sorts of potentially dangerous objects (that includes panties) at them. I've often marvelled at how most of the bands I've seen live don't duck, or even ask the audience to knock it off.

There will always be those morons who toss stuff on stage. Perhaps if more bands walked off when some idiot used them for target practice, the rest of the shortchanged audience could teach him a valuable life lesson -- be a dick and gyp us out of the concert experience, and you won't be in any physical shape to attend any performances anytime soon. I'm sure after a few such lessons even the most obstinate heckler would cease and desist.

Incidentally, all these comparisons to Beck remind I the only one who loves the new Beck album? It doesn't seem to be getting much promotion, airplay, or press (the five star Rolling Stone review not withstanding), possibly because the intelligentsia will always take something atonal and "groundbreaking" over something simple, honest, and heartfelt.
posted by Devils Slide at 5:29 PM on October 17, 2002

Paul Westerberg (about 4 months ago): Was playing a show in Toronto, and warned that he'd like to play some old stuff, but sometimes lost the words or the chords. He'd start a song, and turn to the audience if he got lost. In the middle of a very nice version of "Achin To Be" (played on a nice Gibson acoustic), he stopped, took a step back, smashed the fuck out of his guitar, selected another guitar, and continued as if nothing had happened. I think his guitar or monitor was cutting out, and I think he felt a hell of a lot better after that.

WRT rock prima-donna moments: Often the opener has delusions of grandeur. I was a member of a crowd who was reasonably accepting of a Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins, until Billy Corgan started berating them for not loving his music enough. It got kinda ugly after that.

Also, saw Mazzy Star open for the Cocteau Twins. Hope Sandoval had a Billy Corgan moment and bitched at the crowd for their restraint. Then she stormed off. The rest of the band played on for about 5 minutes, then slowly sidled off...
posted by websavvy at 5:33 PM on October 17, 2002

I was at the show in question, and I can assure you his fit was not 'taken out of context.' Of the many many shows I have seen, this was one of the worst. I assumed that the Ryman would bring out the best in an artist, as it has many times before, but sadly this was not the case. The bizarre Madonna and Minor Threat karoake performances, meandering monologues and inside jokes for his band (who was in the crowd), his insistence that no one leave or enter in mid-song (that was fine for him since he was the only one who could chain-smoke throughout the performance) all bored me to the point that I left before the alleged tantrum took place. Had a lot more fun ending the night with the Legendary Shack Shakers. A review of the debacle here.
posted by bake at 5:59 PM on October 17, 2002

I never understood how musicians could perform while people were throwing all sorts of potentially dangerous objects (that includes panties) at them. I've often marvelled at how most of the bands I've seen live don't duck, or even ask the audience to knock it off.

They probably cannot see it because of the lighting.
posted by internal at 9:14 PM on October 17, 2002

Poetic justice, at last.
posted by blucevalo at 10:53 PM on October 17, 2002

Has anyone mentioned this has happened to Ryan (refund and all) twice now? In New York at the Beacon and in Nashville at the Ryman. I can't help but wonder if it's a schtick, like his cookie monster voice thing.

Btw, over at the message boards at, someone who claims to have been at the Nashville show says the guy who got kicked out had been a loudmouth the whole time and deserved a lot worse.
posted by mediareport at 11:42 PM on October 17, 2002

I had a similar experience as the man in the article. About a year ago, at a show in Madison, WI, my friends and I decided it would be funny to yell out "Summer of '69." I took them up on the offer and yelled it out, just our perpetrator did. He immediately lashed out at me, calling me names and saying how Bryan is an old hack and he is full of talent. He ended the rant by saying "I make more money in 2 days than you make all year," and went into a punky number.

It was covered in The Isthmus, Madison's weekly paper, but isn't archived. I have a more detailed description on my blog. Bottom line, he was a dick about it and his set was boring. We walked out.
posted by capndesign at 11:47 PM on October 17, 2002

Oh, and those around me were in support of me as I heard people talking about the incident in the bathroom and everyone laughed when it happened. To cap it off, someone else heckled him later and he threatened to beat him up. Mmhmm.
posted by capndesign at 11:49 PM on October 17, 2002

I never understood how musicians could perform while people were throwing all sorts of potentially dangerous objects (that includes panties) at them.

I saw the Foo Fighters in 1996 at the Gold Coast, Australia, and Dave Grohl threatened to stop their set many times because of flying objects onto the stage. The set stopped momentarily because their drummer was hit by something that cut him just above his eye. Not long after that, they stopped for ten minutes because several people needed to be urgently dragged out of the mosh pit for medical attention.
posted by chronic sublime at 5:28 AM on October 18, 2002

And one time, at band camp...
posted by CoolHandPuke at 6:00 AM on October 18, 2002

I remember seeing a small garage punk surf band a while ago... and at the end of the set, the singer asked the crowd if there were any requests.

The band obliged for a few songs, and then someone asked for a song that was just played:
Singer: "Sorry, we just played that."
Other fan: "PLAY [NAME OF SONG]!!!"
Singer: "..."
Same fan: "PLAY [NAME OF SONG]!!!"
Singer: "Wrong band you f***ing idiot."
posted by titboy at 10:00 AM on October 18, 2002

JohnR: I only meant that they both sound the same to me. I like classical music but certain pop music I appreciate.
posted by Carlos Quevedo at 12:55 PM on October 18, 2002

my friends and I decided it would be funny to yell out "Summer of '69."

Why? What struck you as funny about that? Seriously, I'm curious. It's just plain stupid, to me, and I'd forgive just about any reaction (except "I make more money in 2 days than you make all year"). Hey, you threw the first jerkish punch, dude.
posted by mediareport at 4:40 PM on October 18, 2002

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