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Worst Performance I Ever Heard

Rabbi-Sol 22 Jul 04 - 03:35 PM
Little Hawk 22 Jul 04 - 03:42 PM
SINSULL 22 Jul 04 - 03:42 PM
Little Hawk 22 Jul 04 - 04:01 PM
Big Mick 22 Jul 04 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Rodney "Turtle" Schelle 22 Jul 04 - 04:14 PM
Once Famous 22 Jul 04 - 04:22 PM
Georgiansilver 22 Jul 04 - 04:30 PM
Bert 22 Jul 04 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Rodney "Turtle" Schelle 22 Jul 04 - 04:44 PM
Ed. 22 Jul 04 - 05:07 PM
Once Famous 22 Jul 04 - 05:19 PM
TheBigPinkLad 22 Jul 04 - 05:22 PM
Little Hawk 22 Jul 04 - 06:34 PM
Rabbi-Sol 22 Jul 04 - 06:38 PM
Rapparee 22 Jul 04 - 06:53 PM
The Fooles Troupe 22 Jul 04 - 07:03 PM
Little Brother 22 Jul 04 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,Gerry 22 Jul 04 - 09:55 PM
woodsie 22 Jul 04 - 10:01 PM
Rabbi-Sol 22 Jul 04 - 10:20 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 04 - 11:00 PM
fi_in_nz 23 Jul 04 - 12:06 AM
Amergin 23 Jul 04 - 12:28 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Jul 04 - 02:58 AM
The Beast of Farlington 23 Jul 04 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,DIVILTHEBIT 23 Jul 04 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Larry K 23 Jul 04 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jul 04 - 09:52 AM
Dave Bryant 23 Jul 04 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Hugh Jampton 23 Jul 04 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,mick 23 Jul 04 - 12:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jul 04 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,frogprince 23 Jul 04 - 01:18 PM
Rabbi-Sol 23 Jul 04 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Melani 23 Jul 04 - 01:43 PM
Rabbi-Sol 23 Jul 04 - 02:02 PM
Leadfingers 23 Jul 04 - 09:54 PM
DonMeixner 24 Jul 04 - 12:15 AM
GUEST,LadyJean 24 Jul 04 - 12:32 AM
GUEST,sorefingers 24 Jul 04 - 03:23 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Jul 04 - 03:28 AM
Georgiansilver 24 Jul 04 - 01:20 PM
Gorgeous Gary 24 Jul 04 - 02:17 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 04 - 03:17 PM
Joe_F 24 Jul 04 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Tom Hamilton 24 Jul 04 - 09:25 PM
Don Firth 24 Jul 04 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Tom Hamilton 24 Jul 04 - 10:54 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 04 - 03:31 AM
Bobert 25 Jul 04 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Jul 04 - 08:16 PM
Bobert 25 Jul 04 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,J 25 Jul 04 - 09:37 PM
mike the knife 26 Jul 04 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Mr Red (but I wasn't then) 26 Jul 04 - 11:25 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 26 Jul 04 - 11:40 AM
Chris Green 26 Jul 04 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Noddy 26 Jul 04 - 12:51 PM
Scoville 26 Jul 04 - 01:36 PM
PennyBlack 26 Jul 04 - 02:10 PM
AllanW 26 Jul 04 - 02:45 PM
Don Firth 26 Jul 04 - 04:09 PM
MC Fat 27 Jul 04 - 07:21 AM
Cool Beans 27 Jul 04 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Puffenkinty 27 Jul 04 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jul 04 - 01:37 PM
wanderhope 28 Jul 04 - 02:23 PM
Rabbi-Sol 12 Aug 04 - 05:50 PM
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Subject: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 03:35 PM

I am wondering if some of you can share with us the worst performance you ever heard. Mine took place about 25 years ago in a place called Dunmor, Kentucky at Lake Malone State Park. The name of the group was The Kentucky Playboys who billed themselves as a combination Blugrass & Country Western group. Besides singing completely out of tune & sounding like a bunch of castrated alligators, their instrumentation was completely out of synch with each other. They would forget the words to their songs and have to stop them in the middle. There was only one song that they really knew the words to was called "Silver Wings" and they must have repeated that song at least 8 times during the 3 hour performance. One member of the band was called "the Albino" and another was called "Charlie the Little Indian Boy". There were 3 others who I do not remember and would rather forget. There were 2 guitars, a bass, a banjo,and a fiddle. The audience down there was probably not used to hearing anything better, because they applauded constantly and could not figure out why we were laughing our sides off. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 03:42 PM

That sounds just unforgettable, Rabbi! I only wish I had been there to witness it. It sounds like one of those stories Spaw used to make up about Paw and Cletus. Damn shame the movie industry hasn't found those guys. They would be perfect for a musical scene or two in the deep south. Maybe if they did a remake of "Deliverance" they could work those guys into a scene?

The worst performance I ever saw was Kris Kristofferson at the Riverboat in Toronto. He was so hung over that he basically couldn't perform. After several false starts and wretchedly bad attempts at doing his songs he apologized to the audience and said he'd refund everyone's money and pick up the tab and they could come back another night...which he did. I went again on the subsequent night, and he performed just fine.

I've also seen some high school rock bands that were stunningly awful.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 03:42 PM

Sounds as if you behaved pretty badly, Sol. Why not just leave and allow the audience to enjoy themselves?


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:01 PM

Actually, I've always kind of wondered what a castrated alligator's singing would sound like...not to mention a whole chorus of castrated alligators.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:01 PM

Bar none, it was Shane McGowan with the Popes at the first US held Guinness Fleadh on Randal's Island in NYC. The man was so drunk and out of it he fell off stage. I am told he soiled himself. I had waited several hours for this and was completely disgusted that he would treat his audience this way.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Rodney "Turtle" Schelle
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:14 PM

As a lifetime member of the Kentucky Playboys I wish to register a protest agaisnt Rabbi-Sol fer tarnshing our repitations! We can sing way better than he can and we can play him right offen the stage any time we wants to! Rabbi-Sol is a feminate fony and he can go stick his head up a skunk's ass as far as we-all are concerned! Silver Wings is a killer song. If Rabbi-Sol could write even half as good a song as Silver Wings I would bend down and kiss his lily white feminate hand but he can't. He couldn't write a good song iffen his life depeneded on it. Folks in Dunmor don't need to hear from you Rabbi!

p.s. We did Silver Wings 9 times! You cain't even count.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Once Famous
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:22 PM

Hey, Guest Rodney whatever,

How far apart are your eyes?


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:30 PM

Little Hawk.. a chorus of castrated alligators sounds very similar to a chorus of castrated crocodiles..Hope that helps. Be Blessed


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:31 PM

If you really want to hear BAD join a songwriter's club.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Rodney "Turtle" Schelle
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:44 PM

They are farther apart then your ass and yer corn hole Martin Gibson!


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Ed.
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 05:07 PM

What purpose is served by looking for 'the worst' in other people?


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Once Famous
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 05:19 PM

How about entertainment that is easy to laugh at?


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 05:22 PM

I don't think people were looking for it. Just the opposite in fact. I have the distiction of being one of the people subjected to Bob Dylan on the Isle of Wight ...


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 06:34 PM

That may stand as the worst Bob Dylan performance of all time.   Fortunately he's been quite good every time I've seen him.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 06:38 PM

Rodney, I hope the Musical skills of the Kentucky Playboys have improved greatly in the last 25 years. You certainly had enough time to practice. By the way, Silver Wings was written by Merle Haggard, and yes, I admit I can not write music as well as he does. But your 8 or 9 renditions of the song that night did not do him justice. I certainly did not have to pay $10 to hear it done that many times.
I have been involved in Bluegrass & Folk music for the past 30 years, and have been involved in booking talent for certain venues. I certainly know how to tell the good from the bad. All I can say is that the skill of your performance that night at Lake Malone, matched the proficiency of your spelling in your personally insulting post to me on this forum. The good folks in Dunmor, Kentucky deserve a lot better. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 06:53 PM

In college we would have groups that were "in between" (Chicago and St. Louis, for instance) come play. There was the Mitchell Trio (with someone named John Denver), Judy Collins, and others. All but one gave us the same quality of performance and attention they would have given a New York audience -- true performers and troupers.

The other one (and I think I've deliberately forgotten the group), they, well, they stunk. It was like attending the first practice of a group of musicians brought together by someone who said, "You guys ought to get together sometime." One fell off the stage, a guitar string broke and wasn't replaced (!), about half of their sound equipment worked, and they didn't tune to each other.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 07:03 PM

I doubt if the "GUEST" was the real thing - we have lots of Clowns on the Cat who think it amusing to pretend in that fashion, Sol.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Little Brother
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 09:47 PM

Hey Rodney, are you still with the Kentucky Playboys and where can I catch your act. Has your group ever won any IBMA awards?


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 09:55 PM

I've heard some bad performances from some pretty good people,
but I'm not keen to drag them through the mud(cat) for the one bad show.

I've heard some performances that I didn't enjoy at all but where I can
only blame myself for not keeping up with the performer. About the only
time I've ever walked out on a concert was one that Bonnie Raitt gave,
probably in the early 1980s. I was expecting folk, but I guess she had
gone over to rock many years before, and my then-date/now-wife
and I just found it too loud for our taste and left.

I went to a Mary Black concert expecting folk & got pop instead and
didn't enjoy it a bit. I wasn't the only one in the audience who didn't
know she had changed directions - about 6 songs into the proceedings,
someone yelled out, "Sing something Irish!" Well, maybe he and I were
the only ones not keeping up, everyone else seemed to be having a
good time.

One more little story. The first time I saw James Keelaghan he was
playing in a venue that was much too large for the turnout. Having
the audience scattered about in little clumps here and there did
nothing for the atmosphere of the performance, but what was worse
was that the sound guy was unabe to get rid of an extremely annoying
buzzing sound. No one was enjoying that concert, Keelaghan probably
least of all. Someone yelled out, "play acoustic!" but Keelaghan
ignored him, hoping the sound guy would be able to fix the problem.
Finally Keelaghan gave up and said he would play acoustic if we
would all move in closer. We did, he did, and the rest of the evening
was sensational.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: woodsie
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 10:01 PM

Now Bob Dylan, there's somebody who treats his audience with utter contempt. Don't get me wrong he is one of my all time favourite musician/artistes, but why does he do it? Walks onto the stage grunts a bit and walks off again - He's got millions so why does he tour? if his heart is not in the performance. I reckon he just gets a kick out of taking the piss out of us.

PS Van Morrison, now there's another wanker!


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 10:20 PM

The only performance my wife and I walked out on was one by Albert Collins during one of the Nassau Community College Folk Festivals. The guy was already too loud to begin with, but then he decided to mike the amplifiers on top of that. At that point we figured that our eardrums were a little more valuable than his performance. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 11:00 PM

I'll vote for Dylan, too. When I saw him, there was a noisy rock band that opened for him. Then Dylan came on for a 45-minute set. Garbled vocals and muddy guitar work - and he didn't say a word between songs.
I paid to attend a concert not a 45-minute set.

I saw John Denver once - he sang for almost three hours without a break, and put on a darn good show. Of all the performers I've seen, I think John Denver gave the most effort.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: fi_in_nz
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 12:06 AM

Steeleye Span in Auckland a couple of months ago.

Attrocious sound - so bad that an audience member had to stand up and tell them (to agreement from the rest of the crowd) half way through the concert. They started with A Calling On Song a capella, totally out of tune and I've seen much better attempts from our local performers than they managed. To cap it all, Ms Prior prancing around the stage dressed in a 12 yr old fairy outfit......

Don't mind if any of them read this, it was the worst value concert I've ever been to...

My sister was at the Fleadh in London this year and said Bob Dylan was appauling, I've managed to miss seeing him about four times in the last 10 years and it sounds like that's a good thing.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 12:28 AM

I was at a show with four acts on New Year's Eve...and the first act was bad she had an accordian, but all her songs she didn't sing she kind of wobbled them out...the same lines over and over and over...it got really annoying...but she was nothing on the next act....

the next act was a person (the jury is still out whether this person was male or female) who had an electric guitar....it's backup band was a computer annd a movie projector that it had some one point at the wall behind it for added effect I suppose...and all the songs it started out with "This is a song I wrote. It doesn't have a name, but it is a bout me, so i think you will like it." All the songs sounded identical to the one before it.

Thank god the next two acts were outstanding....I highly recommend Nathan Moore (a wonderful songwriter and singer)...and the fabulous Myshkin Ruby Warblers.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 02:58 AM

"he decided to mike the amplifiers" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"the first act was bad she had an accordian"


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 04:47 AM

Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Oz in the eighties. So bad I nearly went to sleep. And that's hard as he plays so loud!


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,DIVILTHEBIT
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 05:59 AM

Shane McGowan and the Popes at Waterford Flaedh Mor 1992 in a totally pissed first place
Dolores Keane in a snattered second at Ballyshannon 1999 or so


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 09:14 AM

I saw Kenny Rankin in the mid 70's in Boston at Pall's Mall.   Did a 45 minute set and walked off.   Didn't seem like he cared a lot. We felt cheated.

I saw him last year at the Ark in Ann Arbor.   Was a much better concert and I enjoyed him a lot more.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 09:52 AM

The worst for me was a concert by the Juilliard String Quartet, maybe 12 years ago.

They mooched out on stage wearing their blazers and hush-puppies without acknowledging the applause in any way. They played music, and at least one instrument produced such godawful shrieks and squeaks that my ears actually ached. I was seated next to the wall, so to give them a chance, I moved to the aisle to listen. It was just as bad.

They played a Haydn trio, and I said, "That was nice." My husband, who knew the piece, said, "They were coming in at the wrong times."

Meanwhile, the audience kept applauding nicely. I decided later that many of the elderly just couldn't hear the high-frequency shrieks and squeaks any more. The Quartet never did acknowledge our existence or any applause. I think they were ashamed of themselves.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 11:10 AM

At one folk club we had particular singer who really was bad-He used to amuse people though. When he had a pick-up installed in his guitar, he asked the sound man to make him up a lead. The following week he was presented with one which had a 1/4 jack on one end and a mains plug on the other (I gather that the sound guy left out the fuse - just in case).

He then started having guitar and singing lessons and did improve somewhat. After that he often wasn't given a spot anymore - as the organiser said "He used to be wonderfully bad - but now he's just mediocre".


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Hugh Jampton
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 11:53 AM

Spot on Woodsie. I saw the orally challenged Van Morrison do a New Year Eve show on t.v. some time back and he was appalling.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 12:39 PM

I saw Jackson C Framk in the late sixties/early seventies in London - at Bunjies I think it was . That was the most miserable, narkey performance ever. When he come on stage Franks glowered at the audience without saying a word for what seemed like ten minutes ; then he went straight into the set without introducing any of the songs . when the break came he just walked off the stage and reappeared about half an hour later . Half way through the second set he spoke. "Has anyone here done anything about Biafra ?" (the Biafran war was going on at the time)After a while a man timidly put his hand up .Jackson C Frank asked him what he had done and the man told him he had written a poem for Biafra .jackson scowled at him and said " A poem hmmm.Well I suppose that's better than nothing " then looked around at the rest of us with contempt ,sang a few more songs and that was it.
Having said that, he did sing impeccably.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 01:06 PM

In the film Michael Collins there is a truly toe curling version of Skibereen, an Julia Roberts comes a close second in the same movie= sort of sean nos thankyou!


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,frogprince
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 01:18 PM

I know this isn't folk, but I heard Frank Sinatra Jr. perform at a
mall northwest of Chicago about 25 years ago. It wasn't that his
singing was really bad; there was just no reason for him to be there;
the show was divided between songs about great stuff like the superficiality of California culture (treated totally superficially, without a glimmer of humor) and cloned , but lifeless, performances of
Frank Sr.'s stuff. The man mumbled a couple of small,feeble attempts
at humor or raport, but he had the personality of a wet doormat.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 01:27 PM

When my wife & I helped to run the Borderline Coffehouse in Rockland County, N.Y., we used to book Aztec Two Step every year. They were always very good. One year, the guy who was booking the talent decided to save some money, and instead of booking the duo, he only booked Rex Fowler as a solo act. Needless to say, Rex bombed that night big time. He himself realized after that night that without his partner, he could not render a quality performance. Whenever we meet him, we can always joke together about that night's show which became known as Aztec One Step. I believe that was the first and last time that Rex ever tried to go solo. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 01:43 PM

For me, the worst one was due not to the quality of the performance but the volume. I went to see Luka Bloom in a state of high excitement, having heard him on the radio. The opening band was called the Bedlam Rovers, and the volume was so high I actually couldn't hear the music. I thought it was the worst thing I ever heard. The same was true for Luka Bloom. I found that by keeping my fingers in my ears I could screen out some of the bass and actually hear a little of the melody, but the whole thing was rather painful.

A few weeks later I was in a bookstore which had a really great Celtic-sounding CD playing over the store's sound system. When I asked who it was, they said, "The Bedlam Rovers." I felt really cheated, since they were obviously very good, but I couldn't have told that from their live performance.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 02:02 PM

I don't kow why some people seem to think that louder is better. At Orthodox Jewish weddings the bands play so loud that you can not hear yourself or the person sitting next to you talk. It is impossible to carry on a conversation. I prefer the approach of the famous Bluegrass band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. They set up only one mike for all 4 singers and their instruments. The result is a very sweet sounding melodious performance. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 09:54 PM

Having done some diabolically bad gigs my self at odd times in the last forty years , I feel I should NOT comment . However the volume thing issue seems worthy of comment . I Know I have it right if after about twenty minutes someone says 'We cant hear you very well at the back of the hall'.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: DonMeixner
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 12:15 AM

For me without question, Black 47. I have heard them three times and all three times I heard men yelling with Bass and drums. The volume was turn up to "Melt and Modify". Why three times? I always give people the benefit of the doubt. Then I learned they were packing thir own sound. And I gave up.

Like our pal Leadfingers I have played a few pretty awful gigs over 30+ years either solo or with my band. Fair is fair, we all have off nights and I wouldn't be surprised if I was someones worse musical experience at some point.

Don


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,LadyJean
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 12:32 AM

Several years ago I went to a Chieftains concert at the I.C. Light Amphitheater, in Pittsburgh.
The Chieftains were wonderful, as were the local groups they had asked to play with them.
But I hope to gracious the I.C Light Amphitheater is put out of our misery soon.
Who was the genius who put an outdoor concert venue right beside the railroad tracks, with Carson Street on the other side, and the Fort Pitt Bridge right behind it!
The Chieftains started to play and a big, noisy, freight train came rattling up the tracks. They stopped their music, played a few bars of "Freight Train" then started up again. The played through the motorcylces on the Fort Pitt Bridge, and a couple more trains.
I loved the music. I was up on my feet and dancing at the end. But the I.C. Light Amphitheater should be used only by really bad, really loud, bands.
If you're in Pittsburgh DON'T GO THERE!


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 03:23 AM

Mad Donna, creepy piano players who whine rock songs over the top as they play, kinda like classical guitar .. it is a gallant but utterly futile exercise.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 03:28 AM

There seems to be something a bit fogeyish about all this "loud is bad" stuff. Really too loud is really quite rare, albeit "trying to be loud with in adequate sound equipment you have, with the result that what comes out of the speakers is a wall of distortion" is less rare, but still pretty rare in folk and folk-related music.

Let me say that distortion also has its place, but usually only when used purposively, and not usually when introduced by the front-of-house system.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 01:20 PM

Assuming that all the people on here are singers/musicians...let he who is without sin cast the first stone!
Be Blessed.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 02:17 PM

The worst I ever heard was the opening act for one particular Moxy Fruvous show at the Ram's Head Tavern in Annapolis. One guy with a guitar...I heard a rumor he played with modern rock band Jimmie's Chicken Shack. What he was doing to that instrument qualified as guitar abuse and probably violated several Geneva Conventions. He seemed to be randomly throwing his strumming hand at the strings, resulting in an odd assortment of thunks and thuds. Oh, and not only couldn't he carry a tune in a bucket; I think tunes drill holes in buckets to get away from him. It was truly painful...how I kept my dinner down is beyond me!

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 03:17 PM

The very worst was playing back a tape of myself practicing a new song. I promptly decided that when it came singing I was a bloody good dancer.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 06:28 PM

At the most painful performance I can remember (in Boston, about 1960), the pain was no fault of the performer's. He was Josh White, and he was fine, but he had gotten saddled with an -- impresario? handler? what do you call him? (I know what *I* would call him, but never mind) -- who took up at least half the time opining about various things & telling insipid dirty jokes. He told a story about an early civil-rights demonstration that had the audience cheering the racists. Fortunately, there was enought light for me to read a magazine.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Tom Hamilton
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 09:25 PM

I think that the worst performers are the mordern day pop stars like Brittney spears/and boy bands and girl and her/his ilk, the reason is they sing they mime. but after all that you pays your money and you take your choice, after all you lot went to see these people, I mean you didn't need to go in the first place. I don't like Bob Dylan after hearing squeak through a song an the radio, I thought what a load of crap, and yet people go and watch this shit.
Beggars can't be choosers.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 09:27 PM

I can certainly agree with the volume complaint. Some years ago my wife and I and a couple of friends attended a much anticipated concert by Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem. The theater was not that big—capacity maybe five- or six-hundred people—and there was really no need for amplification at all (I have performed in theaters of similar size and larger, just me and my classic guitar, without amplification—one, a theater that Richard Dyer-Bennet performed in and he didn't use amplification either). There were a couple of speakers on stage roughly the size of mini-vans and the volume was cranked up so loud that it was somewhat beyond the threshold of pain. We almost left (some people did), but we decided to tough it out. My ears rang for three days afterward.

If you want really putrid, try checking your local public access channel. I saw a guy a couple of months ago who sang off-key i.e. in the cracks between the keys (because he wrote most of his own songs, I didn't fully realize until he sang a couple of songs by other people that I recognized—more or less—how badly off-pitch he really was; he did everything in one key—D major, three chords, D, G, and A7, hesitated between chords, putting his fingers down one at a time on the G and having trouble barring the A7; and he only knew one strum (CHUNK-chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk-a, CHUNK-chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk-a, just whacking his whole hand loosely back and forth across the strings).

It was pretty obviously done on a home video camera, and since, for a half-hour, the view never varied and there were no breaks or cuts, I got the distinct impression that there was no one else there; I think he must have pointed the camera at a chair, sat down in the chair, reached over and turned the camera on, did his thing, then reached over and turned the camera off. The public access channel pretty much has to broadcast anything and everything people submit, so. . . . I kept watching him out of a sort of horrified fascination.

Full marks for chutzpah, but nuthin' for talent or ability. He looks like he's a fairly nice guy and he probably thinks he's hot stuff, but the really sad part is that he obviously doesn't have the judgment to realize that he's not. And apparently nobody wants to tell him the truth. Maybe someday, but not now, and not on television!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Tom Hamilton
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 10:54 PM

The worst performance I ever saw was at my local folk club, the paid 'artist' was a man called Tomas Lynch.
I thought he was bloody awful, I had never heard of him, and so I thought I might as well and go see what he's like. Bloody crap, he sang three well known songs but to different tunes so that you couldn't sing along with him, and then he played his Irish pipes, and he had the drones on a tape/cd. so he wasn't even playing them properly.
He was just awful, I tell you I had a better time in the house with toothache. in other words just crap.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 03:31 AM

Interesting thread. I'll agree with Big Mick: I was at that Randall's Island gig and Shane was shameful to see and painful to hear. In fact the second worst performance I ever saw was a Pogues gig where he drank a quart of whiskey, gargled into the mike all night, and passed out. I can also confirm the "kids of famous singers" observation: I saw an out-of-tune mess called The Makem Brothers once in Massachusetts, sons of Tommy but minus the talent. But I hear they improved at least!

Sorry to hear that Steeleye's stinking up NZ, though. I always liked them...


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 07:32 PM

Me! When? Today! I stunk...

After 8 or 9 jams or gig over the last 10 days, I was overdue...

So I played the Leesburg (Va.) Farm and Flea Market today and stunk up the place... Everything sounded lousy. I din't want to be there. It was a misty day. I was tired. My harp player was about as burned out as me and I stunk up the joint...

Oh, sure, folks said I sounded great. What thre Hell do they know. I stunk. It was so bad that I almost just left the two guitars I took there with a "FREE" sign on 'um...

Did I mention that I stunk....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 08:16 PM

Now, Bobert. Did people roll up their car windows and stick their fingers in their ears? (I actually did that yesterday at the start of the RAGBRAI.)

Did they walk out, shaking their heads?

Did they stare you in the face, shaking their heads? (My nephew and I tried that with a group from Chicago that thought it was cool to whoop into the microphones at the lakefront in Milwaukee. Given the dense, saturated air, the effect on our ears was literally painful. They never did figure it out.)

Did anybody yell, "Aw, put a sock in it!"?

If not, your act was probably not as bad as you think.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 08:38 PM

Well........no........

Musta stunk too bad fir all that stuff...

Bob-stink-ert


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,J
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 09:37 PM

At the Old Songs fest in Altamont NY, I saw a woman come out and announce that her next song was "collected in the Adirondack footrhills in the late forties" and that "noone knows where it came from." She then proceeded to sing "The Farmer's Boy" which Ian Robb had done at least four times already that weekend, complete with a description of its origins. Her deer-in-the-headlights reaction when half the crowd sang along with her was hysterical.

Having cruelly mocked someone who's probably very nice, I must protest abuse of amateur singers. People who perform at folk clubs and songwriters groups should be given a pass for having the guts to do it. Abuse people like Dylan who don't seem to care about their performance when an audience is paying a huge sum to see it.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: mike the knife
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 10:49 AM

Absolutely the B-52's in about 1979. They turned up the stage & house lights between each song to reprogram the primitive synth/keyboards & played totally out of synch. The drummer was dodging thrown paper drink cups of ice all night (none thrown by me).
Another bad one is/was a guy who played a couple of gigs a while back at the Irish Pub where I work a night or two a week. He may have done 1/2 of the Irish Rover, if that- no other folk/trad songs that normally go over really well. Poor execution, limited repetoire of bad rock/pop songs that he mercifully abandoned after 8 bars or so. Stale jokes (in bad taste) and innumerable requests for tips/free drinks.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Mr Red (but I wasn't then)
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 11:25 AM

Fleetwood Mac (1972 line-up)

They tuned-up 15 minutes adjacent to (and ruined) a perfectly presentable band who had just played through a thunderstorm without benefit of the canopied stage allocated to Fleetwood. Then more tuning-up behind curtains, then more tuning-up without curtains. (30 minutes and counting - I was). Then they proceeded to chat in that arrogant knowing style with someone down at the front so no-one else really understood. They played one number of an indifferent nature and still strutted as if they were the bees knees. I never normally walk out if I have paid good money. This is the only time I can recall doing it.

AND don't even get me started on Steeleye Span.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 11:40 AM

Undoubtedly Dylan... in the Tacoma dome in the late 80's. He opened for Tom Petty with a solo electric show that lasted about an hour. I never understood a SINGLE word he 'sang'... and most of the songs went by unrecognizable. And he didn't even seem to care.

Honestly though, I've done a few doozies that would rival anyone's dross...
ttr


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Chris Green
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 12:13 PM

Mine was one that I was actually part of, and furthermore, since the guy responsible still lives just round the corner from me, I'm not going to name him! He was a singer-songwriter whose approach to coming up with music for lyrics appeared to consist of jotting down a load of apparently random chords and singing the lyrics over them to just one note. My first and last gig with him was at Folly Lane Football Club, Willenhall, Coventry - not the most salubrious establishment - in memoriam of a player who'd died of meningitis at the age of 20. The first bottle arrived on stage approximately halfway through the first verse of our first number which if memory serves was a buttock-clenchingly pisspoor version of Mr Tambourine Man. The bottles kept coming at regular intervals, but we finished the 'set' and made our way to our green room, accompanied hooting, jeering and chants of 'you're shit and you know you are." My partner then turned to me and said in all seriousness: "Well, that was alright, wasn't it?!" I can only assume that he had until this point played exclusively in Beirut!


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Noddy
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 12:51 PM

William Shatner doing Elton John's "Rocket Man".


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Scoville
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 01:36 PM

When I was in middle school my mother took me to a concert put on by our local Oldies radio station. I've forgotten who all was performing but I know B.J. Thomas, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and the Grass Roots were included. Everybody was great. We had crap seats near the ceiling of the Astrodome and the sound system was lousy and the performers still sounded and looked terrific. The big finale was the Everly Brothers. They absolutely sucked. They played a bunch of noisy newer songs and didn't sing in harmony. The audience cleared out like the place was on fire. The Everlys came back for an encore and there was nobody left to hear it. It was awful.

By far the worst performance I ever saw was John McCutcheon in Iowa City. Some musician friends of mine were opening for him and my friend Nate and I went on their gift tickets; the friends' band wasn't very good but they were fun, the tickets were free, and I grew up with McCutcheon's Fine Times at our House album and really wanted to see him. Now, I cannot criticize his technical skill and I know that at one point in his life he really knew how to interpret music, but something clearly went wrong between Fine Times and now. He was completely full of himself and played everything just to show off--hornpipes at warp speed with awkward syncopations, lots of cutesy songs about kids or sappy romantic stuff. It was one big ego trip. We apologized to our friends and left early on the excuse that I had to work the 6:15 breakfast shift at the dining hall the next morning.

That said, I've seen great performances by Willie Nelson, Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Slaid Cleaves, Lucinda Williams (in a tiny college rec centers!),

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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: PennyBlack
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 02:10 PM

I wouldn't know how to judge what would be classed the worst performance I've heard maybe I could say which one I enjoyed the least - but to judge the worst you'd require a guide line and as music is personal taste that can't exist.

PB


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: AllanW
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 02:45 PM

Sadly, Jake Thackeray at the Lodge Folk Club sometime in the 80s. He forgot every single song. Bless him.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 04:09 PM

Of course, it goes without saying that the all-time, whole-universe stinkeroo that, thank God, I never actually saw but I did hear once on the radio, is William Shatner's recording of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Like the movie, Plan 9 from Outer Space, it was so monumentally bad it has become sort of a classic.

But since it goes without say, perhaps I shouldn't have said it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: MC Fat
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 07:21 AM

A few years ago I saw an absolutely awefull performance by Jaquie McShee's Pentangle. Thre was only her and Bert jansch from the original line up. they were most definitely playing for the cash cause they were crap !


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Cool Beans
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 11:08 AM

Jerry Jeff Walker in Detroit, late 1977 or early 1978. He did two songs and left with no explanation. The audience was offered its money back or could stay for the second act, Tom Waits. We waited for Waits who turned in a fine performance. I have never gone to see Jerry Jeff again. Oh, and somebody stole my date's car.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,Puffenkinty
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 05:57 PM

Would you believe I actually had to
sit through a performance of "West Side Story"
starring Pat Boone as Tony?

What he did to the song "Maria" was
truly awful.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 01:37 PM

Omigod, Puffenkinty. I feel for you! Are you all right now?


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: wanderhope
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 02:23 PM

The worst performance I can remember was my own, in high school. The folk group of which I was one-third, had been booked to play at a local coffee house. Two of us forgot. Well, all three of us forgot, but the other two were out of town. The owner called and got me (my name was on the business card -- mistake)and reminded me of the gig and that somebody better the hell get down there. I did. Got a speeding ticket on the way. I was so bad. Fortunately, my banter was worse, so in comparison, I think my singing was sympathetically received (as in, "poor guy," kind of sympathy). I still get shivers.

Shortly after that, I went to a beach Boys concert at a minor league baseball stadium (not that that matters, except it was outside). This was apparently before really good sound equiment was invented, and they sure didn't sound like they did on the records.


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Subject: RE: Worst Performance I Ever Heard
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 05:50 PM

Years ago, I used to listen to Oscar Brand on WNYC Radio. After Oscar's show was finished, Dave Sear used to come on with another 30 minute show, devoted exclusively to Folk Music. I learned alot from Dave Sear and respect him very much. He introduced me to the music of Bill Staines, Schooner Fair, Robin & Lina Willams, and the great Stan Rogers. I would even drive 3 hours to attend his concerts at the Spencertown Academy in upstate New York. Although Dave was not a virtuoso singer, he had a pleasant voice and could carry a tune. Then one day all of a sudden, Dave decided to get himself a singing partner by the name of Debbie Rich. That was the biggest mistake he ever made. The 2 of them singing together sounded just awful. I don't know how Debbie sounded singing solo, because she never did. She always sang duet with Dave. There was no harmony whatsoever, only complete discord. Their voices never blended and seemed to tug in opposite directions. The sound was so irritating that I had to stop listeing to the program. SOL ZELLER


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