Summer of ’69

Everyone knows that song by Bryan Adams. He still performs it. Think about that! He continues to reminisce, in verse, about a summer he lived through forty years ago. Forty years! I mean, I’m sure the summer of ’69 was something very special, but I doubt the essential features of it warrant the level of retrospective analysis afforded to it by that song.

Some people just can’t cope with living in the present. Like the people who want to hear a band play old songs instead of new, or the douche-bags at comedy clubs who yell out references to old material.

I saw Doug Stanhope last night. I started drunk and got drunker, so this is no reflection on Doug’s splendid material, but my primary memory of his set is of one guy in the audience who kept yelling stuff out. Not heckling exactly, just making inane references to old material. It wore everyone down, it ruined the flow; it was just a bummer. Artist versus autist.

You don’t interrupt a doctor in the middle of a diagnosis, so why interrupt a comedian in the middle of a bit?

Doctor: Well, I think you are experiencing minor blockage of the aor—-
Patient: TRACHEOTOMY!
Doctor: Of the aortic valve, which me—-
Patient: CANCER!
Doctor: Which means you’ll need to have a minor surge—
Patient: DIABETES!

Right? Same thing. A guy trying to do what he’s getting paid to do, being dicked around by someone for whom a full-term abortion would have been justified.

That’s the problem with crowds. 99% of all people everywhere are ok, but that means in a crowd of 200, it’s statistically probable that you’ll have to either tolerate or kill a couple of sociopaths.

I cannot overstate the level of despair I feel when punters at gigs yell out for songs that the band have already played. At least you can drown those losers out when you start playing a (new) song. It must be a thousand times worse to be a stand-up comedian getting talked-over. For all that we supposedly live in a violent society, I’m amazed more people don’t turn to violence.

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5 Responses to Summer of ’69

  1. mieke says:

    i blame the internet.

  2. Dan says:

    I agree. It’s got everyone thinking they’ve a right to be heard. They don’t.

  3. keef says:

    I tried to edit this post to interrupt half way, doesnt wordpress have this feature?

  4. pete485 says:

    I agree, pretty much across the board.

    My experience of the annoyance is particularly confined to music, which is a bit of a controversial one apparently: it turns out that the vast majority of people st gigs feel that a band owes it to them, as a ticket buyer, to play the music they’re best known for (understandable) and that if they focus on newer, and thus possibly more relevant, material, then the customer is being short changed (sociopathic).

    Surely, if for nothing else, the record serves to ‘record’ the music of an artist at a particular time and, said artist should be fully entitled, at a gig, to concentrate on newer work, on the basis that the older work is there, in all its relevant glory, right there on CD/vinyl/memory stick/mp3.

    In short, if your only as good as your last record, you should be allowed to play the bugger!

  5. mieke says:

    Pete, I thought most moosicians solved this by playing their most famous track (or tracks) at the very end of the gig. That way everybody’s happy.

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