Great Moments in Stage Banter

May 19, 2009
Morris Day and the Time perform to their largest crowd yet.

Morris Day and the Time perform to their largest crowd yet.

A key part of any concert experience is the performers’ interaction with their audience.  A cold shoulder can lose a fan forever, but a few personal moments will win a fan for life. Some highlights from around the musical world:

The Rolling Stones, Altamont 1969
Mick Jagger: Like Keef said, any complaints about the Hell’s Angels excessive use of force must be addressed to ClearChannel Communications. Use a second page if necessary.

Limp Bizkit, Woodstock 1999
Fred Durst: Yo, we been hearing things about some possible rape going on out there? If there is, could you bring that action a little closer to the front of the stage. Thanks, bros. Alright, this is “Nookie.”

Metallica, Boston 2000
James Hetfield: Shawn Fanning? Mr. Shawn Fanning? Security would like to meet with you by the first aid tent.

U2, Los Angeles 1998
Bono: I’d like to take a moment to discuss the trade deficit…

The Cure, Hammersmith Palais 1987
Robert Smith: As you know, this will be our final tour…

G.G. Allin, Cleveland 1984
If the person in the third row could please return my feces… I’ll be needing them for my next song.

Nickelback, Little Rock, 2006
Chad Kroeger: And if you’ll look at the back of the ticket, you’ll see a coupon for 2-for-1 sandwiches at Subway. Subway! Eat Fresh!

Mozart, Salzburg 1778
Just a warning to the first three rows: you will get wet. This one’s off my latest sheet music, Violin Sonata No. 21 in D Minor.

Robyn Hitchcock, Minneapolis 1993
Fine. Jesus. Just… fine. “I see the birdies in the trees…”

The Beatles, Shea Stadium 1965
John Lennon: Ah. We have a birthday announcement for a Mr. Mark Chapman. Happy birthday, mate! And he’s requested “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” That won’t do at all, especially since we haven’t written it yet. How about “Twist and Shout?” Now there’s a proper party song…

The Cure, Wembley Arena 1989
Robert Smith: As you know, this will be our final tour…

Backstreet Boys, Orlando 1997
The Ugly One: Thank you, thank you. We love you, Orlando. Before we do our last song, we’d like to take a little of your time to talk to you about the trade deficit…

The Jesus and Mary Chain, London 1985

Metallica, Montreal 1992
Lars Ulrich: As our lead singer has burst into flames, we will only be able to perform a couple of more songs. “One” and perhaps one more… Any requests?

Alice Cooper, Venice Beach 1998
Anyway, shot about a 38 on the back nine, well under my handicap. Here’s “I’m 18.”

Nickelback, Austin 2008
Chad Kroeger: And on the back you’ll find a coupon for 1/2 off at your local Jiffy Lube. Trust me, you’ll want to get the Complete Care Package…

Bob Dylan, Newport 1965
Sure, you’re bitching now. But just wait. They’ll be shoving crap at you like Stone Temple Pilots: Unplugged. Over and over. Where’s your Judas now?

2Live Crew, Miami 1986
Luther Campbell: Hell, yeah! You bitches are crazy! Crazy! Alright, we gonna get nasty and get that bitch Tipper all wet! Sheeeit! But first we gonna talk a bit about that fucked-up trade deficit…

Prince, Coachella 2008
I’m gonna close with one of MY songs, Radiohead’s “Creep.”

The Cure, Los Angeles 1993
Robert Smith: Thank you. This will be our final tour. Thank you. See you in 1998.

Eagles, Oakland 1994
Don Henley: I’d like to welcome you to the Eagles’ “Second Mortgage Tour.” In addition to 90 minutes of our harmless AOR, you’ll notice that your tickets can be exchanged for 2-for-1 sandwiches at Subway. Quite a deal for $450.

Oasis, Royal Albert Concert Hall 2003
Liam Gallagher: Since my brother Noel, that cunt, is laying in a pool of his own blood, we have only a couple of songs left. Songs I wrote. And for an encore, I will beat our fooking bassist to death.

Raffi, Denver 1995
I’ll only say this once more: get those children seated and quiet or I swear to God I’ll call it a night. Once more and it is fucking over! Got it? Then you’ll have to deal with their crying asses all the way home. Alright, this is “Bananaphone.”

Garth Brooks, Houston 1996
As you may know, I’m about to surpass the Beatles as the best-selling artist of all time. So, I’d like to take a moment to speak to you about the sale and purchase of used CDs. If this sort of thing continues, I will be forced to record an album of even shittier music under another name to make up the difference. You’re really only hurting yourselves. Cheapasses.

The Rolling Stones, Altamont 1969
Mick Jagger: All right, all right. Cool it. Let’s cool it, please. C’mon. Please. That’s good. That’s beautiful. Keef, play something. Beautiful. Let’s just stay cool and take it easy and everything will be beautiful. Thank you. Let’s stay cool. Keef has somefink he’d like to say about the trade deficit…

Jackson Browne, Charlotte 1991
What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing. You’ve already told her twice. Hahahahaha. Wooooo. Well, here’s another favorite, “Tender is the Night.”

The Residents, San Francisco 1972
Thank you everyone. And let me take some time to introduce our fabulous band. Rick Wakeman – keyboards, Wolfgang Van Halen – guitar, Don Brewer – drums, Sean Yseult – bass. I’m, of course, Harry Connick Jr.

Toby Keith, Nashville 2007
(While accosting a drunken heckler): I say, could you bring him to the stage? Thank you. Son, what’s your name? A little louder. Preston. Preston, what do you do for a living? You… don’t. Well, what would you like to do for a living? The NASCAR pit crew, how exciting!

Well, Preston, suppose for a moment you were in the “pit crew.” How would it feel for you if I came down to the crew area and insulted you and made it hard for you to do your work? It wouldn’t be nice, would it. You have work to do and I’m getting in the way.

Preston, there’s no need to swear. I feel the devil alcohol has aided and abetted you in your attempt to stop me while I’m at work. We can get you help. Or you can promise to sit quietly while I finish the show. You are enjoying it, aren’t you? You must be. You have paid to get in.

Thank you. That’s very sweet. There’s no need to cry, young Preston. Return to your seat and I will finish this show in style. I shan’t disappoint. A hand for Preston here. And Preston, please see someone about your drinking before it truly gets out of hand…

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Woodstock
Jimi: Since my last remaining guitar has burst into flames, I’m afraid we will only be able to do a couple more songs…

Grateful Dead Reunion Tour, Seattle 2003
Phil Lesh: Alright, listen up you thieving hippie bastards. The only reason we let you record every show was because Jerry thought it would be “cool.” He’s gone now, so shut off the recorders and hand them over to security. And get rid of that weed, too. That was Jerry’s bag and frankly we’re all sick and tired of never being able to get that “high-school parking lot” smell out of our clothes. I sincerely hope you people don’t vote.

John Denver, Minneapolis 1981
If the good people in the first three rows could possibly give back the feces I hurled in there earlier? Fantastic. I’ll be needing them for my next song, a protest of sorts dealing with a subject near and dear to my heart, the trade deficit.



  1. Hahaha…

    True story. Years ago I met Alice Cooper. On a, yup, golf course. He was with Bob Ezrin. These days I think he golf’s with his new Satanic hero, Dick Cheney.

    • Dick: I’m thinking of running in 2012. Mind if I use “Prince of Darkness?”
      Alice: My mascara!

      (So ends another non-sequitous[?] anecdote, told pointlessly and efficiently.)

  2. Great post, CLT.

    I think I was at the Raffi show. It was a small venue (maybe 60 kids) and he only had an acoustic guitar. He was asking for requests and was I drunk and kept screaming for “Sleeping with my Devil Mask.” Eventually, he broke down and played a couple of chords before jumping into “Shake My Sillies Out.”

    You’re an extremely funny writer CLT.

    All the best

    • Nice to see you, Ram.

      Little known fact about the film Storefront Raffi: Raffi had to re-record most of the vocals, as the mikes during the live shoot only picked up the hellish screaming of tortured souls.

    • Storefront Raffi never made it to the theatres or even to DVD. A real shame. And surprising when you consider that director Jonathan Demme had such previous success with the Mr. Rogers concert film “Stop Making Sense and Start Fucking Over Your Neighbors.”

  3. Wow. I’m just.. amazed. I need to attend more concerts. Or maybe this is why I don’t attend so many concerts.

    Impressive CLT. You are a true Master.

    • I don’t know. The concerts used to be about the music. Now they’re all about amateur lectures on supply-side economics. My guess is you’re not missing much.

      Always a treat having you visit, CC.

    • I find a well-thrown elbow wicks sweat away quite nicely.

    • Oh, that’s right. Sweat. Yeah I don’t miss that part either.

      Another thing, way back when I was a young ‘un, I remember going to concerts and walking out with a massive contact high. No one’s allowed to smoke in buildings here, so I wouldn’t get the buzz from going to concerts anymore.

      Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I went in the first place.

  4. The Shawn Fanning one was too awesome! Laugh out loud funny.
    Here’s one for you. “Thanks for coming out tonight. We won’t be playing any songs, just jammin’ and practicin’ and shit. We will however be attempting to shatter the previous world record for most people on stage tonight. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m goin’ go get high on the bus.” – George Clinton with the P-Funk All-Stars

    • My apologies for the spam filter, RR. Didn’t seem to be a problem before.

      Oh, well. I’ll keep an eye on the little bastard.

      George would always tell it like it is. Which is perhaps why his brother Bill got elected instead. All that inhaling.

      Please alert me if I ever start using true facts in my posts or comments. It means I’m slipping.

      A pleasure having you here, RR.

  5. One correction on the Backstreet Boys. It was the fat one, not the ugly one.

    • Ah, yes. Joey Fat One I believe his name is. Still rather ugly.

      Nice to see you up and about, TL.

  6. Riot, dude, when do find time to sleep. “As you know, I have decided to quit commenting…”

    • I donated all my sleep to charity, in hopes of a large writeoff and nap sometime next April.

      Thanks for stopping in, FJ.

  7. Man, those JibJab guys crack me up.

    • Not anymore they don’t, whoever you are with whatever this has to do with anything.

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