Who were the drunkest performers you saw on stage?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by spencer1, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    Sam Kinison was so wasted he came out at Nassau coliseum and said “it’s great to be here in New Jersey”...got seriously booed and kind of blew it off. Terrible set that night relative to how talented he was when he was on.
    squittolo likes this.
  2. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident

    I'm sure it was.. An "excuse" for a bad performance.
  3. maxnix

    maxnix Forum Resident

    Hands down, Ronnie Van Zandt. Couldn't make it past 15 minutes of the set.
    To be fair, I saw him w/ Skynyrd at least a dozen times and he was always a riveting showman and in great voice.. But oh man, this one night in New York . . . :yikes:
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  4. lester christgau

    lester christgau Forum Resident

    Saw Trey Anastasio falling down backstage before a gig once. Probably not just booze, but whatever it was he had a huge grin on his face and to be honest he put on a really great show. It wasn't a Phish gig and I recall they did an amazing cover of Loving Cup.
    hiterss likes this.
  5. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Tryon, NC, USA
    My brother was close enough to the stage to see Dean Ween hurl, but I missed it. Of course my brother was out getting beer when titties were flashed, so I win.
  6. perplexed

    perplexed Forum Resident

    Northeast NJ, USA
    Shane McGowan

    Ritchie Blackmore - drinking Heiniken all night. Fell backwards on his ass while playing a solo, kept on playing
  7. ducksdeluxe

    ducksdeluxe Comfortably numb

    I was right up close at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach CA in December 1980 for the New Riders Of The Purple Sage. Buddy Cage, their pedal steel player, was blotto from the beginning. He played OK but fell off his stool twice. He picked himself up and carried on. The three knockdown rule must have been in effect because after the third fall he stayed down. Two stagehands had to take him away. The opening act had a steel player who jumped in and did a fine job. The evening was saved.

    Junior Wells at the Last Day Saloon in SF in 1986 or so was pretty smashed. I tried to talk to him outside during a break and he was pretty cool but I couldn't make head or tail out of what he was saying. Buddy Guy, on the other hand, was apparently unimpressed when my friend told him in the men's room that we'd smoked out his bass player out back during that same set break. Dude played a hell of a bass solo in the second set, though. Speaking of Buddy Guy I disagree with the comments made about him earlier in this thread, at least about his drinking. I saw him about a dozen times in clubs between 1983 and 1993 and he was never too wasted to perform. And he gave up the cognac by the time that decade was over; people were bringing him shots from the bar and he was waving them away.
  8. fenderesq

    fenderesq In Brooklyn It's The Blues / Heavy Bass 7-7

    Brooklyn - NY
    Joe was always a trooper!
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  9. fenderesq

    fenderesq In Brooklyn It's The Blues / Heavy Bass 7-7

    Brooklyn - NY
    "I come here not to renounce Caesar but to raise a glass with him."

    I saw The Doors in '68 and Jim was "feeling good"; some in the crowd were "put off"... but I clearly remember raising a cheap red wine filled sheep skin and making my proclamation.

    The sentiment in my general area was with me. One or 2 were very vocal in their disagreement. I remember one guy a couple of rows back yelling; "right on brother this ain't the f**kin' New York Philharmonic."
  10. murphywmm

    murphywmm Goodbye Rainbo Records! You won't be missed.

    While I never saw her in person, the live blu-ray disc I have of Amy Winehouse - she's absolutely plastered in it. :cry: A shame that such a talented artist was so addicted.
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  11. bodine

    bodine Forum Resident

    Washington DC
    Tie between Chicago blues master Jimmy Rogers and tenor sax legend Sonny Stitt.

    Both stewed to the gills.
  12. bodine

    bodine Forum Resident

    Washington DC
    ....close behind was the night i wandered into a punk rock bar near a ballroom where Dexter Gordon was playing. There among the mohawks and hair nebulas was Dexter himself, towering over the scrofulus regulars, with 6 shots of Johnny Walker lined up in front of him at the bar.

    I screwed up enough courage to greet him and tell him i was looking forward to his show. He beamed through his JW haze and offered me one of his shots, addressing me as “my young and gallant interlocutor.”

    Well after a “bottoms up” and a few nifty stories about Central Avenue and the Chicken Basket, he dropped a wad of cash and shepherded me across the street to the venue, where he played like then king he was. Clearly warmed by the libations, but authoritative as hell.
  13. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    I never saw the Stones in the early 70s, but I get the impression that, unlike Shane MacGowan or the Replacements, Keith largely managed to take the stage sober enough to play, and saved getting really messed up for four a.m.
    squittolo, Slim Zooms and Fullbug like this.
  14. katstep

    katstep Professional Cat Herder

    It's a tie between Guided by Voices and Joe Walsh.
    squittolo likes this.
  15. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    A story as old as time when Artists are treated like commodities and cash cows.

    What happened to her was truly disgraceful.
  16. Steve Stills when he played with Manassas in Chicago. I do not think that he was drunk, but he was high as a kite. He tried to sit on a tall stool during his second set and fell off of the stool and landed on the stage floor. The audience started asking him for songs to sing. He would have nothing to do with that, so he started cursing at the audience. The audience was so high that they did not care. Very strange times indeed.
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  17. steveharris

    steveharris Forum Resident

    Bono was hammered
    Spencer R likes this.
  18. Marty T

    Marty T Stereo Fan

    That would indeed make sense if DLR had delivered a bad performance. What made me think the JD was tea (or apple juice as someone suggested), was that his performance was excellent. He even did a very impressive solo spot with the rest of the Van Halens off stage. Can he hit the notes he almost hit 40 years ago? No, and unfortunately, in some songs he tries to hit higher notes, but over all, his voice sounded great and he worked the crowd better than ever.
    squittolo likes this.
  19. nicotinecaffeine

    nicotinecaffeine Forum Resident

    Trenton, OH
    Probably was hanging out with Entwistle and Moonie.
    squittolo likes this.
  20. drift61603

    drift61603 Forum Resident

    Peoria, IL
    He's still drinking cognac onstage in 2019.
    squittolo likes this.
  21. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident

    I was going to add that the "tea" was a pre-insurance policy. If he did well, he can say "Despite my drunkenness, I still was great", and if he struggled, then the audience would go away thinking "Oh, it was only because he was drunk". DLR did love the movies, maybe he picked it up from Dean Martin? :)

    I was watching this CSNY documentary online, and I think it was the "Freedom of Speech" tour (or something Neil did about war, mid-2005'ish?), and Stills fell down, but when he landed on his back, he kept strumming. I don't know if he was drunk and/or high.. Upon reading all the stuff on the list, I wonder if a combination might have made a performer unable to sing a single song. Especially when one is drunk, chances are they have less inhibition and likely to engage in unsafe behavior.
    squittolo likes this.
  22. hurple

    hurple Forum Resident

    Clinton, IL, USA
    Read either the Tom Petty or Replacements biography.

    It's covered in both.
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  23. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Yes, Joe Walsh tells a story where he says the scariest thing that ever happened to him was Keith Moon deciding he liked Joe. :)

    If you’re curious it’s out there on the net.
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  24. nicotinecaffeine

    nicotinecaffeine Forum Resident

    Trenton, OH
    Yeah, that's in the Eagles biopic on Netflix. Joe Walsh rocks
  25. groundharp

    groundharp Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger

    California Day
    I have two books about Rory Gallagher: Gallagher Marriott Derringer Trower by Dan Muise, and Rory Gallagher by Jean-Noël Coghe.

    The Muise book is separated into 4 parts, and the part on Gallagher is EXCELLENT, and makes the book worth having by itself!

    The Coghe book is less essential, but it does have info and anecdotes that the Muise book does not, and when I found it (which was only recently), it was only 4 dollars, so I figured I'd chance it.

    Are you familiar with these, and does the Vignoles book top these, or make itself necessary in some way beyond these two books?
    Jonny W likes this.

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