Who were the drunkest performers you saw on stage?

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

  1. dh46374

    dh46374 Forum Resident

    Jerry Jeff was a coke and liquor guy. He may still be.
    BluesOvertookMe likes this.
  2. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    I thought Glen Campbell, but had no clue at the time he was suffering....
    Still played guitar like a mad ass...
    Musical Chairs likes this.
  3. boyfromnowhere

    boyfromnowhere Forum Resident

    missouri, usa
    This thread made me feel a lot better about myself. I don't have anything to add, but it's interesting reading everyone's stories!
    squittolo likes this.
  4. jazz_case

    jazz_case Forum Resident

  5. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident

    I still laugh when I listen to 16:15.. I wonder if Robby cared - he always seemed aloof in his own space world.
    Dodoz likes this.
  6. Dodoz

    Dodoz Forum Resident


    I'd forgotten them. When I saw them touring this first album, they were completely drunk, especially the drummer who managed to drink wine while playing at some point...Quite joyous.
    The frontman seemed very crabby.
    Very strange gig, awkward.
  7. Shambolicus

    Shambolicus It's 'cause I'm short, I know...

    The vast majority of the successful musicians (with reputations for drunken behavior) I've seen over the years have managed to maintain at least the appearance of sobriety onstage. Although I'm pretty sure Keith Richards And Ron Wood were, as Keith might put it, several shades of "elegantly wasted" when I saw them play in Houston on the 1979 New Barbarians tour. Yet somehow, it worked.

    Rob Chapman, in his 2017 book New Barbarians Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars wrote this with regard to the tour's general environment:
    squittolo, Frans T, guppy270 and 2 others like this.
  8. Slipperbisk

    Slipperbisk Active Member

    Chris Squire thoroughly wrecked the gig the second to last time I saw him with Yes.
    Slim Zooms likes this.
  9. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    My guitar player. During our last gig together he started undressing on stage. He got way too far into it...

    I think he thought he was Jim Morrison.
    Slim Zooms likes this.
  10. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Heh. I was in a band in the seattle area where we were doing a free gig from a bunch of Army engineers that had just come back from some construction project in Afghanistan. We were playing in a large pole barn. The Drummer was a personal friend of a lot of the guys and their wives and girlfriends. He got so hammered that he could not play the drums. We continued anyway while he basically swung from the rafters with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand.

    I limit myself to one ounce of alcohol per hour, be it beer or something else.
    The Hermit likes this.
  11. sekaer

    sekaer Forum Resident

    New York City
    Pollard :p
    Paul P. and Wordnat2 like this.
  12. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    Alice Cooper. Stumbled around on stage for half hour then disappeared. The band player on for about another hour.
  13. jazz_case

    jazz_case Forum Resident

    Ron Wood playing with Bo Diddley 1988 tour. (Woody was the drunken one)
  14. Vinyl Socks

    Vinyl Socks The Buzz Driver

    DuBois, PA
    I forgot to mention that when he stopped, he slammed his flattened hands on the piano keys, bringing the song to a very abrupt end!
    Slim Zooms likes this.
  15. Henryflowr

    Henryflowr Honorary Toastmaster Emeritus Runner-Up

    Massachusetts, USA
    John Martyn, Guinness Fleadh, NYC, 1998. Subway wino drunk but played and sang like a dream.
    Slim Zooms likes this.
  16. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    I kind of fail to see the fun in it.
    carlwm likes this.
  17. jloweinmo

    jloweinmo Forum Resident

    Kansas City
    Sure this ones been brought up...The Replacements...couple of shows mid-80's...They were all trashed. Lots of stops and starts and some weird covers. Some great moments too. I still love that band...
  18. HughMacpherson

    HughMacpherson Forum Resident

    John Martyn for me as well. Infamous Edinburgh famine relief gig 1984, pre-Live Aid.

    Has anybody actually seen JM perform sober...??

    Also met Chris Squire of Yes at a post-gig fan meet-up. To paraphrase Rowley Birkin QC, he was very, very, drunk....
    squittolo likes this.
  19. wwaldmanfan

    wwaldmanfan Born in the '50's

    It's hard to evaluate who was the drunkest, but these were obviously drunk:
    Rod Stewart with Ron Wood and the Faces headlining the Fillmore East
    Grace Slick with Jefferson Airplane at some outdoor summer festival, I don't recall where it was
    Eric Burdon at the B.B. King Club the night after a NYC blackout

    RAZORMADE Forum Resident

    That's a damn shame. I wonder who he had backing him on stage that night...

    I had the pleasure of seeing Shuggie live a couple of times and meeting him, his brother, Nick and fellow musician, Albert Wing. Some pictures taken, records signed, laughs shared and stories told. Nothing but good memories of some of the most down to earth and incredible musicians! Nick Otis is an underestimated drummer who can really do anything on his minimal kit!

    I have to admit when I saw him in 2013, I didn't like two particular musicians (as featured on the "Live in Williamsburg" release from Cleopatra Records). Thankfully he cleaned house and had a different band in 2015... and they were phenomenal! The version of "Wings Of Love" performed that night transcended this plane of existence and his solo remains one of the most hauntingly beautiful musical moments for me that I will never forget! We were all flying after that!
    Without a doubt, one of the top three guitar players I've seen perform live and I sincerely hope to see him perform again.
    drift61603 and jazz_case like this.
  21. DrumMan

    DrumMan Well-Known Member

  22. Quincy

    Quincy Forum Resident

    Willamette Valley
    And yet another Shane McGowan one. With the Popes at the Portland Celtic Festival on 26 June 1998. With a glass in one hand he slurred a request for a cigarette in-between songs. Like one of Elvis's late period stage assistants someone came up behind him, kneeled, lit a cigarette and place it between his fingers of his free hand which was hanging down. Still not knowing he had it, he started to moan again for one until he happily realized it was there. It was a fine show and at least he was somewhat punctual (a couple of years later I think he was several hours late getting on stage).
  23. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    Replacements 1986.
    Bob and Tommy offered me and my buddy vodka and beer (as soon as we walked in the bar)from a big ice chest sitting in a folding chair where the audience sits. Talked for awhile and Paul walked up wasted, could barely talk.
    They hung out with us about 30 minutes until Alex Chilton (who opened) took the stage. When Alex was playing I saw Paul fall down hard in the bathroom. Bob and Tommy were probably just as drunk but holding their own wandering around. Chris Mars had now appeared in the audience, he seemed fine and probably sober.
    When the Replacements hit the stage they were a mess and got through two covers (I'm Eighteen & Feel like Making Love) when audience got rowdy and started throwing beer cans at band, Paul tried to throw back but feel backwards into the drums. It got uglier, security got on stage and told everyone to leave as the police where on their way with paddy wagons.
    Everyone cleared out as cops arrived.
    The Hermit, mcwlod, DTK and 3 others like this.
  24. lbgarcia

    lbgarcia Forum Resident

    Fargo, ND
    Warren Zevon @ a St. Paul, MN show, circa 1978-79. Really plowed.
  25. DrumMan

    DrumMan Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've had my share of being blitzed on stage, but I always got through it and sounded... well, at least halfway decent

    But one particular band I was in, we had an alcoholic, drug addicted lead guitarist, and he was a problem. Not only would he play very sloppy at times, a few times he'd quit playing in the middle of a song and just stand there. I'd be screaming at him to play, and he'd just stare at me with blank eyes

    The final straw was when we played an important club, and this guy, being the loser he was, didn't have any money for drinks. (he never had any money) So we're setting up, and he's just sitting at the bar, already drunk of course He refused to set up or play until we paid for three pitchers of beer for him

    That was it. I grabbed him and was just about to deck him before the other band members pulled me off

    What else could we do? We had to pay for the losers beer so he'd get onstage and play

    Needless to say, that was his last gig with us. We had to cancel numerous scheduled gigs and find a replacement

    PS: I had put my text in the quote by mistake

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