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Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig

GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 30 Dec 16 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Modette 29 Dec 16 - 12:59 PM
The Sandman 29 Dec 16 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 29 Dec 16 - 07:44 AM
JMB 28 Dec 16 - 11:53 AM
The Sandman 28 Dec 16 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Desi C 28 Dec 16 - 06:31 AM
53 21 Jan 02 - 08:33 PM
JudeL 21 Jan 02 - 12:14 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 02 - 09:44 AM
SharonA 21 Jan 02 - 09:39 AM
Dave Bryant 21 Jan 02 - 06:31 AM
Murray MacLeod 20 Jan 02 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,Marc 20 Jan 02 - 08:09 PM
GUEST 20 Jan 02 - 05:47 PM
53 20 Jan 02 - 03:51 PM
WyoWoman 20 Jan 02 - 03:36 PM
GUEST 20 Jan 02 - 02:15 PM
Marc 20 Jan 02 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Emer 20 Jan 02 - 11:29 AM
GUEST 20 Jan 02 - 10:13 AM
Amos 20 Jan 02 - 09:04 AM
Dave Bryant 20 Jan 02 - 07:18 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 19 Jan 02 - 03:00 PM
53 18 Jan 02 - 07:58 PM
John J at home 18 Jan 02 - 07:37 PM
53 18 Jan 02 - 07:21 PM
Rustic Rebel 18 Jan 02 - 06:25 PM
Murray MacLeod 18 Jan 02 - 01:15 PM
SharonA 18 Jan 02 - 01:14 PM
Ringer 18 Jan 02 - 01:13 PM
Murray MacLeod 18 Jan 02 - 12:45 PM
SharonA 18 Jan 02 - 12:23 PM
Steve in Idaho 18 Jan 02 - 10:18 AM
53 18 Jan 02 - 10:05 AM
truprice 15 Mar 01 - 10:43 PM
CamiSu 15 Mar 01 - 09:58 AM
KingBrilliant 15 Mar 01 - 09:43 AM
Midchuck 15 Mar 01 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Patrish 15 Mar 01 - 09:27 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Mar 01 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Terry Allan Hall (a guest?...I'm honored!) 15 Mar 01 - 09:09 AM
John J 15 Mar 01 - 08:36 AM
Grab 15 Mar 01 - 07:15 AM
Kim C 14 Mar 01 - 03:05 PM
UB Ed 14 Mar 01 - 02:47 PM
Bert 14 Mar 01 - 02:31 PM
wysiwyg 14 Mar 01 - 02:01 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Mar 01 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 14 Mar 01 - 01:19 PM
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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 30 Dec 16 - 07:29 AM

Malcolm,
      Tony Deane`s memorial CD has now been launched. If you are interested let me know on john.hhills@btinternet.com

John


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 29 Dec 16 - 12:59 PM

Keith Richards, GSS!


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Dec 16 - 11:06 AM

Malcolm, I have some good ones too.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 29 Dec 16 - 07:44 AM

It was always my policy to never discuss or conduct business when "in drink".

This stood me in good stead throughout all my working life and I still abide by the same principals in the things I am involved with.

No, I am not a saint (get in the queue!), just level headed enough to follow a fairly simple dictum.

But if you are asking and providing I was not driving then, yes, mine's a pint.

I do have a fairly large fund of better than amusing tales about some of the topers both in and outside the folk world. Some day I will get them published.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: JMB
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 11:53 AM

I would say drink after the performance. If you are being paid to perform, it is a job like any other and drinking on the job is unprofessional. The bar setting can be a temptaion to drink, but not the best idea. I am a bartender and musician, and although bartenders may be tempted to have a drink while socializing with the patrons, and one or two won't make you intoxicated, it is not exactly legal to drink on the job. Alcohol impairs your judgement, and for bartenders, if your judgement is impaired, you shouldn't be serving patrons for many reasons (ie knowing when a patron has been overserved, handling cash, etc.) The same should be said for any other profession.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 07:59 AM

According to Keith Richard, he has been clean since 1993.
Brian Jones is dead,other casualties are Keith Moon,Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Tubby Hayes, to name just a few.
can you give any examples of Stones songs of any worth that were written stoned or pissed, or is this just mythology?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 Dec 16 - 06:31 AM

Well, the advice you were given is valid of course, but if yoou just take such luminaries as The Rolling Stones as an example, most their best songs were wrutten by a totally 'stoned' and.or drunk Jagger and Richard and much of it performed the same way, the majority of them are still very alive and kicking. I see a lot of Folk musicians who could lighten up a little. Personally as I age I drink less amd less while performing. I's all a very individual thing I feel


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: 53
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 08:33 PM

i got put into a whole lot of shit today because i am a musicican, and they thought that i was a drunk and a pot head and a drug addict, and it really pissed me off, cause most musicians, if you can call them that are exactly just what i described above, and they give the few that work in the music business seriously, a hard time and a bad name, if you want to drink, drug, and all the other shit that you do , why don't you got be a fucking plumber or some other bullshit job and let the rest of us live and play in peace and harmony. BOB. i'll welcome any rebuttle statements.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: JudeL
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 12:14 PM

Someone suggested beta-blockers don't have side effects - NOT TRUE. Beta-blockers have have at least one major side effect, one which may not be a problem if you are alone and have no intention of being part of a couple but can be very upsetting and disruptive for those with partners.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 09:44 AM

My position is regarding paid performances, regardless of the setting. Your are getting paid to perform, not to drink.

I don't accept the British and Irish "music is only traditional if the performer is drinking or under the influence" arguments. If you want to drink, sing from the audience. If you want to perform, be professional.

Like I said earlier, it is my perception that excess drinking is not only tolerated more in Britain and Ireland, but there is a tremendous amount of pressure for performers to go along with it. I also found there are some professional musicians who did not drink when they were performing. But I also felt that the level of musicianship at the gigs and sessions I went to suffered a great deal for that. I never drink to excess anymore, so I tended to remain sober while everyone around me was getting drunk at sessions. The music definitely didn't get better as the night went on for those who were drinking to excess, but everyone sure seemed to think it did.

And as far as drinking on stage in formal concert settings, I can't recall seeing anyone do it. If they were drinking, the liquor was disguised in cups or bottles.

I used to be involved with our local concert hall that booked British and Celtic music acts. If they showed up under the influence, the house policy was never to book them again, and that was included in their contract. That was back in the early 90s, before British and Celtic music acts got the hint that their "traditional drinking habits" wouldn't be tolerated.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 09:39 AM

Amos: I'm not sure whether your question from yesterday was in earnest (why not entice the audience to drink ginger ale at a gig I would do in a bar), but I'll answer anyway: Because the owners of the bar wouldn't appreciate my trying to "sell" the audience on an inexpensive beverage. Bars hire musicians as an "attraction" so that the attracted audience will bring in revenue for the bar, and the more booze sold, the more the revenue. So a musician who's hawking teetotaling in a bar can be considered to be doing his job poorly – just as poorly, in the bar owner's eyes, as the musician whose poor performance was driving away the drinking customers.

This thread is getting too long, so let's continue this discussion on the next thread in the series! Here's a link to part 2: Performers Excess Drinking at Gig PART 2

Please don't add any more posts to this thread; add to part 2 instead. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 06:31 AM

Following on from my previous comments, I agree that for big concerts, recording sessions etc., performers should be somewhat careful if or how much they drink. On the other hand I'm one of those folkies who is more likely to be found in a bar-room singaround or musician's session. Let's not forget that most of the material (at least that from the British Isles) would have traditionally been performed in close proximity to the demon drink. Perhaps the alcohol was the equivalent of atomic radiation producing the mutations that became the most survivable. Do we really want to sterilized our music and distance it from it's roots too far? Will it still have any pretence to being Folk Music? The gigs that Linda and I do tend to be Folk Clubs and these days more often in pubs with no club involved (they usually pay more !). I will probably get through 3 or 4 pints of ordinary (< 4%) draught bitter and Linda 2 or 3 pints. In very hot thirsty weather the quantities might be somewhat increased. We enjoy our singing and judging from our re-booking rates so do our audiences. Yes I deplore EXCESS drinking, but I get fed up with all the people who suggest that NO DRINKING should be the rule. I wonder what the turn-up at Stony Stratford would be if it was planned as a DRY event - there's probably more reference to booze than Folk Music on the thread !


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 09:00 PM

GUEST Emer, the band to which I was referring in that post was <notCapercaillie. The band I referred to was (and is) much more eminent collection of musicians.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,Marc
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 08:09 PM

Quest, Will you perform for folks who drink,or are you opposed all together? No offense intended, I'm just curious. Marc Bernier


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 05:47 PM

WyoWoman,

I disagree that adults have the "right" to be drunk and/or under the influence of drugs "if and when they want to, by what means they wish" so long as nobody gets hurt.

In the real working world, that just doesn't fly, and if you show up for work drunk or under the influence, you get fired. As it should be. There is time for work, and time for play. Anyone who can't appreciate the difference between the two likely has the maturity level of adolescent "rebels" with a need for attention, IMO. And many musicians, in my experience, sadly and pathetically fit that description all too well.

If only they knew how pathetic they look and sound, and how little they are admired by the music lovers (as opposed to diehard fans) in their audiences.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: 53
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 03:51 PM

i agree with you guest about not drinking while you are performing, cause just like you said it's a job, could you inagine a u p s driver or a federal express driver drinking on the job like some so called musicians do, hell no they would be fired on the spot, if i ran a club and one of the band members was caught with a drink before of during the gig, i'd fire the whole band, and just have a jukebox, and it would probaly be less of a fucking headache. BOB


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: WyoWoman
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 03:36 PM

I vehemently defend the right of adults to intentionally get stupid if and when they want to, by what means they wish, as long as what they do doesn't endanger other human beings or run the risk of making themselves wards of the state.

However, I've sung drunk, I've sung after a drink or two and I've sung sober. I favor sober, if it's a jam I care about and certainly if it's a paying gig. I have enough trouble remembering words and chords and entrances as it is -- no sense making myself intentionally stupid to boot. However, if it's just a getogether with friends, I'll drink a few beers while we jam -- but always with the long drive home in mind.

I am consistently amazed at the people who are able to perform really well when utterly blotto. I'm such a lightweight ...

ww


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 02:15 PM

Actually, the world *was* piled high with dead, injured, and disabled workers. What has changed that is workplace safety training and standards, which are still hard fought for, and often not one...carpal tunnel syndrome comes quickly to mind as to one of the main disabling work injuries many have suffered from which are rarely compensated.

Part of the worker safety issues most important to anyone who is a blue collar worker IS that your co-workers don't show up drunk and under the influence. Because when they do show up under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they are putting other workers' safety at risk. The same way selfish musicians who insist on their right to perform under the influence, the rest of the world (including their work colleagues) be damned.

Several people in this thread alone have said they have left music acts over this issue.

Puritanical age? Thanks, I much prefer it to disability, and in a musician's case, the ability to maintain a professional reputation so I can support myself and my family doing what I love. And that doesn't even get into the issues related to having high performance standards for one self and one's colleagues you perform with being dragged down by musicians who care more about what they perceive as their god given right/inherited tradition to get shit faced in order to perform.

If that sounds harsh, so be it. I'm trying to earn a living at this, and this "anything goes on stage as long as I can pull it off" crap don't fly with me. In case you can't tell. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Marc
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 01:31 PM

Accually "GUEST", it is my understand that up untill not to long ago. It was not uncommon for working men (and woman) to drink a bottle of beer or wine depending on culture) during breaks, particularly noon meal break. The world was not piled high with dead injured work people. We are presently living in a very puritanical age when any indulgence to any degree is bad. This happens occasionaly, Public opinions swing back and forth. Why should a person performing in a establishment which is in the bussiness of providing a product for its patrons not be aloud to partake in said product, with the audience. Providing they are capable of using discresion.

Marc Bernier


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,Emer
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:29 AM

Dunno if the Scottish/Irish group who shall not be named is Capercaillie or not, but a year or so ago on their official website message board, an audience member from one of their British gigs complained of the band drinking on stage and the performance being bloody awful.

And of course, all their "true" fans came out in defense of the band drinking on the job, or claiming they just had an off night.

There have been rumours of those problems for years about the band, though I've never known if they were true, or which members are said to have suffered the problems with drink. It sounded to me (from the message board) as if all or most band members were drinking on stage.

I think people who are, shall we say, not all that discerning when it comes to performance standards of their favorite musicians, have much higher tolerance of bad performances than those of us with higher standards who aren't enamoured of the musician/band doing the performing? Something to think about.

BTW, the person who posted the complaint about the gig was someone who claimed to be a newcomer to the band's music who had heard how fabulous the band is live. Might be food for thought for those professionals among you who think you sound better after a few, than you do without.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 10:13 AM

The thing that interests me more than anything in this thread is the shrill intensity of those who defend drinking while working.

I can't imagine this conversation taking place in regards to say, working in a bank. How about drinking while teaching schoolchildren? Or drinking while operating electrical equipment (anyone ever heard of those sorts of nasty musical accidents?) or heavy machinery? How competent at computer keyboard skills are you drinkers after one, two, three, five, or eight drinks? And should we allow drinking in all workplaces, to allow for more people to have fun on the job?

Why is it that so many of us believe that drugs and alcohol go hand in hand with performing? That professional musicians should be allowed to work under the influence, if that is what they feel like doing?

Sure, there are plenty of musicians who drink and perform. But the most telling story here is the one from a professional musician I saw perform many, many times over the years, and met personally both before and after quitting drugs and alcohol: Bonnie Raitt. At a post-concert party of hers I attended after she quit, she talked about "the problem" with being a professional artist making a living on the road, where the peer pressure to drink and take drugs, from both the audience and one's fellow musicians, is incredibly intense. Any profession that has that sort of peer pressure isn't a healthy one, and it takes a whole lot of discipline to withstand it.

Bonnie Raitt's main point that night was "sure, great musicians like Sinatra could get away with it for awhile, just like she had. But she also knew that even the great musicians (many of whom keep getting mentioned here as examples of musicians who could drink and still perform well) had their careers cut short, because they had damaged their bodies to such an extent that they could rarely perform well after age 50. Great muscians like Christy Moore, Johnny Cash, etc. all fall in that category. Lucky for Sinatra, he didn't need the money. Most musicians just aren't that lucky, though.

It isn't just the drink on stage that is a problem for musicians. It is the drinks, the coke, the weed, the black beauties, the downers, etc. that come before and after the performance as well.

As to whether drink effects a particular performance--well, unless you have seen the particular performer in question many, many times over an extended period, you aren't going to know how much or how little drink effects their performances. Some nights, the effect may be negligible to non-existent. Other nights, they may be barely functioning.

I find much more tolerance for drugs and alcohol while performing among British and Irish musicians, BTW. Their societies, until very recently, were hugely tolerant of such behavior. Many musicians haven't caught up with the times, and the changing standards. Where drinking before a performance or while performing was once tolerated almost everywhere in Britain and Ireland, more and more nowadays there is little tolerance for professionals to turn up to perform having had even one drink.

Professionals with integrity just don't do it, because they know it will eventually effect both the quality of their performance (as it has been medically/scientifically proven to do with any performance criteria for any job), and their livelihood as well.

Anyone drinking eight beers "for their nervousness and the shakes" doesn't have a stage fright problem, they have an alcohol addiction problem.

I'm plenty of fun, I drink in moderation, don't do any other drugs (anymore) but *never* consume before, during, or after (post-concert parties) while working. When I get home (on the road, this is back to my hotel), I may or may not have a drink. But I have very high standards for my performances, which simply can't be maintained while under the influence. Period.

As to many people believing that certain great musicians sound fine under the influence, I can only say, how do you know if you never heard them when sober and at the top of their game?


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 09:04 AM

Sharon:

Why not entice them all to drink ginger ale, then?

A


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 07:18 AM

As a singer who is known for drinking out of a quart (2 pint) pewter tankard on stage, I suppose I ought to add my half gill at least. A lot depends on the type of gig we're talking about. I notice that the thread says "THEIR GIG" from which I assume that it means when they are the main artist. I can actually remember several memorable gigs when the guests have consumed large amounts of alcohol - Noel Murphy and Alex Campbell (when he could still handle it) come to mind. I think you also have to take into consideration the sobriety of the audience. Most UK folk clubs tend to be on licensed premises - this is not so true in the US. The song "Reunion" by Cyril Tawney points out that it's not fun being sober when everyone else is not. While I still believe in moderation, being in a state slightly nearer to your audience can definitely help comunication. I must admit that for top instrumentalists even small amounts of alcohol could affect their playing - but as a singer I don't feel that I am quite so vulnerable. My standard of guitar playing is hardly that high when I'm stone cold sober, so I don't suppose a few pints makes it any worse. THIS THREAD WILL NOW BE SATURATED WITH ENTRIES CONFIRMING THE ABOVE STATEMENT.

I have noticed that one of the problems can be when performers are doing spots in concerts at festivals etc. It's difficult to spend a whole day at a festival without having the odd drink or ten, and especially if concerts are re-arranged at the last minute, performers can get caught out.

Finally drinking should NEVER be discouraged at sessions, singarounds etc. It is the oil that makes them work. We all can recall those wonderful harmonies, brilliant bits of syncoption that happen spontaineously. I'm still trying to find out who it is that re-edits our recording of them and makes them sound so crap......


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 03:00 PM

No such thing as an excess of drink but plenty of excesses of sobriety as reflected in these messages.

It depends what you want to do.

Do you have to be a slave of the workplace...ok then its a workplace and you get down on your knees and dry out.

If you are free to live life then make your own choice but there is nothing in the tradition that insists on any level of sobriety....

I dont interfere with tea totalers and they should not interfere with me.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: 53
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 07:58 PM

i know musicians who would not play if they couldn't get drunk, and those bastards are the ones who give the rest of the musicians who work for a living a bad name. BOB


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: John J at home
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 07:37 PM

I enjoy beer lots. Five or six years ago the ceilidh band I used to play for were performing at a particularly lively dance, the normal fee was waived, we were to be supplied with beer instead.

I chose to drink the weaker brew. At half-time, when I had drunk 3-4 pints, I mentioned to our fiddler, a musician I hold in very high esteem, that I thought the band sounded really good that night.

He told me I sounded bloody terrible.

I haven't had a drink when performing for reward since.

John


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: 53
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 07:21 PM

thanks for the info about merle, i knew one of his former bass players, and he use to tie it on real bad before the show. BOB


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 06:25 PM

It's all a matter of what you can do. CHOICE is my preferred word. If you can play loaded-ok. If not-ok. I can't play guitar loaded, but 2 shots of tequila before I go on stage to play harmonica,that is my "breakdown of inhibitions".


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 01:15 PM

You will, Bald Eagle, you will ..........

Murray


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 01:14 PM

Murray: Hmmm... how do you know you're not? *BG* Depends on how studly y'are, I suppose!

As to my self-guilt, I'm not sure about that. I mean, what kind of friend would I be if I told all my friends to come out to my gig at a bar, and one of those friends got arrested for DUI on his way home, or had an accident because he'd had too much to drink while hangin' out at the gig just to be "supportive" of his friend? (And what kind of "employee" of the bar would I be if I said, "Come on out, friends, and drink ginger ale all night"?)


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Ringer
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 01:13 PM

Good one Murray. I wish I'd said that. LOL


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 12:45 PM

Sharon, you lay too much guilt on yourself. By the same token, I could say that just by walking into a bar I am encouraging all the women there to be unfaithful to their husbands .............

Murray


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 12:23 PM

'Way back in March (before I'd ever laid eyes on the Forum, Grab said, "Someone pointed out that motor skills go with alcohol, so your fingers start to lose it, but there's voice-only songs which aren't a problem."

LOL! "Motor skills" include the movement of the lips, tongue and jaws while singing! If your fingers aren't strictly obeying your brain's commands due to an excess of alcohol, that's a clue that your mouth probably isn't working as well as your brain thinks it is, either.

I find it uncomfortable to perform at bars and even to participate in open mikes and circles at bars because (aside from what the cigarette smoke does to aggravate my health problems), even though I almost invariably drink ginger ale there, I feel that I am promoting drinking and driving. Someone mentioned in this thread that bar owners hire bands in order to bring in customers to drink, and this can be extended to all musical programs scheduled at the bars. Whenever I participate in one of those programs, I can't shake the feeling that I'm endorsing a harmful (and illegal) activity – when the listening drinkers around me drive home still impaired – and playing a part in putting them and other people on the road at risk.

Of course I'm not forcing anyone to drink too much... but am I not enticing them to do so if they come to a bar to listen to me, even if I'm not drinking myself? How much more so if I were drinking myself, as people on this thread have mentioned (making the audience "comfortable" by drinking along with them)???

And my car's not big enough to drive them all home!

So I very rarely play any music at bars anymore. In fact, I can't recall the last time I did; last spring, maybe?

Sharon


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 10:18 AM

Mr. Haggard did drink a lot in his earlier years. It was what led to him going to prison. But he can certainly sing with or without a guitar on his person. I was fortunate enough to be his bodyguard many years ago at one of his concerts. Once the performance started I was directly in front of the stage. He wasn't drinking at that time and sang both with and without a guitar. And a nice person to boot.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: 53
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 10:05 AM

i know that merle haggard drank a lot in his earlier days, but i've also heard that he can't sing unless he's holding a guitar. do you reckon this is true? BOB


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: truprice
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 10:43 PM

My take, after years of fiddling and drinking: I dare not touch a drop before a gig begins. A couple of good swallows is excess. It doesn't hurt the singing, but makes the fingertips dull and slow. Once I've begun to sweat, it's different; hands are working, and in the break I grab a glass for nourishment during the second set: it seems to strengthen the heart. That's usually the limit, until quitting time, when everyone goes home and I have a huge thirst. I remember Bukka White sitting in our house years ago with his private fifth of Jack Daniels. He seemed to just get better/wilder/better until it was empty. He must have had quite a habit.

One other subject was mentioned, Beta Blockers. I took them for several years because of chronic headaches (which were caused, we eventually learned, by consuming sodium nitrite preservative in certain meats). I had the distinct impression that during that period I was less bright & less creative: they took the edge off. I know the literature says it is not an effect, but personally I would never take them if I could avoid them.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: CamiSu
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 09:58 AM

Jon I too think the applause is deserved by anyone who performs in Paltalk. I was just saying that it does not necessarily indicate how well you did on an absolute or even relative scale. (I have attended or sung in choral concerts that were definitely NOT up to snuff, and there was still applause. The performers were not fooled.)

I also understand the shakes. Usually I can keep it out of my voice, and if I'm playing guitar it will show up as missed chords. If I'm soloing in church though, the music shakes, and I have to concentrate on the words, and drop into storytellig mode. Drink is not an option. (Besides I hate the taste of beer & ale...sorry! More for everyone else)

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 09:43 AM

Jon, I've seen the Pogues at their height & they were fantastic. I've also seen Shane McGowan when he was incoherently drunk, and hopelessly depressingly pathetic - which made me very sad for him (though he was probably quite happy...).
He surely must count as a professional (since its his profession) - but he was certainly short-changing his audience that day. (It was a festival though, so didn't have that bad an impact, to be fair).
It must be quite rare for a professional to stay in the profession if they are regularly in that state. With Shane I suppose it is part of the mystique - but then I felt bad for buying into that.
Kris
PS. B*ggered if I know what my point is....


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 09:33 AM

My present rule of thumb for a paying gig is: One pint when I get there, while setting up. Two if they feed us. One more after the gig, or during the last set if it's a long one. (Bigchuck likes to drive late at night, and has less trouble staying awake than I do, anyway.)

It was not always thus. I came to moderation only with the onset of middle age.

When I first played guitar, I played Carter-style with a thumbpick and fingers, or fingerpicked. I switched to a flatpick, mostly because I was greatly attracted to the instrumental sound John Herald and Ian Tyson got on the early Ian and Sylvia records, but also to avoid pain. We would be singing in a bar with a group of friends, and I would hurry out to drain off excess beer, and forget to remove the thumbpick....

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,Patrish
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 09:27 AM

I saw a performer at Whitby drink a glass containing 10 double gins and lime before he went on stage. His act was ok - although a bit unsteady on his pins
A friend told me this same performer was so drunk at a gig that he vomited during a song and carried on as if nothing had happened!
I have been known to drink a glass of beer myself - on special occasions, and it does nothing to improve my singing. However, not having a drink does nothing to improve my singing either!
I think it all comes down to moderation, especially if you are a professional singer.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 09:23 AM

Terry, how do you define a pro? I would have classed Shane McGowan as a pro (and would have loved to have seen the Pogues in concert).

Jon


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,Terry Allan Hall (a guest?...I'm honored!)
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 09:09 AM

Pros DON'T get tanked/wasted/etc. on stage or before...period.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: John J
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 08:36 AM

Re: EXCESS drinking, well my comments about drinking on stage / during a performance were relevant to me, and I still won't drink during a performance. After the performance, well that's a different matter altogether but I hope I don't to (too much) excess. Kim C, what a shame! I've tried to find website details of Rock's Organic Squash (cordial) but without success....so far. Reading the details on the label, the drink consists of: Water, organically grown sugar, organic whole oranges (or lemons), citric acid, organic orange oil (no such oil in the lemon squash). Perhaps you could make it youself? I'll get back to you if I can find more details. John


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Grab
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 07:15 AM

Doesn't it more depend on what you want to do? Someone pointed out that motor skills go with alcohol, so your fingers start to lose it, but there's voice-only songs which aren't a problem.

My reckoning is that 1 pint is fine for guitar work (Guiness is best, since you tend to drink it slowly anyway). 2 pints, and I can strum fine. 3 pints, and I stop playing guitar and do voice-only stuff bcos although I can still play, I don't have the same accuracy of rhythm or intonation. 4 or 5 pints, and I stop singing (or just join in on the chorus). If I want to drink, I'll limit what I play accordingly. If I want to play, I'll limit what I drink accordingly. That's just my personal guide - anyone else with lower or higher alcohol tolerances may think differently.

But this is for fun stuff in pubs. If you're performing publicly, dropping back to strumming really isn't acceptable. The audience are paying for you to be there, so you have a duty to perform continuously well. If you know you can still perform to your normal standard with 3 pints (especially the case for lead singers), then fine. But make sure you can still perform with 3 pints in you, both from how you feel and from what your friends say. I wouldn't object to someone drinking on stage, only to them failing to perform adequately after I've paid to see them - and I don't really care if that failure is due to alcohol, drugs, hangover, jet-lag or a straightforward cold.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:05 PM

Waaaaah! We don't have Tesco's or Sainsbury's or that other place in Nashville! Probably not even in the U.S. :(


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: UB Ed
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:47 PM

Well, Susan, as soon as I got back from the dictionary looking up "paucity", I gotta tell you I'm seeing a number of folks passing judgements without a full consideration of a broader perspective. Bonnie says their copious drinking bothered her but they were not drunk. I think if they had engaged the audience, it wouldn't have occurred to her something wasn't right. But they didn't so it must be the booze. Maybe, maybe not, we simply don't know.

Another post referred to a dressing down for one glass of wine. Seems a little extreme to me.

I feel the problem we're having is imposing our myopic and singular view of right and wrong to the whole world. Its just not that black and white. I believe a better approach is to withold judgement until we are certain destructive behavior is occuring or the performer is so impaired that we can rightly demand a refund.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:31 PM

OK WYSI, I usually have a beer or three, or maybe four, for Mudcat Radio. Is it noticable that I have had too much?

When Marty was here a week or so ago I noticed that she didn't drink until the show was over. That may be a wise move to copy.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:01 PM

I see people saying one drink is too many FOR THEMSELVES. And I see a remarkable, laudable paucity of people telling others how much is too much FOR THEM, even from the audience viewpoint.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:52 PM

Not sure I agree with #2. Bringing a friend would increase anxiety for me. As for playing more it is debatable as I have never found it overcome the hand shake bit. I guess much of it comes down to ones own feelings of confidence - with me, to sing - I like nerves - possibly I do better with the voice changes that occur when I am nervous, to thrash a few chords out on guitar (mostly all I do with one), no problem but to try to play triplets in jigs and reels with a shakey hand - no way and have not overcome it.

The only thing I have found that helps me there is having a solid player with me but sadly, most of the people I have played with have blown it worse than me (this includes people who don't regularly drink as much as me turning up in worse states than me) and rather than the saftey net, I have found myself trying to pull some semblance of music together.

Re the beta blockers which I and rich have mentioned, I knew a player using them and alcohol. They are prescribed, as far as I know have no mind altering qualities and are not addictive but I fear I would end up using and abusing both and abusing the beta blockers scares me more than alcohol.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Performers Excess Drinking at Their Gig
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:19 PM

As one of you pointed out, the thread is titled excess drinking and I think that we all agree that drinking too much is bad. I think I just have a different view of what too much is. Most of you seem to object to 1 drink and I think 3 would be scandalous.

I maybe misunderstanding, but it seems like there are only a 3 reasons considered for why someone would have a drink.

1. To separate themselves from the audience and create an "us & them mentality"...this may be true if the band in the original posting was playing in a church hall, but not if they were playing in a pub. Having a beer would probably connect them more (think of all the examples given in this of singer's using "prop" drinks)

2. To overcome nerves...this may sometimes be true but it ends up sounding like "granny" from the Beverly Hillbilly's TV show grabbing a drop of her medicine for her rhumatis'...playing more often settles nerves or bringing a friend probably better than a drink. I don't think this is the best reason to drink and if it were the only reason I might side with the majority of you.

3. To destroy oneself - It is sad to see alcohol, drugs, gambling, or any number of things tear someones life apart, and I my heart goes out to you who have suffered or have watched a loved one suffer

What is suprising to me is that hardly anyone thinks that they would "enjoy" a drink...its either medicinal or suicidal. That's not why you have a glass of wine with your meal, or a drink at a pub with your friends. Performing is a party, its fun...at least it is supposed to be. A performance is supposed to have energy and be dynamic. Drinking isn't a neccessity, but neither is complete abstinence.

I keep going back to the original post and all I can see is

"Did the alcohol affect their performance? I'm not too sure. Yet I would have much preferred listening to these folks play with out so much booze involved."

The drinking didn't hurt the sound, it was just off putting to Bonnie. I respect her opinion. But from there we jumped to assuming anybody who has more than 1 drink is a sloppy inconsiderate lout.

Ceol agus craic (music and fun), let's not separate them.


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