SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Beginning May 30, 2003: WORST LIVE PERFORMANCE!
Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 12:48 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By mc5rules ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 01:10 pm:

Well, I've seen lots of terrible bands that I knew were going to be terrible. But as far as bands that I was expecting to be good and who disappointed, two come to mind:
1) The Grateful Dead: after having seen them more than a dozen times, the shows ranged from jaw-dropping magic to sheer boredom. I actually FELL ASLEEP at one particularly bad show.

2) Todd Rundgren: when I saw him in the 80s, I was expecting a religious experience. What I got was a schlock-fest. Too slick, too Vegas-like.

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 01:17 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 01:25 pm:

I must have been lucky. The only "bad" performances I saw were acts that didn't interest me... like the tedious heavy rock band Uriah Heep who supported Sha Na Na when i saw them in '72. I wonder what Einstein came up with that incompatible pairing.... The aging teds booed and hissed through Uriah Heep, and the leather-clad rockers jeered and cat-called through Sha Na Na's set!

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 01:33 pm:

I wouldn't say this would be the worst but the one concert that struck me as being odd was country singer Rodney Crowell opening up for the Philadelphia rock quintet the Hooters at Ithaca College in 1986. The country gentleman Rodney just didn't connect with the pop-rock kids in the audience and he sure didn't feel comfortable on stage either.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 01:46 pm:

Around 70/71 a show at Orlando Sports Stadium Tyrone Davis & Johnnie Taylor.Tyrone Davis put on a killer show...his band, everything excellent.Intermission kept going on & on after an hour the MC came out & said "Mr. Johnnie Taylor SAID Ya'll didn't pay enough to hear him sing.Well I thought we were going to be in a riot then they said we'd get a $2.00 refund on our tickets. People were cursing Johnnie Taylor I heard people sayin they were gonna throw his records away ect.I'm sure the problem was with the promoter but Johnnie Taylor never did a big show here after that.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Reese ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 01:55 pm:

The worst concert I ever attended was a double bill of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Gladys Knight in 1995.

Gladys was the headliner, and the only reason I went to the show. I'm not familiar with the songs of Maze, so sitting through their set was torture. To make things worse, Maze must have performed for a good 90 minutes. After this, it took the longest time to set up the stage for Gladys, leaving her only 40 minutes to perform before the venue's curfew kicked in.

Gladys was great, as always, but the set was definitely rushed. She even had to cut out her END OF THE ROAD medley and just sing the title tune. I remember leaving the show feeling so shortchanged.

In my local paper a few days later there was a short story on the concert. It stated that many fans of Gladys' wanted to push her under a midnight train to Georgia because of the so-so concert. It turned out that on the other cities on the tour, Gladys was the opening act and Maze was the headliner. When the tour hit my town, the order was reversed, and Maze was pissed. So they refused to cut their set, and that's why Gladys' set was so rushed and anti-climactic.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 02:06 pm:

I know that I will get some flak for this one but the Isely Brothers as great as their records were one of the worst live acts out there .
I saw them at two Budweiser Superfests and people actually walked out on them and I have heard the same from many other folks. Roni never can hit those high notes for whatever reason and the act was BORING. In their Shout days it was a different story as they did acrobatics and
"church type shouting" which is a holy dance not a vocal melismatic thing.
When they switched gears to their "three plus three" personae the boredom started to set in.

As far as Blue Magic goes, they usually do a great show, but as you know, other than Ted, Vernon and Wendell doing the leads, the B.G.V.s were the afforementiond(in another thread) studio singers.

The Johnnie Taylor thing does not surprise me because there have been similar stories from other people and I had an experience that I talked about on the Wilson Pickett thread.

I saw Anita Baker stop the band at the Mann Music Center in Philly and asked the sound man for
"more 8k and roll off the 200hz, stuff like that.

James Brown used to "throw fines" at his band members if the made a mistake. He would flash increments of five fingers for each five dollars with ten flashed being a fifty dollar fine!!!
It was s sixties thing with a lot of "chittlin circuit" acts as a means to give less to the band and more for them.
In my years, the good shows definitely outweighed the bad.

Top of pageBottom of page   By drums ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 02:24 pm:

Hi all,

I engineered the live mix at the Robin Hood Dell this summer and some of the R& B acts were great and treated us great (Chaka Khan, SOS Band, Donnie Mcclurkin,)But some of the other bands (Rose Royce, Heatwave, the Isley Brothers the previous year)made me NEVER want to do live work again.

You would think that for the treatment they dished out, that their show would destroy the audience. Unfortunately that was not the case. But the Isley's took the cake. After we set up and did soundcheck, all of the backline crew had to wait INDOORS and werent even allowed backstage. And they brought the Nation of Islam bodyguards who instructed us that if you even spoke to Ronald, an ass kicking was coming your way. I will never work with them again. I dont mean to insult the fans of the Isleys, but you guys can have em.

Daren Metz
Sony Studio 4

Top of pageBottom of page   By drums ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

Hi again as for performance I d have to say the New Edition Reunion tour in 1997. First off Keith Sweat cannot sing. Why does he even try? I dont know. But New Edition - First they didnt hit the stage until 11:00- Bobby Brown (with an obviously screwed up Whitney sitting in a chair on the side of the stage howled and jumped around, pulled down his pants and mooned the crowd and decided to call off a song that the band obviously didnt rehearse. The drummer had a look on his face (WTF) and Booby turned around and SPIT on the drummer!!!

All hell broke loose. I dont know about you guys but I would have KILLED him. But the kicker was New Edition. People were expecting a show. Do you know what they did? They brought chairs out and had a frickin question and answer session with the audience!!!!

Wasted my time & money

Daren Metz
Sony / Studio 4

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 02:47 pm:

I think the worst concert I have been to was Sting at Madison Square Garden in the mid-90s. Now I know people love this guy (for the life of me I don't know why) but he spent the entire concert educating and "teaching" us. He dropped literary names like Milton and Edmund Burke and made sure the audience knew how intelligent he was. Besides that the sound was not together and we could hear how thin and limited his voice was.


I had to smile at your comments about the Anita Baker concert. A friend of mine sang backup for her and Anita used to go through 2-4 hour sound checks driving everyone to drink. She could tell the sound man what to do on each phrase of he songs. She was also a taskmaster with the musicians and the fear of being fired was always there. However, I must say though when I went to hear her the sound was spectacular and it was like it was in the studio. So, maybe her perfectionism was justified.

I agree with you about the Isley Brothers. They gave one of the sloppiest concerts I have ever seen (during a Superfest). I think if it had not been for the great guitar work of Chris Jasper and the drummer, whose name I don't remember, I would have run screaming from the arena.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Randy Russi ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 03:13 pm:

I should really call this the BEST show I DIDN'T
see: What a line-up about 1968:Wilson Pickett,
Arthur Conley, Etta James, Peggy Scott & JoJo
Benson, and Jean Wells. Everyone was waiting
in line to be admitted to the arena when the
promoter announced there would be no show.
Several of the entertainers were not there.
Interestingly, the manager of many of the acts,
Jimmy Evans, WAS there along with some of the
band members. What a disappointment!!!! They
refunded our money, of course, BUT I really
wanted to see Etta James. About 6 months later
I DID see Peggy SCott & JoJo Benson with Pigmeat
Markham (for the 3rd time!!!!), Ollie& the Night-
engales, & I don't remember who else.

Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 03:16 pm:

well i got two stories to tell. i'll have to agree
with the one on that blue magic story. i attended
a show in atlanta at a club featuring blue magic.
wendell sawyer was very good.i don't know what
was wrong with ted mills that night. this show
was in the 80's.i don't know whether brother ted
was singing tenor baritone or bass.maybe it just not one of his nights. then there a show that was not bad
just exhausting. as we all know isacc hayes is
one of the best singers around. i just think
somebody need to tell him to let a song go.
he sung one song 20 minutes. i took a nap
woke up took another nap and he was still
singing the same song. brother isacc if you
out there try not to sing 20 songs for 20 minutes
a piece alright??????

Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 03:20 pm:

oh mr eli thanks for the tip i always wanted
to attend a isley brother concert.

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 03:21 pm:

Fayette, thats funny.I know what you mean about draggin a song out for too long.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 03:28 pm:

Yeah Drums....you just never know who's gonna be an "A-hole" until you have to work with or around them....then the "public" persona drops.

The worst show I've seen was War....but it wasn't their fault. AWB was the middle act & they just kicked so much azz that the audience had NOTHING left for the headliner. People actually walked out & WAR was visibly "perturbed". I'll bet they found another opening act soon after....

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 04:05 pm:

Probably the worst concert was Jethro Tull at Cobo back in '70/'71. I don't THINK the show was really that bad, but out of about 16,000 seats sold, my ticket was 15,998. They looked like amplified ants way down there. You could have put 4 guys on stage and had them sync to a pre-recorded track, and nobody would have know the difference.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 04:19 pm:

Bob Dylan can be either great, or horrendous. I've experienced both; one Dylan show at Meadow Brook in the early '90s was so lame that I walked out on it, he was extremely uninspired.

We could have a whole 'nother thread on acts that stop the show to yell at the band ...

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 05:05 pm:

Sly Stone at Jenison field House, Michigan State University 1970 or '71.
This was sad ; not only did (and do) I consider Sly one of the elite upper echelon in terms of creativity and innovation , but the message he espoused at that tumultuous time - I mean, "Higher" "You Can Make it If you Try" "Everybody is A Star" "Everyday People" "STAND" - these lyrics weren't just platitudes because he had the music to back them up. With his racially and gender mixed band - I mean this is going to sound strange to anyone who maybe wasn't socially conscious at the time , but to myself , my brother , most of our friends, Sly was like GHANDI or something. My expectations were probably ridiculously high , but I was still shocked. First he comes out about 2 hours late , and then he can't sing , play , remember the lyrics - anything. I still can't believe how lousy he was , and to top it all off he was unbelievably belligerent when the crowd didn't just kiss his feet. He was a prize horses' ass and it was quite a while before I even thought about listening to him again.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 05:15 pm:

Steve --
Sly was HUGE at Michigan State in the '70s, I was there then. I can remember many a sweat-soaked dance session to 100% Sly. I was so steamed when my roommate's little punk sister stole my Sly and the Family Stone's Greatest Hits ...I mean, the $3.99 that went into buying that album was hard-earned.

But I was driving down a Berkley street a few years ago with a friend, and saw a guy dumping all his vinyl albums on the curb, along with his turntable. He said he was going digital. Fool! We packed it all into my friend's car, and I got a "Sly's Greatest Hits" to replace that long ago one.

Sly was known for impaired performances at that point ... he was getting "Higher" all right ...

Top of pageBottom of page   By Fred ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 05:35 pm:

Tim Hardin, 1969. He nodded off during the show.

The most vigorous negative audience reaction to a band I ever saw was at a concert in 1965 when a local group that had just signed with Columbia put on a show and invited friends of theirs to open for them. Three minutes into the opening act's first number, there were fewer than 20 people left of the 1500 who had showed up, and I think they all came with the band. Everybody outside the hall knew from that moment that the Velvet Underground would never amount to much.

The local band never really made it, but members went on to play with Steely Dan and the bass player married Carole King.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 05:36 pm:

Did you ever go to a concert at Jenison ? That place had to have the world's lousiest accoustics. I saw comedian Robert Klein open for Steve Miller in '73 and couldn't make out one word - not exactly a place for 'spoken word' performances. Of course the only coherent phrase Sly uttered all night was "hey, I don't wanna hear no boo's"


Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 05:38 pm:

Oh yeah, I was at Jenison ...and the MSU Auditorium, where Springsteen played.

Were you there when they had a huge outdoor concert with Chicago, etc.?

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 05:53 pm:

Yeah ! It was spring 1970 - most of the acts there weren't my favorites or anything (Jefferson Airplane, Chicago, Mountain , John Sebastian, Rotary Connection - Delaney & Bonnie , who I loved, were advertised but didn't show ; the Faces canceled too) but I was 16 and swept up in the fesival hype and it was a great day. This amazes me in retrospect as I hate big events and am mildly agorophobic now , but I actually kept having these 'religious experiences' through out the day.
I saw Springsteen at the Auditorium , too - 1976. I'd seen him a year before in Detroit at a place I think called the Michigan Palace (?). I wasn't (and am not) a huge Bruce fan but I'd thought he was great live and had dragged a bunch of people to the MSU concert that didn't really care for his records and I had this huge anxiety attack before the show because I was afraid he was gonna suck in front of my friends. He didn't though.
Erickson Kiva was a nice place on Campus to see people like John Prine , Loudon , Ry Cooder , Leo Kottke etc


Top of pageBottom of page   By RD ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 07:34 am:

Isley Brothers: great recording act; but lousy live since O'Kelly (deceased) and Rudolph are no longer part of the show. They would be lousier If not for Ernie Isley's guitar solos and Angela Winbush-Isley. O'Kelly and Rudolph were wild & crazy guys--instant and constant excitement.

The Isley's problem live is Ron Isley's inability to entertain. He doesn't dance or move well, and doesn't stalk the stage with any conviction. His camp realizes this and tries to detract some of the attention off him with dancers, background singers, Ernie Isley, Ron wearing gawdy fur coats and going as Mr. Biggs, and Angela Winbush (who's great); but the overall show is far less than you would expect from an act of their stature.

I attended a show where Howard Hewitt opened for Maze. Hewitt is a remarkable singer whose much better live than on record. He put on a singing clinic that to my ears Frankie Beverly couldn't compete with. No disrespect to Beverly but he sounded like an amateur after the silky smooth Hewitt. That said, Maze is a better live act than the Isley's, and a decent live act period, but they shouldn't let Howard Hewitt open for them anymore.

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 10:01 am:

Ok...a British flavour for you all

I had to keep my cousin company when I attended the 1969 Hyde Park concerts and I still can't understand why a group of long haired hippies singing songs that weren't coming from the soul, felt that they were entertaining the crowd.

Clearly I was in the minority and I couldn't wait to get home each time. The Move did "Goin Back" at one of the concerts and that was the only thing I enjoyed.

Ok....so now it's official that I am boring!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Vandelron ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 10:20 am:

Worst-#3--Gordon Lightfoot:refused to sing when audience sang with him or clapped along with rhythm;2-Linda Rondstadt--stoned and dropped pills on the stage;1---Tony Orlando at Aids benefit in NYC with Mary Wilson,Whitney,Patti etc--that man is the most smarmy,schmatlzy,pretentious singer Ive ever had the misfortune to hear.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie Hardin ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 10:37 am:

Yes, Fred. Our Tim always was a little laid-back at the best of times.

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhc ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 11:54 am:

My wife and I saw Marvin Gaye at Radio City during his last tour, and of course it was excruciating and heartbreaking. He was trying to hide behind the microphone stand; it was like literally seeing a ghost. Then quite a few years later we saw Tammy Wynette. She spent more than half the show talking about her recent medical procedures, her grandchildren, etc., and her singing was very slack. We both agreed afterwards that it was almost as bad as Marvin Gaye, not suspecting at the time that she was also on her last go-round...

Top of pageBottom of page   By FrankM ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 12:40 pm:

Within the space of a year I saw Lou reed and the Tots tour the first solo album with a great concert at Glasgow university Union. Twelve months later a drunk Lou Reed in front of a was it Wagner/Frost rock band destryed several mies, lay oon the floor staggered about the stage of The Glasgow Apollo. The night was saved by support band The Persuasions.


Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 03:49 pm:

C'mon RD...you know "Mr. Biggs" is just too cool to stalk a stage or do anything (other than sing) with ANY conviction. He's not about trying to break a sweat. Plus.....Ronnie is pretty damn close to 65 years old. (LOL)
Oh...and doesn't that "Mr. Biggs" character remind you of something left on the cutting room floor from "Superfly" ??

Top of pageBottom of page   By RD ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 04:06 pm:

Yes Mr. Biggs does Iwicked, the Mack too. Ron Isley is cool alright, too cool for my taste.

Ron is old, but even when he was younger he didn't do much except sing and he doesn't sound as good live. Their live albums, however, are surprisingly good. I don't understand why he doesn't get two big guys like O'Kelly and Rudolph and recreate the old Isley's personna for a portion of their live show.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 04:56 pm:

RD...I just wish he/they would go back to the old formula. Some of the last album...errr..CD was good, but the Pro-Tools work on a couple of tunes absolutely sucked. I liked what Jam & Lewis has done with them...but Chris Jasper's (as part of the I-J-I primary writing team) writing and keyboard work was essential to their sound. How many songs can match the imagery of "Midnight Sky" ? And...what happened to the "anthem" ("Go For Your Guns", "Live It Up", "Fight The Power", etc.) that was the highlight of every album ? Jasper says he will not write another "Between The Sheets" because of his religious convictions....but a re-teaming on a "Caravan of Love" type tune would do Ron & Ernie a lot of good if Chris would participate fully in the writing and recording process. (And though he's not necessarily the greatest bassist...I miss Marvin too, but I guess his medical issues prevent his participation.)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Mark Speck ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 08:20 pm:

I would have to say Blondie in '80.

I don't think I have ever looked so forward to a show and been let down so much. They played only 40 minutes and rushed through it, like they didn't want to be here. No encore, either.

In contrast, Rockpile featuring Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe opened, played for an hour and were excellent! I've since seen Edmunds three more times (another stint as an opener, this time for the Stray Cats, plus two shows where he headlined). You couldn't pay me to see Blondie again (shame as I always thought Debbie Harry was a real hottie!).



Top of pageBottom of page   By shawn1 ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 08:34 pm:

I don't see how anybody could find Frankie Beverly and Maze Torture they Jam to me and I would them Gladys Knight would a Fabulous combo .I when saw then Kansas City,both acts tore the place apart.Shawn

Top of pageBottom of page   By recordboyusa ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 10:19 pm:

I saw a bogus version of THE SOUL SURVIVORS in Miami Beach in 1984. The singer, who called himself Doc Holliday, claimed to be an original member, but he wasn't. He also claimed Bruce Springsteen used to be in the band. I knew I was in trouble when they opened with covers of "Holiday" by Madonna and "Far From Over" by Frank Stallone! Ten songs total, none sounding like the real band... and they wouldn't refund my $10.00.

Close behind would be the 1981 version of Badfinger. Every musician did a painfully long solo... even the guy on synthesizer!

Jeff Lemlich

Top of pageBottom of page   By gabriele ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 09:59 am:

funny thread...

the Stones at Hyde Park(1969)...orrible!

!what the hell they was smoking at the time those guys to play like this!
they just didn't have the rhythm,you could say...

Top of pageBottom of page   By PhilH ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 10:14 am:

Worst show I ever went to was more a fault of the venue than any of the performers - the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans at 1986 Jazzfest to see Natalie Cole, Andre Crouch (with Tata Vega) and B.B. King. Why didn't they just stage the show in a bloody aircraft hangar, it would have been the same result, the sound just went straight up to the ceiling! Tata apparently sang "Miss Celie's Blues", though you'd scarcely have known it with the sound flying away. Interestingly, Natalie was duetting with her Dad on "Unforgettable" even then (this was some years before that album), but that was the only song I could recognize. And B.B. was just lost in a venue of that size - he's better in smaller halls where he can interact with the audience (example: two years later here in Adelaide, in a hall holding approx 1500 people, one of the BEST shows I've ever been to).


Top of pageBottom of page   By Mark Speck ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 02:20 pm:

Also when I saw the Beach Boys at the Taste of Cleveland event that we have in Cleveland every Labor Day. They don't have it anymore.

When I went and saw Brian's show, it was a different story. He can still play and sing those songs. I recommend his show for the true Beach Boys experience.



Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 03:53 pm:

The worst live performance I saw,I was part of.
I was working at Ginos Falcon Lounge with Tommy Good and the Tabs in 68.We had these big mondaynight shows,and we would back up whoever the club got,-- Edwin Starr,-- J.J.Barnes,--I can't remember all the acts that showed up.

One monday night they had Mickinley Jackson and the Politicians. One bad ass group,funky as funk can get.

WELL,for our part of the show Tommy and our guitar man Dick Maxwell wanted to do the showcase we had from the West-side story.I cringed, but those guys were the leaders of the group. So there we were, out there doing Maria,and other songs that might go over in a cocktail lounge, after Mickinley and the guys just kicked ass.

We went over like a lead balloon!!!

One of the most embarrassing times in my musical career!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 03:34 pm:

Glad to hear McKinley Jackson & Politicians were BAAD cause I loved "Love Machine". I saw the Isley Bros.in concert "Fight The Power" was the latest and they were good...the 3 original and Ernie on guitar.The Emotions opened and were also good. I would have loved to have seen the Isley Bros. in the 60's as I had heard they were pretty wild. A horrible concert I had to sit through one time was Gary Lewis & the Playboys,puke, puke.I knew it would be horrible too some girls I knew got to be Go Go Girls onstage...whoopee.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 04:20 pm:

Oh,nooooooo! Tony mentioned the "Diamond Ring" guy!
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 04:23 pm:

I heard they released a recording of that show and called it "Live Errgghh!"

Top of pageBottom of page   By gabriel ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 10:36 am:

how don't talk about the last live performances of Led Zeppelin?i heard many live bootlegs and i still wonder how does a singer can make worse his voice as Plant did....he couldn't do almost nothing of what i did in the early period of the band...check the early Zep years(69-70)and the later years,few years after(77-80)...

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:26 am:

gabriel, say what?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:28 am:

John how about "Errrgh's Greatest Hits"?

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 03:24 pm:

Hey Guys, I heard somewhere that "This Diamond Ring" was written with the Drifters in mind.I bet that writer freaked when he saw Gary Lewis & the Playboys with their accordian playing his song...I would have puked & cried all the way to the bank.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 06:31 pm:

The co-writer was Al Kooper, who went on to "fame & (ahem!) fortune" as the organist on Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" as well as leader of the Blues Project & Blood Sweat and Tears.

He did indeed write TDR with an R&B act in mind until LA-based producer Snuff Garrett cut it with Gary Lewis & the Wrecking Crew - whoops! I mean the Playboys! Kooper described the Lewis version in his autobiography as a "s--t milkshake" even while he was cashing some pretty big royalty checks.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 06:36 pm:

The backing musicians on "Diamond Ring" aren't even that bad, it's Gary's thinner than spandex vocals. Sheesh I'd rather hear Buddy Love sing it ...

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 06:41 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By Patrick ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 09:11 pm:

After Led Zeppelin IV, Robert Plant's voice got burned out, BUT his early work is impressive!!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhc ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 10:52 pm:

I once read something about the production of "This Diamnod Ring", and it was interesting. The lead vocal is Gary's voice tracked three times, and a session singer's voice tracked twice. So it's actually two people; an early version of the Paula Abdul/Yvette Marine technique. Since this thread is about live performance, I guess I'll mention that Gary Lewis and The Playboys at the Michigan State Fair in 1966 was my first big-time Rock show, and it wasn't particularly bad.

Top of pageBottom of page   By gabrie ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 04:38 am:

john dixon,pardon i was doing some error of printing...

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 06:29 am:

okay, if Marshall says G.L.&P weren't bad then I can 'fess up that I can tolerate "She's Just My Style" pretty well. I was just 11 in '65, so, to paraphrase, I guess I shouldn't 'bone Gary Lewis like a chicken' on this forum. But, as first stated way back on the "errggh!" thread and reiterated here by Sue, the tracks sounded great. I read where it was Leon Russell and his hand-picked session people, some of whom were Wrecking Crew. Marshall's revelation of a "shadow vocalist" makes you wonder why that second singer on the track didn't sound any less embarrassingly Caucasion and soul-free.

The thing that irritates me is that you are 10 times more likely to hear "TDR" or "Sure Gonna Miss Her" or "Everybody Loves A Clown" on today's Oldies radio than Smokey's "The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage" or the Marvelettes "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" and a whole slew of other great songs that charted above #20 and below #40 that completely pass underneath the radar of Clear Channel Oldies radio.

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 08:05 am:

John, You are so right about Clear Channel Oldies Radio-HORRIBLE!I also did not mean to offend any Gary Lewis & Playboys fans...I was just always into R&B/Soul/Funk and they at the time represented the total opposite type of pop music.I know the concert that I attended in about 66 was enjoyed by the screaming teeny-boppers.

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 10:40 am:

Tony, if there were any Gary Lewis & the Playboys fans on this site, they've surely been run off by now!(LOL) Maybe they were re-routed to successthroughnepotism.com or totalwhitebread.com.

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 11:45 am:

Sorry gang. My wife and I are still here. Mindless pop is fun, OK?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 12:02 pm:

You guys are so right, Clear Channel and Infinity use "This Diamond Ring" as a sledgehammer on their oldies stations, playing it in Detroit especially while ignoring other songs of equal or greater sales. Who knows why? Is Jerry Lewis a shadow owner?

"embarrassingly Caucasion/soul-free vocals" Boy that's my impression too John. Those vocals were augmented by another voice and they're still that thin??

The stuff was good pop at the time, with a not-so-good voice belonging to a famous guy we were intrigued with because of his dad.

I'd STILL rather hear Buddy Love sing ...

Top of pageBottom of page   By thecount ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 12:52 pm:

WORSE LIVE PERFORMANCE==================
"CANMAN"-when he couldn't remember the second verse.

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 03:43 pm:

wow, I'm impressed--Canman has bled over to yet another thread, sort of like a virus. Think maybe we should start a "Total Lack Of Hubris" thread in his (dis)honor?

Top of pageBottom of page   By thecount ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 03:57 pm:

HEY R&B,I'am going to be busy at cobo AUTORAMA for the rest of the week,so I thought maybe you could start a few other kool threads such as.
KAR name groups,such as,THE FALCONS,etc.
or bird name groups such as,THE ROBBINS.
or maybe flower name groups such as,THE MARIGOLDS.
Limit it to three each so all can dig in.
JUST A THOUGHT,cause you come up with some kool threads.Speaking of threads,have you ever shopped at LOUIS THE HATTER?(they have used rags,new rags and dew rags)
or at TOODS SUITS,two for the price of one.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Fred ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 08:32 pm:

Kevin wrote:

"He did indeed write TDR with an R&B act in mind until LA-based producer Snuff Garrett cut it with Gary Lewis & the Wrecking Crew - whoops! I mean the Playboys! Kooper described the Lewis version in his autobiography as a "s--t milkshake" even while he was cashing some pretty big royalty checks."

If you want to hear the song closer to Kooper's original concept (he had the Drifters in mind), his own 1975 version is available on his "Rare & Well Done" CD.

Top of pageBottom of page   By ErikT.O. ( on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 07:51 pm:

Someone mentioned being underwhelmed by an Isaac Hayes show- I saw him twice & was not disappointed by Isaac's singing or playing, but by his band selection. He had 3 guys all playing basic keyboard parts including, ugh, midi horn sounds! From a Stax man! I was floored, but sort of hopeful the second time that he'd replaced all those extra keyboards with a horn player or three; no such luck. Ho hum...
As for crappy live shows I've seen, offhand Dylan last summer, Steely Dan whom I always sort of hated but it was a free ticket & I had nothing else to do & the venue is only a few minutes from my house (Molson Ampitheatre in Toronto)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sammys Soul Sister ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 10:26 pm:

This Diamond Ring was originally done as a soulful style by my soulful brother and good friend Sammy Ambrose, Sammy's version was out about two weeks I heard when Gary Lewis'teenage bubble gum version covered it and of course the Brother got ripped off when the radio stations were playing the Yuk-Yuk version. Poor Sammy just couldn't get an even brake in this business

Top of pageBottom of page   By tyrone ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 11:30 pm:

The worst concert that I remember is a Budweiser Superfest with Tavares and Natalie Cole as headliner. If memory serves me correctly, as soon as Natalie came on stage and started singing, she got booed. By the fifth song, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, folks were walking out. I , too, walked out after Lucy because I knew she was gonna throw down (like the Live lp). Disappointed!
Another concert or live performance (in this instance) Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. Aretha was the headliner who performed for about an hour. Ray, the opening act, performed for almost two hours. I vowed I would never see Ree Ree again (this was during her blonde hair days - Get It Right). Since she is performing a farewell tour this summer, perhaps I'll go see her and bid her farewell.

Ree, ain't nothing like the real thing baby!

Top of pageBottom of page   By jimbo33 ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 11:05 am:

Buddy Guy appearing with Jr. Wells at the Roxy on Sunset Strip in L.A. circa 1980. Buddy was so drunk he could barely stand up. Jr. Wells was fine but Buddy ruined the show.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Aba21 ( on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 01:21 pm:

Went to a concert in the Park in St Louis some years ago featuring Luther Ingram, Percy Sledge and others. When Luther cam on he sang only three songs two of which were If Loving YOu Is Right, I don't Want To be Wrong. He sang it the second time for about 15 minutes and then walked off. I was stunned.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LA Soul ( on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 05:37 pm:

I fell asleep at a Luther Vandross concert during the "Any Love" tour. He sounded great, but hearing all those slow ballads, one after the other, was just too boring.

Kool & the Gang after J.T. Taylor left...something was definitely missing.

Janet Jackson on the Rhythm Nation tour. She was obviously singing along to pre-recorded vocal tracks (now considered business as usual for most of today's acts, but I thought it sucked all the energy and spontanaeity from the show.)

I once saw Brenton Wood take the stage and sing along to a vinyl record.

Whitney Houston on the I'm Your Baby Tonight tour...great voice, but dull as hell onstage. This is the one that convinced me to stop going to concerts.

BTW, Frankie Beverly & Maze...one of the best live acts I've ever seen. I wasn't a fan when I saw them and had actually gone to their concert solely to see the opening act. I came away a HUGE fan.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MichaelOH ( on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 06:14 pm:

Diana Ross, Pantages Theater, Toronto..1995

She was 45 minutes late starting the show, than she came and "performed" for about an hour and 10 minutes. But all her perfomance consisted of was her fluffing her hair and posing. Also, at this particular venue, the balcony is quite large, so when Diana left the stage to travel in the audience, almost the whole balcony could not see her. She was heavily booed that night...!!

Very, very, very disappointing.....


Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 07:30 pm:

Tower of Power..# 1 best!!
Isleys..#1 worst!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By publicimageltd. ( on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 09:40 pm:

David Bowie at the Silverdome in 1987 and with Tin Machine at the State Theatre in 1992. Keep in mind that Bowie is my favourate musician and so there is no bias in this. By contrast, he has also put on some of the best concerts i've ever seen. Elivs Costello was also put on a lot bad shows in the mid-80s. It is with great apprehension that i am going to see him this summer.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soul Sister ( on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 10:16 pm:

Bobby I agree with you on that. Tho'there were quite a few great acts performing that could all be no.1, starting with James Brown & Jackie Wilson in the 60s. The Manhattans, Little Anthony & Imperials, The O'Jays were all mind blowing back then. I can't mention my worst performer, he's a friend of my old man (smile). See you & Vonnie in a couple days! S.S. Tell you then.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soul Sister ( on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 10:31 pm:

RandiRussi; Hi ! I saw almost the same line-up in 68, only Jackie Wilson was the headliner, also on the show were Arthur Conley, Gene Wells, The Barkays, Little Deon, I can't remember who else as I was backstage the rest of the day in Jackie's dressing room with he, his then 5 year old son Petey, Alonzo Tucker, & another friend playing jokes on one another, it was one of the last times I can remember Jackie laughing and really enjoying himself, but thats another story. That time the show was at the Brooklyn Paramount or Albee, can't recall which, around February of 1968. Did you go to see the show in N.Y. ? Jimmy Evans was somethin'else when dealing with the artists. I've heard the stories. I'm sure you have too. S.S.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Keith Rylatt ( on Sunday, May 04, 2003 - 02:24 pm:

In the 60s at the Spinning Disc in Leeds, Northern England I went to see James & Bobby Purify and Edwin Starr. Edwin was first on stage and sang SOS, HLN etc....perfectly. Then! suddenly jumps off stage....and the REAL Edwin Starr comes on. The `first` Edwin then appears as one of the Purify Brothers! In the UK we had no idea about how the original artists looked, so we had a string of imposter groups over here, The `Original Drifters` (Invitations), Fabulous Temptations (Velours), etc. I know this is supposed to be about the worst live acts but also in Leeds in '74 there was a massive all nighter at the Queens Hall with lots of big name acts on and for me Mel & Tim blasted the rest of 'em off stage. Now in my mid 50s and having seen a few acts, the Dells who came to England a few years ago have to be the BEST. They had performed at US air bases in the past but never to the unwashed public. I don't care what anyone thinks in the rest of the universe, when they came on stage at 2.30am I have NEVER had goose bumps like it, a thousand fans just going ape shit at the thought of `Stay in My Corner`, the crazed welcome went on for a full 10 minutes before they could start. Anyway....I'll go and lie down in a darkened room now my friends. Keith...... But before I do, what about the night Edwin Starr took Tony Clarke on stage at the Twisted Wheel and declaired....these are the kids I've told you about! Goodnight.....

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulkikker ( on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 08:34 am:

I've always regretted being too young to have seen James Brown in is heyday (60ties, early 70ties). When I finally did see him mid-eighties he was still great.
But one of the worst concerts I ever saw in my life, was also by JB. This was appr. 1990 (not sure about the year), just before he went to prison. He was clearly under the influence of something, did hardly sing a not and just played the organ. The show was saved by a very loyal Maceo Parker. A couple of years later (after his release), I saw JB again and this time the show was great again, although of course not what he once was able to do (I mean the TAMI how years).

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soul Sister ( on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 10:22 am:

Yes, Yes "JB" was definately the hardest working man in show business throughout the 1960s, there was no revue out there to touch his big show, never will be again. The other greatest single act out there was number 1 crooner, acrobat, & romantic stylist was Mr. Excitement himself "Jackie Wilson"!! Man, he was beautiful in everyway on & offstage. Can't always say the samething about "JB"offstage. But the show was the best bar none! Both of those artists were truly the KINGS of the 1960s R&B/Soul music scene!! Others were great but James & Jackie were the reining KINGS!!

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