Yep, got any big disappointments to pass along for big-named artists/performers playing while you watched?

Now nobody's perfect, and we all screw up on occasion for one reason or another while playing/performing...so I'm not talking about missing a chord or a lick or some other small, easily forgivable mistake... I'm talking about a REAL boner deal, one so massive it pretty well ruined the entire show for you.

This is especially disheartening if it's a paid show where you spent big bucks to get in and see it.

For myself I guess my biggest single disappointment was paying 75 bucks about thirty or so years ago (don't remember the exact date, but it was a while back) to see Hank Williams jr perform a 'one-night' run at a local 'big' C&W club. Lots of anticipation from thousands of people here, and a girl I was dating was wild to see him so I manged a couple of tickets to get in, STANDING ROOM ONLY. Cost me 75 bucks a pop which was a lot for tickets back then.

We got there, showed our tickets, got our hands stamped and forced our way into the crowded bar (it was elbow to arse hole in there and folks were wedged in like sardines,) tried to order a drink from the overran waitresses but soon gave that up as a lost cause.

The show was supposed to start at 7, but it was 9:30 before they started getting the small stage ready...and though we were burning up and sweating and tired of standing in one place, we were pumped anyway. Then about 10-ish, they brought a stool out and Hank jr followed...sat down on the stool and hooked his acoustic guitar around his neck. He strummed it a couple of times, then started mumbling into the mic... we couldn't make it out, it was so low...and we all thought something was wrong with the club's mic/PA system. He strummed his guitar a couple more times...coughed, and then we could hear him talking about his daddy, Hank Williams sr. But he wasn't making any sense...just speaking like mumbo-jumbo/gibberish. He strummed again, and then promptly fell off the stool.

That's when we realized that he was drunk as a dog! G'ah!

He managed to get up and back on the stool, strummed again (way off-key) then promptly fell off again, this time dropping his guitar with a loud 'twack!' and loosing his cowboy hat. That time a couple of his guys had to help him up...the club's DJ then came over the speaker and said, 'don't worry folks, Hank's having some technical problems and will be RIGHT back!' Meanwhile, Hank jr was being escorted (carried mostly) by his companions off the small stage.

We never saw him again... d'oh! In fact, about forty-five minutes later people were yelling that they saw him going 'out' the back exit with a fresh fifth of whiskey in his hand and piling into a limo and driving off.

It took weeks to get our money back on this and even then I only ever got reimbursed for 'one' of the 75 dollar tickets...finally giving the other up as a lost cause.

I never went to a Hank Williams jr concert/gig (or that C&W club) again.

Yeah...I was solely disappointed.

I admit to foolishly having been messed up on a few of my own gigs too (small time ones of course, nothing with that many people paying to watch) but I always managed to perform. It might have not been top of my game, but I got through them. So oh yeah, I was a bit 'more' than just disappointed.
Last edited by Beowolff at Jul 1, 2014,
Decades ago, we went to see "Blue Oyster Cult", at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby PA. Well, the "bus never made it from New York". "Luckily", the 2nd act, "Quicksilver Messenger Service", agreed to play longer. By hour two of their tirade, most of the audience was screaming at them to, "turn it down". Yep, a metal audience demanding the band turn down. Wow, did they ever suck.

At one, "The Who", concert I attended, they tried to pass off Patti LaBelle as the opening act. God only knows how insecure & confused Pete Townshend & company must have been at the time, to inflict her on us.

Then there's Hank Williams Jr. I Don't like him, his music, or his persona. I had a social worker tell me, "it's hard to actually be in a room with a true narcissist". For me it seems, Hank Williams Jr's. picture would be in the dictionary next to "narcissist".

Although with that said, up to now, I had thought alcoholism was supposed to skip a generation....

You run into debacles such as you describe, when the performer and the truth of the person blend into the same experience.

I think Jennifer Nettles is God's gift to country/pop vocalists. But as soon as she stops singing, it's immediately evident how completely enamored with herself she really is. I play "Sugarland's" CDs frequently, I skip the rest of it.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 1, 2014,
Good stories, CC! But heaven help us... Patti LaBelle!!?? Je-sus! Especially for the Who? d'oh!

Man, I'd have been wanting my money back right then and there. lol.

No disrespect to LaBelle likers...just her and the Who? Come on!

----oh, I remembered another bad deal, btw. Paid fifty bucks a pop for me and my then girlfriend in Houston, Tx to see Merle Haggard perform in the Astrodome during their 'yearly' BIG rodeo event there (don't know where they have it now.) Anyway, got in there and Merle was late (he was the supposed to be/advertised as the center STAR attraction,) so the smaller known band kept playing as we all waited.

About 45 minutes later, finally...here comes Merle roaring out across the rodeo's dirt (middle of the Astrodome) in a huge 4 wheel drive pickup. He gets out to everyone's cheers, walks to the stage, brushes off the acoustic guitar that a stagehand offers him... walks over to a counter and pops the top on a fiddle case and takes one out.

He then proceeds to fiddle a quick, short tune.

Wow, we all thought, most of us not knowing that he could even fiddle, and expecting him to jump into his act now and sing some good songs.

Not. He put the fiddle back in it's case, walked down off the stage, got in his fancy 4 wheel drive and roared off into the sunset.


We thought it was a prank. Well, until about an hour later and he'd never shown back up.

We finally realized we'd paid 50 bucks to hear an unknown (kind of good) opening band play a few songs and Merle Haggard fiddle a 1 to 2 minute song (no singing or playing his guitar at all.) g'ah!

Another BIG disappointment. However, so many people raised hell that we did eventually get our money back from the rodeo promoters. (took six months though.)

Ole Merle is yet another guy I NEVER paid to see again.
I've had a few;

Leo Kottke in Darwin. Great performance ruined by poor sound, he didn't get a curtain call.

PP&M. Good performance, but I left thinking I might just as weel have stayed at home and listen to the LP (it was a long time ago).

Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - as above.

Paco Pena. This is just quibbling really. Why have a cajon player when you can beat your guitar to death like they did in the good old days? He just didn't have steam coming out of his ears like I remember Pepe Martinez.