Rock stars' disaster stories
Rock musicians now have a venue for sharing their stories of humiliation, mishaps and other fiascos on the road.
Story from PRI's Here and Now. For more, listen to the audio above.
At small bars around Boston, musicians are sharing their most embarrassing professional moments for a Salon Series called, "This Has Been A Disaster -- Thanks For Having Us." The events are the project of musician Ryan Walsh, singer/guitarist for the band Hallelujah The Hills, and literary critic and author Steve Almond.
Once a month, Walsh and Almond interview three musicians about their worst moments on stage and off. The pair point out that beneath the glamorous facade of rock are a lot of hours spent traveling, and during that time, many funny and gritty mishaps occur.
The first show featured musicians Aaron Perinno, Matt Parish and Marissa Nadler. Nadler's worst moment was at a concert in Oslo, Norway, which had less than glowing reviews after a disasterous performance: "I drank a lot of whisky and ... I kinda remember screeching like a hyiena...".
Almond explains that musicians' lives are ripe with stories: "Every musician has the horror stories, because most of your life on the road is just monotony and boredom and low-level insults, and there's very little groupie sex, from what I understand."
Hearing these stories gives an enticing glimpse behind the curtain for music fans, but sharing them is also a valuable opportunity for the performers. Walsh told his own humiliating experience, and says, "it was liberating for me, because rock 'n' roll is inherently embarrassing, but it's also … I haven't found anything else that's as fun, or as exciting, or freeing."
The musician has found his colleagues to be similarly enthusiastic about sharing: "Most people jump at the chance because, I think, the expectation is to pretend 'I'm a rock star and everything goes smoothly.' And I think that pretending that there's not this other stuff -- these disasters and these calamities -- is a lie, and so to come clean on the lie and have it be fun, I think, is very appealing to people."
The writer and musician have created a project that appears to be bottomless. According to Almond, "we haven't even begun to exhaust our local supply."
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