Good heckler comebacks

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Digital Larry, May 16, 2019.

  1. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve done a lot of gigs, I’ve played for all sorts of people.

    Best thing I learned was to stop playing places where hecklers tend to be.

    Other than that, I mostly ignored them.

    One time in a small bar about 15 years ago, I stopped a song dead, asked the drunk heckler and his two friends 5 feet away if they had a problem.

    They said “No, man.”

    So I went into the next song.

    Hecklers are haunted by the shadow of their voice, convicted by what they are and are not.
     
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  2. muudcat

    muudcat Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I heard a comic once say " I don't come to where you work and knock the broom out of your hands"-ka boom. With that said I've actually stopped playing asked very loud patrons to please shut up or quit screaming in their phone to a text message, lmao
     
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  3. simoncroft

    simoncroft TDPRI Member

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    In 1978, I played an end of term gig at the Royal College of Art, with John Cooper-Clark. A member of the audience got the better of him. It was a massive skinhead who clearly thought punk was alive and well (which it really wasn't). Halfway though J C-C's set, the skinhead got on stage and punched him straight in the mouth. I suppose we had to be grateful he only spat at us.
     
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  4. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

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    "You remind me of my brother Bosco ...except he has a human head ... "
    Comedian Judy Tenuta to heckler
     
  5. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Do I come to your Job and tell you how to Sweep?
     
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  6. flathd

    flathd Poster Extraordinaire

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    Where's Beavis tonight?
     
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I worked for a band leader who was a big man.
    He was about six feet tall, weighed about 350 lbs., and had a lisp.
    He got heckled and mocked twice (that I recall) at gigs we did, because of his lisp.
    Once, in Pr. George BC, at a club called Viva’s, a table near stage left (my side of the stage) with three locals began mocking him.
    After the third time, the bandleader (Doug) said on the mic “If you’re not having a good time, why don’t you go somewhere else?”
    Their response was was more abuse.
    The keyboard player, a svelte 280 pounder, Doug, and I (about 240 lbs, at the time) left our instruments on stage, and approached the table.
    I never saw anyone slam drinks and split quicker.
    I wasn’t a great heckler response, but it was highly effective.
    We were big boys, but we carried ourselves with a certain authority.
    It was a very, very gratifying experience.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  8. simoncroft

    simoncroft TDPRI Member

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    Or you could try just staring at the offender, while your female accomplice in the audience screams: "Leave it Frank! He's not worth going back to jail for! You always go too far!" :D
     
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  9. Joel Terry

    Joel Terry Poster Extraordinaire

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    "I'm so sorry your mother had a ď*ck...namely, you."
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  10. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    "Well done, you look like someone shaved a monkey and drop kicked it into Primark" - Frankie Boyle
     
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  11. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    Saw The Mountain Goats in a tiny little music hall in Athens last year. Right as John started in on an emotional piano intro at the front edge of the stage, some chick the the front unleashed the brightest flash ever made by a camera right in his face, maybe 5' from him. He didn't have anything super witty to say, but in the msot perfect disappointed-not-angry dad voice I've heard he just said, "Young lady, please no. That hurts my eyes. And I like my eyes."

    Whole audience had a chuckle and you could feel that girl's embarrassment. Pretty sure he let her take a good picture later for it, though. John's a good dude.
     
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  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I like to think there is dignity in every job.
     
  13. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

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    The best one I ever saw wasnt outrageous, but extremely clever.

    We were at a club somewhere in downtown NYC waiting to go on - we would get booked every now and then in a "no specific genre" type show with a bunch of other unrelated bands.

    So this guy is onstage - solo act - he was OK, nothing special but somebody was heckling the crap out of him. So he stops right in the middle of a number and picks up the mic and points it at the heckler and in deadly earnest yells "HECKLER SOLO"!!!

    Of course everybody turns around and looks at the heckler who all of a sudden was at a loss for words. Didnt say another thing the rest of the nite.
     
  14. verb boten

    verb boten Tele-Meister

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    True. But not in every employee. :p
     
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  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm thinking about the other broom pushers in the audience, the quiet ones who do the best sweeping they can possibly do. Do they need to hear that comeback?
     
  16. 6String69

    6String69 TDPRI Member

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    Just say “no you”

    it works because whatever they said, it just reversed it
     
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I may be wrong but I like to think performers get something they need from the audience.
    I've not gigged much but value the appreciation, recognition and respect I've gotten from listeners.

    As an audience member I never heckle or make requests.
    If the band sucks I move away or leave.
    If the band is good, famous or not, I always try to find a way to talk with them or some of them between sets or after the show.
    IDK but it just seems like here is this artist putting themselves out there and making product for us, I want to let them know they knocked me out.

    I've talked with Bill Frisell numerous times, and he's very shy (or I'm a total jerk), but it's just nice to tell him I enjoyed his performance. I saw him mostly when he was less straight ahead and more experimental, so there it seems valuable to offer feedback to an artist who takes risks in live performance.
    Robert Quine, John Zorn, David Murray and other members of the World Sax Quartet, members of Sun Ra's band, the drummer and I forget who else, not Sun Ra himself (some amazing players!), Steve Potts with Steve Lacy but Lacy was too brusque to stop (Potts was very cool and an amazing sax player), Hoped to say thanks to Cecil Taylor but couldn't get close. Talked with Billy Bang who often played with Sun Ra, and saw him with his trio in a little NYC club, where he stood and played by my table for half the show, because there was almost nobody there and I was into his form of crazy (my GF at the time was horrified!).
    Tried to talk to Rick Danko and Richard Manuel shortly before Manuel committed suicide but they had a short walk offstage and I couldn't reach them.
    I doubt a fan could have been any help, but it does seem like these are real people with feelings, not just robotic product. Danko was spitting drunk but their set was great, just the two of them.

    Saw Sonic Youth at a bar in Cambridge and sat with the opening band (Barbetomagus) after they finished up, that was a cool night. They invited me to play at a free music festival they held somewhere far away, not knowing if I was any good, just that I played electric cello in a "Free Jazz" quartet. They are kind of a noise band, as was much of the Sonic Youth set at the time. Not such a risk to invite some nut in a bar.

    Life is short, if you love somebody get in their face and tell them!

    Hecklers shame themselves enough without needing extra help.
    Bar management ought to put a stop to the worst of it though, unless it's a comedy show where heckling is the art form.
     
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  18. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    It's not just you. I met Bill Frisell once, and he was painfully shy when I spoke with him as well.
     
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  19. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I did sound for Bill Frisell with John Zorn at Cabel Hall at the University of Virginia back in the '80's. I didn't notice his shyness, but maybe that's because I was so in awe. We had Cecil Taylor as part of that concert series, too. He came on stage, listened to how it sounded, asked how it sounded in the room and had me turn off the PA other then his vocal mic for when he wanted to talk to the crowd.

    There were no hecklers as I recall.
     
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  20. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    As do I
    But when it comes to Heckler comebacks in real time onstage, removing the Hecklers personal Dignity becomes a priority.
     
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