Central Snark

Dear Crummy Rock Snob by crummyjoel
Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 7:44am
Filed under: crummy letters

Dear Rock Snob;

I have had my issues with concert-goers before. In the past, my issues have been with people’s actions during a concert. Thankfully, I wasn’t anywhere near you during this particular show. I do feel the need to address your inane comments following the performance, however.

Look: When a concert lets out and the concert-goers flock to a nearby bar, all of them wearing recently purchased $45 Tour T-shirts* and generally consuming too much alcohol, one thing is for certain: These people enjoyed themselves and were entertained. The people who didn’t have a good time? They go home. They already spent $92 on tickets and $9 for every beer**. They don’t feel a pressing need to spend any more money. You should have followed their example.

The LAST thing that post-concert revelers want to hear is your crazy ass stumbling into a bar and complaining about the show. “They were a little off“, you say, making the last word of that sentence sound like you would have rather heard a rusty chainsaw continuously cutting through 15 solid inches of stainless steel than endure another minute of the show.

Off“, you say. Out of my group of four people, two of us were drummers, one was a guitarist, and one was a bass player. Three of us did this professionally or semi-professionally at some point in our lives. Allow us to clarify whatever definition of “off” you seem to be implementing: Just because a band doesn’t play in 4/4 time for seventeen straight songs doesn’t mean anything was wrong. Sometimes, bands play minor chords on purpose. Drummers don’t always come in on “one”. And (this is where it gets crazy), there are even times when bass players don’t just play at the same time as the kick drum. By design. Revolutionary, I know.

You wanna know what “off” is? “Off” is when half of the drunken biker band you play for goes into “Working For The Weekend” while the other half dives headlong into “Jessie’s Girl“. That’s “off”.

“I saw Springsteen in Jersey in β€˜74”, you say, as if this somehow gives you some credibility when it comes to speaking on these matters. “I’ve been to 300+ concerts in my life”. All that this information tells me is:

a) You’ve managed to master the intricacies of Ticketmaster some 300+ times


b) You’ve spent time in Jersey (my sincerest sympathies).

I bet there were tone-deaf people that saw Springsteen in Jersey in ’74. That doesn’t mean that I lean on them for my musical critiques. In 33 years, if I am in some dive bar claiming “I saw The Police in ’07, and let me tell you….”, I hope somebody has the common decency to put me out of my misery.

All of this gets around the greater point: So what if they were “off”? You walk into a room with dozens, if not hundreds of people who clearly enjoyed themselves and were going to disagree with your opinion. Do you really enjoy being the (loud) voice of dissent that much? You really feel the need to draw that much negative attention to yourself? Do you walk into NAACP rallies with a white sheet draped over yourself, too? Do you throw up devil horns during church services? What fuels that desire, man?!?

Look, I’m sorry you didn’t have a good time. It would suck to shell out that kind of scratch*** and not enjoy the show. But when 20,000 some-odd other people did enjoy ther show, it’s probably best to just keep it to yourself and not pretend to be an expert. Keep that in mind next time.


PS: Humor-blogs.com called, they want their acid-wash jeans back.

*Actual prices at this concert. No sarcasm necessary.

** No, really. These were the actual prices.

*** The hotel was $200 bucks, too.

12 Comments so far
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BRAVO! CrummyJoel, i don’t know how you do it, but damn, my friend, this was one fantastic-and-sooooooo-NOT-crummy letter! nothin’ like one crummy complainer in the crowd to spoil the fun for everyone. we’ve ALL dealt with ’em and/or wished we could have said what you so beautifully did here, today!

as for those prices? hey, it’s The Police! quite frankly, i expected the tix to be a lot more expensive. ($45 for a t-shirt is a bit much, tho’ — unless they were really cute!)

LOVELOVELOVED this letter! πŸ™‚

PS: not sure i knew of your sordid “band” past… apparently a few of us have a bit more in common than i realized! πŸ˜‰

Comment by One Hot Puppy

I’m so with you on this one, CrummyJoel. I had heard people where getting all mad because the Police weren’t playing everything exactly like they recorded it 20+ years ago. As for drunk concert goers, hey if you want to drink a few, go ahead, but I saw this VERY DRUNK guy at a Metallica concert rip the seats out of the ground when Metallica started playing Enter Sandman. He was promptly escorted out of the building.
I saw Sting on his first solo album when he stopped in Miami. Here he was playing with the best jazz musicians around (Brandford Marsalis, Omar Hakim, etc…) and I still heard a some of folks complaining after the concert. “I liked what he did with the Police better!” they would say.

Comment by Pavel

You’re right, Pavel…they didn’t do many of their songs the way they were recorded. I liked that, actually..if I wanted to hear how they were recorded, I would just listen to the recording.

Funny Metallica story…I was in line to buy a Tshirt at this same Police show, and the guy behind me goes, “$45 for a T-shirt?!? Who do they think they are, Metallica?”


Comment by CrummyJoel

As someone who saw the Stones in ’89, and has listened to more than 300 songs on iTunes, I give this letter my stamp of approval.

My favorite band is Live (no, that’s their name. Lightning Crashes? Hello?), and I once went to a concert where I got to hear the Ultimate Live Geek pontificate about the band before the show. He was quizzing people about the band, asking questions like, “What was the 7th song on Mental Jewelry?” I was like, dude, Ed Kowalczyk (the lead singer) doesn’t know the answer to that one. Who the f— cares?

Comment by Diesel

CrummyJoel you are killin’ me!
btw- I saw Deep Purple back in ’73 (and many others)-LOL!
Silly people aren’t forced to go to expensive concerts furcryin’outloud.
Down with pontificating amateurs!

Comment by claire

Nothing worse than an ill informed self-important rock snob, I say. Now you gotta problem with New Jersey? As my homestate, I’ve obviously developed a thick skin about such. Once I reached the age of consent, I jumped borders.

FunnY post, Joel.

Comment by Lampsha

Don’t get me started on concert t-shirts by the way. My husband has a boxful in the garage. Oy vay.

Comment by Lampsha

CrummyJoel’s dad here again, unable to resist informing one and all that I saw Hendrix in ’68 in Detroit. Not only was I not a snob, I barely knew who the guy was at the time. That hasn’t stopped me from getting a lot of mileage out of it with my students in college over the years.

Comment by Bruce Bezaire

Bruce: okay… that seals your status with me, bub. and i mean that in the good way! πŸ˜‰

do i get any points for the fact that i saw The Fifth Dimension perform not once, but twice? AND the Pointer Sisters? no?? hmmmm. how ’bout John Denver? Neil Diamond?? Count Bassie??? Ray Charles? NOOOO??? okay, i once saw Ricky Nelson perform in Tulare, CA (of all places). but he was fat, and, well, i found him sweaty and significantly less than impressive. oh yeah, i actually got to MEET Ella Fitzgerald (that really was cool) and we hung out with Charlie Daniels after a gig, back in my “band” days (my youth). still…NONE of that is nearly as awesome as seeing Hendrix in concert — and i mean that! (except maybe Ella, because, really, that was a once in a lifetime experience)

oh yeah, and i once got to record a few songs (with a band i was in) in Leon Russell’s private studio… that was almost cool. (i confess it was even more fascinating to see/touch his guitar — which had been signed by every major rock star you can imagine, including, i suspect, Hendrix!)

oh yeah, i think i saw ELO perform before they were a big deal, back in the 70’s (have i properly aged myself enough, now?) my brother-in-law was a college prof for many years, and his best “concert” story was that he got to see a live performance of… the Beatles. i’m still jealous. πŸ™„

all this to say, Hendrix? Damn, that’s veryveryVERY cool. πŸ™‚

Comment by snuppy

and that was just one long-ass crappy comment, wasn’t it, CrummyJoel? yeesh, i’d better be careful, or I’M gonna be the target of your next “crummy letter”. d’oh!

sorry about that, once i started “trippin'” through memory lane, i couldn’t stop! (man, i hate when that happens…) πŸ™„

Comment by snuppy

Anyone who disses Loverboy is off my Christmas list. If I had one that is.

Comment by Chris C

I’m not dissing Loverboy. I’m dissing bands that try and cover Loverboy.

Comment by CrummyJoel

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