Stage Fright

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Stage Fright

Postby Tom Jonas » 05 Mar 2016, 21:47

I think it so sad and painful to watch and listen to the successive decline from circa 1990. Not the bluesy voice any longer, sloppy singing, all the fantastic the guitar riffs forgotten. It all ended with the dreadful final sound-recording from Holland.

Stage fright. Nothing to be ashamed of. I know how it feels, giving speaks for an audiences of 200, or so, people.
Why did he torture himself with these last painful appearences? Money?
Did he miss the great hits that would have made him famous and allowed a life, sitting in a studio, making a lot of hits? Something like prostitution perhaps, in his dedicated mind.
I have a rather good apprehension what a problem this is for many of our most famous artists and actors in Sweden. A few have stopped their appearance on the great dramatic stages in Stockholm.
And the use of pills really chill my spine. It is so common, more than you would ever imagine. I don't blame them, most of them finally quit.
I doubt that you ever see any of the great artists in the world, on stage, without a dose of some benzodiazepines, and similar drugs,
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby RobertaSparrow » 07 Mar 2016, 20:42

Tom Jonas wrote: . . .Why did he torture himself with these last painful appearences? Money? . . .


Why? I think it is because he loved to play his music in front of people, ever since he was a little boy, he loved to play his music. Studio work? Not so much. He probably did need the money, but for what it likely cost him to employ those musicians, and all the work and effort to set up and take down? I think he did it because that was the one constant in his life that made him happy. Playing his guitar for people.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby Annie Elliott » 11 Mar 2016, 05:32

Tom Jonas wrote:I think it so sad and painful to watch and listen to the successive decline from circa 1990. Not the bluesy voice any longer, sloppy singing, all the fantastic the guitar riffs forgotten. It all ended with the dreadful final sound-recording from Holland.

Stage fright. Nothing to be ashamed of. I know how it feels, giving speaks for an audiences of 200, or so, people.
Why did he torture himself with these last painful appearences? Money?
Did he miss the great hits that would have made him famous and allowed a life, sitting in a studio, making a lot of hits? Something like prostitution perhaps, in his dedicated mind.
I have a rather good apprehension what a problem this is for many of our most famous artists and actors in Sweden. A few have stopped their appearance on the great dramatic stages in Stockholm.
And the use of pills really chill my spine. It is so common, more than you would ever imagine. I don't blame them, most of them finally quit.
I doubt that you ever see any of the great artists in the world, on stage, without a dose of some benzodiazepines, and similar drugs,


Guess I'm going to have to disagree. I enjoy every performance, including the later ones. Rory developed a raw, emotive quality in his singing, and a drive and devotion that is transcendent. For him it wasn't torture, it was his life. Good for him for doing what he loved.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby bronyr » 11 Mar 2016, 07:07

Tom Jonas wrote:I think it so sad and painful to watch and listen to the successive decline from circa 1990. Not the bluesy voice any longer, sloppy singing, all the fantastic the guitar riffs forgotten. It all ended with the dreadful final sound-recording from Holland.

Stage fright. Nothing to be ashamed of. I know how it feels, giving speaks for an audiences of 200, or so, people.
Why did he torture himself with these last painful appearences? Money?
Did he miss the great hits that would have made him famous and allowed a life, sitting in a studio, making a lot of hits? Something like prostitution perhaps, in his dedicated mind.
I have a rather good apprehension what a problem this is for many of our most famous artists and actors in Sweden. A few have stopped their appearance on the great dramatic stages in Stockholm.
And the use of pills really chill my spine. It is so common, more than you would ever imagine. I don't blame them, most of them finally quit.
I doubt that you ever see any of the great artists in the world, on stage, without a dose of some benzodiazepines, and similar drugs,


There are many accounts of Rory being anxious before shows, keeping to himself, or pacing and rubbing his hands. I've heard interviews where he's asked if he "still gets nervous" and he replied in the positive. But stage fright? I think that's a particular complex that Rory did not have. It's different than a healthy nervous tension prior to performance.

In numerous interviews, Donal explains that he felt his brother was better on the road than off because then they could at least look after him to see that he ate and slept better. When he came off the road, he isolated himself and it was even harder for anyone to reach him. So I don't think he intentionally tortured himself with the appearances for money.

With the exception of a few songs and shows, I find his performances in the 90s just as exciting. Maybe not his best, but surely not dreadful. Although I never heard the Town & Country 1992 London show. I can't seem to find it anywhere.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby ailish78 » 11 Mar 2016, 09:05

That was his life! I don't think it was a torture for him at all. I think he needed it. It's what he did and what he did best. Everyone can have an off night and believe me I'm speaking as an ex-professional musician. I've seen those later performances and I still think they are great. He does a fantastic version of Moonchild in one and still has so much energy. In another of course his guitar is out of tune throughout. I get the feeling that he forgot to re-tune it after having played a song that he used a different tuning in. It's amazing to watch how he tries to tune it while still playing all the licks. It's fantastic. He was just a brilliant musician.
When I saw hi live it wasn't his best performance. He was having a bit of an off night there, but it was still great to watch him. So, you see it never stays constant. There are always ups and downs, depending on how one is feeling at the time. I think that despite his illness, he still gave his all and he did it well and I have a lot of admiration and respect for him for that.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby bronyr » 12 Mar 2016, 02:04

ailish78 wrote:That was his life! I don't think it was a torture for him at all. I think he needed it. It's what he did and what he did best. Everyone can have an off night and believe me I'm speaking as an ex-professional musician. I've seen those later performances and I still think they are great. He does a fantastic version of Moonchild in one and still has so much energy. In another of course his guitar is out of tune throughout. I get the feeling that he forgot to re-tune it after having played a song that he used a different tuning in. It's amazing to watch how he tries to tune it while still playing all the licks. It's fantastic. He was just a brilliant musician.
When I saw hi live it wasn't his best performance. He was having a bit of an off night there, but it was still great to watch him. So, you see it never stays constant. There are always ups and downs, depending on how one is feeling at the time. I think that despite his illness, he still gave his all and he did it well and I have a lot of admiration and respect for him for that.


I agree. I think sometimes we have the bar raised so high for Rory because he was stellar all those years. To see a less than stellar performance maybe makes some people think it was bad. Ailish, which show did you see? I only got to see him play one night in Dublin in 1988. :)
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby ailish78 » 12 Mar 2016, 06:38

I saw him in 1978 when I was 17 in the Glasgow Apollo. It was quite an experience, but he wasn't on form that night. He missed his flight from Belfast for some reason and started the show really late. I think he literally just arrived at the venue and went straight on the stage, apologising and saying he would make up for it. His playing was a bit messy. He was missing notes and I didn't know him like that. Everytime I'd seen him on TV he was always perfect and precise. When I turned to my friend to ask him what was wrong with him, he reckoned he had been drinking. I can't say that for sure, but he certainly had something on his mind. Who knows what happened? I was terribly disappointed because I couldn't stay until the end because I had to get the last bus home and apparently he played a 3 hour gig. I was so angry because my friend dragged me away. I always said I would see him again, but unfortunately I never did. :(
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby bronyr » 12 Mar 2016, 07:11

ailish78 wrote:I saw him in 1978 when I was 17 in the Glasgow Apollo. It was quite an experience, but he wasn't on form that night. He missed his flight from Belfast for some reason and started the show really late. I think he literally just arrived at the venue and went straight on the stage, apologising and saying he would make up for it. His playing was a bit messy. He was missing notes and I didn't know him like that. Everytime I'd seen him on TV he was always perfect and precise. When I turned to my friend to ask him what was wrong with him, he reckoned he had been drinking. I can't say that for sure, but he certainly had something on his mind. Who knows what happened? I was terribly disappointed because I couldn't stay until the end because I had to get the last bus home and apparently he played a 3 hour gig. I was so angry because my friend dragged me away. I always said I would see him again, but unfortunately I never did. :(


Oh no... having to leave a show early - that's a bummer. I wonder if his playing got better as the evening wore on. Have you heard any recordings of that show?
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby ailish78 » 12 Mar 2016, 10:09

'I wonder if his playing got better as the evening wore on'.


yes, it certainly did. He really started to warm-up after his acoustic set and the place was jumping. My friend Bill who took me to that gig, he was the guitarist in our band and a fan of Rory, wouldn't let me rush up to the front of the stage either in case I got crushed. He was older. The same age as Rory actually. I often thought of him as my big brother, so I did what he said reluctantly and stayed put. Then he had a time to try to get me to leave. I remember screaming I would walk home (roughly 6 miles), but he wouldn't leave me there. I really fell out with him after that and I cried and lamented over Rory for about a year after that. I thihk I wore out his LPs.

It's funny because my dear friend Bill passed away in 2002 and I miss him terribly at times. I often wonder if I'm doing a bit of transferal with my current obsession with Rory. That whole event, my friend Bill and Rory are all interlinked in a way. That concert experience was an important part of my life after all.
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Re: Stage Fright

Postby bronyr » 13 Mar 2016, 07:41

ailish78 wrote:'I wonder if his playing got better as the evening wore on'.


yes, it certainly did. He really started to warm-up after his acoustic set and the place was jumping. My friend Bill who took me to that gig, he was the guitarist in our band and a fan of Rory, wouldn't let me rush up to the front of the stage either in case I got crushed. He was older. The same age as Rory actually. I often thought of him as my big brother, so I did what he said reluctantly and stayed put. Then he had a time to try to get me to leave. I remember screaming I would walk home (roughly 6 miles), but he wouldn't leave me there. I really fell out with him after that and I cried and lamented over Rory for about a year after that. I thihk I wore out his LPs.

It's funny because my dear friend Bill passed away in 2002 and I miss him terribly at times. I often wonder if I'm doing a bit of transferal with my current obsession with Rory. That whole event, my friend Bill and Rory are all interlinked in a way. That concert experience was an important part of my life after all.


I probably would have thrown a fit, too, if I had to leave this (or any RG) show early! Often our obsessions or keen interests or fascination are indeed based on some sort of projections or transference, for sure. I'm sorry you didn't get to see him after that. I wish I had another opportunity to see RG play after 1988.
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