the artist’s privilege

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***offensive language ahead***

Loosely transcribed at AAJ:

”I don’t speak Italian, but I hope that somebody who speaks English tell those a**holes to shut off those f***ing cameras. Until you don’t do it, music won’t be at its best and you will have spent your money for nothing. I’m speaking to you, you, you, and you, and also you up there. If I see one single flash during the concert, I and Gary and Jack reserve to ourselves the right to stop playing and leave this goddamn city. It’s your privilege to be here, not mine”.

What is the performer’s relationship with the audience? Do musicians of a certain caliber possess the right to castigate their audience? Daniel Biro doesn’t think so and expressed his views here.

It’s amazing to think that audience members put up with this.

1 comment to the artist’s privilege

  • Biro claims to understand Jarrett’s frustration. The big difference is Biro expects there always to be a bad apple. Jarrett acts as though he has a zero-tolerance policy. The difference is: Jarrett is the performer.

    I think musicians, in any stage performance, have the right to set the rules of their environment. That’s their room, not the audience’s venue.

    Daniel Biro obviously has a problem with Keith Jerrett’s personality. He spoke of numerous instances where he didn’t like Jarrett’s attitude. That’s fine. His responsibility as an audience member is to watch respectively or leave.

    I do want to clear up a couple of small, but important points. Biro inaccurately quotes the video. It doesn’t have to be loosely transcribed. it was easy to get it correct:

    “(clapping) I do not speak Italian. So someone who speaks English can tell all these a**holes with cameras to turn them f***in off right now. (laughter) Right now. (laughter, clapping) No more photographs, including that red light right there. If we see any more lights, I reserve the right — and I think the priviledge is yours to hear us — but I reserve the right and Jack and Gary deserve the right — to stop playing and leave the g**dam city.”

    That quoted text took 34 seconds for Jarrett to speak. A far bit short of the “two minutes of verbal abuse.” Maybe there was some more past this recording, but, except for the curse words, I don’t think Jarrett was unreasonable.

    I’ve seen the problem handled more delicately. Natalie merchant once has a person set off a flash from 4 feet away in the front row. After her song ended she asked to see the camera. She proceeded to take pictures of members of the front row*, her guitar player’s hand, a mic stand, etc until the film was used up. She handed the camera back to audience applause. We didn’t want to see the flashes anymore than she did.

    *- I wish I had asked the guy for Natalie’s picture of my wife and I.

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