Top 25 things a musician should never tell the audience

Last week I posted the things you should never tell a musician. I figure it’s only fair to turn the tables and tell you what a musician should never tell an audience. Thanks to my Facebook friends for the assistance.

  1. “My new album is so good I can’t stop listening to it.” (Actually said by one of my opening acts.)
  2. “Here’s a song I don’t know very well. Hope you like it.” Chances are I won’t. Hint: it’s not “there is a bathroom on the right.” It’s “there is a bad moon on the rise.”
  3. “It’s great to be back in Cleveland!” Uh, you’re in Poughkeepsie.
  4. “Sorry the sound is so terrible.” (Every channel will now go up to “suck” [it’s just past 10]. Never piss off the sound tech.)
  5. “Oh, do I need to tune the banjo?” Only if you want the neighborhood cats to stop howling.
  6. “Oh my gawd I am sooo drrrrunk.” So singing a full step off most of the time wasn’t intentional?
  7. “I am not wearing underwear.” I think I’ll move from the front row.
  8. “Did any of you actually pay or are you all volunteers?” We’re actually chained to the tables.
  9. “Who took my beer?” You drank it. And the six before. Is your set done yet?
  10. “I just broke up with my girlfriend. You’re all in luck ‘cause now I have all these new songs.” You’re in luck. I just bought this air horn.
  11. “I can’t see any of you because the spotlight is in my eyes.” Too bad because we’re all naked.
  12. “I’m sorry I’m sick … I’m tired … I’m out of practice…” I’m sorry, I’m out of here.
  13. “This song is about my house, my life, my girlfriend, my dog, my car, my breakfast, my hangnail …” If a song needs a ten minute intro then you need to put more into the song.
  14. “Lady Gaga ripped off this song.” Oh go buy a meat dress and shut up.
  15. “No one’s ever written a song about boogers so we have.”  There’s a reason for that. (Actually said by an act that opened for me AND did the song.)
  16. “My album is for sale over there.” Yes, we saw it the first 20 times you mentioned it.
  17. “It’s the drummer’s fault … the guitar player … the sax player …” I am not Dr. Phil. Please work out your band drama elsewhere.
  18. “Can someone get me a drink?” Sure honey, here’s some water. Your band will thank me.
  19. “Here’s another song for my pookie-honey-baby-sweetie.” There are 20 other people here who are not your pookie-honey-baby-sweetie.
  20. And my personal favorite, “That song sounds better on my album.” God bless auto tune.


Thanks to my Facebook friends for their astute contributions:  Anna Maria Trusky, Wilma Harder, Aunti Laura, Deidre McCalla, Nancy Burgess, Shawne Anderson, Retts Scauzillo, Trish Williams and Robin Flower.

I’m not really this mean. Unless you’re playing an out of tune banjo.



About jamiebobamie

Musician - teacher - writer - gets bored easily. I write an almost-weekly blog that includes true stories gathered from 20-plus years of touring, how-to articles for musicians and profiles of performers. Also, I love dark chocolate, I can play "Brown Eyed Girl" behind my head, and I twirl the baton badly.
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10 Responses to Top 25 things a musician should never tell the audience

  1. Laura Connallon says:

    My favorite was at an all volunteer run women’s music fest that I was helping run one of the stages. A fairly well known performer missed her sound check and then complained on stage to the audience about how much the sound sucked and proceeded to spit in the direction of my techies. So professional!

  2. Melissa says:

    I actually heard a fellow, in Central NY State say, “This song was most requested on Belgian radio, for two weeks in a row!” wondered whether that was because they don’t speak English in Belgium and found it oddly fascinating, or if it was actually being requested by someone with a vendetta against Belgian radio…

  3. Robin Renee says:

    Nice list. I actually think #10 could be done in a humorous way. As long as there’s kind of a wink in it to say that you know that confessional songwriter stage banter is funny/ridiculous, you might get away with it.

  4. jamiebobamie says:

    Definitely. Anyone who’s heard my music knows that I have enough break up songs to fill an entire night. But just because I do doesn’t mean I should. 🙂

  5. I must say I am curious to hear number 15!

    and LOL at 19. I would like to see you live and see all your wit in action. You must put on a great show!

  6. chris says:

    jamie-i needed to read this, today! (a bit late to this particular post/party but better late than never (unless referring to one’s stage slot!!)) i thought my band had shared stages with some real doorknobs-your examples take the cake! (i’m still laughing-thanks!)

  7. JD Doyle says:

    Re #2….actually, after all these many years, John Fogerty DOES, in concerts, as a joke, regularly sing a chorus with the lyrics “there’s a bathroom on the right”…:)

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