“Hey, Asshole!”: Attack Of The Jerry Lee Losers

Feb 23rd, 2007 // 14 Comments

thekillllerrr.jpgIt’s been a long time since we had any submissions for “Hey, Asshole!”, our crowd-controlling feature in which readers report egregious concert-going behavior. So if you happen to witness obnoxious audience members in their natural habitat, send along your stories or pictures to asshole@idolator.com. In the meantime, commenter Stevie sent in the following “Hey, Asshole!” field report about a Jerry Lee Lewis show gone awry. A choice excerpt:

Between each song, the drunks behind me loudly yelled, “PLAY SOMETHING GOOD!” and “YOU CAN DO BETTER JERRY LEE!” After “Memphis,” one yelled, “PLAY SOMETHING BY WHITE PEOPLE!” When he moved into his country songs, they started yelling, “WHY CAN’T YOU PLAY SOMETHING GOOD?”

After the click-through, a tale of drunken dumbwittery that will make you forever hate white people–or any people, really. And please note that the above picture of Lewis is not from this particular gig–but we’re pretty sure his facial expression remains unchanged at this point.

So my husband has a fixation on Jerry Lee Lewis and also seeing old rock icons before they die; unfortunately for me, the only US date on Jerry Lee’s schedule this year so far was at a casino in French Lick, Indiana, a bustling metropolis about an hour north of Louisville, Kentucky. So we drove down for the weekend (we live in Chicago) and arrived just in time for the show on Saturday night.

The show is in a large ballroom that I would imagine is typically used for either the wedding of the daughter of French Lick’s mayor or a visit from Tony Robbins — a raised stage up in front and then rows and rows of straight-backed chairs (that ordinarily would be placed around ten-seat tables) placed edge-to-edge from each other. Behind us sits is a fellow in a straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt, obviously taking a break from Margaritaville, drinking something pink from a plastic cup. His buddy wears a fringed, beige leather jacket, Wranglers, and an Indiana Colts stocking cap, pulled down to the sunglasses covering his eyes (yep, sunglasses at night. In a ballroom. In a casino). He is on what I would imagine is his seventeenth Bud Light.

The show starts with Jerry Lee’s band playing without The Killer (he was late since his flight was diverted from Bloomington to Evansville) and while it was all a lot of filler, it was just a couple songs, and
for that reason alone, it was better than most opening acts. This did not go over so well with the men behind us.

“Where’s the Killer?” one slurred.

“I dont’ know, but this is bullshit.” The second one said. “This is second-rate bullshit. Let’s go get a drink.”

“I don’t want to listen to this shit.”

“This is second-rate bullshit; let’s just get a drink.”

Thirty seconds later, it was upgraded to third-rate bullshit, and they were about to go get drinks when Jerry Lee hobbled onto the stage, sat down at the piano, and broke into “Roll Over Beethoven,” followed by
“Over the Rainbow,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Memphis.”

Between each song, the drunks behind me loudly yelled, “PLAY SOMETHING GOOD!” and “YOU CAN DO BETTER JERRY LEE!” After “Memphis,” one yelled, “PLAY SOMETHING BY WHITE PEOPLE!” When he moved into his country songs, they started yelling, “WHY CAN’T YOU PLAY SOMETHING GOOD?”

At this point, they decide what they need to do is go up to the front and start dancing. The one in the fringed jacket starts (who dances like Snoopy) pointing at Jerry Lee, who points back at him. Two
security guards come out and escort them to the side of the stage, which, very un-rock-and-roll like, was the approved dancing area. The one in the fringe jacket keeps running out to the center to dance, and
eventually is escorted back to our area. The one in the straw hat, however, gets involved in a fight over on the side, which only ends when someone is hit over the head with a beer bottle. Later, we saw the one in the straw hat being interviewed by police while the guy who got hit with the bottle was taken out on a stretcher.

Finally, we went to get our coats to try and find some food, and we see the guy in the fringe jacket alone, trying to sneak a beer into the alcohol-free casino.

Bear in mind, besides us, most of the audience was little old ladies.

  1. PengIn

    Ah, the classic rock show. Where people who are 20 years past their drinking prime go to “party”. I enjoy getting drunk and stupid as much as the next man, if not more so. However, I try to contain my drunken antics to places where other people have not paid excessive ticket prices to gain entry.

    By the way, Jerry Lee’s most recent album is awesome.

  2. Chris Molanphy

    I miss the old “Hey Asshole!” graphic with the drunken hair-metal twerp.

  3. brainchild

    this post makes me so proud that i moved out of Indiana.

  4. mike a

    I’m almost surprised Jerry Lee didn’t kick the guy’s ass himself. He may be old, but I still wouldn’t fuck with him.

  5. Randall Tex Cobb

    I would read up on Jerry Lee’s ex-wives before I started heckling him.

  6. JackieTreehorn

    Lucky you, brainchild. I’m still stuck here. But it’s worth noting here to you unfamiliar with Indiana that the southern half is really like a completely different state. It’s like a third-world country, actually. If we northerners could kick them out, we would.

    Hoosier pride!

  7. JDR

    As a resident of nearby Jasper (transplant), I can totally see how this would happen in French Lick. Of course, this same thing happens at every show I’ve been to whether in Indy or Nashville or st. Louis.

  8. heyzeus

    “Hey Asshole” is my favorite idolator feature.

  9. Stevie

    I have to say, we stayed in a place on Patoka Lake, and everyone there was very nice, and the surroundings were lovely. We were very happy we didn’t stay at the hotel in French Lick!

    Jerry Lee, for the record, was awesome. He even kicked over the piano bench, albeit slowly and deliberately, and yelled at some woman for putting her fingers in her ears.

  10. JackieTreehorn

    I know people in Jasper! Or, as we outsiders like to call it, Little Berlin. Viva la Schnitzelbonk!

  11. Jupiter8

    My favorite part is that it was an “alcohol-free casino”. Are they already drunk when they show up there to lose their money, or are they just stupid enough that it’s not necessary?

    If it’s any consolation I saw JLL at two different shows in NYC and he sucked both times. Once was as part of an “oldies” show at MSG and he only played ten minutes because goddamn Little Anthony & The Imperials wouldn’t leave the stage (union rules, it had to be over by midnight).

    The other time was at the late great Tramps (well, great except for the giant support beams which blocked the stage) and he looked at his watch the whole time and would play about half a song before turning to his band and barking “That’s enough!” I’ll never get that 40 minutes of my life back….sigh….

  12. Darth Funk

    “Live at Star Club” is perhaps the greatest, most rock n’ roll, rock n’ roll album ever cut.

  13. Mick Kraut

    While the dance floor location was decidedly un-rawk-like, someone leaving the show on a stretcher is VERY rawk-like…well played Mr. Took-a-bottle-to-the-head!

  14. JDR

    JackieTreehorn, I found the German-ness of Jasper to be a little unsettling when I first arrived here 6 years ago. It’s changing though, even in the time I’ve been here. Of course, the Schnitz is alive and well.

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