performances

#performances

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Rochester Adams High
Madonna Rebel Heart Tour 2015 - Stockholm. Credit: chrisweger (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>)
Madonna Rebel Heart Tour 2015 - Stockholm. Credit: chrisweger (CC BY-SA 2.0)
During a concert in Cleveland one night in 1985, Madonna made a proclamation from the stage: "To my high school geometry teacher in the 10th grade—I told you it wouldn't come in handy!" Soon enough, Madonna's remark found its way back to Gerard Tarr—the aforementioned geometry teacher—at Rochester Adams High School in Rochester, Michigan. After catching her show in Detroit one day, Tarr formulated what he dubbed Tarr's Hypothesis: "She and those two dancers were moving in isosceles triangles all night," he later explained. "It was very geometrical; she just doesn't know it!"
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Le Moulin Rouge
Le Pétomane ca. 1890 (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>CC0</a>)
Le Pétomane ca. 1890 (CC0)
While swimming underwater near Marseilles one day at the age of twelve, Joseph Pujol discovered that he had an unusual ability to take water into his bowels and expel it at will. Having refined his technique, Pujol entertained thousands as 'Le Petomane' ('the farting gentleman') at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Among the highlights of his act? Farting, playing "wind" instuments, and extinguishing candles with water—from a distance of some fifteen feet. * So uncontrollable were the laughing fits which Pujol inspired that the Moulin Rouge reportedly hired nurses to deal with audience members who became hysterical. Though his ability was written up in leading medical journals, no one was able to explain his remarkable ability.
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15 West Fourth
Robert De Niro in <i>Taxi Driver</i>
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver
One day in 1975, Robert De Niro went to see Bruce Springsteen perform in Greenwich Village (probably at The Bottom Line at 15 West Fourth Street). It was one of a series of concerts leading up to the release of Springsteen's classic album Born to Run. When the audience called out his name, The Boss feigned humility and asked: "You talkin' to me?" A few days later, De Niro found himself shooting a pivotal scene on the set of Taxi Driver. He improvised his entire paranoid monologue, including what would become the film's most famous line, inspired by Bruce Springsteen: "You talkin' to me?" Screenwriter Paul Schrader later marveled, "It's the best thing in the movie, and I didn't ...
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Sting at the Queen's birthday in 2018. Wikipedia photo from Raph_PH (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>)
Sting at the Queen's birthday in 2018. Wikipedia photo from Raph_PH (CC BY-SA 2.0)
During an interview one day in 1985, 33-year-old Sting addressed rumors that he might leave The Police and retire from music. "With acting," he told London's Daily Mirror, "I can grow old gracefully. I don't want to become like Mick Jagger—a middle-aged man trying to jump around and scream onstage like a teenager. That's undignified—and dignity is very important to me." Amazingly, 35 years later, Mick was still jumping around and screaming onstage. So, occasionally, was Sting.
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Bono singing during U2's performance at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on September 10, 2017. Credit: Daniel Hazard (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>)

Bono singing during U2's performance at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on September 10, 2017. Credit: Daniel Hazard ( ...(more)

Though U2's notoriously absent-minded frontman Bono Vox usually lost nothing more important than keys, money, socks, and underwear, he occasionally lost more significant articles—like his life. During the October tour in 1981, Bono marched into the audience every night waving a white flag. On one occasion, according to biographer Margaret Moser, he stepped off a balcony into thin air. "His roadie caught him by the belt and managed to pull the wriggling rock star back up onto the balcony. After that, Bono stopped the flag routine."
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Rock'n'Heim Rock Festival Hockenheim August 2014. Credit: Sven Mandel (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)
Rock'n'Heim Rock Festival Hockenheim August 2014. Credit: Sven Mandel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
For OutKast's Andre 3000, who often topped lists of the world's best-dressed, sartorial necessity was the mother of invention. "A crazy thing happened when we did The Chris Rock Show: I couldn't find my pants," he later recalled. " So I said, 'I'll wear underwear with feather boas, silk scarves and ski boots.' Big Boi was daring me. And I said, 'I'll do it!' It looked great, and the song we did, 'Bombs Over Baghdad,' was energetic, so it all fit."
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Ellen DeGeneres' first stand-up performance was part of an amateur variety show that was being staged by some friends.  "Someone said, 'You're funny. Get onstage and do something,'" Ellen recalled years later. "I didn't have material. So I had a bag with a Whopper and fries, and I had a shake, and I walked onstage and I said, 'I'm so sorry but this is the first time I've ever been onstage, and I'm so nervous that I didn't eat all day long, and I've got to eat something 'cause I'm so hungry!' And I started a sentence... I said, 'I don't know if you've ever noticed this but,' and then I would take a huge bite. And I would hold my finger up and swallow. ...
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Pablo Casals. Credit: Bain News Service (Public domain)
Pablo Casals. Credit: Bain News Service (Public domain)
At his Viennese debut, the cellist Pablo Casals was so nervous that when he picked up his bow, he found that his hand was too tense to play. "To loosen it," Cliffton Fadiman writes in The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, "he tried a little twirl, but the bow flew from his fingers and landed in the middle of the orchestra. As it was carefully passed back to him along the rows of musicians, he remembered his mother's maxim about calmness and steadiness in the pursuit of one's purpose. By the time the bow was returned to him his hand was steady. The concert was one of his greatest triumphs."
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Billy Idol, Peace And Love Festival 2012. Credit: possan (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>)
Billy Idol, Peace And Love Festival 2012. Credit: possan (CC BY 2.0)
When sneering rocker Billy Idol completed a 50-city tour in 1987, People marveled that he had not been arrested. "In Houston," the magazine reported, "unshy Billy wandered onstage before his show wearing nothing but a precariously draped towel. But what's that compared to... the Boston bit, where he simply dropped his pants for a full frontal shot—and thereby sold out the next day's performance?"