May 7, 2013

"Dame Helen Mirren was filmed on Saturday lambasting a troupe of drummers who played loudly in the street..."

"... outside her West End theatre while she was on stage. She poses for the cameras on Monday wearing a T-shirt supporting the drummers – but says she would shout at them again if they played outside the theatre while she was on stage."

Video of the original confrontation — with Mirren in costume as the Queen — here

In the video at the first link, we see Mirren making nice with the drummers, saying things like: "The irony is I love drumming and I love drummers."

From what I've seen over the years, drummers are the least self-aware of the street performers. They have the worst sense of how good they are, what they are contributing to the social space they occupy, how long and how repetitively one ought to go on, and whether anyone at all appreciates what they are doing.

And I'm not even talking about the drumming that goes on in a political protest, where it expresses anger, facilitates chanting, and is prolonged for the purpose of being annoying.

43 comments:

rhhardin said...

If a man does not keep peace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

LarsPorsena said...

"..In the video at the first link, we see Mirren making nice with the drummers, saying things like: "The irony is I love drumming and I love drummers."

but as most lefties say
NIMBY

Strelnikov said...

All prolonged drumming, up to and including In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, serves the "purpose of being annoying".

traditionalguy said...

Loud drums is a mind numbing hypnotic technique. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Rock bands use it as a drug among many.

Mirren wanted the spotlight. And after all, she is in her Queen character method acting.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I tied to watch the video but I couldn't get through the commercial.

Is there some disease going around that ruins female voices and makes them all croaky sounding?

I'll donate money, gladly, to find a cure.

Rusty said...

You know who's good?
The guy that plays saxophone on the lower parking concourse at O'hare.
Toss the guy a couple bucks when you're in town.

bagoh20 said...

If you don't like the drum circle, that means it's not intended for you.

We have one here on Venice Beach every Sunday at sunset, and it always brings hundreds (sometimes over a thousand) participants. It happens out on the sand near the ocean and 100 yards away from the housing and businesses, so it's purely voluntary. That's how it should be done. I love it. People are not themselves for a short while, or maybe they are themselves for a short while. Either way, it's a unique thing that people seem to have basic connection with, if they let themselves. But, it should never be forced on anyone.

rhhardin said...

Nobody plays Fauré at protests anymore.

The missing drum part would work.

Palladian said...

They have the worst sense of how good they are, what they are contributing to the social space they occupy, how long and how repetitively one ought to go on, and whether anyone at all appreciates what they are doing.

Kind of like some bloggers.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

On the contrary, drummers are VERY self-aware, and choose their locations for maximum exposure to humble citizens. Drummers are to transmit, not to receive, and are closely related to graffitists and boom-box carriers and dogs peeing on tires, and Nancy Pelosi telling the peasants that they must sign the bill to see what's in it.

It's a power trip, pure and simple.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

But, it should never be forced on anyone.

I agree, and take the position that the best reply is with a fire hose.

But again, it's a power trip, and they do it because they can.

SteveR said...

All prolonged drumming, up to and including In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, serves the "purpose of being annoying".

I think John Bonham's long drum solos enabled the other band members to get serviced.

MayBee said...

The drummers were there to bring "awareness" to a gay cause, and were not licensed to be performing in public. So when she says she loves drummers, she's really trying to not piss off the gay group. They were there to take advantage of the big crowds going in and out of the theater district on a beautiful Saturday night. They should have been cognizant of ruining the theatre experience for the people there.

Its weird, because we were in the theatre district Saturday night. While I didn't see or hear this group, I did see and hear Hari Krishnas drumming. Hari Krishnas!

Tibore said...

"bagoh20 said...

We have one here on Venice Beach every Sunday at sunset, and it always brings hundreds (sometimes over a thousand) participants. It happens out on the sand near the ocean and 100 yards away from the housing and businesses, so it's purely voluntary. That's how it should be done."


Bagoh20's nailed it. A good drumming show can be fun, but at the same time, it's incumbent on the revelers to know where they're at.

I wouldn't have any problem with a good, fun street show at all. Heck, get me drunk enough and I'd probably have a blast myself. But that doesn't mean it can happen just anywhere, and when the locals are basically begging you to cut it out, maybe it's time to consider a change of venue. That's just the civil, neighborly, and cool thing to do.

Unknown said...

"Insufficiently Sensitive said...

But, it should never be forced on anyone.

I agree, and take the position that the best reply is with a fire hose.

But again, it's a power trip, and they do it because they can.

5/7/13, 9:27 AM"


I disagree about the fire hose. The best response is for the police to experiment with the resonant sounds of hickory sticks on cranium as a rythmic instrument. Although, the spun aluminum sticks that many departments carry today can also have an interesting steel drum ringing quality which can be quite pleasing, particularly when there is a lot of it going on.

edutcher said...

Drumming can be like a motorcycle being revved.

It only sounds cool to the one doing it.

However, the photo in the sidebar of Dame Helen in character makes the whole thing.

bagoh20 said...

"Kind of like some bloggers."

That was my first thought too, but I knew someone would else would do the dirty work for me. I didn't say it.

Reign gtts said...

Sort of like some commenters too.

bagoh20 said...

You rarely see strangers interact as they do in a good drum circle. It's unique, and far too rare for us now days. It's part of our deep, deep makeup to move to a rhythm with abandon. You have to shed a lot of baggage, put it down, and trust that it will be there if you need it back. Forcing it on people is the exact opposite of the vibe and the purpose. It's free to join, and should be free to avoid. Otherwise it's just an aggressive act, and those doing it have blown it at the basic level.

bagoh20 said...

"Sort of like some commenters too.".

Touche', which is french for "how dare you?"

Peter said...

Surely there's a basic rule here: the less talent a street musician has, the louder said musician plays?

Captain Curt said...

I am reminded of the old joke:

What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?

Homeless!

John said...

So Helen had a T shirt on?

Disappointing.

I seem to recall that she holds some sort of record for movie nude scenes. She has appeared in at least one in every decade of her life so far (since her 20s)

I remember seeing a collection and she was still pretty hot even in her 60s.

John Henry

virgil xenophon said...

Man O Man am I EVER on the side of insufficiently sensitive and unknown on this matter..

John Lynch said...

Drummers? Dumb?

This made me laugh.

ricpic said...

I'm a drummer and I'm here to impose my stupid on you.

chrisnavin.com said...

Wake me up when there's puppets.

sydney said...

Never upstage a thespian.

Paul said...

If they were any good they wouldn't be playing for free.

Balfegor said...

This would never have happened if we'd all listened to Charles Babbage. He hated musicians.

Astro said...

From what I've seen over the years, drummers are the least self-aware of the street performers. They have the worst sense of how good they are, what they are contributing to the social space they occupy, how long and how repetitively one ought to go on, and whether anyone at all appreciates what they are doing.

Whistlers. Whistlers are the worst. Whistling in public is worthy of instant death.

GrandpaMark said...

Astro said..
"Whistlers. Whistlers are the worst. Whistling in public is worthy of instant death. "


Everybody thinks they can carry a decent tune whistling.

Hearing a recording of yourself whistling will correct that misconception.

stengle said...

At the Friday evening dances at my art college, the group hired for the night would often take a break and leave the drummer to perform his (imagined) star turn. The deluded and lonely young man would drum frantically -- and often tunelessly -- for ten minutes and everyone in the dance hall would clear out to go to the bar for a drink in order to leave him to it.

Also reminds me of the old joke: Ringo Starr wasn't the best drummer in the world. He wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles.

Jeff Teal said...

Maybe there was a reason that Native tribes beat on drums for hours before settinf off to war?
Speakinf of Dame Helen anyone remember her in Caligula?

ed said...

Could be worse. Could be a chorus of ass-trumpets a la Monty Python.

ed said...

A lot of drummers wouldn't be so bad if they had an actual sense of time. But far too many have the time sense of a lead guitarist and frankly that annoys the crap out of me.

Strelnikov said...

Speaking of her past work, I highly recommend the "Prime Suspect" series which ran on PBS. Her character, DI Jane Tennyson, was described approvingly by one critic as having a "lived-in sexuality". Fabulous.

Jeff Teal said...

Remember Prime Suspect had it on tape for years.So right about her.If she yelled at drummers they probably were annoying.

Jeff Teal said...

In a strange twist I just had the insight that the perfect person to play the Professora in the film of her life would be Dame Helen.Of course she couldn't quite get the right feel for the intellectual shredding she delivers on blogingheads.

Strelnikov said...

"Whistlers."

Easy, Sheldon.

Alex said...

Just another "get off my lawn" moment. I'll be so glad when these dinosaurs are gone and we can revel in drumming circles!

Alex said...

Now if we're talking about Carl Palmer drumming, that's a different story. That guy knows how to use the entire kit including fucking gongs!

Paul said...

"A lot of drummers wouldn't be so bad if they had an actual sense of time. But far too many have the time sense of a lead guitarist and frankly that annoys the crap out of me."

What does that even mean? Having good time is a prerequisite to being a good musician regardless of the instrument. Eddie van Halen, for example has great time.