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Author Topic: Autocues. Now even Mick has one.  (Read 2373 times)
Pretty Funky
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« on: September 03, 2006, 07:20:32 PM »

Jumpin' Jack not so flash without autocue
Adam Sherwin
September 04, 2006
IT'S hard not to feel sympathy for the old devil. Mick Jagger has succumbed to an on-stage autocue in the battle against rock amnesia.
A screen secreted among the 63-year-old rocker's onstage monitors scrolls through the lyrics to the Rolling Stones' classic songs in time with Jagger's delivery.

The prompt, used during the band's current world tour, even tells him the name of the city where he is performing, and cues his between-song ad libs.

Representatives of the band said the screen was simply a prompt, allowing him to keep up the high-energy performances for which he is famed.

"He's running all over the stage, but if he gets a memory blank he can get back to the screen quickly," a Stones source said.

A technician keeps pace with Jagger's delivery, but after 40 years on the road, the screen may require close reading. He sang the same verse of Ruby Tuesday twice at last week's concert in Glasgow during a show broadcast across the world.

The revelation cast new light on the lengths required to keep ageing rockers on the road. Oxygen masks are on permanent standby for heavy metal veteran Ozzy Osbourne, while the Beach Boys require backstage deep-muscle massage.

Autocues are a guilty secret. "Everyone uses them, from Macca (Paul McCartney) to Elton," said Brian Larter, managing director of Autoscript UK, which provides prompts for BBC newsreaders and rock stars.

But discretion is vital. "Singers like to hide them in a front-of-stage monitor," Mr Larter said. "You don't want cameras to pick them up or let the audience see them or the gig can turn into karaoke."

Like Jagger, most frontmen use the cue to cover for a brief mental blank or to prompt them to announce the next song.

The Times

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the captain
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2006, 08:06:05 PM »

I don't blame him, or anyone else. I forget the words to my own songs all the time. And the chords, for that matter. I'm a goshdarn idiot.
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Aegir
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2006, 08:24:30 PM »

The Beach Boys require backstage deep-muscle massage?!  LOL
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Ron
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2006, 07:57:03 AM »

I don't see any problem with it.  I don't know the words to every rolling stones song.  I guess Mick Jagger doesn't either. 
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Aegir
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2006, 11:03:13 AM »

Now that I think about it, it's the same thing as the smalltime band taping a piece of paper with their setlist on it to the floor, or the singer-songwriter with post-it notes on the back of his guitar. Famous rock stars can afford big computer screens instead.
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Ron
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2006, 12:53:31 PM »

I don't know how many of you have been to a Stones concert, but they put on 1 hell of a show.  I went about 10 years ago; Mick ran around stage with his shirt off for at least 2 and a half hours.  I mean, RAN around the stage.  HAD TO have been doing coke, there's no way he could have kept up that intensity without drugs, lol.  Best concert I've ever been to, and I would not consider myself a stones fan.... they were incredible, though. 
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Roger Ryan
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2006, 10:35:50 AM »

This makes me respect Bob Dylan even more for not using one (last time I checked) and his lyrics are heavy-duty, of course. I don't have any problem with performers using auto-cue; a lot of younger artists use them as well. I would rather they get the words right instead of stumbling around. I will often see lyric sheets taped to monitors in small club shows when the performer is doing a new song or one with difficult lyrics.

At the same time, I think reading "ad-libs" off the auto-cue is kind of weak. I'm sure Brian has done this before, but at least his "ad-libs" sound like they're his own creations (which usually means some form of non-sequitur that only abstractly connects an idea to the song he's performing!).
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2006, 02:01:12 PM »

On that subject maybe someone can tell me this.
At a SMiLE show I went to, during "Love and Mercy" Brian used the word Television rather than TV. Don't know if he wasn't concentrating or he just felt like mixing it up. Was this a one-off?
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JRauch
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2006, 03:26:33 AM »

I don't know, but Brian often changed bits of "Love And Mercy" during the last couple of tours. During the concert I attended, during a verse he sang somethig like "some people rich, some people poor, it's just not fair".
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Roger Ryan
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2006, 07:10:42 AM »

Yeah, Brian has definitely improvised small things here and there during his shows such as singing the actual "Old Master Painter" lyrics during the first movement of "SMiLE" (I doubt that was on the autocue).
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donald
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2006, 12:32:24 PM »

I use power point for presentations.  Not quite the same thing as a singer using a  teleprompter but  you can have the old days when a moment of stage fright left you with a blank mental slate and fumbling through your notes. 

I think it must act as a security blanket for the performer.     Its fine as long as they don't stare at it while they're singing.

I recall a scene from an Elvis documentary where he is reading from a sheet of paper as he sings before an audience.  Not a pretty sight.


And the Stones singing Ruby Tuesday?  I'd like hear them do more of that sort of thing and less of the bigger bang type material.      That might be one way for them to age a bit more gracefully.
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Ron
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2006, 05:11:04 PM »

I always heard that Elvis would read lyrics for the first time, then walk right into the vocal booth and record the song he just was introduced to and usually get it in 1 or 2 takes.  Maybe an Elvis expert could confer.


Anyways, since we're talking about Brian ad-libs.  Somebody explain the ciggarette lighter joke.

As I understand it, the BB's had in their rider (a contract they send to venues they'll tour) in the early 80's that there could be no ciggarette lighters backstage, especially green bics, presumably because they frieked Brian out for some reason.

Is that true, or just bullshit?  ... and is the ciggarette lighter joke Brian jokes about something different?  He tells the audience to hold up their lighers, then counts them, there's 6, and he says "o.k., you can put 'em out.... um, put um out!" like he's scared or something. 

I also heard that the BB's put in their concert rider that there could be no animals backstage, presumably because Brian would get infatuated with playing with the animals and not go on stage, lol.  is any of this true, or b.s.? 
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TheLazenby
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2006, 07:53:48 PM »

Did anyone else notice in "Beautiful Dreamer", the autocue had the OLD song titles on it?  I think I saw "LOOK (instrumental)" on his screen... or something like that.  I'd have to watch again.
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Roger Ryan
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2006, 01:28:21 PM »

Did anyone else notice in "Beautiful Dreamer", the autocue had the OLD song titles on it? I think I saw "LOOK (instrumental)" on his screen... or something like that. I'd have to watch again.

This makes sense. Being performed live, the songs wouldn't actually need titles. Once it became clear that the live "SMILE" would become a studio album, the titles were revised to somthing more appropriate.
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