Music Fun Fact #9,358: The Super Bowl Brings Out The Worst In Performers

I don’t watch football. There, I said it. I’ve been roped nearly every year into joining the national phenomenon known as the Super Bowl. This involves eating nachos, drinking beer, and commenting on overproduced commercials. In between all of this, there’s a game that takes way too long. (Also, every year I inevitably relearn the Roman Numerals. They’re outdated and useless in every situation other than the Super Bowl.)

However, I’m not here to discuss any of that. I’m discussing the little known fact that the Super Bowl Halftime Show has rarely brought out anything but the worst in people.

Let me count the Top 5 worst incidents.

5.  Bruce Springsteen, Super Bowl XLIII, 2009: The crotch slide.

I should say, I love The Boss. He’s made innumerable amazing songs, so many, in fact, that he deserves to get away with murder. But this was not his best moment. This was not anyone’s best moment.

4.  Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, and Britney Spears, Super Bowl XXXV, 2001: The game changer.

Nothing would give Aerosmith more street cred than joining the likes of the fabulous ‘N Sync and Britney Spears for a rousing and not-at-all staged version of “Walk This Way”. This performance led these artists to seriously reevaluate their career decisions. ‘N Sync soon broke up after, well, deciding they suck. Britney Spears got married, got divorced, shaved her head, got large, and then got skinny again. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith decided to make the largest move: he joined American Idol.

At least they all stopped singing for a while.

3.  The Black Eyed Peas, Super Bowl XLV, 2011:  Tron Re-lived

I really don’t know what’s worse: the fact that they dressed like robots were expected to look like from shows that occurred in the 70s, the fact that I watched more than 30 seconds of it to “research” this post, or that these lyrics happened:

“I got that boom boom pow, them chickens jockin’ my style
They try to copy my swagger, I’m on that next shit now
I’m so three thousand and eight, you so two thousand and late
I got that boom boom boom, that future boom boom boom”

“Boom Boom Pow” (from The E.N.D.)

2.  Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, XXXVIII, 2004: Nipplegate

Yup. Next.

1.  Elvis Presto, Super Bowl XXIII, 1989:  Umm…WHAT!?

Yes people, this happened. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this. Apparently someone thought an Elvis impersonator would make a great halftime performance for a couple hundred million people to see. Did I mention it was in 3-D?


Music Fun Fact #371: Jack White Fights the Guinness World Records and Loses

During The White Stripes’ short-lived, yet brilliant career, the band has had more than its share of eccentricities. There’s the red, white, and black color scheme. There’s the strange relationship between Jack and Meg White. (Are they brother and sister? Are they married?  Turns out they were married, but divorced in 2000.)

But none is stranger than their epic quest in 2007 to play a show in every province of Canada.

Jack and Meg played in buses, bowling alleys, cruises, old folks homes…you get the idea. And they ended this mighty achievement with the greatest show of all: the one-note show in Newfoundland, the last province they needed to get Canadian BINGO.

The reason for a one note show was quite simple. Jack wanted to achieve the shortest concert in history and be placed alongside the pantheon of heroes listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. For instance, there’s the dude with the longest mohawk, the girl with the Hello Kitty armada (does anyone else think they’re going to come alive at night in some disturbing horror movie fashion?), and the guy with the fastest four-limbed 100 meter dash. And those are just the Japanese heroes!

So, here’s the famous one note concert:

From the reaction of the audience, it seems most people knew that the concert would be very, very short. Most were appreciative of The White Stripes paying them a visit. Yet you have to feel for the one guy who paid good money to buy a ticket from a scalper to come see the show buy himself. This is the guy without any friends who wanted to join him. Without any girlfriend to join him either. Unknowing of the situation, he gets there three hours before the concert to get a view right by the stage. The band gets on. He jumps up and down. They play one note. He gets excited for a second note. They leave. The guy, let’s call him Joe Canada, is confused. He looks around at people clapping. He yells out, “play ‘Effect and Cause'”. Nothing. The fans go home. He cries. He waits two hours for a potential encore. Nothing. It starts to rain. He goes home. He creates a Jack White dartboard. He throws darts and plots his revenge. He becomes a Nickelback fan to spite good music.

I feel sorry for Joe Canada.

On the Jack White front, all is well for a while. Then Jack White finds out that the Guinness World Records robs The White Stripes of its place in history! He starts a small war with them, calling them a “very elitist organization”, which makes sense of course because only an elitist organization would have the guy with the largest nose in their records.  Jack White loses the war.

The good news is there’s a moral to this story. If you’re going to play a concert, play for longer than one note.

You never know when a Joe Canada might strike.