Date: 14th February 2007 From: Jakub Misak Subject: Robert and the dread amateur photogs
> > While it's certainly Robert's choice to walk off the stage because >> > > someone makes the mistake of *gasp* photographing him without >> > > permission, by doing so he's also giving the finger to all the >audience >> > > members who behaved correctly, not to mention paid good money to see >him >> > > perform. What a lovely message, to punish everyone in the audience >for >> > > the dastardly deeds of an individual.
Robert's intention is not punishing anyone. Actually, when he walks off the stage in such occasions, he's being generous to all attentive audience members. Because he cannot continue in a worthy way anymore. He feels the performance is dead and he's unable to do anything about it. So instead of presenting a dead, worthless performance, he quits.
I remember him disagreeing with the traditional "Show must go on" attitude - in his opinion, show doesn't have to go on if elementary conditions are not met (which may be a number of things - venue, sound, audience attention etc.). Because no performance might be a better option than miserable performance. He is very sensitive to these things and he still has high standards (despite all the problems with touring in Europe etc.) - to him, musical performance is a sacred event where music comes to life as an interaction between the performer, the audience and the venue. That's where the power is. This has nothing to do with money - the "paid good money to see him perform" refers to a purely professional performance. But Robert's aspirations are much higher than that - he's not there to present a professional performance, he's there to serve music. So when the necessary conditions are undermined and music cannot come to life anymore... Walking off the stage is a honorable, honest and respectable way to finish the event.
R.I.P., Elephant Talk.