It was just last week that I was singing some serious Jeff Tweedy praises (and giving out a copy of his Sunken Treasure DVD), but it looks like Jeff might be the subject of some negative press involving a fan at a recent Wilco show. Hell, at least there weren’t cops and tasers involved…
“According to an anonymous Pitchfork reader, Tweedy punched a rowdy fan in the face about 30 minutes into Wilco’s set yesterday evening. “So some dude jumps on the stage,” the reader claims. “After he gets on stage (who really does this at a Wilco show?), he runs up to Tweedy to give him a fat smooch on his cheek.”
How does Jeff respond? How any red-blooded American with balls would have responded — punching him in the face! Or was it an open-hand slap? Shove? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Tweedy clocked him and I’m sure the fan got the message right quick…
“Tweedy had to comment. ‘I mean, come on guys, we aren’t used to that! You guys have to stay down there.”
Why do fans — meaning, us — have to be so friggin’ stupid sometimes? There were plenty of instances of Phish fans running up on stage only to get tackled by their famous road manager Pete Carini (forever immortalized on the Island Tour discs during “Run Like an Antelope” — “Carini’s gonna get ya!”). What is the motivation? Fame? The thrill?
Whatever it is, it really has no place at a Wilco concert.
The singer has since posted a message on the band’s website, explaining his actions and blaming the venue’s security officials for failing to protect the group. He fumes, “I suspect had I felt safer on that stage, had security been doing a better job all night long, well, things would have gone differently. “He (the fan) approached me from behind and I reacted in defense to get him away. I didn’t know what his intentions were, and I had to get him off of me. I’m sad that it happened at all.” Following Monday night’s concert incident, an ashamed Tweedy told fans, “I feel terrible. I don’t like to punch someone in the face. It sucks… I was having a really good time, but now I want to go sit down somewhere.”