Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I, like any rational and sane music listener, am quite the fan of The Fugees. A couple years ago I got to work a Wyclef Jean concert at Blues Fest, and last night I got to work a Lauryn Hill show.

When I saw her name on the Blues schedule a little while back I was quite surprised. I was pretty sure that she had given up on the business and had retired into the life of being married into the Marley musical family. I don't really care about celebrity gossip, but have since learned that she may be in some tax trouble, hence she may be working a bit more now than she has in the past decade or more.

Lauryn has a notoriously bad reputation for being difficult to work with. Evil as it is might have been of me, I was not hoping exactly, but anticipating that the show might be a bit of a train-wreck. Maybe with a little bit of hope as long as it didn't effect me in any way. I was not disappointed or wrong in my prediction. She came out a good half hour late, berated members of her band during the show, was overly and continuously distracted by a fan at her feet (a machine...not a person), brought the show to a halt by bringing her kids out, and many of the songs were so changed from their original form they were completely unrecognisable.

I'm paraphrasing, but I remember seeing an interview with Wyclef years ago where he commented on the difficulty of working with her. He very logically stated that making an album is a lot of work, and happens over a lot of days and weeks. And if he had a choice of working with any number of other talented musicians and Lauryn Hill, working with more pleasant human beings wins out over spending an extended period of time with her. He wasn't mean about it, and seemed genuine in thought that he wished that that wasn't how things were.

It's too bad she's a diva, broke up one of the all time great bands, but Wyclef's statement is a very understandable one. You only have so many hours in the day, so if the opportunity is there, much better to spend them working in positive situations with people you like.

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