To that rich heritage of entertainment, the Motor City will now go down in history as the first-ever landing spot for Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth / Defeat Is Not An Option tour.
Highlights included… well, you know very well by now that there were no highlights.
Sheen’s two girlfriends kissed each other on stage, the actor asked said girlfriends to burn his Two and a Half Men shirt, and he announced from the stage: “I am finally here to identify and train the Vatican assassin locked inside each and every one of you.” He also charmed the crowd with “Let me tell you a story about crack. Figured Detroit was a good place to try this joke.”
He finished the first night of the Refunds Are Not An Option tour 20 minutes early – or, if you asked many in the audience, 80 minutes too late.
It’s tempting to wonder what the individuals referred to by the actor himself as “trolls” and who paid to see him were expecting – the ghost of Peter Ustinov? Or even how Sheen would have gone at the old Glasgow Empire.
The good news for Scotland is that the rest of Sheen’s 20 dates are in the US. The bad news for Sheen is that he joins the all-time least promising nights out. There are gigs that don’t sell out. Even Noel Gallagher admits Oasis played to empty pubs at the start of their career.
There are live entertainment events that are disastrous, but are fondly remembered by some, like Daphne and Celeste’s memorable Reading festival appearance. There are bold attempts, like Rick Wakeman’s King Arthur On Ice, which if nothing else achieve unforgettable status. And then there are these:
Anthea Turner’s Perfect Housewife Tour
Axed before it was begun, the former Blue Peter presenter charged £16.50 for punters to hear her talk about dusting skirting boards. Remarkably, it never happened.
Carrie: The Musical
A Stephen King novel, an Academy Award-nominated Brian DePalma film, and an RSC production headed for Broadway. And then Off-Broadway. And then just off. If critics could have drenched it in pig’s blood, they would have.
Whitney Houston’s 2010 tour
Whitney’s UK performance in Birmingham of 2010 was the start of the Nothing But Love tour. Or, as it was known in the international press, the Nothing But Unnecessary Costume Changes, Bum Notes and Early Walkouts tour.
John Cale’s 1977 “Croydon chicken” incident
There is a famous quotation, most often attributed to Brian Eno and often rewritten, that only 1,000 people saw the Velvet Underground play live, but all that number subsequently went and formed a band. Not everyone who saw the Velvs’ founder member at The Greyhound in Croydon on 24 April, 1977 went on to decapitate a dead chicken.
An Audience with Iain Duncan Smith
Every bit as promising as it sounds. Sixty-seven people can attest to the fact that not all politicians are sell-outs.
Wilde: The Musical
Radio One breakfast show host fights instinct to write musical about Kim and goes for the Irish playwright. What could possibly go wrong? One night after opening, he found out.
End result? I Have Nothing to Declare But My Bankruptcy.