This past Sunday night, I went to a concert and witnessed something I hadn’t seen in a long time—a genuine, on-stage, rock-star meltdown by Brian Fallon, the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem. You can read all the particulars here, but suffice it to say, it was genuinely weird, uncomfortable, irritating… and yet perversely memorable.
Anyway, back at my desk here in Book Land, I started thinking about comparable literary meltdowns. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an author completely lose it on stage—maybe not since college, when I saw Noam Chomsky go bananas when too many students asked him about the Middle East. But of course, the history of the written word is littered with tantrums, explosions, and even a gunshot or two. (That’ll teach you to mess with Hunter S. Thompson!)
So, let’s have some fun—when was the last time YOU saw an author really lose it? Or, if you’ve never seen one in person, what’s your favorite meltdown story? And after witnessing/reading about said meltdown, did it enhance the author or diminish in your eyes?