During a teleconference with media outlets today, a senior official of the Ryman Auditorium management blamed ineffective security measures for last night’s appearance by pop-singer Gotye.
“It was really a shock” acknowledged Ryman staffer Oscar Benson. “We were just varnishing the stage for this fall’s Opry shows; the crew was taking a short break, we look up, and there’s Gotye and a bunch of people with no musical taste out in the house. Before we could stop him, he’d already been up there doing his thing for a while and the sight of it was just awful. There were hipsters and teenagers in this catatonic, … almost hypnotic state all over the pews, a few of our ushers were huddled in a corner trembling, and this one kid was doing fingerpainting on the proscenium. I’ve never seen the like.”
Benson was short on specifics of how the Gotye performance was allowed to happen, eventually admitting that not even they were sure how the Australian pop-sensation managed to get onto the hallowed Ryman stage, which has played host to countless performances by a cavalcade of the finest performers in modern music and was the home of the famous “Grand Ole Opry” from 1943-1974. The Ryman is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been a notable part of the Nashville identity for generations. Created initially as a religious tabernacle in 1892, the performance venue has been featured in such films as “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and Robert Altman’s “Nashville”, as well as Neil Young’s concert film “Heart of Gold”. The revered auditorium is often touted as having the best acoustics in America, and audiences have been graced over the decades by performances from such talented and diverse artists as Hank Williams Sr, Elvis Costello, Spike Jones, David Byrne, Johnny Cash, Minnie Pearl, David Sedaris, The Kids In the Hall, Patsy Cline, Eddie Izzard, Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, Chet Atkins, Bob Dylan, Tori Amos, and The Prairie Home Companion Show.
When discussing how Gotye managed to bring a performance onto the Ryman Stage, Benson could only speculate. “There was obviously a grievous lapse in security procedures. We’re going over the surveillance footage now to see exactly what happened and figure out what went wrong, what failed in our system. I promise that we at the Ryman take our position in the musical identity of Nashville very seriously, and will try to make sure this sort of thing never happens again.” Witnesses report that Gotye not only performed his chart-topping hit song “Somebody That I Used To Know”, but also all 10 of the remixes he has subsequently released. One witness, a self-described Gotye fan who spoke to The Rhinestone on condition of anonymity, describe it as “like my white noise machine in my bedroom, only 10 times more so. I loved it.”
Benson similarly credited lax security for the recent appearance by Ke$ha during a Ben Folds Five performance, assuring reporters that it wasn’t sanctioned by Ryman staff. “We knew Wayne [Coyne, of the Flaming Lips] was gonna come out, but the Ke$ha thing I think surprised everyone. We believe she snuck in through an unattended stage door. The guard responsible has been reprimanded.”
Ryman picture found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rymanauditorium1.jpg