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Published: 2011/01/25

Ween Confirmed For High Sierra, Gene Ween Melts Down Onstage

Ween is the first act confirmed for the Quincy, CA’s High Sierra Music Festival. The multi-band event will take place from June 30-July 3. The rest of the festival’s lineup will be announced in the coming weeks. In other news, Ween frontman Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman apparently suffered a meltdown during a performance at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre last night. Freeman has battled with drug addiction for years, and the band went on hiatus a few years ago while Freeman underwent a drug rehab program.

According to a story published in the Vancouver’s Straight.com —passed onto Jambands.com via a reader who saw a report on Hidden Track —,“Obviously having had enough, the rest of Ween retreated to the back of the stage while Freeman again attempted to tune his guitar, a task he eventually abandoned. Subsequently, there was a certain irony to a watching a totally out-of-it waste case serenade the crowd with a solo ‘Birthday Boy,’ mostly because of the lyrics ‘Help me now, I’m going down/And I don’t know if I’ll be around.’ It was right around then that Melchiondo finally bailed, leaving the stage with the other members of Ween. What followed was funny, and sad, as Freeman finished up a sloppy, lone-wolf rendition of ‘Don’t Sweat It’ by looking over his shoulder and then slurring ‘Hey, where’s the band?” Shortly thereafter, he walked off alone and the lights came up, leaving the audience angry and pissed.”

Ween is scheduled to perform at Seattle’s Paramount Theater tonight.

Comments

There are 13 comments associated with this post

Mike Wigglewitch February 5, 2011, 22:25:27

Dear “Squidboy”: People paying money for entertainment have every right to question what’s happening in front of them. Doesn’t mean they’re prudes. Hell, it might even mean they give a shit! When you’re a public figure, this kind of stuff is obviously going to be discussed. A lot of us have lost people due to destructive habits and feel okay about passing along words of warning. So, get over your pathetic self and grow up.

Craig February 8, 2011, 19:07:13

I saw them in detroit, the show was great but in the middle of the show he left for a lengthy period. Then when he was meeting fans after the show he seemed like he was heavily intoxicated, me and my friends assumed he was off the wagon.

squidboy January 25, 2011, 22:51:36

Poppa Zit, Ive never heard someone that in denial. His addicitions are real real serious….life threatening.

el daederino January 25, 2011, 23:02:21

Canada wants… mo’ money

hoimang January 26, 2011, 00:34:09

Aaron is an alcoholic, and apparently for a time abused tranquilizers. As a non-practicing alcoholic, I certainly hope he gets his shit together again. Too much talent to check out now.

Mark January 26, 2011, 13:28:04

Sorry to hear about Gene losing his shit in Vancouver. The show in Seattle last night was great. Standouts were extended jams from The Mollusk album and a great cover of Bowie’s Let’s Dance with Dean in full Stevie Ray Vaughn mode for the solo. Gene and Dean were chain smoking cigs like crazy. There’s a lot of pressure on touring bands. Not sure that losing your stuff on stage is necessarily attributable to addiction or recovery for any pro musicians. It’s a stressful life on the road (makes me think about the lyrics of Bob Seger’s ‘Turn the Page’ and Merle Haggard’s ‘Footlights’). And anyone, even the greatly Boognish, can have an off night. Glad they turned out a cracking show in Seattle last night.

Gordon January 31, 2011, 19:26:35

I was there, I’m a fan…thought it was great. You’ll never hear a more heart wrenching Birthday Boy or a more tense Don’t Sweat It. Gener is a genius and an alcoholic, what do you expect?

Popa Zit February 3, 2011, 18:30:09

“squidboy “
and you know this because you know Gene personally…..? Why is everyone suddenly so knowledgeable about Genes personal life? Im not in denial because I saw them 4 nights later and it was the best Ween show ive seen in the 13yrs ive been seeing them.
Largely because Gene was so on and into it, it made the show. My point is hes fine and all you peoples assuming makes you look like judge mental a-holes that are just waiting to bash someones character. Take your “Just Say No” campaign to the Miley Cirus board,(oh wait she smokes Salvia, i forgot)

Reverend Justito January 25, 2011, 17:44:07

Fingers crossed Gene gets his shit back together in time for the shows this weekend in Oakland & Los Angeles.

Dwight January 25, 2011, 19:39:41

This is sad to watch, but at least no cancelled dates yet. I always figured he was just a raging alcoholic because of his weight. What was/is he hooked on?

PoppaZit January 25, 2011, 20:27:52

Im pretty sure hes not an alcoholic, and not
hooked on anything as far as anyone knows. He just finished a polished professional solo tour.
Just a bad night hopefully,Im seeing them in
4 days and have no doubt it will be a fantastic show. The guy IS a freakin genius , breakdowns come with the territory .
Blame Canada.

Gracey January 25, 2011, 22:11:52

First and for most…Canada was not to blame, they’ve played here many many times and from what I’ve heard they were Flawless. Second, I was at the show. Every note the band hit was nothing but perfection, Gene was clearly hopped up on everything under the sun, and it was pathetic. I’ve been a ween fan for years and years, and I want my money back. Thanks? Maybe next time?

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