I loveNew York City. But it can be pricey, depending on what kind of traveler you are. Some folks want to dish out fistfuls of cash, go to Broadway shows, and eat at the nicest restaurants.
Other people, like me, prefer to experience NYC in the cheapest way possible. Sure, I’ll go out for a decent meal, but I also just like to wander around, people watch, and take in the sights and sounds in different neighborhoods.
Here are 14 things you can do for absolutely free in New York City if you happen to find yourself in that great city.
When Beethoven first performed his Ninth Symphony, as he couldn’t hear the rapturous applause it received due to his deafness, one of his singers approached him and turned him around so that he could see the standing ovation he was receiving.
Viola Smith was born in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, as one of ten kids. Her drumming career began in the 1920s when she formed a family band with six of her sisters, the Smith Sisters Orchestra. She later started the all-women orchestra The Coquettes with her sister, saxophonist Mildred.
Over the ensuing decades, Viola lived through several eras of music, including jazz, swing, rock and roll and beyond.
She appeared on the cover of Billboard, played on television with the swing orchestra Hour of Charm, and played with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, among a long list of other accomplishments. She even played for President Harry Truman’s inauguration in 1949.
Viola eventually formed her very own band called Viola and Her Seventeen Drums. After that, she took her talents to Broadway to perform for the original production of Cabaret.
Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys was one of the most expensive songs in history. “The cost of recording was phenomenal: between $50,000 and $75,000.” It had used up 90 hours of tape from 17 separate recording dates with LA’s top sessioneer’s for the 3min 36secs song.
I’ve been at concerts and wondered whether artists die a little inside as they’re forced to perform their biggest hit night after night, even after they’ve grown and matured and moved on as a creator in the intervening years.
I mean…it’s probably hard for Billy Joel to hate Piano Man, since it’s still literally paying dividends, but he’s got to be tired of singing it, right?
Well, it turns out I’m not wrong – these 8 musicians would be thrilled to never hear or sing their greatest hit ever again.
8. Radiohead (Creep)
Thom Yorke called the song “crap” and still refuses to sing it regularly in live performances, while guitarist Jonny Greenwood says he tries to sabotage it when they do trot it out by “hitting the guitar hard – really hard.”
When one fan yelled out requesting it at a Montreal show, Yorke replied, “F*ck off, we’re tired of it.”
So there you go.
7. Flock of Seagulls (I Ran So Far Away)
Frontman Mike Score said on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s that he loathes the song, and performing it.
“Every time I perform live, everyone just wants to hear ‘I Ran.’ I’m sick of it.”
6. Led Zeppelin (Stairway to Heaven)
Robert Plant pledged to donate to an Oregon radio station that refused to play the song, one he refers to as “that bloody wedding song.” The group even avoided a reunion simply because he’d had it with playing that particular song.
“I’d break out in hives if I had to sing that song in every show,” he said in 1988. And when the band played a concert in 2008, he demanded it not be the finale, and also for guitarist Jimmy Page to “restrain himself from turning the song into an even more epic solo-filled noodle.”
I can’t help but giggle a bit at that one.
5. John Cougar Mellencamp (Jack & Diane)
In a 2008 interview, Mellencamp admitted he was “a little weary of those two,” but he does recognize that the song made his career.
“I’ve been able to live on my whims, that’s what Jack and Diane gave me. So I can’t hate them too much.”
4. Madonna (Like a Virgin)
In a 2008 interview, Madonna admitted “I’m not sure I can sing ‘Holiday’ or ‘Like a Virgin’ ever again. I just can’t, unless somebody paid me, like, $30 million or something.”
Just a year later, she said that just hearing the song by happenstance rubs her the wrong way. “For some reason people think that when you go to a restaurant or you are going shopping that you want to hear one of your own songs. It’s usually ‘Like a Virgin,’ and that is the one I don’t want to hear.”
3. Oasis (Wonderwall)
Liam Gallagher praised Oasis’ final album for lacking anything akin to the huge hit, telling MTV “I can’t f*cking stand that f*cking song! Every time I have to sing it I want to gag. You go to America, and they’re like: ‘Are you Mr. Wonderwall?’ You want to chin someone.”
2. Beastie Boys (Fight For Your Right)
They’ve said directly that the song “sucks” (in the liner notes for their 1999 greatest hits album) and dislike it largely because of a lost sense of its intended irony.
“The only thing that upsets me,” says Mike D, “is that we may have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different.”
1. REM (Shiny Happy People)
The 1991 hit isn’t near and dear to lead singer Michael Stipe’s heart – he said in 1995 “I hate that song,” and even though he’s tempered that statement since, still maintains that it has “limited appeal” and that the entire band agreed to leave it off their Greatest Hits album.
You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you, but as an artist, I can see how it’s hard to be forced to keep looking back when all you want is to move forward. I know that the first novels I wrote feel like practice tests, now!
Do you think it’s selfish and dumb to hate your “best song?” Let us know in the comments!
First off, I think this would be a great movie. Secondly, who do you think you would pick if you were posed with this question:
“If the headline “Celebrity outed as serial killer” appeared, who would you expect it to be about?
AskReddit users offered up their opinions. I can’t wait to dig into these!
Share your thoughts in the comments!
1. Prime suspect
“It almost pains me to say this because he is one of if not the best actors in the world, but Daniel Day-Lewis. The man protects his privacy extremely well. Doesn’t do a lot of movies (retired now) and stays as clean as possible. He is the prime guy.”
2. No way!
“No one will ever believe you.”
turns to walk away
“You’ll never have the chance to tell them.”
3. Not a good legacy
“I hope that Tom Hanks dies peacefully in his sleep at a grand old age, with an untarnished history and nothing but funny stories about colleagues and strangers he helped and made happy.
And then they go to clear out the basement of his mansion and just find hundreds and hundreds of human heads in various states of decay.”
4. Say it ain’t so
5. A killer trifecta
“The first names that popped in my head were Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Jim Carrey.”
6. A disturbed dick…
“Andy Dick… the dude is f*cking disturbed. Oh… he’s also a dick.”
7. I hope not. One of my favorite directors…
“David Fincher. Between Se7en, Zodiac, Mindhunter, and the rest of his entire filmography, he really seems fascinated with compelling serial killers, sociopaths, and psychopaths. The performances of these characters are always unique, captivating, and unnerving.
They have an air of authenticity to them. Fincher makes some great films, and I’m not seriously suggesting the dude’s a serial killer, but he’s probably the only famous person I can think of where, upon being revealed as a serial killer, a common first reaction would be, “…Yeah okay, that explains a lot.”
8. Might not be a stretch?
“Quentin Tarantino… just cause.”
9. It’s all in the eyes
“The Olsen twins. They got some menacing eyes.”
10. I think you’re right on the money
“There’s a distinct lack of female celebrities on this list. I definitely think Tilda Swinton could murder us all one day.”
11. Insane if he wants to
“Nic Cage. Have you seen the memes about the Ghost Rider movies having zero CGI and that it was all him? He can be insane if he wants to.”
12. A true villain
“Elon Musk is one face scar away from being a James Bond villain.”
13. Good old Woody
“Woody Allen. Anyone who marries their wife’s adopted young daughter is seriously creepy.”
14. Look at the track record
“Brad Pitt. If a man can leave both Angelina Jolie AND Jennifer Anniston he’s capable of anything.”
15. Can’t put my finger on it…
“Definitely Katy Perry. Something is off about her.”
But none of that matters, apparently, because a whole lot of people on the Internet think that singer Post Malone, who is 24 years, “discovered” this fella named Ozzy Osbourne, who is 70 years old, and then the two collaborated on a song together called “Take What You Want.”