80s Cover Band Breaks Up Mid-Show

A guitarist has moment of clarity and goes out in a blaze of glory.

The word "reality" as it relates to media has been perverted by countless hours of staged bullshit on television. It's now a TV code word for artificially engineered trainwrecks, clumsily forced drama which has shoved not only quality scripted material to the sidelines, but has also ghettoized the entire realm of non-fiction content. Maybe that's why it's so compelling when an actual moment of real, messy, unfiltered life slips through the machine (usually via YouTube) and gives us a glimpse at how wonderful and terrible the world really is. (That's important, as Errol Morris and Werner Herzog can't be everywhere at once.)

Exhibit A: this context-free video of a band called Winters Mistress breaking up mid-set. Like the best viral videos, it's short, to the point, awesome, and cringe-inducing (check out the singer trying to continue the song right where he left off while the bassist shuffles away in resigned silence). But it's also sort of inspiring. In its own strange way, watching guitarist Jim Reddig decide he'd rather destroy his own equipment than play one more goddamn Bon Jovi song to a depressingly sparse crowd in the middle of Pennsyltucky is right up there with Jackie Earle Haley punching the time clock in Breaking Away, or Chief running out the window at the end of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. It's as if he remembered what rock-and-roll was all about, and realized what he was doing was a million miles away from it. Run free, metal soldier, and may you ever shred your own path.