8 Amazing Performances Where It’s Completely Obvious Famous Artists Just DGAF
Not giving a fuck is half the battle. We’ve all blown that situation; where you know you have the talent/skill/drive to get what’s right in front of you, but you let the outside world seep into your head. You start caring about what others might think, fearing taking a chance, calling your loss before you even begin; you give a fuck and you pay the price.
Sometimes, you need to be reminded of the power of not giving a fuck, just kicking the door down and doing your thing no matter what the world thinks. Watching this in musical form is particularly influential, as it extracts this power in such a raw, abstract form. The following is a range of different artists, kicking the door down in their own special way.
Seth MacFarlane — We Saw Your Boobs — Oscars 2013
Let’s kick it off with a guy who’s spent most of his adult life not giving a fuck. Seth MacFarlane hosted the 2013 Oscars and spent the entire evening really not giving a crap about offending any of the Hollywood elite in the crowd. This was never more obvious than in the musical number “We Saw Your Boobs” where MacFarlane reminds many of the women in the audience, and the horndogs at home, where and when they appeared naked on screen.
Lana Del Ray — Blue Jeans — SNL 2012
Was it really that bad? Debatable. What’s not debatable is that Lana gave ZERO FUCKS about her national TV debut.
Bette Midler – Beast Of Burden – Tonight Show – 1983
The Carson era isn’t really known for it’s raw sexuality, just Johnny making thinly veiled barbs regarding genitalia. But he clearly knows to make way for Bette and she doesn’t disappoint, starting the song writhing and screaming on her knees in a way that’s both sexual and frightening. She doesn’t let up the entire time, humping the stage, swinging the mic stand and whacking a set piece, it’s probably as punk as that Tonight Show ever got. At the end, she ironically prances away like a dainty gal, confident in the notion that Carson definitely has a boner.
Tupac – Keep Ya Head Up – High School
Public speaking can be incredibly nerve-wracking, but speaking to high school students is a new level of hell. Don’t you remember what an asshole you were in high school and now you have to speak to a room full of that and hope you leave them with some sort of positive message? Leave it to Tupac to sit down in a classroom and give a raw dose of truth via his lyrics. Seeing him talk directly to students who encounter his subject matter, his lyrics pack a more personal punch than usual and clearly make an impact.
James Brown – Sex Machine/There Was A Time – Late Show – 1982
David Letterman is smart enough to know when you book James Brown, get out of his way. Musical guests rarely play more than one song but Brown is certainly and exception that doesn’t disappoint. According to Paul Shaffer, Brown let the house band pick the two songs he’d perform and was having such a good time that, during the commercial break, he called an impromptu rendition of “I Got The Feeling”, effectively bumping the rest of the show. Brown more than made up for it, turning out one of the greatest performances in late night TV history.
Lauryn Hill – Who’s Lovin’ You – Showtime At The Apollo – 1987
Apollo audiences are like hyenas – they’ll rip you up at the slightest instant of insecurity. So let’s appreciate the DGAF-ness of a 13-YEAR-OLD Lauryn Hill to cover Michael Jackson in this hostile environment. She gets booed at taunted early on, which gives me anxiety just watching it. But Hill doesn’t waver for one second, staying completely in control, calming them down and then earning her ovation at the end.
Andy Kaufman – Rosemarie – Late Show – 1982
Back to Letterman for an entirely different reason. Most comedic acts are geared towards the audience’s enjoyment, but Andy Kaufman prided himself on the exact opposite. It’s impossible to accurately describe this act – there’s no real punch line and Andy performs the song so earnestly, that it’s more bizarre than anything else. But that was the mad genius of Andy, total confidence in his vision and never afraid to turn a show on its ear.
Bobby Darin – Medley – Mack Is Back – 1973
Bobby Darin was a singer, musician, songwriter, actor and avid chess player, he swung hard in the ‘50s, before abandoning his successful style to take on the ‘60s with folk fare. This performance is pretty remarkable, almost 10 minutes non-stop of dancing, crowd work and crushing the piano, harmonica and vocals. Even more impressive when you consider he passed away a few months later; bouts of rheumatic fever as a baby left him in a progressively weakened state. By the time of this performance, he had artificial heart valves and had to be administered oxygen to continue shows. You can even see him shake the circulation back in his hands to continue playing. Darin must have known he was on borrowed time and he went out swinging. A thousand possible excuses, but he didn’t give a fuck.