Which, as you probably know by now, caused something of a shitstorm on the Upper East Side, with angry emails during the event prompting an organizer to interrupt the talk to, basically, demand that the band stop promoting the new album and play "Freebird" already, as Linda Holmes put it:
It is exactly — exactly — like demanding your money back because Elton John didn't play "Rocket Man." Too bad, so sad. Nobody promised you the cookie-cutter experience that every other audience seeing every other similar event has ever seen. When you see an artist perform — and even more so when you hear an artist interviewed — there is no guarantee of the content; that's the exact point of going. Why would you go to hear someone speak if you already knew what he was going to say? If you want to read about how Steve Martin feels about acting and comedy, couldn't you find several looseleaf binders full of that stuff? The guy is not a recluse.Worse, the 92nd Street Y wholly undermined Martin and Solomon by offering refunds to the disgruntled, essentially saying "your talk was worthless." That's just something you don't do -- it's basically a Pander Or Die notice to every future speaker, and a red flag against doing anything challenging or new. Even if the interview in fact wasn't going well, that's just the risk you take as an audience member at a live event. Sometimes Springsteen's going to play the hits; sometimes it's all "Devils & Dust" and "Dream Baby Dream" on the pump organ. You might not love it, but you can't ask for your money back either.
I saw a lot of standup comedians live growing up, and I was always disappointed when they'd just do the same routines from their HBO specials and tv. I didn't want that; I wanted to hear something new. If you want to attend events where you know exactly what you're going to receive, go see Gallagher. Steve Martin is not Gallagher, and he's not going to smash the watermelon every night. Thank goodness.