Apr 242012

Mark Stein is the keyboard player from Vanilla Fudge, one of the most irritating bands in the history of Rock music. Vanilla Fudge featured an irritating guitarist, a very irritating bass player, and certainly the most irritating drummer in the history of the universe, Carmine Appice. Yet — somehow — Mark Stein, the keyboardist for Vanilla Fudge, manages to be more irritating than all of them put together.

I admit, I may have a problem with Mark Stein — but seriously, what is not irritating about Mark Stein? His stage garb is irritating — oversized brass medallions under freaky dashikis. Bellbottoms and Cuban heel boots — normally pretty cool fashion items — on Mark Stein, they just make me want to punch him in the nose. His hair isn’t cool — it’s a sort of modified bowl cut that neither impresses with its shag factor, nor interests for any purposeful lack of hippy hair integrity. It’s fake, like everything else about Mark Stein. Fake hair, Mark Stein. Fake clothes, Mark Stein. Fake Look, Mark Stein.

Mark Stein, will you please stop swivelling on your ass at every offbeat in every song you perform? Will you please stop doing that Mark Stein arm wave thing — like you’re pretending to conduct some invisible 300-piece rock orchestra? You do realize you’re just conducting Vanilla Fudge, right? Mark Stein, are you listening to me? Are you high, Mark Stein? I doubt it. You’re just acting like you’re high, aren’t you, Mark Stein? Stop acting, Mark Stein. Stop acting.

Please just stop singing, Mark Stein. The way you lean into the microphone is really, really irritating. The way you bellow is irritating, too, Mark Stein. Please stop, Mark Stein. Please just stop. You are very, very irritating.



  15 Responses to “It’s Official: Mark Stein Is the Most Irritating Performer in Rock History”

  1. BigSteve

    Come on, those old Vanilla Fudge clips are comedy gold. Always good for a belly laugh. When someone posted the clip earlier to illustrate Appice’s drumming style, I had to consciously step away from the internet, or I’d spend the next hour guffawing my way through all the youtubes available. Again. Since I can only play keyboards one-handed, I can reliably crack myself up by doing the hand waving routine with my left hand.until the right hand stops hitting the notes. I’m surprised at you being so um high-handed about this, hvb.

  2. cliff sovinsanity

    That bass solo, man. I can really dig it.

  3. tonyola

    Really? You think Stein, for all his antics, is more annoying than the bass player, with his grimace, teeth, glasses, mustache, and shirt? Oh, god….that shirt….

  4. Have you tried going Sound Off for this clip, HVB? It’s AMAZING! Stein is clearly playing for the deaf.

  5. cherguevara

    Exactly what I was going to say!

  6. misterioso

    I’m pretty sure I’ve made it this far in life only having heard & seen their crappy version of “You Keep Me Hanging On,” so I think I’d better keep it that way.

  7. What? You’ve never heard the acid-soaked silliness of their early single, “Where Is My Mind”? I dare you to resist…

  8. hrrundivbakshi

    I’m not just saying this to perpetuate my anti-Mark Stein storyline. The worst thing about that silly song is Mark Stein! Shut up already!

  9. misterioso

    Lord, they are crappy.

  10. machinery


  11. About 20 years ago I was in a band with about 12 people in it – big enough that we couldn’t all be the bestest of friends. And we had a guy in the band who, judging from this clip, could have been in Vanilla Fudge.

    One day the sax player and I were trying to put a finger on how to describe what bugged us about him, and finally the sax player said “He’s one of those guys who” – and here he stopped and made a face like someone farted – “LIKES music.”

    That’s what’s going on here – Mark Stein and the rest of Vanilla Fudge fking LOVE music.

  12. I always got the impression with these clowns that the desire to APPEAR as if they were… SO INTO IT, MAN!…overrode all other concerns. The most overwrought band in the history of music.

  13. BigSteve

    That’s what I was thinking. I hate hipster bands who act like they’re so cool they’re not even enjoying playing music, but being this into it is pure showbiz

  14. Something occurred to me reading this post gave me pause for thought. Vanilla Fudge were from Long Island. Billy Joel too. Is a Long Island pedigree a dependable gauge that a Rock performer will be horrible? Didn’t Kiss and Twisted Sister have Long Island roots? Is Mountain the greatest band to ever come out of Long Island? Is that sad or what?

  15. tonyola

    Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Public Enemy, Dream Theater, Johnny Ramone, Lee Ranaldo, Brian Setzer, and Blue Oyster Cult are from Long Island. But there are worse things than Vanilla Fudge and Billy Joel, too – Debbie Gibson, John Tesh, Harry Chapin, Eddie Money, Pat Benatar, Mariah Carey, and Lindsay Lohan.

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