LOS ANGELES — Fans of the popular history podcast “Behind the Bastards” were surprised by the show’s latest episode, chronicling Vincent Whitman, whose claim to notoriety is being the first person in recorded history to push his way to the front right before a headlining performer’s set started.
“Numerous records and testimonies verify that, at a Bert Jansch concert in 1966, Whitman aggressively pushed his way to the front of the crowd for the headliner even though he arrived to the show very late,” said host Robert Evans while describing the two-part series on an otherwise unknown historical figure. “Others, upon realizing this unwritten social rule had been broken without consequence, followed his example. And soon, this insufferable practice became normalized at standing-room concerts everywhere. People eventually became innovative and used the ‘I’m carrying two beers’ method to get to the front, but Whitman was the first truly reprehensible soul to carry out this depraved act.”
Longtime “Behind the Bastards” listener Ruby Camp noticed a sudden increase of Whitman’s name being shared with intense vitriol on multiple platforms.
“On Twitter there was a hashtag #fuckvincentwhitman trending within minutes, and I saw multiple Tiktok creators posting videos tearing Whitman down,” said Camp. “But unsurprisingly a lot of people on Facebook were defending Whitman, saying it was ‘his right as an American citizen.’ There was an entire group dedicated to him claiming he would have been an anti-vax warrior if he were still around today. I just wish everyone could come together and agree that rushing to the stage for the headliner is a bullshit move.”
Delilah Blanchard, author of the concert history book “Maximum Capacity: The Dark Side of General Admission,” cited Whitman’s towering height as a key factor in their menace.
“Whitman was reportedly 6’5” and was known to where distracting hats. So, it’s not as though he was struggling to see or anything,” said Blanchard, who researched Whitman for years. “By all accounts, he had a great view of the stage even when he was standing towards the back of the room. But apparently, it was so important for him to see Bert up close that he had to make everyone else pay the price. When I think of the worst people in history I think Hitler, Vlad the Impaler, and Vincent fucking Whitman.”
This installment comes after another two-part episode, about Andrew Dent, known for being the first person to stand up immediately when the plane lands.