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Weekly survey: What’s your worst neighbour-from-hell experience when it comes to music?

The kid would come around like clockwork every Sunday at 2 pm during prime nap time. He set up a CD boombox that blared “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe on repeat as he practiced his skateboard moves right in front of our townhouse. Nothing but “Poison” and the clack of skateboard wheels for hours and hours and hours. I’d be lying if I didn’t say my thoughts turned to violence.

But this was nothing compared to Eva N, a Slovakian woman who blared the same four-minute aria from “La Traviata” from her balcony from 6 am to 10 pm every day for sixteen years.

No variation. Placido Domingo on a loop for sixteen hours a day. Reasoning with her didn’t help. Neither did calling the cops. Even taking her to court didn’t deter her. It wasn’t until cops moved in–and after the case wound its way to the Slovakian Supreme Court–that she was arrested and charged with harassment and malicious prosecution. Eva N could face up to three years in prison. (Read the full story here. It’s…incredible.)

This leads into this week’s survey question: What’s your neighbour-from-hell story when it comes to music?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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3 thoughts on “Weekly survey: What’s your worst neighbour-from-hell experience when it comes to music?

  • lolz. I always WAS the neighbour form hell! Back in high school in the late 80s /early 90s, my band practiced in our garage. Of course, we were a metal band. Neighbours were constantly banging on the door. Cops were called once.

    These days, the worst I hear is the guy across the street who needs AC/DC when he’s in his garage working on his truck. Doesn’t really bother me though.

  • Not sure if this counts or not…

    While in University the apartment I lived in had very thin walls and it was very common for me to hear what was happening in my neighbour’s apartment. One night I had gone to bed a little extra early, because I had a meeting on campus the next day that would require me to get up at 5am.

    While lying in bed I could hear some ‘activity’ happening on the other side of my bedroom wall (which happened to also be the wall my bed was up against). This wasn’t too much of a surprise, like I said the apartment building had very thin walls, so I had heard this “activity” before and just like before, I put on some music to drown the sound out.

    This time, it didn’t work. The couple next store got loader and loader and the next thing you knew, what I believe was their headboard was banging against my wall. I decided to bang on the wall as well, but soon realized that wasn’t working because my fist was hitting the wall at the same time as their headboard. Next thing I know, I’m listening for the off beat to bang the wall.

    Finally they heard me, I heard some giggling and then the distinct “Errrrrrrrr” as they dragged the bed across the floor away from the wall.

    The ‘activity’ resumed, so once again I turned up my music. I believe it was Big Shiny Tunes Volume 1 or 2 that I was listening to. Soon, from the other side of the wall I heard “Errrr”, “Errrr”, “Errrr” and before I knew it, they were back against my wall…banging (In time with the song, I should also point out). Knowing that I had an early wake up call the next day, I cranked my stereo

    The next morning, when I was returning from my meeting I bumped into my neighbour in the hall. We exchanged the usual pleasantries but as I was about to enter my apartment, my neighbour added “Not a big deal but you had your music on a little loud last night”. I slowly turned, walked up to my neighbour and quiet said “Yeah, well you had your sex on a little loud last night”. I never heard any ‘activities’ again.

  • My neighbour in the upstairs apartment played Neil Young’s After The Goldrush, Side 1, over and over constantly all day every day and into the nights. But he played it so quietly I could barely hear it. So insidious, like tinitus with a voice and melody. I certainly couldn’t complain because it was so quiet. For that and a couple of other reasons I found an other apartment a few months later. I was so happy just to experience real silence again. Still can’t listen to Neil Young. His voice sets me on edge.


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