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Photos: Top five celebrity altitude blamers

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Those of us accustomed to living 5280 feet above sea level often have little tolerance for lowlanders who gripe about the thin air when they visit Denver -- as if they didn't know it was called the Mile High City? These emotions fueled a list originally featured in Westword's Off-Limits column. Count down the top five below. Number 5: Willie Nelson "In August, Willie Nelson, who is 79, bailed out of a Denver Dumb Friends League fundraiser called Lulu's Barkin BBQ, where he was supposed to sing. The country music legend was apparently "suffering from breathing problems due to the high altitude and emphysema," according to an announcement, and briefly hospitalized." Continue for more of our top five celebrity altitude blamers. Number 4: Alison Mosshart "In April 2009, 32-year-old Alison Mosshart of the Kills had to go to the hospital while she was recording with fellow musician Jack White. Mosshart canceled her show that night and was diagnosed with altitude sickness." Continue for more of our top five celebrity altitude blamers. Number 3: Jake Shields "[Also in April 2009], UFC fighter Jake Shields won a welterweight bout at the Pepsi Center but was criticized for a somewhat lackluster performance. Afterward, he was quoted as saying, "The altitude definitely slowed my pace down. I felt good, I need to put on a little more weight.... The altitude, I had to pace myself more." Continue for more of our top five celebrity altitude blamers. Number 2: Jack Black "Jack Black of Tenacious D...nearly fell off the stage in 2001. Here's the report on MTV.com by then-Westword music editor Laura Bond: 'Moments after Tenacious D's Jack Black and Kyle Gass sauntered onto Red Rocks Amphitheatre's massive sandstone stage on Friday, it became clear the portly pair were suffering from what locals refer to as turista asphyxia: the sudden inability to breathe -- let alone sing -- due to the elevation. Black and Gass huffed and puffed through their opener, requesting the audience's patience as they acclimated to the challenge of performing at a venue more than 6,000 feet higher than their Hollywood home. "We're from zero altitude," noted Gass, cradling his oversized acoustic guitar on his equally oversized belly. "I'm seeing spots. Seriously seeing spots," said Black.'" Continue for our top celebrity altitude blamer. Number 1: Al Gore "Former vice president and environmental know-it all Al Gore was probably just trying to help Barack Obama when he suggested during some post-debate analysis [last month] that Colorado's high altitude may have been to blame for the president's less-than-stellar performance against Mitt Romney...at the University of Denver.

'I'm going to say something controversial here,' Gore said on his own Current TV. 'Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don't know...maybe.'"

More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Most and least surprising celebrity stoners."

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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