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The worst gig I never played #2968063
01/10/19 12:47 AM
01/10/19 12:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,252
West Virginia
Tom Williams Offline OP
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So, I learned a few weeks ago that my band had a gig scheduled for this coming weekend. Two hours' drive away, moderate (not great) money, two nights (necessitating either lots of driving back-and-forth, or securing overnight lodging not funded by the venue).

I'm not done yet.

Our lead singer (approximately 50% of the songs, and three of us share the remainder) has been out of town for a month. Returned today. Holidays, illness, and age (I'm the 2nd youngest in the band at 59 years old) canceled half of the rehearsals -- including new songs, as well as half-remembered old songs -- for the past month and a half, for the five of us still in town. Didn't even have a set list assembled yet. I planned to take Friday off from work just to set up my keys' presets for the sets.

But wait, there's less!

After looking at some small facebook pictures, the bandmate who originally booked the gig phoned the place and asked how big the stage was, and they said it was about 10x10 feet (or 3 meters squared). For a 6 piece band that insists on backline speakers and not IEMs.

A couple of the band members actually made the trip today -- braving the upcoming snow storm -- to visit the venue. Did I say 10x10 feet? The stage is actually 5x7 feet (1.5 x 2.1 meters). Heck, between my keys, percussion, and keytar, I easily take up a 5x7 foot space myself.

The venue-checkers were bravely trying to figure out how to make the band fit when the proprietor fortuitously telephoned the site. The bartender handed the phone to the venue-checkers. Proprietor apologized for the logistical confusion, and asked if it's all right to reschedule for spring or summer when we can move outside onto the somewhat larger deck. Venue-checkers agreed. I learned of that this afternoon.

I have never been so grateful in my life to have a gig canceled. w00t


-Tom Williams
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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: Tom Williams] #2968074
01/10/19 03:42 AM
01/10/19 03:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
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California
MathOfInsects Offline
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Wow. First, glad your guys went there before you all showed up and saw the puny stage after driving for two hours.

But second...as bad as the logistics of that gig sound, and as hard a sell as I might personally have considered it, I would think that if you're taking those kinds of gigs, having one punted until the summer might not be entirely good news. True?

So: glad the bad part didn't happen, but also sorry the gig is delayed. Will there be more closer to home in the meantime?


"
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: MathOfInsects] #2968133
01/10/19 01:00 PM
01/10/19 01:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,419
Take a guess ....
Delaware Dave Offline
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For new clubs there are always standard questions that are asked; electric and stage Ft^2 are one, picture of the stage if not able to see the club in person is the other. Along with all of the other things, including who does sound, the requirements for sound, club size, # of people who typically frequent the club. When there are outdoor shows I ALWAYS ask about the covered stage (sun, rain protection, etc.), where the electric is, etc.. Sounds like someone logistically didn't do their homework.


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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: Delaware Dave] #2968135
01/10/19 01:22 PM
01/10/19 01:22 PM
Joined: May 2004
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Victoria, BC
drawback Online happy
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I know, I made a vow to never respond to an OP that began with the word ďSo,Ē but Iím reading this while just getting out of bed, and looking around, it dawns on me that the stage is around the same size as this Posturepedic. freak

PS. Thank you Math, for the correct usage.


1977 Kawai KG-2C | SL88 Studio | Mojo61 A/B | iOS ~ AUM | MacOS ~ MainStage | iConnectAudio4+ | Korg PlugKey |
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: drawback] #2968143
01/10/19 02:20 PM
01/10/19 02:20 PM
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Dodged a bullet there

Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: The Real MC] #2968144
01/10/19 02:31 PM
01/10/19 02:31 PM
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Posts: 109
Ukraine
chigson Offline
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Sounds horrible. I myself am always worried that there will be some drunkards that will mess everything up.


if you can't tell the difference, does it matter?
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: chigson] #2968149
01/10/19 02:44 PM
01/10/19 02:44 PM
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Upper Canada
Polychrest Offline
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Originally Posted By: chigson
. . . some drunkards that will mess everything up.

In the audience or in the band? I used to fear the latter more than the former in a couple of bands last century....

Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: Polychrest] #2968151
01/10/19 02:48 PM
01/10/19 02:48 PM
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St. Louis, MO
J. Dan Offline
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With all due respect, this is solidly a band leader issue and if he canít figure this stuff out before booking the gig, I wouldnít be in that band. I say that as a prior BL who did that.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: J. Dan] #2968168
01/10/19 03:39 PM
01/10/19 03:39 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,921
Victoria, BC
drawback Online happy
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One thing I've been wondering is how high the "stage" was. If it was just a foot or so high, it would probably make a good drum riser and you guys would set up around it on the floor. That's done all the time.


1977 Kawai KG-2C | SL88 Studio | Mojo61 A/B | iOS ~ AUM | MacOS ~ MainStage | iConnectAudio4+ | Korg PlugKey |
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: drawback] #2968179
01/10/19 04:49 PM
01/10/19 04:49 PM
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Rochester, NY
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Anytime someone hires us I make sure they can meet power requirements, stage requirements and most things in my rider whenever possible. Volume is something also. I have a stipulation that requires us to be able to play at a certain volume or I don't take the gig. I had a problem with a winery that hired us last year and apparently thought she was hiring a jazz trio. I don't need my guys playing tentatively because they worried about being too loud.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: Outkaster] #2968195
01/10/19 06:13 PM
01/10/19 06:13 PM
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Posts: 286
Colorado
DOhm Offline
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Played a late night pub gig two days after breaking my collar bone in three places. I brought the PA, but and my band mates did not show up early enough so I had to haul and set it up alone (using one arm). Gig was in a basement bar and I had to load in the back using steep stairs. Before playing I took a vicodin (pain killer) to help with the pain from the collar bone injury, but I had not eaten anything for several hours and it made me very nauseous. I'm sure I played terribly. Room was small, tight, hot and smelled like armpits and farts. Gig ended at at 2am. When loading out the weather had turned very bad. It was raining extremely hard and was very windy. Streets were starting to flood. Again, did not get much help hauling gear. On the way home I was pulled over by a policeman for rolling through a stop sign (could not see well due to the heavy rain). He wanted me to get out and test for alcohol (I don't drink and have never had alcohol in my life). After he was satisfied that i was sober, and I was soaked from the rain, i got back into my car and finished the journey home. I stayed in bed the entire next day. I also quit playing with that band wink


Last edited by DOhm; 01/10/19 06:14 PM.

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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: drawback] #2968199
01/10/19 06:57 PM
01/10/19 06:57 PM
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EricBarker Offline
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Originally Posted By: drawback
One thing I've been wondering is how high the "stage" was. If it was just a foot or so high, it would probably make a good drum riser and you guys would set up around it on the floor. That's done all the time.


That's just what I was going to say. One of our regular venues has such a small "stage", it doesn't deserve to be called that. We use it as a drum and keyboard riser, which it's perfect size for, and then guitar/bass/vox stand in front. It's a small dive so it makes sense, most of the time, they want as much floor space as possible for tables. I've done gigs in front of 12,000 people, but I won't bat an eye playing a "floor show". Using a small stage as a drum/keyboard riser can be fantastic. Other than our main venue (which the band leader built the risers himself), no other place around here has a dedicated keyboard riser. In many ways, I'd rather play on a keyboard/drum riser tiny stage than a full flat stage, which you usually get.

All our strings and vox are wireless too, and the singer spends less than half the time on stage anyway, so they like to mingle.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: EricBarker] #2968202
01/10/19 07:08 PM
01/10/19 07:08 PM
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EricBarker Offline
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We flew cross-country from Hawaii to Cape Cod to play my drummer's 50th birthday party. Paid my own airfare, had to line up a rental keyboard because the guy who said he had one fell through at the last minute. We were headlining, so we played late. Venue offered free drinks for the band (bad idea), they had no idea what they were in for. By the time we started playing, the singer was stumble drunk and practically passed out on stage. We went through all the songs that the rest of us sing, because he's such a f'ing lush. If he weren't the best rock singer in Honolulu, his ass would be on the street (literally, he's a full time musician).

7,000 miles to look like a complete tools.

NOTE: Any time someone complains (and they do) that a venue doesn't provide unlimited free drinks to the musicians, I just nod and smile. Thank GOD for "only one on the house". Musicians get alcoholic. I think that policy has saved many lives, and shows.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: EricBarker] #2968212
01/10/19 07:37 PM
01/10/19 07:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
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California
MathOfInsects Offline
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Ok, I'll play.

We were hired to play a wedding in Palm Springs. One of those fancy destination "cottages," which is a quaint word for what would otherwise be called a mansion.

We were warned ahead of time that due to agitation by the neighbors, the noise limit was "conversation-level," and that in the new year they were going to have to stop having music completely.

We set up and "sound" checked, which basically meant making sure any sound at all came out of the instruments. We set our levels so low that if you stood in front of the single PA speaker you could have a conversation at normal volume.

The officiant showed up with his own little PA and set up over by the ceremony.

He was louder than conversation level.

The ceremony ends and we pick up our instruments to play the processional music. We hit the downbeat. The party planner comes running over. "Stop!" she says. "The noise police are here." She told us to hang tight and get some dinner and wait until the fuzz skedaddled. So before we played a second note, we were shut down for being too loud.

Later she gave us the high sign to try again.

We started to play.

Noise police again.

We stop. Maybe three notes in this time.

More food.

The couple asks if they can at least find a way to do their first dance. We play our instruments at unplugged electric guitar level, and they danced right at our set-up, literally among us.

The party planner comes over and says, "They are shutting us down. I guess you might as well play one since it's over anyway." We play part of a dance song, wish everyone goodnight, and the party all piles into SUV's and heads to a club.

So we got paid wedding $ to set up, eat three times, play 1.73 songs, break down, and drive home. All thanks to the officiant, who probably should have gotten a cut of our pay that night for doing the solid of being too damned loud, too early in the party.


"
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: MathOfInsects] #2968218
01/10/19 08:37 PM
01/10/19 08:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
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Denmark
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I once played in a boat. Yeah, I mean something like a bigger row-boat.
Even the floor was not flat.
The bartender told us everything had to be placed in the boat, also our Loudspeakers (2X Cerwin Vega V35 at that time)
The place was called Showboat, and yes, the stage was a boat frown


/Bj√łrn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: bjosko] #2968219
01/10/19 08:49 PM
01/10/19 08:49 PM
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Denmark
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Denmark
And only to get to my 200 mark posting laugh , we never played there again, even if we had many requests. So I almost never played there, at least I try to forget I played there, until this post came up, around 35 years later.


/Bj√łrn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: MathOfInsects] #2968227
01/10/19 09:25 PM
01/10/19 09:25 PM
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EricBarker Offline
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Loudness:

We played a wedding up on north shor (O'ahu), that while it looked rural, was near to a retirement community. The super intendant was this total douchebag who came right at us ready to fight while we were setting up. He cared more about what direction the speakers were facing than anything. We'd been told before hand we couldn't point the speakers towards the retirement building (which was behind some trees on the other side of a field), so we thought 90degree angle. Guy got totally pissed, told us it had to be a full 180 degree angle. At that point, the bass player, who's one of the chillest guys I know, got all acoustic engineer pissed at him, trying to explain that it doesn't really matter what direction you turn a bass cab. That just made him madder.

We turned down so low that the wedding party couldn't really hear us from 50 feet away (which was the length of the deck we were on). Still, Douchy McDoucherton came over 3 times to bitch about our volume levels, and finally shut us down. As a joke we did a smooth jazz jam on War Pigs, which was actually pretty fun!

Whatever: got paid, so good enough gig.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: MathOfInsects] #2968239
01/10/19 09:59 PM
01/10/19 09:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 394
Edmonton, Canada
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MOI, your tale confirms my theory that often the gigs that pay the best are the least fun to play (or, in your case, not play).

I had a near miss experience of this sort, though it turned out fine. The event involved a three hour drive, a small crowd, and a potentail non-payment for the gig. It turned out that the smallish crowd was enthusiastic, we sold more albums than usual, and the band had fun. However, as we first pulled up to the performance area and saw the sparse crowd and plastic covered stage, our horn section leader summed up this potential disaster with one line: "Oh, oh...Spinal tarp!"

Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: EricBarker] #2968243
01/10/19 10:12 PM
01/10/19 10:12 PM
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misterdregs Offline
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These threads are always good for a laugh.

Freshman year of college, the guitar player calls and says we have two nights at The Insight Club in my college town. Iím new to town and figure thatís why Iíve never heard of it.

It turns out to be across the street from Haskell Indian Junior College and is their hangout back in the days of 3.2 beer bars for 18 year olds in Kansas. Small cinderblock place with no stage.

The well-documented issues with alcohol in Native-Americans on full display. Not that my friends and I didnít regularly over-indulge, but it started badly when we did not know ďCome And Get Your LoveĒ, the only hit record by a Native-American group. They put it on repeat on the jukebox on every break.

Guitar and bass are trading licks facing each other, doing their rock star impression and the bass player turns back to his mic to sing and thereís this ancient guy about three inches in front of him dancing. He said later his first reaction was to shove the guy away and it was good he didnít. He was some tribal elder/chief and it probably would have started a brawl in which we had fared poorly.

An extremely drunk chick decided that the other three had to give her a ride to KC at the end of the night, but they managed to defuse that situation without incident.


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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: misterdregs] #2968245
01/10/19 10:23 PM
01/10/19 10:23 PM
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I just noticed the title of the thread.

The worst gig I never played was subbing for a jazz quintet. I had never been in the venue, but an internet search showed mostly stories about them getting in trouble with the liquor commission because of gang-related violence, maybe a stabbing or shooting at closing time. Right when weíd be trying to pack up and load out.

I sent the article to the bandleader who quickly replied ďThanks. I just cancelled.Ē


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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: misterdregs] #2968251
01/10/19 10:54 PM
01/10/19 10:54 PM
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Do not ever pick a fight with a Native American. Especially a drunk one.

Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: The Real MC] #2968257
01/10/19 11:54 PM
01/10/19 11:54 PM
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I try not to pick a (physical) fight with anyone!

But Iím always game for a political debate (just not on the Keyboard Corner!).

Donít ban me, bro!


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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: The Real MC] #2968258
01/11/19 12:01 AM
01/11/19 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: The Real MC
Do not ever pick a fight with a Native American. Especially a drunk one.


I think weíd have been a big hit if weíd just learned that damned tune.

But there were a few tense moments. Drunk closing time patrons assuming there was a problem they needed to solve with the chick who wanted a ride to KC. As though trying to gently get her out of the passenger seat of the van was a civil rights issue.


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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: misterdregs] #2968267
01/11/19 12:47 AM
01/11/19 12:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,252
West Virginia
Tom Williams Offline OP
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Tom Williams  Offline OP
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West Virginia
Originally Posted By: misterdregs
The well-documented issues with alcohol in Native-Americans on full display. Not that my friends and I didnít regularly over-indulge, but it started badly when we did not know ďCome And Get Your LoveĒ, the only hit record by a Native-American group.
I don't know whether it was this forum that put me in that direction, but just a couple of days ago I svengled "Redbone," the one-hit wonder that did that song.

I'm not sure that those alcohol issues are that different from any other rural group, however.


-Tom Williams
<First name><At>AirNetworking<dot>com
PC361, PX-5S, AX-Edge
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Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: Tom Williams] #2968271
01/11/19 01:15 AM
01/11/19 01:15 AM
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That tune is one of the big hits of the night every time we play it.


Moe
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http://www.hotrodmotm.com
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: mate stubb] #2968285
01/11/19 03:36 AM
01/11/19 03:36 AM
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Nevada
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Worst gig I ever did was the Silversmith Casino in Wendover, NV.
Agents send you there as you wait for the gigs on the strip, or to Stateline which is closer.
But in Wendover itís by Salt Lake, and the showroom was beautiful small but subs under the stage hydraulic genie adjusted RCF Arrays, etc.
But then the sound check starts and itís a security guard. He sets your sound levels and then locks the plexiglass housing in the mixer so nobody is operating the board and you canít make adjustments. A nightmare that had nice rooms and good pay, but what a drag having to wait for the Soundcop to respond to feedback, etc.

Wendover isnít the end of the world, but you can see it from there.
A giant Salt Flat.
You have to sedate yourself after the gig at a local club, then when you leave in the morning the sun reflects off of the salt blinding you.
Itís like being on the moon.
And anyone hiding from the law lives there.
Dealers caught stealing in Reno or Vegas end up there as itís their last chance.


Magnus C350 + FMR RNP + Realistic Unisphere Mic
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: hardware] #2968287
01/11/19 03:53 AM
01/11/19 03:53 AM
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Posts: 5,873
Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
timwat Offline
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Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
Worst gig I never played:

Wedding reception. Good friend of mine (decent musician) attending with wife as guests.

Band starts to draw folks to dance floor. Lead singer is a bit of a cocksure douche - okay, not "a bit of", just a cocky douche. After first dance, he's playing his act to all the women on the floor. Decides to go out onto the dance floor and join the action, with wireless mic. Stage is one of those one foot riser affairs.

He starts serenading the bride. Then he starts dancing with the bride.

Then he starts trying to dirty dance the bride.

Groom comes and starts trying to nudge singer off the behind of his beloved. Nudges become more like shoving. Father of bride joins the action and threatens to lay singer out.

Singer finally gets message and decides to return to the relative safety of the stage. But he also decides to return with a flourish.

In this case, "flourish" is French for "backwards flip up onto the stage...boy won't that be cool looking". But of course the stage is elevated by about 12 inches, so I'm going to have to compensate for that.

Compensate he does.

He so 'compensates' that he ends up flying feet first into the drum kit, knocking cymbals and stands and toms akimbo. And knocking the drummer out cold.

End of set.

What I've always wondered is who in the band had to then slink up to the father of the bride and ask if there were still getting a check per the terms of the contract.


"I'm not just untalented. I'm multi untalented."
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: timwat] #2968405
01/11/19 08:56 PM
01/11/19 08:56 PM
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Posts: 2,069
On top of the world ma, I fina...
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Has been warned....
Jr. Deluxe  Offline
Has been warned....
MP Hall of Fame Member
J

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,069
On top of the world ma, I fina...
I think the OT was bad gigs that DIDNT happen. I won't use this card often but I'm not above walking out on an impossible gig. I probably would have backed out of the gig in the first post once the bad news started piling up. But I do this mostly for fun. If my bills depended on gigs I might be more tolerant.

Last edited by Jr. Deluxe; 01/11/19 09:44 PM.
Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: timwat] #2968413
01/11/19 10:03 PM
01/11/19 10:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 394
Edmonton, Canada
Piktor Offline
Senior Member
Piktor  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 394
Edmonton, Canada
Timwat, I don't care if your tale might be slightly to the left of the original topic. Your tale was laugh out loud funny. Thanks!

I have played lots of rougher bar gigs and, generally, no one bothers the band. As a teen, I DID not-perform a couple gigs that I had expected to play. Long ago, in a province far away...my band accepted a last minute gig in northern Manitoba, as we were sort of stranded on a Sunday morning far from home without any engagements. After spending all day driving northward, we arrived in The Pas, a rough (at the time) mining town. The band (from Oregon) that had just finished the week there gave us the run down. The stage needed a Blues Brother style cage to fend off the belligerent patrons. The keys player showed us the gouges in his hotel room door that had resulted from angry patrons trying to get at him (apparently, propping the room's spare bed against the door helped to keep the intruder out). On this Sunday night hotel guests band were partying in the halls outside the band rooms and one women took a shine to our drummer. Finally, the band leader decided that this was going to be too unsavoury, even for us, so he pulled the bus around to the fire escape, we grabbed our bags and off we went into the night. On his way to the fire escape, the drummer's new drunk "love interest" grabbed his ankle and he had to drag her and his bag down the hallway until he could finally break free. Thus, I began to suspect that the music business was not always glamorous.

Re: The worst gig I never played [Re: Piktor] #2968456
01/12/19 12:04 PM
01/12/19 12:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,170
Cabin In The Woods
PianoMan51 Offline
Platinum Member
PianoMan51  Offline
Platinum Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,170
Cabin In The Woods
Mid 70s. Black/PuertoRican/White 9 piece funk band. Southern Jersey, below Philly, Roadhouse. In the pine barrens. But nice room out in the boondocks.

Get setup. And nobody has arrived. Start time has gone by, but still nobody except the bar staff. We don't play, just kind of wait...

After an hour, the bartender takes us outside and shows us a dimple in the brick wall by the parking lot. Well, apparently someone was murdered there on the previous weekend. Murder by F150.

The worst gig I never played.

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