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great moments you've experienced on a job


Dave Horne

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I can think of two very pleasing moments -

 

I worked a job years ago with a great bassist. We hardly spoke to each other, I just laid down an into (clearly indicating the tune) and the bassist came in on one and played the changes perfectly. I don't think I called out one tune or one key. I've worked with a lot of great players but this guy was just a solid player who had played every tune and knew what and when to play. The job was effortless.

 

The other moment that still stands out - a clarinet player on a job turned to me and asked if I knew On A Slow Boat To China. It is one of my favorite tunes and I cannot remember anyone ever asking for that tune. That still puts a smile on my face.

 

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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As a gigging muso, the greatest moments I've experienced were those times when the proper amount of crisp currency was handed to me before I played a note.

 

I truly appreciated not having to wait around for the bandleader or promoter to pay out and/or listen to that sob story, "The Case of the Missing Money". :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Playing in Australia and Japan were great moments in my musical life, or job as you call it. Not only 'cause i met other cultures but also because i saw some beautiful places i would never have the possibility to see otherwise (and also because i got payed well with all the other commodities covered in a luxurious way). But don't get me wrong. There are more "every day" moments when i feel good on a job: when i get payed in time and when the band smokes.

 

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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This can't top a topless story, but I narrowed it to two ;) ;) A quartet concert, playing a duet version (sax/piano) of "Ask Me Now" with tenor legend Joe Henderson. It was the first time I'd played with him, and he had just recorded a duet of that song with McCoy Tyner, so I felt a little on the spot.

 

I played the best solo I could, and looked up for Joe to take the song out. He was standing holding his tenor, his head back, eyes closed, listening, and suddenly shouted "Go ahead, go ahead!" Rather flustered since I'd ended my solo, I had to take another chorus which didn't rise to the level of what I'd just played, so it was kind of funny.

 

Another was when I was in my 20's, at a concert with my quartet. Before starting, I saw an elderly woman sitting on a hard metal folding chair backstage, by herself. I'd seen her at my gigs before, always mysteriously by herself, so I went over and asked if she'd be more comfortable if I could find her a seat in the audience. She said, "No, I like to sit backstage because I can hear better. It's where I always sat when I listened to Bud." Turned out she was Mrs. Buttercup Powell, who shared many delightful stories about him later.

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Though I haven't played live much at all for the last 35 years, I did a gig with Mac McAnally as the opening act for a short lived James Taylor tour in 1983. First night in Milwaukee, we kick off the first tune, and before we reach the chorus, Bill Payne comes up to the side of the stage, stands 3 feet from me and my Rhodes and stares at my hands. He stays for the entire 30 minutes of our set. As I pass him headed for the stairs, he makes eye contact and says "nice feel". :)

 

That and Stevie Wonder sitting in for a couple of hours in a Detroit hotel lounge.... :cool:

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Back in the early 90's I played a huge fest on Labor Day in the western 'burbs of Chicago. The original band I was in at the time had the opening slot for The Guess Who, who - even without Burton Cummings - put on a killer show (having the original rhythm section of Drummer Garry Peterson and bassist Jim Kale, plus an ace lead singer and keys player who nailed Burton's parts didn't hurt). So we were nearing the end of our opening set tearing it up on one of the lead singer's originals, and I notice Garry Peterson off to the side with one of the road crew - both watching me play. We finish the song, and I overhear Garry remark "now that's rock n' roll piano". The comment made my day, actually the rest of my year...

 

Then there's the memory of an 'accidental' all star jam that fell together in Nashville back in Feb '01, right after a band 'showcase' for which I'd been hired. Turns out that Rascal Flatts had backed up the showcase act prior to us (an acoustic duo that were friends of theirs), and had stuck around to jam after the 'showcases'. Between the two bands, and various guests, just about anything and everything came up, song-wise. It was a fun couple of hours 'flying by the seat o' my pants' - especially at the point when one of the audience members requested a RF original...

 

 

 

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'd love to share, but Gentlemen Never Tell.

 

However, there is a saloon at which we play, Bentley's Saloon in Arundel, Maine. Biker place, great dance floor, and it's ALWAYS a party.

At any rate, there's this big aluminum sculpture of a pig (hog) on the center table. The custom is for ladies to "ride the hog" and, yes, even remove their upper clothing. The bras go into the rafters. I have my wife trained to give me a heads-up when someone's riding the pig. Love that woman.

 

By the way, we're at Bentleys' this Saturday night. I'll bring my camera.

Bentley's Saloon, Arundel, Maine

Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

 

HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.

 

 

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One of my bands had what we refer to as the "summer of boobs", it seemed that women were flashing us all summer that year.

 

I've had exactly ONE gig where I got paid before we went on, I was a fill in for a doo wop band.

 

Another memorable one, we were playing a private gig at a pretty swanky house in the DC burbs. The guy who hired us said "you guys are guests, help yourselves to anything". They had troughs of crab imperial, and the look on the catering staffs faces when the "band", which is usually lower on the food chain than they are, was pricesless as we mingled and ate. At the end of the night, the guy starts throwing cases of beer and liquor in our van, saying "I'll never use all this, you guys take it". Fun night!

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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One of my bands had what we refer to as the "summer of boobs", it seemed that women were flashing us all summer that year.......

 

Another memorable one, we were playing a private gig at a pretty swanky house in the DC burbs. The guy who hired us said "you guys are guests, help yourselves to anything". They had troughs of crab imperial, and the look on the catering staffs faces when the "band", which is usually lower on the food chain than they are, was pricesless as we mingled and ate. At the end of the night, the guy starts throwing cases of beer and liquor in our van, saying "I'll never use all this, you guys take it". Fun night!

 

 

 

A band I was with from '98 -'01 went through more like an era of flashing women. We had a repeat 'offender' in NW Indiana who, one night, got in a bit of trouble with her guy - who'd apparently showed up at the bar while she was on the dance floor... They got in a rather loud argument/fight back at the bar, the police were eventually called.

The lead singer of one band I was with in the SW Chicago suburbs was such a 'magnet' than the line of female fans after the show to talk to him would often get rather long. One time an argument erupted regarding place in line/someone cutting in, and a knock down, drag out fight ensued: The two fans were wrestling on the beer soaked floor, screaming, pulling hair... Never a dull moment in that SW Chicago/NW Indiana scene.

 

I played a couple of big Bar Mitzvahs in the late 80's that were a lot like the private party you described, Dan. Then there was the super swanky, mega $$$$$ Bar Mitz' in Milwaukee that went quite the other direction, kind of like Aidan's recent experience. Huge food/drinks stations with different themes, extravagant decorations, etc. We were told to 'help ourselves', that is until the 'party planner' informed that there was a special table for the band back in the kitchen. That 'special' table turned out to be a cooler filled with damp bologna sandwiches, and generic pop...

 

 

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've experienced tons and tons of "great moments". One was when I'd just been through the misery of working with a completely incompetent bass player for a number of months, and finally my singer gathered enough balls to fire him. He was a nice guy but had no business being onstage performing professionally. So, the great moment occurred at the first rehearsal with our new bassist, who had trained under Carol Kaye and had 20+ years of gigging experience under his belt. Suddenly, I didn't have to scream changes to the guy, didn't have to worry that when I took a solo that he'd be lost in the wilderness, didn't have to see the panicky look in his eyes when it was obvious he once again didn't know the song we were about to start. It was a huge sense of relief, and I was able to stretch out musically, and it felt great.

 

And then, there were the times that involved boobs, but I guess we've established that motif already. :)

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Back in 1968 or thereabouts, while in college, I played Hammond organ in a rock band that was part college kid and part townie, which was an interesting mix that actually worked pretty well. Most of the time at gigs I played a distant second fiddle to the guitars, and was mostly ignored by the audience.

 

So I was quite surprised to find myself very much the center of attention at a gig in Centerville, a small town in south central Iowa. I was literally surrounded by folks actually INTO what I was playing, and enthusiastically egging me on! We played a lot of R&B, the audience was mostly Afro-American, and I was doing my best to play like Booker T. That was my kind of music, I was in the zone, and for once, appreciated! I guess it didnt hurt to be playing a real Hammond, which were scarce as hens teeth outside of churches in Iowa at the time.

 

That was a heady day for me. To this day, I think that this was my all-time favorite gig.

 

Another episode while in college, while not a gig, but an audition, also stands out. For the first time in my life, I decided to take piano lessons. Since the music department only taught advanced students, I had to audition. Though I knew how to read music, I never played classical music, and being a self taught geek didnt think that I had much of a chance. To make things even more dicey, my college was Herbie Hancocks alma mater (he graduated a few years before I got there), and the professor that I had to audition for was HERBIE HANCOCKS PIANO TEACHER while he was there.

 

Needless to say, I felt way, way outclassed. But I decided to go ahead with the audition. The closest thing to anything that sounded classical that I played was the long intro to Strange Meadowlark by Dave Brubeck, which I played pretty well.

 

So there I was, scared stiff, sitting at a thankfully, perfectly tuned Steinway. I somehow managed to play the tune well enough, even adding a little improvisation in middle. The professor, looking a bit surprised, asked me who wrote the tune. This I thought strange because, didnt everybody listen to Brubecks Time Out album? I told him that Dave Brubeck wrote it, but I added that I wrote the middle part. I thought that any on the fly faking would be frowned on!

 

Well, I passed the test! I was amazed. This was another high point for me.

 

Unfortunately, I was assigned to a different teacher, who made it pretty clear that he wasnt into special education, if you get what I mean, and I quit lessons after a couple of sessions. That was the end of piano lessons for me!

 

You know, though, I wish that I had tried lessons again at some point. Now Im 2old2learn!

 

Cheers!

Bill

 

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my trio was playing our first festival gig at Musikfest in Bethlehm, pa....we were playing all original music and halfway through the 2hour set the merchandise seller came up to me and asked if we had any more CD's, she had sold everything we had....a good feeling...

www.dandechellis.com

 

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." A. Einstein

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I'll briefly continue with the "boobs" theme. During the mid-1980's my band played to a packed house of about 400-500 FEMALES. We played with a famous male strip review called "Fast Freddie and the Playboys." Stuff was flying around all over the place. I'd do that gig again for free. Actually, I'd pay to do that gig again!

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I'm happy to say boobs still abound (and other flashings).

 

I'm a little embarrassed to say this these days... it wasn't really a band gig, but in College, this Fraternity had a fund raiser where each house provided somebody to do a "chippendales" thing. It started out only girls were let in, and we'd each do our routine. A winner was selected, then the party was open to all. Well, you guessed it, I stripped. I didn't win (go figure), but there was a period between the time we were done and joined the party, and they let the guys in, that was pure heaven!

 

In terms of BAND-related experiences, they fall into 3 categories:

1) Doing something fun/different, regardless of outcome

2) Pulling off what seems like the impossible with good results

3) Just an overall huge/awesome show.

 

For #1 I did a show with friends from various bands that was a benefit for some girls who lost their parents. I did a weird mix of songs that would never go over in a club - they were just kind of favorites of people who were attending/donating. They included Pink Floyd, Bruce Springstein, They Might Be Giants, and others I don't recall. Weird Mix. But it was a good crowd at a Union hall, low pressure, and fun, and ended up sounding really good!

 

#2 has happened many times, but most recently a couple monhs ago our (female) lead singer was out sick and we played the weekend anyway, just doing all guy songs and covering what we could. People who never saw us before thought we were awesome and didn't know we were missing anybody - that was really rewarding. Not that I want to do a show without her - she's awesome, but it was fun for a weekend.

 

#3 - 2 come to mind. July 4th before the fireworks at St. Charles riverfront playing to 10,000 people. "Busch Bash" playing in Busch Stadium before a Cardinals game - piped through the sound system and shown on the Jumbotron. We've done that twice.

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.

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Nothing so titillating (sorry, I had to...)

 

At one gig we did, a guitar player that I knew came up and asked me if I would give him lessons. That was humbling. -I- know that I am not really that good, and what I do I do totally by feel, so it must have been a good night for me.

 

a good-but-strange moment, we played a prison for young men, and they asked us if we'd go talk to the prisoners after we played. We went into the ranges, sat in the cells and just talked with these guys, talked music and instruments and playing and life..... left me unsettled, because had we known in advance we might have prepared something. Having been caught unawares, I don't know if we helped, or were just a bunch of jerks in a band.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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The day I truley realised music had the power to delve deeply into a human's soul and drag that person's "demons" to the surface as tears.

 

First gig with a duo years ago, infact with a lady I was engaged to at the time, so it was a special duo..

 

Upon performing "What a Wonderful World" the lady cook of this rather rough and tumble pub sat down at a table in front of us [to have a smoke] and after listening for a while just let the tears flow to this beautiful song, I imagined the words of the song were juxtaposed to her own life, reducing her to tears and sobbing.

 

At least I like to think the combination of our performing and this magic song had done this and that it wasnt my singing that did it. Hee Hee

 

But it did actually make me realise the power we have at our hands and more so our vocals and lyrics..and the combination of all.

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I've been blessed to have lots of wonderful moments:

 

Playing "Ipanema" with Red Rodney at 1/4 note=2,000,000, and having him cheer me on during my solo; playing a rehearsal with Sammie Cahn standing over me, and meeting his son Steve Khan; recording with Mike Brecker; performing with Patty Austin, Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Valentin, The Beach Boys, and some of the members of Aerosmith; speaking with Chick Corea.

 

But of all of them, my most touching experience was attending the funeral of one of our band's lead vocalists who wrapped his car around a tree on the way home from one of our gigs in a blizzard. At the funeral, Eddie's parents pulled me aside in the midst of their grief to tell me how much Eddie spoke of how he enjoyed creating with our band, and what a blessing it was to him.

 

In the secular music business you tend for get jaded over time and forget about how much people can be comforted and ministered to by music. I've never taken my role as musician for granted since then.

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Quite a few years ago, while I was living in Geneva, Switzerland, I was performing at the Nice Jazz Festival on one of the "lesser" side stages with my quartet.

 

The group was sounding particularly good that evening and we closed our set with 30 minutes of Coltrane back to back. My Favorite Things/Impressions. The band blew hard and it might have been the best rendition of these songs we ever did.

 

After our hit was done, this really well dressed guy comes over to us and says "Man, that sounded as good as Trane at Newport in 63, and I know cause I was there." We thanked him, shook hands and he was off.

 

A minute later, the promoter who got us on the bill came over to me and asked "what did Roy Haynes say to you guys?"

 

I guess it just doesn't get any better than that, but I was pissed that we didn't recognize him. I also felt like such a dumbass telling our promoter that we didn't know it was Roy Haynes.

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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I was playing to a packed house with my blues band at the Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester about 2 years ago. There was this one guy in the audience who was really digging the band, giving us tons of compliments... "You guys are great!!". Of course, we hear this all the time during gigs, so we thought nothing of it. Well, the bass player tells me that this guy is pretty loaded, loaded as in crazy rich! Midway during the first set, he throws each of us a $100 bill and proceeded to offer us another $500 each if we let his girlfriend come up to sing "Mustang Sally". Astonishingly, the guitarist declined the offer(Arrrgghhh!!).

 

About 3 years ago, my blues band opened for Robert Cray. It turned out to be one of the most fun gigs I've ever played. The crowd was pretty lively that night. I met Robert and his drummer backstage. His drummer pointed me out.. "Are you the keyboard player for the other band?". I answered, "yes". "You were awesome!". Robert himself agreed. Needless to say, it felt great considering that Jim Pugh is one badass player.

 

I played a blues gig around Christmas time 2008 that was one the most endearing moments I ever experienced as a musician and as a person. This was at a community center in one of Rochester's roughest neighborhoods. We were set up downstairs in a some small meeting area. The audience consisted of people who were battling drug addiction, poverty, etc along with CC volunteers. We started to play Christmas songs, but they wanted to hear the blues and we happily obliged. The looks on their faces as we were performing almost brought me to tears. They looked like they having such a great time. They were extremely helpful(and yes... trustworthy) with loading our gear. For me, for them to have at least one "shiny moment" in their life was payment enough.

Kronos 88 Platinum, Yamaha YC88, Subsequent 37, Korg CX3, Hydrasynth 49-key, Nord Electro 5D 73, QSC K8.2, Lester K

 

Me & The Boyz

Chris Beard Band

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One that comes to mind for me was back in the days when I was on the road, playing country.

 

We played a club called Duke's Country in Tulsa OK. Club sat 2500, and had a full concert sound and light system. Huge stage, with a 6' 6" grand piano fitted with the full Helpinstill pickup, and perfectly balanced and maintained. It was tuned at least once a week, as the club had national acts coming in at least once a week. We were the "house band" that would play throughout the week, and be the opening act for the national acts.

 

One night we opened for Gary Morris, who at the time had just had a major hit with "Wind Beneath My Wings", long before Bette ever recorded it. We would open, they would play, we'd do a set, they'd do a set, then we'd finish out. During the in-between set, I played a solo version of "Desperado". The sound was perfect, and the light guy killed all the lights on the stage, and I was lit by 2 2000 watt follow spots. It was so bright I couldn't see the end of the piano.

 

After I finished, I heard this huge cheer, the spot lights went down, and I could see the crowd, who were on their feet.

 

You never forget your first standing "O".

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Though I haven't played live much at all for the last 35 years, I did a gig with Mac McAnally as the opening act for a short lived James Taylor tour in 1983. First night in Milwaukee, we kick off the first tune, and before we reach the chorus, Bill Payne comes up to the side of the stage, stands 3 feet from me and my Rhodes and stares at my hands. He stays for the entire 30 minutes of our set. As I pass him headed for the stairs, he makes eye contact and says "nice feel". :)

 

That and Stevie Wonder sitting in for a couple of hours in a Detroit hotel lounge.... :cool:

Yeah, but does anyone *good* like your playing?

 

Seriously: I love it when you guys tell stories involving our heroes. Thanks for sharing, Steve!

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Once, I played a good note!

 

Monk said "the piano ain't got no wrong notes" so by definition, all of your notes are good ones Jeff.

 

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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