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Tricked into playing Country


Rockhouse

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This thread is based on the inspiring rigs/gigs thread, but too much of derail to post there.

 

Back in the early 90's, I was working at a local music store and found this sign:

 

$$$$$$$$$$$

Keyboardist needed

Classic Rock Band

$$$$$$$$$$$$

 

The dollar sign caught my eye, so i called the number and got myself an on-the-gig audition for that night. We played, and I knew most of the setlist already. The stuff I didn't know, I read off the guitarist's fretboard as he played. It was a lot of Skynard and Eagles and basic rock stuff.

 

At the end of the night, they handed me $80 and told me I got the gig. Also, since the gig set for the next nigh was a fair drive, we would all meet up at the guitarist's house and go up in his van. That's exactly what we did.

 

We arrived at a Holiday Inn for the gig, and my spidey-sense was tingling pretty bad. Since when did Holiday Inns book rock acts?

 

So, there I was in my torn Led Zep t-shirt, setting up my Kerzweill and Korg DW8000 wehn a couple of the guys wandered off, only to return with pearl button shirts, those skinny string-ties with turquoise collar grommets, belt buckles of big-rigs, and cowboy boots.

 

"Where's your hat?" the bass player asked.

 

I looked at them with surprise.

 

"What do you mean, 'where's my hat?'" I asked.

 

They then explained that the band was a dual-role act. Some nights were rock and other nights were country. They then handed me a set-list that had about three songs that I'd ever even heard of before.

 

Long story short, I played the show reading off the fretboards and looking ridiculously out of place in my rock clothes.

 

The next night was band practice, where I showed up with a few questions of my own, mostly about how often were these country gigs, and could I just play the rock shows, and if not could I just quit now, and such.

 

They told me the schedule was about 50/50 rock versus country, and to please just work with them and not quit at least until they could find a replacement. We never did do another rocke show, in the six months I was wrangled into that band . . .

 

Funnily, the drummer was also roped into the band at a jazz club, being told that the band was 50/50 jazz and country.

 

That's how th band found members. They'd book one-night shows outside of the country circuit and recruit players, only to guilt them into staying as long as they could.

 

This is getting long, so I'll split the epic finale into another post . . .

American Keyworks AK24+ Diablo (with bow), Hammond L100, Korg M3 expanded, Korg Sigma, Yamaha MM8, Yamaha SY99
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Pretty elaborate trap they laid.

 

Did the band leader get his start in a cult or something? :laugh:

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Wow, that's twisted.

 

There's nothing wrong with playing country or any other genre, but being tricked into it is not cool.

 

How on earth could they expect you to have a cowboy hat, if you didn't even know what was going on?

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Very twisted situation, indeed. When I got roped-in to country, at least it was an honest presentation. So I thought I'd try it. And playing country turned out to be a 'fooled around and fell in love' situation; go figure :D

'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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Country is cool! Especially after New Wave hit and rock started getting wierd..... all the rockers had to go to Nashville.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Epic Finale:

 

About 3 months in, we got a gig at a huge country venue up north. This place easily held 3000 people, was aranged like an arena with bleacher seating all around, and a gigantic dance floor in front of the stage.

 

Their shedule was very simple on Saturday nights.

 

7:00pm-8:59pm Line dancing lessons. 16 groups of 64 dancers each.

8:59pm-9:00pm Sound Check for the band.

9:00pm-2:00am Band plays 4 sets.

 

Now, the one-minute sound check was all we had, so the guitarist asked me to play his guitar and check his mic while he dialed in his sound from the house board, about 100 feet away.

 

I proceeded to play a rousing original I IV V in G to which I sang "Down Around the Mountian" about 20 times in a row. The rest of the band followed with me and, at that moment, the line-dancers (who had not left the dance floor) announced summarily that my song was evidently one of their favorite rhythms for a particular dance.

 

They danced. I played. Our guitarist grimaced at the thought that such a conteptuous mockery of the music he loved should not be enjoyed by anyone. But, he jumped up on stage, and we traded solos as the dance continued.

 

We were invited back as the Saturday Night entertainment for the forseeable future. Every night, I'd play that stupid song for souncheck.

 

The drummer was really enjoying it, by the way.

 

Every week I'd try to quit, as would the drummer. We'd always be guilted into staying until replacements were found.

 

So, every week, the drummer and I would launch into Down around the Mountain unexpectedly at various times throughout the night.

 

And the dancers would dance.

 

By the end, we were launching that song every other song.

 

And the dancers would dance.

 

Finally, after about 6 months had elapsed, the guitarist fired the drummer and I after the club owner had complained about our repetitive set-list.

 

And I was finally free of the time that I will always refer to as the time I was accidently in a country band.

 

 

 

 

 

American Keyworks AK24+ Diablo (with bow), Hammond L100, Korg M3 expanded, Korg Sigma, Yamaha MM8, Yamaha SY99
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Country gigs pay a lot. Tricking becoming a member of a band is bad, what else does the band leader trick you with in future. No, I don't play country, don't mind a song now and then but a whole evening of old-school country would be somewhat bland. New school country is another story, that's pretty interesting nowadays with the rock/pop cross-over. Anyway, any deception with band politics will always backfire.
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A young guitar player in his 20's razzed me a couple of years ago by commenting that Classic Rock was all of that old Hippie crap that the old fart Baby Boomers, who couldn't get laid as teenagers, used to pick zits to. Of course, he knew that I'm a 50 something Baby Boomer that grew up with Classic Rock.

 

In all seriousness, that was quite the story and the band leader that hoodwinked you was an A-hole no matter what the genre (and I actually like old school C&W piano.. e.g. Floyd Cramer, Fred "Papa" Calhoun, Moon Mullican, etc. ).

 

Flashback... While I was in college in the late 70's, I had a relatively high-paying steady gig for a summer as a drummer with a country band. The band played the NCO club at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri every weekend. They had a damned good older piano player, who could play circles around me on his Wurly. I learned a lot about keyboard playing from that cat. Time permitting before and after gigs, he showed me a lot of tricks that I still use today when playing blues and jazz.

 

The major catch with the gig was I had to wear a Cowboy hat and a tacky embroidered cowboy shirt. I also had to tuck my pony tail beneath my back shirt collar because Hippie punks like me weren't welcome in the NCO club in those days.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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all of that old Hippie crap that the old fart Baby Boomers, who couldn't get laid as teenagers, used to pick zits to.

 

Next time I saw that thumbsucking plank wanker, I would remind him of history. Back then was the sexual revolution, and EVERYBODY was getting laid. :thu:

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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all of that old Hippie crap that the old fart Baby Boomers, who couldn't get laid as teenagers, used to pick zits to.

 

Next time I saw that thumbsucking plank wanker, I would remind him of history. Back then was the sexual revolution, and EVERYBODY was getting laid. :thu:

Yeah you right... Pre-HIV late 60's and 70's , those were the good old days. Sex was everywhere and pretty easily had (even for geeks like me).

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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I think our original poster must have forgotten one detail: This band must have been fun as $hit to play with. Let's face it, good chemistry trumps about every other pitfall a band can encounter. I have a buddy here in town who's a major alternative rocker at heart. Moved to town in the late 90's, joined a band (country) to "fill the time until a real band came along" and woah and behold, he's still with them. He says the people are the thing. They gig like monsters, win the local music awards and generally crush it. He HATES country.

 

I am in awe of bands that can form and just don't break up. Stones, U2, others of course, that's friggin' special.

 

Deception=not so good. But I would be willing to be deceived to join the stones.

 

Korg Kronos 2 61, Kronos 1 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless, too much PA gear!
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They told me the schedule was about 50/50 rock versus country, and to please just work with them and not quit at least until they could find a replacement. We never did do another rocke show, in the six months I was wrangled into that band . . .

 

did you sue them?

 

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That's a funny story, thanks for posting.

 

I've taken any paying gig I could to get by - and I'm a Belfast boy (moved away in my mid thirties) - I've done the Country and Irish scene.

 

At my first audition, the singer walked round and I felt her touch the collar of my shirt. I kept playing. She left the room and I looked over to the drummer with a "what was that?" raise of the eyebrows.

 

"You're in" he mouthed back. "She was checking your shirt size."

 

It paid ok and crowds were always very appreciate. Couldn't say that about the paid jazz gigs I've done.

 

 

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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During my 15 year or so full time music career I spent a couple years in a pretty hot counrty band with a very good girl singer.

 

They would bring in a steel player for the bigger gigs and I really enjoyed playing with that guy. To me it's fun when you're doing a particular style of music the right way and adding a good steel player really did it.

 

The thing about country is the crowd is very friendly and love to have fun as long as you're not playing the Road House...

 

Frankly it was cool, not my primary thing but coming from a Vegas show group background, this was a show/dance thing and it worked very well. I'd do it again if it was a good group.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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Just about the same time you were tricked into playing country Rockhouse, that was the time I started taking an interest in it. Country piano playing in the early 1990s finally cycled out of playing imitation Floyd Cramer and Charlie Rich licks all night long, and changed into more of a roadhouse style that I could really sink my fingers into.

 

Country band attire changed about that time too. No more gaudy sequin shirts and string ties - just jeans and boots. Hats were optional... I never wore one.

 

I played in country bands on and off for the next 15 years after that, and it was for the most part very good for me. I was up in the mix far more than in previous rock bands, and took far more solos too.

 

And the rooms were busy, with happy owners. Good times :)

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