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Does anyone have a 2nd-string, or beater live rig?


Winston Psmith

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Remember the great scene in The Blues Brothers, where the band is playing behind a chain-link fence, to protect them from flying beer bottles?

 

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

We've all played that gig, or someplace like it, maybe without the band cage - if you haven't, be very grateful. Obviously, this isn't the place to bring your pre-CBS Strat and vintage VOX AC15, or any instrument you aren't prepared to sacrifice, so what do you bring? Does everyone here have a beater rig, or a personal blacklist of places where you won't play? I'm sure there'll be some funny, and not-so-funny, stories to go with the answers, so let's hear 'em.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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I got instruments to do any gig and all of them are cheap guitars except my Custom Philip Petillo and I could lose the Petillo without losing any sleep, it is my least favorite guitar.

 

However I ain't playing any bars, I did that once, and never looked back that was hard work, and I sure made more money in my day job than cheap bar room gigging.....

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If I don't know the venue, or am unsure of the neighborhood, I'll bring the "expendable" guitars: Godins, Partscasters, etc. These axes are truly excellent, but easily enough replaced, should the need arise. None of my amps are collectible, so the size of the room would dictate which one goes. I have 2 pedal boards, and some multi-fx units, and the size of the stage is the main factor to contend with. If I'm really worried about theft, I just won't take the gig.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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The Chicken Wire scene in the Blues Brothers movie is a pure classic and one of my faves...I never carried anything but my Fender Twin and my LP Deluxe back in my chicken wire days. But we had two bouncers so when things got out of hand, they just picked up a couple of mic stands that had those huge weights on the bottom and no one got near the stage or our other equipment. We did a few gigs that got the crowd too excited (this is before the movie came out) and one place said they couldn't hire us back as the crowd just got to rowdy over our music...it was all in fun. There was another time we had to sneak out the back door as fights were breaking out, out front with ash trays and other things like folding chairs etc. The back door had a one story drop with a rickety stairway to nowhere to get the equipment down to our two Chevy stepside 4WD trucks, but we made it happen. Too many stories to list, but those were the days!
Take care, Larryz
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Flying beer bottles, bar brawls, & drunken threats are really not par for the course for my free-improv avant-gardista audience. I have played in bars that allow occasional 'weird music' nights, but if the audience hates what I'm doing they're polite enough to just ignore me until I get the hint & wrap up the set.
Scott Fraser
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Even in the "punk" clubs I played, that don't have a stage and you play on the floor and the audience can end up invading your space, I just used what I had, which is mostly workhorse stuff... I just did without pedals.

 

Still to this day in New Orleans, load out is a time to focus your attention, because the neighborhood drunks and addicts seem to show up in droves and start panhandling and bothering everybody... and I usually can't make just one trip. Both the vehicles I drive to those gigs have alarm systems and remote fobs so that makes it easier on the mind. The main thing I have to watch is gig mates or people who want to help and carry something outside and leave it near the car... and of course fighting off the drunks and crackheads who are too enthusiastic about carrying something for a fee.

 

That's assuming you've been lucky enough to park close to the doors of the club or there's a loading zone. You don't want to walk with even a gig bag in some areas there... there's guys who beat and rob musicians seemingly just for sport.

 

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/01/veteran_new_orleans_musician_l.html

 

They caught the guys responsible, and they're the same ones who rolled a friend of mine as he we putting his guitar in his car one night after a gig. They ran up and put a shirt over his head and took his cash and phone and punched him a bit, then started trying to force him into his car, which he says reminded him of a self-defense article by Sam Harris I had posted somewhere that said "never give anyone control or let them move you... you won't only be robbed in that case" so he started screaming and kicking and fighting back as much as he could and luckily a group of people walked around the corner just then and teller and the two guys ran away, which is when he got a look at them. When he described them the cops knew who they were and said they seem to target musicians... like it's just their jobs and the stretches in jail are like a lay off, or something.

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Being aware of the risks is always a good thing.

 

All of my gear is working-class stuff, so it's sort of moot to jump in, but believe it or not, I'd actually prefer to use my $100 dollar guitars at church of all places.

 

I say that for a few reasons- one, there are a lot of kids around. I love kids, but when they get carried away and come running up on the stage full speed and crash into something, I'd rather it be a $100 Strat. Then the youth want to check it out and stuff, I'm not worried about them dropping it.

 

The other reason, where I used to live, we had a rash of church break-ins where people would come to the service and blend in rather unassumingly but they were casing the joint. After a few weeks, they would break in and take any TVs and electronic equipment like projectors on carts, DVD players, etc. they could carry and be out of there before the cops showed up. Sometimes it was instruments that were left on stage. They generally didn't mess with mixers and the like because they were too big and heavy. So the church I was in at the time basically bolted the small electronics to the carts.

 

So, I've just went with the idea of not drawing attention to my stuff through a lot of bling.

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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Thanks to everybody for the thoughtful replies. No question that theft is an issue, even though I was thinking more of the audience. I grew up in NYC, where theft was part of the underground economy, and have been living and working around Washington, D.C., for far too long. D.C. is on a bit of an upswing - there are neighborhoods that were all but off-limits, until recently - but I still wouldn't bring my best, or most cumbersome rig to a lot of places, day or night. The working girls have mostly been corralled in out-of-the-way areas, but the crackheads wander everywhere. Early morning, right around or before dawn is the most dangerous time in the crack neighborhoods, because they've usually been out all night, wired up, and as they're coming down, they need money, or something, to get more crack.

 

My beater rig is the Epi G400 (SG), and a little Boss ME-25 floor unit. The Epi goes in a light, lean guitar-shaped HSC, with no logo anywhere on it, while the ME-25 fits in an old laptop bag, over my shoulder. No amps or racks to load in and out, no need for any 'helpers', and if all else fails, I can swing the HSC like a big club, or hold it up like a shield. The whole set-up cost me right around $250, and it's all stuff I can easily replace if I had to, so you get the idea . . .

 

In the height of D.C.'s Punk scene, back in the 80's, you were as likely to get blood on your guitar as beer. Almost all of the gear was beater gear, with hideous buckle-rash, shared within, or even among bands, depending on circumstances.*

 

*(No exaggeration - D.C.'s Bad Brains came back from a disastrous trip to England with no gear, and had to play their gigs using whatever the other bands brought, until they could afford to re-supply. It's a mark of how tight the scene was, that I never heard of anyone refusing to let the Bad Brains use their gear, for a show.)

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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apologies for glooming up the thread... maybe it's something we should all have in the back of our minds?

 

Necessary data, buddy!

 

I frequently tell youngsters worried about taking their stuff to college that their gear is safer in their dorm rooms and apartments than it is at venues and gigs, statistically speaking. Your highest risk is not where it is stored, but when it is moved.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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*(No exaggeration - D.C.'s Bad Brains came back from a disastrous trip to England with no gear, and had to play their gigs using whatever the other bands brought, until they could afford to re-supply. It's a mark of how tight the scene was, that I never heard of anyone refusing to let the Bad Brains use their gear, for a show.)

 

EXCEEDINGLY cool. :cool:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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In the nineties a bunch of musical gear was stolen and then the vehicles were burned. This happened till the night they broke into a bands van with the back doors welded shut they loaded the gear in to their near by truck but when they poured the gas or diesel on the floor of the van they lit it and could not get out, they burned up trying to get out the back doors. It was sorta justice, I remember trying to get my back up amp back after their deaths and the guys parents basically blamed the Pittsburgh music scene for his kids death. Was a freaky time around here.

 

Lok

1997 PRS CE24, 1981 Greco MSV 850, 1991 Greco V 900, 2 2006 Dean Inferno Flying Vs, 1987 Gibson Flying V, 2000s Jackson Dinky/Soloist, 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio,

 

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