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A case for staying sober at the gig


Michele C.

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I'll have a beer or two during a gig, but that's stretched out over 3 hours and I always drink water concurrently. I've never played drunk or high and never intend to do so, nor do my band mates.

 

We did a New Year's Eve gig once with a young guy we had hired as our sound man. In the middle of the third set we started having some feedback issues, but couldn't see our guy at the board to get his attention. The issue resolved, thankfully, but when the gig was over, it was very clear to us that our sound man was wasted: glassy eyed and slurring his speech a little bit. The reason we couldn't see him when we had the sound issue is because he was off having multiple drinks.

 

He wasn't a bad guy, but he displayed very poor judgment. Needless to say, it was the last time we ever worked with that guy. We run our own sound now.

"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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I might have a Coke. I have had to play with drunks and I don't like it. That's usually my last gig with you if that's the case. I'm being payed to do a job. It can/should be fun, but you/re still getting paid by someone to do a job for them. I couldn't show up to school drunk and teach - although some days would be a lot better.
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My experience as a 16yo playing a NYE gig with a throw-together AFofM band made an indelible no-alcohol impression on me. The trumpet player bragged about drinking cream to coat his stomach in order to take advantage of the open bar. By mid-second set he was useless, and it was a shame as he was quite good.

 

Most bands I belonged to in the seventies had an unwritten no alcohol (okay, one beer fifth set if desired), and it wasn't a hardship. Only one didn't, and the music suffered.

 

More recently I've had bands with AA members, and as a courtesy we stayed dry. However, when they brought in all their friends to a gig, the bar didn't do very well. :o

 

My most recent band dissolved a couple months ago, and I think the lead vocal/guitar may be a functioning alcoholic, which contributed to the band's undoing. It seems that those that self-medicate with alcohol have other issues that can affect their general behavior, which IMHO is good reason to avoid them if possible.

 

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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Back when I played out I was a regular beer drinker and measured 6'3" and 250 pounds with a pro wrestler's build. I found that two beers was just right to overcome mild stage fright and loosen up while still playing well. A slightly buzzed Kenny was a more entertaining Kenny. A beer before and two beers stretched out during, no more, no less. Never noticed any drop in my perception of bass but I can't say I ever played drunk outside my home.
Push the button Frank.
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A beer or two maybe over the whole night but generally if I am driving home I don't. Last guy I fired was too high to play the third set of a good gig... he played it but he was terrible and too loud (drummer)... I wanted to jump over the kit and shove his drum sticks in the dark place... I didn't... but he was gone the next day.
"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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Alcohol is a depressant and affects your senses even before you feel drunk.

 

Particularly your high frequency hearing above 1kHz starts to be affected at even levels as low as 35mg.

 

These frequencies are the frequencies that you use to determine the pitch of a note (even in bass), they're also used for discrimination. So the more alcohol you drink the less intelligible the music becomes.

 

 

At that point people start to turn up because they can't hear themselves.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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I recall when we were teens in the 70s, getting together on a Saturday and playing all day. The beer would flow, certain substances would be rolled, lit and consumed. We thought we sounded GREAT! :rawk:

 

Then we recorded some of those Saturdays and played them back while stone cold sober. :facepalm:

 

Never again. :thu:

Play. Just play.
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I can believe it. I drink, but not on the job, and that includes playing music on stage.

Reminding me of this one kid in a church band who played his bass so $#$() LOUD it could be clearly heard, not just in the church, but in the NEXT COUNTY, LOL. I asked him to just turn it down a smidgin, especially his amp speakers since were right in my EARS. He smirked, did so to placate me, and then turned the MOTHER up again once my back was turned. In this case no alcohol was involved; lucky for him because I might have killed him.....

Glad I didn't, because he later became a very good player! And because I would now writing this e-mail from jail, LOL.

But seriously, substance abuse on stage is NOT helping anybody!

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I hear ya, Eric. I never did a gig any way other than clean. Jamming in an attic, basement, garage or yard on a Saturday afternoon? Another story entirely.

 

I was so much younger then....

 

*yells at cloud*

Play. Just play.
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