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Gigging


DocPate

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I gave up playing professionally many years ago. But the years playing in smoky, loud venues have taken a toll. Or at least contributed to some health issues I'm sure.

 

How many here have experienced gigs where the environment was less than desireable?

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The air was always fresher at outdoor gigs than in the bars and they were a lot of fun most of the time. I dreaded them on hot summer days though...I no longer gig but when asked to sit in with a band on a summer day gig I decline. I don't like sunburns and heat strokes LOL! I will play on nice Spring and Fall days though...

 

As far as loud venues, I try to avoid them. When our band had to crank it up a bit, I always concentrated on protecting my hearing. Where you position yourself can make a huge difference. I would stand to one side of my amp as in my gigging days the amps were not mic'ed to the PA and when we had to fill a large room, your eardrums would vibrate if right in front of your amp speakers. I would also make sure I was not in the line of fire from the bass amp and I would never stand in front of the bass drum. For some reason the low loud frequencies bothered me the most. I have tinnitus from my Army days and I learned to protect my hearing as much as possible, at an early age. I think that my hearing is the biggest health issue that I was on top of at our gigs.

 

Another health issue is drinking too much at gigs and trying to drive home afterword at 2 in the morning. I also learned to limit my drinks to no more that 2 or 3 over a 4 hour gig. :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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I have awful allergies, and they are severely agitated by cigarette smoke (though people tell me you can't be allergic to cigarette smoke or some such nonsense).

 

Thankfully, smoking has been banned in bars in New Orleans, and here in Baton Rouge most bars I play have voluntarily banned it inside in order to satisfy the majority of customers. We did play a smoking bar out of town, recently, and even the guys who smoke in that band were bummed when we walked into the place... it just reeked.

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Fortunately more and more cities are banning smoking in bars, clubs, and such. Here in our area it is banned but if the venue is 21 and up, it is up to the owner's and management's discretion. And for the most part smoking is still not allowed but in some places it still is. Always seem to have to air our gear out for 24 hours after playing these places!

 

Outdoor gigs generally are not a bother for me unless it is oppressively hot (or cold)- believe it or not the coldest gig I played up until about 6 or 7 years ago (which dipped below 40 degrees by the time our set finished)was a January night in Key West! Temps were in the mid 50's but there was a cold wind blowing about 20-25! In Key WEST! WTH? :laugh:

 

Dealing with smoke and weather are matters themselves for sure. The other is dealing with the quality of the restrooms seen in some of these places! :sick::eek::eek: Some seem to want to rival those of CBGS's (so I only have heard of their nastiness) and make one feel they need a penicillin shot after using! Ugh!

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Don't you just love those venues that have a postage stamp "stage" for the band. You are expected to get all of your gear in a 8 by 8 area?

 

And then the area is crowded with wanna be's yelling "Free Bird" to every song you play...and hell, you're not even covering a Lynyrd Skynyrd song.

 

Reminds me of why I quit gigging! The bar owner says you can have the gate...only to let 100 people into the bar before the band starts (no gate) - and the bar only has a capacity of 125. To top it off, he wants to charge all of the band for drinks.

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Don't you just love those venues that have a postage stamp "stage" for the band. You are expected to get all of your gear in a 8 by 8 area?

 

LOL! For sure! Have played plenty of small stages...and well, just floors over the years. Sometimes you walk into the place with no stage and wonder where the band sets up. Then the manager, bartender, waitress, or whoever says, "we will have to move a few tables after those sitting at them are done eating!" And sometimes those turn out to be really fun gigs when it is all said and done (just try and keep some of your prized gear away from sloppy drunk dancers sloshing beer everywhere!)

 

I do really love playing out (am just a weekend warrior type these days - and have been for some time) and it is really nice when you land those gigs at venues with good management, full sound crew and system, posh green rooms (well posh can be defined as anything other than a roach infested storage closet AFIAC!) and so forth. So, sometimes you gotta take the bad with the good!

 

Reverbnation stuff

More Reverbnation stuff

I feel happy! I feel happy!

 

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Some of the best shows I have ever seen were in bars, with bands on the way up or on the way out. There's something to be said for that level of intimacy.

 

Thankfully, smoking is being phased out of such venues, slowly but surely.

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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Haahh! Yeah, I've played some tiny and very weird so-called "stages"... ! :D

 

One looked like a horse-stall inside a small semi-defunct brewery, during a benefit that resembled a small carnival outside. Fortunately, there were representatives of several microbreweries there who dug us and gave us plenty of tasty, FREE craft beer. But it was ridiculous trying to get our admittedly small amount of gear in there and set it up, let alone OURSELVES and PLAY!! :crazy:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Back in the 70's our band got a gig on a friday night. We showed up and the hall was upstairs with no elevator. We hauled our stuff up, set up, warmed up, and as the people came in we got a little concerned. They were all dressed up in western dress type clothes. They assumed we were a square dance band but we only knew one. We played it a couple times for them and maybe a polka then they told us thanks and go on home. Carried everything back down the steps and went home.
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Best night was a new years eve party for the Milan Michigan prison union on the prison grounds. Played for our nomal 9:30 to 1:30 then they passed the hat and we kept going. We were having fun and they told us upfront they would supply us our drinks and breakfast and they treated us great. Started home about 4:30 and had a car fall out of the sky in front of us. A story for another time. Some gigs are great.
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Started home about 4:30 and had a car fall out of the sky in front of us. A story for another time. Some gigs are great.

 

Damn!! What the?!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Back in the day I was against smoke free bars...that's because I had lost my sense of smell as a smoker and didn't know what all the hubbub was about! I quit smoking cold turkey back in 1999 and got my nose working again. Today, I can't stand being in a bar or casino smoking environment. I would love to smoke a Cuban cigar outside one of these days, if I get a chance LOL! :puff:
Take care, Larryz
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I would love to smoke a Cuban cigar outside one of these days, if I get a chance LOL! :puff:

 

Oh my God, those are good. And I'm not even a smoker. :cool:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I would love to smoke a Cuban cigar outside one of these days, if I get a chance LOL! :puff:

 

Oh my God, those are good. And I'm not even a smoker. :cool:

 

+1 I've only had one Cuban once in my life and that was probably about 17 years ago. I have never forgotten it. I brought it with me to a friends outdoor wedding and while people were dancing, I moved out away from the crowd in the woods and fired that baby up. About 5 guys came over and joined me just to smell the smoke LOL! :puff:

Take care, Larryz
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I'll finish the car story. Leaving the prison we had to go through a short tunnel under us 23 a main express way here in michigan. It was icy that night and a man and his wife were coming home from his work New Years party. He was department head of some surgery unit in Toledo and was from Egypt I think and lived in Ann Arbor. Rarely drove on slippery roads. They were sober and driving slow but hit ice and the car jumped the guard rail and dropped down the very steep bank right in front of us. A sight I will never forget. Lucky they were not injured and Gary was able to swerve around them barely missed hitting the car. We ended up taking them home. Car was damaged but drivable. A memory forever. Jim
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Some of the gigs I've played I was more afraid of stray bullets than 2nd hand smoke. Not really. OK a couple places were almost that bad. One fan got robbed at gun point while we were playing. I don't know what song we were on but I'm guessing Gimme 3 steps.

FunMachine.

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A lot has changed over the years - IEM's, smoking bans, etc. I've had my fair share of bad environments but most of them are much more friendly these days!

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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As an old timer (age 64) I have experienced lots of bad environments or venues. At age 13 my band started playing my cousins frat parties. Lots of smoke, beer flying, fights in a frat house basement. Age 15 I started playing bars again lots a smoke, just about everyone smoked. Played in a bar whose nick name was the Knife and Gun Club. Tons of fights and an actual shooting in the parking lot one night. On a hotel circuit we would play the same room Wednesday-Saturday. It was typical for the room to be filled with blue smoke so thick it looked like a fog machine. When I quit that and became a weekend warrior we played 3 or 4 rooms that were on the second floor. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
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