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What NOT to Do when your Bandmate Makes a Mistake


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Like at 1:27 of this clip when Roger Waters gives the stink-eye to David Gilmore when he hits a wrong note…

 


 

 

 

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I've had that happen in a few bands, not only with mistakes but if volumes change (once in particular was due to something the sound guy did in the monitors).  Way to clue in the audience that something is wrong, where otherwise nobody would have noticed...Obviously Pink Floyd is professional but normally this behavior I put down to amateur hour, it's mostly been people who talk a lot about gigging but who really have it done it much.

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It's Roger Waters, so I'm not even surprised.  One of the bands I'm in the guitar and bass player do that when mistakes are made; I don't let it bother me.  My other band is more of a jam band, mistakes are made more frequently than the other band and no one ever shoots a look.  Honestly, what I saw Roger do wasn't a big deal.

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Most memorable stink-eye moment:

Lead singer motions to me, a thumbs-up move. Leans over and whispers rather harshly: "You need to turn up! I can't hear you in my monitor." I told him to ask the soundperson, as my turning up would affect the entire mix. He became more irritated, and insisted that I turn up. :facepalm:

 

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

 

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Joke’s on you, I don’t make mistakes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I often tell fans/friends that when you see the band smiling at each other, it often means we made a mistake of some sort. LOL Better to laugh it off than draw negative attention/energy to it.

 

Jerry

 

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10 minutes ago, jerrythek said:

I often tell fans/friends that when you see the band smiling at each other, it often means we made a mistake of some sort. LOL Better to laugh it off than draw negative attention/energy to it.

 

Jerry

 

When I laugh, it's either because I fucked up, or because the drummer just shifted his beat by an eighth mid-solo to mess with me. 

So it's either "I'll kill myself" or "I'll kill you". 🤪

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Funny reminds me- they auto tuned Steve Augeri on the 2001 Journey DVD, but according to Herbie Herbert- they couldn't auto tune Neal's winces when Steve was out of tune- so now I see that when I watch the DVD. I looked for some of that last night but for the most part Arnel was killing it.

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I was playing yet another bar gig with a seasoned band and the bandleader/singer started playing Maybelline by Chuck Berry. 

Somehow, the drummer had this cosmic concept that made no sense in context and he stuck to that groove despite the obvious fact that it destroyed everything else and made it impossible to play the song. 

 

Middle of the second verse, the bandleader stopped the song, full halt. He started it again and the drummer did the same thing. This time the bandleader went from the first verse to the last verse, we finished destroying the song and moved on to the next one. Everything was fine after that. Not a great moment in my life, or anybody's. 

Not sure what I would have done. We played lots of gigs after that and never a problem again. Weird. 

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Logically, giving a glare to someone does nothing to fix the mistake--the mistake is already in the past.  It only accomplishes one thing, draw the attention of the audience to it.   Makes no sense.  Discussing and fixing mistakes is for before and after the gig (and a good reason to record shows, since people's memories of who f-ed up what tends to...differ)

For ongoing issues like a guitar being out of tune, it'll get (quietly) mentioned  between songs and hopefully corrected.

 

2 hours ago, allan_evett said:

Most memorable stink-eye moment:

Lead singer motions to me, a thumbs-up move. Leans over and whispers rather harshly: "You need to turn up! I can't hear you in my monitor." I told him to ask the soundperson, as my turning up would affect the entire mix. He became more irritated, and insisted that I turn up. :facepalm:

 


This one drives me crazy.  If this is coming from someone in the audience ("You need to turn up!") I turn and point to whoever is running sound. They get a pass, they don't know how it works.  But when this comes from the guy who owns the ****ing PA or otherwise is in the band, I say something like the following:

"We have already set my gain so as to be healthy but not overdriving the channel.  I haven't turned anything down.  I can't just turn up."  They can't deal with that, sounds like it's their problem and I'm not going to let it bother me or get into an extended discussion about it.   This person hasn't bothered to learn the basics of live sound, or if they have, have chosen to ignore it in order to vent their frustrations on me.

In a pinch, people look for someone to blame no matter how stupid it is.

 

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Don't pay the  bass player onstage after the tune because the drummer screwed it up again.  Wait for the break. 

 

Better be like when I worked the Yes tour and Steve Howe would keep the keyboard player after the sound check going over parts he was stepping on.   Howe wasn't a happy camper. 

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I was playing keyboards and singing a song.  The dance floor is to the side of the stage on my side, my back is to the dance floor, and there's no railing separating me from the dance floor.

 

While I was singing, one of the girls on the dance floor goosed me.  I sang a whoop, the band looks at me, I'm looking at the guilty party.  The band immediately caught on.  No stink eye for that mistake, plenty of laughs to go around.

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34 minutes ago, timwat said:

James Brown would deduct from their pay per clam, right on stage. The eternal ray of sunshine Buddy Rich would wait to speak encouragingly to the band until they were on the bus.

A high school buddy almost straight out of high got a gig in the Buddy Rich band.   When he was home he had lots of BR stories. Over time he worked his way up to first chair.    He hated first chair because it meant he sat right next to BR and heard all the rants and crap between every song.   He left BR  not to long after that and had a good career doing studio work until he retired a couple years ago.   

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2 hours ago, timwat said:

James Brown would deduct from their pay per clam, right on stage. The eternal ray of sunshine Buddy Rich would wait to speak encouragingly to the band until they were on the bus.

I heard a story that a bass player was late to a BR gig and scrambled to set up while the band was already playing. Buddy introduced him starting with "playing his last gig with the band is..."

 

The BR tapes are solid gold for quoting on our road trips. BR, Paul Anka (Al Pacino borrowed one of his lines for an Oceans xx movie), the Troggs, etc. I suppose we get our yuks where we can, and after the initial shock wears off it becomes an endless supply.

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1 minute ago, Reezekeys said:

Many years ago I was playing in a small group led by a guitarist, who in the middle of a song turned around to the drummer and yelled "play better!"

The most embarrassing scene I ever saw was Joe Pass playing a concert at a big hotel.    Ron Eschete opened up the night then Pass came on with a quartet.   Looked pretty much like the promoted got some pickup musicians to backup Pass.    They played first tune and Pass turning and looking behind him at the piano player.   Finish first tune and Pass is giving the guy the evil eye and looking at someone on the side of the stage.    They start another tunes and Pass is getting really mad and staring down the piano player.   They finish and Pass says something to the guy on the side of the stage.   Next thing the guy goes to the piano player and sends him packing everyone in audience was like "glad I'm not that guy".    They play another the guy from the side says he's got Ron Eschete pianist and that guy came on and finished the show with Joe Pass.    Boy Eschete's piano player had to be brave to play with Pass after what happen to the first pianist.   

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Mistakes in our band are laughed at. Our singer once kept singing the verse when it was supposed to be a fairly well known keyboard break, on a song we’ve played literally hundreds of times. It was a fairly big show and I could tell he was embarrassed. He actually said “sorry Jordan” into the mic mid song, then said afterwards “I don’t know how many times we’ve played that song, but I’ve never ever done that. F**k sake” and everyone in the crowd laughed. 
 

If the drummer misses a beat or something, or the bass player slips and plays a howler we laugh. What else can you do? 
 

Last Saturday was a funny example of this; there’s a part in one song where everything apart from the kick drum drops out, and the singer gets the crowd going. Usually the singer shouts “GET STOMPING” on beat 1, which is me and the bass player’s cue to play a little riff on the first beat of the next bar, which brings everyone else back in. Sometimes he shouts half way through the bar which is funny, but we’re used to it and always manage to come in together. Last Saturday he said it at a totally odd time though; not even on a sub division of a beat or anything that made sense, and it totally threw everyone. Bass player and I couldn’t work out which beat to start on, and the drummer was poorless. Something similar happened later on in the set where the singer was so far out in the crowd he brought the drummer back in at a totally random time, and he had to reset the beat. Again we just laughed it off. If the band is fun things like that don’t matter too much, even if the show is sold out. 

 

Agree with the above though, there are few things worse than band members in foul moods turning to you visibly on stage and telling you to turn up, or frantically waving at you. I don’t mind signs or nods, but turning their back to the crowd to motion to you with their whole body is incredibly off-putting. During a sub gig I did once, the singer turned to me during an intro and shouted “PLAY THE STABS!!!”. I had no idea what he was talking about so he started imitating stabbing out piano chords…in front of the whole crowd. Problem

was there were no stabs in that song at all, just padded organ chords, but it turned out their usual keyboard player played piano stabs there instead, and the singer was too used to it to adjust to anything different. Was left with egg on my face there. Not nice when the band makes the crowd think you don’t know what you’re doing! 

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I have no idea what you guys are talking about…🤷🏻‍♂️

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My band uses IEMs and an onstage talkback mic to call cues, set list changes, and the like. The talkback feeds only our ears, not the FOH — which is a good thing. Our previous drummer used to direct the show and his commentary was brutal and colorful if someone hacked up a song:

”Damn, what the f*** was that?”

”C’mon, bass player! Find us! Find us! G, g**dammit! Now E!”

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4 hours ago, Docbop said:

The most embarrassing scene I ever saw was Joe Pass playing a concert at a big hotel.    Ron Eschete opened up the night then Pass came on with a quartet.   Looked pretty much like the promoted got some pickup musicians to backup Pass.    They played first tune and Pass turning and looking behind him at the piano player.   Finish first tune and Pass is giving the guy the evil eye and looking at someone on the side of the stage.    They start another tunes and Pass is getting really mad and staring down the piano player.   They finish and Pass says something to the guy on the side of the stage.   Next thing the guy goes to the piano player and sends him packing everyone in audience was like "glad I'm not that guy".    They play another the guy from the side says he's got Ron Eschete pianist and that guy came on and finished the show with Joe Pass.    Boy Eschete's piano player had to be brave to play with Pass after what happen to the first pianist.   

 

My piano teacher from college has a similar story with Joshua Redman. I guess he came through town on a tour after winning the Monk competition and felt he was a little too hot for local players. Now, my teacher (Chris Andrew) is a humble guy and would be the first to play down his own skillset, but the dude is a monster, easily a top five player in Canada, and so was the rhythm section. The A list guys from here in town. Redman spent the whole night leaving the stage while they soloed, turning his back, just generally being an absolute asshole. To this day, Chris (who, besides his humility, is also a very chill forgiving guy), will roll his eyes all the way to the back of his head and cuss Redman out whenever anyone brings it up. Lost a lot of respect for a guy I really dug in high school. (And actually, I have another not great story about him, but that's for another time.)

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Looks like I am giving my guitar player the “Stink-Eye” this past Saturday!…. Hysterical!

 

 

EC658EA7-7053-49A9-A138-F1032F77DC6C.jpeg

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'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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Saw Charlie Haden and Hank Jones play duo during the Montreal Jazz Fest. On one tune, Charlie looked really lost and perplexed. He kind of inhaled, looked over at Hank, and powered through. A few bars later, still looked lost and perplexed. Finally, Haden figured out what was going on.

 

"Hank... Hank... HANK!!! The tune's in three!"

 

Hank was playing what should have been a waltz as a swinging 4/4 the whole time. Everyone had a good laugh and moved on.

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1 hour ago, HammondDave said:

Looks like I am giving my guitar player the “Stink-Eye” this past Saturday!…. Hysterical!

 

 

EC658EA7-7053-49A9-A138-F1032F77DC6C.jpeg

HammondDave, I give that look a lot, but it means "I can't believe we're still doing this and getting paid"

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