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OT: Welcome to My Nightmare.


moot

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My original band headlined the Canned Food Drive concert last night. There were some great bands there. Hard rockin' kids with more money invested in equipment than I have in my car! The turnout was good and cash donations were actually more popular than the 2 can admission. Anyway, on to the nightmare.

 

We started rough - the drummer missed the first big cut and I figured he couldn't hear so I motioned the soundman to get more guitar into the monitor which he did. Halfway thru the second song my rig quit. Not one note. I switched basses thinking maybe my pre-amp went or I had a dead battery and my spare is passive -nothing. Staying calm,I started with the transmitter - it was still lit up and plugged in - checked the chord between my reciever and MEU and it was plugged in as were both speaker cables. The song ended (still without bass) and the lights went out as was choreographed and I had to yell "I NEED LIGHT!!" While the singer talked I unplugged everything and used a short cable directly to the head. Nothing. Okay, so now I'm sweating. Not panicked yet, but sweating . . a lot. This is how cool my wife is - she comes out on stage and calmly shines a flashlight into the back of my rig and askes what happened. "I think my head went."

By now the drummer has launched into his patented (and personally I think rediculous) 5 minute drum solo so I have some time. My wife says "Calm down and go get your spare." So I do, and as I hook it up I notice the drummer is stumbling badly during his solo. The guitar player shows up and askes if everything is okay and I tell him "It will be in a minute." and he says "Don't bet on it dude, Dereks drunk." Great.I turn on my spare head and I get a little farty sound thru one cab and nothing thru the other so AHHAAA! Sure enough, a bad speaker cable. Now it's time to do the giant D crash to end the drum solo and I barely got my wireless plugged back in when that happened. Okay. Back in business. As I trotted to the guitar side of the stage my transmitter fell off my strap and unplugged itself. At least it didn't break when it hit the ground.

I did get it together, finally, but the drummer never did and the show suffered horribly because of it. The guitar player at one point got up on the edge of the drum riser and started doing the Les Claypool stomp to get the drummer to pay attention to the beat but that didn't work either. He was late for stops and cuts (if he played them at all) and made it impossible to find a groove. On top of that, the pyrotechnical stuff didn't work at all and the soundman kinda ignored me after I got my rig back up so there was no bass in the main mix. I saw a lot of the old hand-to-ear directed at me. Maybe he figured the show had gone to hell already so why bother.

 

Turns out the drummer had been there all day drinking with his pals. This guy is insanely good when sober and we have had "the talk" with him on 2 previous occasions. Both times he has sobered up for a few gigs and then slowly slid bak into the bottle. It's to the point where we have to arrange our cover band set list so he can just coast thru the 4th set 'cause we know he might be in the bag. I think we need a new drummer. I'm trying real hard not to project my embarassment and frustration at my equipment failure onto his performance. At the same time though I'm angry because he couldn't keep it together for a lousy hour and fifteen minute set. It's hard because I love this guy but there were local newspapers there and some of our most rabid fans and there was no covering for the drunken drummer. "How was Electra Road man?" "Dude, they sucked."

 

Just venting. :)

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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awww, im sorry dude.

 

it seems like so many people in here have had problems with drunken drumers. what happend to Drunken guitarists?

 

oh wait....nevermind that one, they need to be sober for all of the chics they "hook up wit".

 

why is it that the drummer always thinks that he can get wasted off his ass, play a show, and not sound horrible? :confused:

 

someone should start a support group, maybe;

 

ADA

 

(Alcoholic drummers annyomous) :eek:

 

they could help each other out, lean on one another for support. and all the while, discussing Neil Pert and how arrogent the singer in their band is. :D (no offense to you bassists/singers)

 

:D;)

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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That is a nightmare. Go get yourself another drummer right now.

 

But about the amp....

Did the sound guy NOT DI you straight from the instrument? Most of the ones I run into are real anal about that for exaclty that reason. So if an amp goes down if doesn't pooch the FOH mix.

 

I think if a sound guy wanted to get my bass off of a cabinet mic only....we would be having words.

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Bummer. That sounds like a horrible night. If you gig long enough, you'll eventually run into at least one problem from your Night Of The Living Hell; but rarely so many of them at once.

 

Two pieces of advice for you that have worked for me so far:

 

1. I always buy really expensive cables and treat them with a great deal of care. I have yet to have a speaker cable fail on me (knock on wood).

 

2. When I use my wireless, I use an 18' patch chord to plug the wireless receiver into my preamp. If the wireless decides to die or I start getting interference, it takes all of about 4 seconds to hit 'mute', unplug the wireless, plug patch chord into bass, and hit 'mute' again. Back off to the races.

 

As far as drunk bandmates. That totally sucks. It sounds like it's time to have The Talk with the little drummer boy and prevent that from happening again. If he can't straighten himself out, time to find a new drummer.

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I suppose this is a bad time to mention that all the members of Mrs. Grundy were buzzed from some form of alcohol or another on Friday night when we played...for some reason it allowed us to loosen up and have a tight set even though we hadn't rehearsed at all.

 

That being said, being totally plastered at a gig is just unprofessional. There's a big difference between being loose and being trashed. Find someone else if he doesn't get his act together. That sounds like it was embarassing all around.

 

One more thing...lose the wireless...they're definately more trouble than they're worth on small stages...using a straight cable into your amp to begin with might've saved you a few minutes in your troubleshooting.

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I was playing a gig and the keyboard and guitar lost power right in the middle of Oye Como Va. So me and the drummer and percussionist just kept the groove going with some funky improvisation. Their problem was just the power from the house. Then later my amp just quit. It wasn't the power from the house because the lights on my power conditioner/tuner were still on so the first thing I did was switch out from wireless to a cord. It wasn't the wireless. I later figured that I had overheated. I was using a big Carvin stack bridged to push 1000 watts. I think I just got too hot and the amp shut down. In retrospect I should have been playing in bi-amp mode. That would have been cooler I'm sure.

 

Another time I was playing in a country band in a little hick town and the guitarist got too drunk to even play. He just stood there like a wobbling statue. Then one of our roadies (who was a tweaker) almost got in a fight with a big ol' cowboy who owned half the town and had been buying the guitarist drinks all night. Frikkin' stupid, chest-poundin' gorillas with big hats on! "Ah'll bust yer haid!" Shit.

Will play bass for food.
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My sympathies go out to you Matt, for your night of pain. Getting sloshed is way unacceptable. What is the drummer supply like?

I've played a few festivals where the grog is flowing and it has been VERY tempting, but I pull up after 2 or 3.

 

What is the drink rider situation like at your gigs. We'd always get a case of beer between 11, so noone ended up too loose. One lunchtime charity luncheon we played gave us two cases, for a one set show! We were stuffing beers into every case! Great night AFTER the show.

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Thanks for the comiseration all. I talked to the guitar player. The drummer thinks he was just fine. Apparently my cord problem threw him off for the whole gig. Yyyeeaahhh. :thu:

 

I'm done for awhile.

Peace everybody.

Matt

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

someone should start a support group, maybe;

 

ADA

 

(Alcoholic drummers annyomous) :eek:

 

you're right...if i was an alcoholic AND a drummer, i'd want to be anonymous
Insert inaccurate quote here
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ADA

 

(Alcoholic drummers annyomous)

i have a better method of correction

ADA- A Dark Alley :evil:

once or twice after the show and he will hopefully figure it out. if not, you get the pleasure of whomping on a drummer :D

 

perhaps this would only work for younger members like myself...

"I'm thinkin' we should let bump answer this one...

Prepare to don Nomex!"

-social critic

"When I install my cannons, I'm totally going to blast their asses back to the 16th century; Black Beard style"

-bumpcity

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Matt...I deeply feel your pain.

 

2 bands ago, our drummer was killer until....he either got high, or drunk. :mad: We had The Talk with him on several occasions, but he never changed and we had to fire him. Sucks. We never recovered and that band died. :mad: Hope this doesn't happen to you. But I'd rather not play than get on stage and look like a complete ass because of one person.

 

I had an amp take a dive off the back of my cabinets near the end of one gig. Luckily, I was DI into the PA and could finish the set after my amp crashed. I was VERY lucky. The fall had only knocked the tubes loose and after reseating them, I was good to go again. I immediately went and bought some plywood, paint, screws, rack rails, and built my own custom 10 space rack. Did I mention that I painted it with flourescent white, yellow, and red paint? Looks really crazy under a black light and functions as a great conversation piece... :D Not to mention, no more falls. :thu:

 

I feel your pain brother...I feel your pain...

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Matt,

 

Your rig wiggin out on you, well sometimes that shit just happens. At least you were able to recover and get on with night, sounds like you missed only 1 song.

 

Your drummer being a drunkin fruitcake, thats another issue altogether, and facing both in the same night could be rather troubling.

 

If the drunkard keeps it up, ditch him. It is so unprofessional to show up tanked to a gig of any size. If he REALLY needs a drink or two to loosen up, let him have 1 or 2 to sip on during the show/set. A compromise may keep him as a friend and help get over this apparent hump. He has to do it though, and in the end you must decide whats more important to you, the band or the drummer as a friend.

Check out my work in progress.
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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

someone should start a support group, maybe;

 

ADA (Alcoholic drummers annyomous) :eek:

We have enough candidates for a New Jersey chapter alone, not to mention the entire tri-state area.

:rolleyes:

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My personal (very personal) experiences with drinking and playing.

 

1. Lack of focus.

 

2. Slower reaction time to problems that happen at every gig. Musical or technical.

 

3. Poor judgement calls. This ties into #2.

 

4. Slower recovery time after the most recent incident.

 

5. Memory lapses, followed by #4

 

6. Reduced coordination.

 

7. Dubious pitch. So if you are singing background harmonies or playing fretless or both...

 

8. If all is going well after your 2nd or 3rd beer and there will be the temptation to have just 1 more, remember, it's just the booze talking.

 

Anyone care to add to this list?

 

I know my answer to most every problem in a band is to fire them, but there is no shortage of good musicians if you run a tight ship.

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Thomas, very much agreed. I had a coke-head singer/guitarist at one point... wasn't worth the hassle, even if he was talented.

 

I have put up with garbage from drummers in the past. Most of the time it is because it really is hard to find a good drummer for the types of gigs I'm playing (pretty much non-paying gigs). Such is life...

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Dude, that all sucks. You did the best you could with your rig. I wouldn't worry about that. No use crying over spilt milk.

 

As for drunken bandmates - get rid of them. That was a major problem in my old band. Difficult tunes and everyone is drunk. It also sounds like this guy has more of a problem than just getting drunk at gigs.

 

Hang in there.

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Everyone else has discussed the key elements, and I sympathize with the various problems you had - drummer, head, sound-person.

 

I want to talk about the good stuff, like a cool spouse who comes up even when not asked, holds (HAS !!) a flashlight, and helps calm you down. The crowd didn't get to see her, but they got to see a better you because of her. Send our highest commendations.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Tom, you're right. My wife is the best thing in my life and has been since I met her. She's an EMT as well as a firefighter - she carries more crap in her car than most fire engines. If she didn't have at least one flashlight I would be suprised.

 

Thanks to all you guys for the wise (as usuall) advice. I decided not to decide anything. Instead, I'm going fishing. Nothing clears your head like standing in a river waving a stick. Next gig is October 17th so no rush to get back. Time and space.

 

It's gonna be weird. This forum has become a daily thing. I feel the itch of withdrawal already. . . Talk to you all in a few weeks.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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