Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

How do you handle a drunk?


Recommended Posts

Just wanted to get you guys' regarded input. I played a [i]really[/i] good gig last week, the kind when the music is almost playing itself. I packed up my gear afterward, feeling the 'post awesome gig' (PAG) high, and as I headed for my car, a very inebriated woman (whom I didn't know) slurred/yelled out: "hey motherf****r...yeah you with the case!" Without a second thought I gave her the 'one-finger salute' and pressed on. It was sort of an ugly post-mark to an otherwise incredible night. Do you guys think I did the right thing by acknowleging this drunk, or should I have ignored her altogether? How do you club warriors handle intoxicated and obnoxious people? Share your stories and advice.
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 35
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I preffer to: (1) Ignore them (2) If they insist, I call the security guards of the venue I never talk to a drunk person. Since I used to play in weddings or any similar party where the patron may possibly get drunk after the gig is over, I asked for my money BEFORE of the gig. It was in the contract.

Músico, Productor, Ingeniero, Tecnólogo

Director de Ventas, América Latina y Caribe - PreSonus Audio Electronics

 

Instagram: guslozada

Facebook: Lozada - Música y Tecnología

 

www.guslozada.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ignore them. If they persist in harrassing you, it is amazing what an effective weapon a Stratocaster can be when held baseball bat style, at the lower part of the neck, just above the nut. A tremelo bar can also be a very effective eye-removal instrument.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's why Johnny Winter said he always played solid body guitars. Good advice. Sometimes you can't ignore them, in which case, if they're being civil, I humor them briefly until I can get away. If they're not civil (YOU GUYS SUCK!!) I tell 'em to talk to the bar owner. Which is actually the same thing I tell polite, relatively sober people who tell us "You guys kick ass"...I say "Thanks, make sure you tell the bar owner, they're the ones who can hire us back".
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i had a drunk experience the other day. this metal band (dude!) booked some time and they asked if they could drink while they recorded because they said they play better. they brought in a few cases of tecate and played most of the night. then they complained about their recording. i told them you were drunk that's why it sucks. then they say stuff like "we always sound great live and in the rehersal space when were drinking" etc. it's hard to explain that i'm just recording what they play. sounds like your guitar amp, just very sloppy. metal dudes and hip hoppers drive me nuts. hip hoppers just get my '58's because they are always breaking my condensors.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of curiosity: Had she been in the audience? Did she sound angry? If the playing was the good, and she was drunk, maybe she was just going to offer you a compliment? Or something else??
There are two theories about arguing with a woman. Neither one works.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How Do You Handle A Drunk? A) Very carefully B) With tongs C) By following EPA guidelines D) The same way you handle a drunken sailor E) Using zircon encrusted tweezers ("Let me sterilize that. Give me your lighter.") F) By making Frank Zappa references unattributed G) With kid gloves H) With extreme predjudice I) Like a sixpack J) Like a leper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends what the drunk is doing... if they're putting out negativity, I try to follow the rule of "do not engage," as attempting to talk to them will usually just give them more fuel for their state of mind. If it's the more friendly "I love you man" type stuff, I try and humor them a little. There was this one time a coupla years ago when this guy who'd had a few too many would not stop putting his arm around my date. I explained politely several times that we were together, and that she did not appreciate being touched repeatedly by a stranger. (She had tried to get the message across too, but sometimes is just too nice a person.) The minute I turned my back to wrap up a few cords, he did it again, and when I saw the frightened expression on her face, I decided that was enough. Collared him and shoved him against a wall, and used my other hand to brandish a tri-bar from my Apex keyboard stand, inviting him to leave the premises immediately. A stupid risk, I'm certain, especially in a town where people are more likely to sue than to swing back. (This was a fairly upscale club.) He did leave, thankfully, and it did not escalate further.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by gatorwing: [b]Out of curiosity: Had she been in the audience? Did she sound angry? If the playing was the good, and she was drunk, maybe she was just going to offer you a compliment? Or something else??[/b][/quote]Well Gator, this was actually [i]outside[/i] the club as I was about to cross the street when she hollered out at me. It looked as though the bouncers had put her out beforehand. Not to toot my own horn here, but the club owner, patrons, and even the band members raved about what a good gig we had. If she thought we sucked, then she's certainly entitled to her opinion, but if she wanted to get my attention, "hey Mother*****r" was wholly inapropriate. And believe me, it wasn't a friendly "hey Mother*****r" either. What bothered me was the guilt I felt after I gave her 'the salute'. The general consensus here seems to be to ignore these types of troublemakers, but it sure is hard to do sometimes when somebody is trying to antagonize you.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats why all us live sound fellas have the four-"d" call maglites :) seriously. (stupid teenager mode on) when I was 19 ( the drinking age in Canada) I was at the local hole in the wall, way drunk and this woman asks me to dance, and she is way too into it.. ( Iwas hammered, I am not sure I could have hit on her if I tried) She keeps wanting to stay dancing, and after three songs, I have had enough , so I go back to the bar, only yo find my friend there saying, " see that really big guy over there?, He said this drinks on him, and if you dance with his wife again, he will kill ya." got sober quick, as he looked like he "kenw how to handle a drunk" ( exit stupid teenager mode)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Gus and Lei said it best, try to ignore the person and the situation. Its been an interesting observation in the past 6 years of being sober and having to deal with people/situations like that. ikestr
...hertz down low....
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some weirdo calls you MF, you kindly salute :D her, and you feel guilty?? No big deal I guess. You should have offered her a drink :idea:
The alchemy of the masters moving molecules of air, we capture by moving particles of iron, so that the poetry of the ancients will echo into the future.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I suppose one's physical stature matters here, too. I'm 6'5", and it doesn't take a lot for me to change my overall vibe so that I look like I could coldcock someone who interferes with a simple existence. I usually have a whole slew of one-liners for the drunks; it's been a long time, but the last one I dealt with involved the reply "Y'know, I used to think and talk like that when I was in a bowling league, too." The dumbass knocked over the table when he tried to get up too fast to 'teach me a lesson'; bouncers were all over him like stink on shit and had his 5'6" mail-order mentality out on the street in impressive time. **** One person who's very admirable in dealing with stupid is Kip Winger. I saw him at a solo acoustic tour appearance at a Border's Books a few years ago. Some wise-ass skate-metal-backwardsbaseballcap-baggy jeans numbnuts were standing in the back of the crowd yelling MENSA shit like 'Winger sucks!'. Kip, who's really quite a soft-spoken guy, didn't even bat an eye or lose a beat, he just looked up at them with the wryest face I've ever seen and said "You are SO cool." Laid 'em flat. Had NO idea how to respond. Perfect dumb and dumbstruck faces. Got hustled out of there by management in about 30 seconds.
I've upped my standards; now, up yours.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last week there was this girl sitting near the front calling out requests. Stupid ones that we don't play. My guitarist was handling it pretty well..."sorry"..."we don't play that one"...etc. Finally she got fed up and started saying insulting stuff like, "what? You guys are limited? You *can't* play this song?" At this point, I was facing the back of the stage, away from the microphones, and I said (mostly to myself), "We're not gonna f***ing play it because it's *our* f***ing show." Well, she heard me. Apparently, everything I say onstage can be heard all over the club. It tends to get me in trouble. The next time we heard anything out of her, it was a much more polite, "Can I please make a request without you being a smartass?" This struck me as funny. She requested a reasonable song, we played it well, and then she started buying me shots and hitting on me during the break. Go figure. So you see...the lady in the parking lot calling you a "motherf****er" was really just hot for ya. You coulda scored bigtime. ;)

One of these days I'm gonna change my evil ways...

one of these days...

http://www.emotipad.com/emoticons/Band.gifhttp://www.weidenbach.net/images/storage/headbang.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oooh, Steve, you're getting me all hot with your macho stories. You ARE coming to the L.A. dinner, right? :D Drunks yelling out requests.... uggghh. Our band is pretty good at deflecting those, at least. We have no shame about just saying "We don't know that one." And if somebody persists and says something like "You're in a band and you don't know Freebird?" we just say something like "No, I guess we're just really ignorant. But here's something we DO know." And start the next song. Getting accosted in the parking lot or on breaks can be difficult. Of course I've had my share of drunk guys hitting on me at gigs, and I usually just ignore them. Our bass player for some reason gets hit on a lot by drunk older women. And the thing is he will actually try to talk to them and be nice, which only makes it worse! This one woman would come to see us every time we played at this one bar, and she would loudly declare her love for Lyle all the way across the room whenever we were between songs! She would also come up and leave money in the tip jar and use that as an excuse to try and cop a feel on Lyle. Considering that Lyle's wife is usually at our gigs, this sometimes got, umm, interesting. Lyle has a great talent for making people feel like he really gives a damn about them even if he doesn't... which could be dangerous, but he also seems to be able to extricate himself at the right moment. I don't know how he does that! I know it probably helps the band. But I pretty much just ignore people I really don't want to talk to especially if they're drunk.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aah the drunks..after forty years of putting up with them there are a couple of things I have learned. You can ignore them, ask management to get them out of your face, respond to them (which usually makes things worse) or try to reason with them on a break. I have tried it all and some works and some doesn't. I have discovered the brace plate on the bottom of my tenor sax will split the head open on a drunk who decides to charge the stage and my custom heavy duty chain with snap clip end will knock out someone who decides to "kick your ass" on the sidewalk after a show. Don't ask me how I know.. The worst experience with a drunk was in 1974 when a Vietman vet in a wheelchair with no legs got drunk and parked in the middle of the dance floor yelling at everybody he could kick anybody's ass. Anybody that got close to try to calm him down got hit. We simply stopped playing and stood there waiting for him to self destruct. Trouble is, you want the bar to make lots of money so you can keep playing there..how do they make lots of money? Lots of booze.

Mark G.

"A man may fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame others" -- John Burroughs

 

"I consider ethics, as well as religion, as supplements to law in the government of man." -- Thomas Jefferson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey... these drunk stories are funny! We've played a lot of "dubious" places (from basement parties to biker bars to showcase stages, etc), and we sometimes get drunken morons yelling out requests/rude things. I usually just laugh or go right for the "mama" jokes. Unless they're really violent or asinine, they'll shut up when everyone laughs at them. If someone yells out something like "Play some Skynryd!!!", I usually say, "Oh OK, here's a classic Skynryd song.. it sounds a lot like one of our songs, but don't let that fool ya." Drunks are great fun for me. I listen to their stories and laugh my ass off. Downchild, Don't worry about a thing... I don't think a gig is really a total success unless someone calls me a mutherfucker. At least she didn't puke on ya.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the first case, I'd just ignore the drunk. Usually the best and easiest thing to do. They hopefully just move on. There are some times when one has to intervene. When I was, I don't know, maybe 19 or 20 (this sounds like a stupid teenage thing about to happen, but actually, I'm saving those stories!!! ), there was a party down the street, a bunch of people who looked like they were in their 30s and 40s. As I was getting home around 1:00 am (from another party, probably!), I saw this guy stumble out from the party, get in his car, weave back and forth down the street, and plow up on my neighbor's lawn and stop, losing a hubcap as the wheel struck the curb. The guy slurred, "Can you help me out?" I returned his hubcap to him, and as I gave it to him, reached in and took the keys out of the ignition. He was so drunk that it took him a while to realize that I had his keys. As I walked back up to the party to tell the host where one of his guests was, I could hear him slurring obscenities at me. I have been attacked once by a drunk at a party in high school, maybe eleventh grade. It was weird and scary. The drunk, who was taller and older than my skinny little self, was convinced that I had smashed the window of his truck and decided in all his beer-goggled bigotry that I had somehow smashed the window. He came, spitting accusations and calling me "chink", then suddenly took a swing at me. I sidestepped it since I figured it was coming, grabbed his very long hair, and swung his head into the fireplace mantle. Ouch. He just laid there, kinda groaning. I'd like to say that I just went back to casually talking to my friends after that, but I was a little rattled and just left shortly afterwards. I think most every other time, ignoring drunks has worked really well. These two times, probably not the best tactic... When I'm drunk, all I do is laugh a lot!!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One way to handle a drunken request onstage is to say "sure, and here is our version of that song." Then launch into whatever you were going to play. Off stage, you have to gague their size and potential violence factor. If low, laugh with/at them and brush them off. If high, don't insult or instigate, just back off and hope you are not on the road when they are. Every 20 gigs or so there is that one idiot that is dancing/stumbling in front of the stage in a way that scares every one off the floor. I've never found a good way to get rid of that one. You know him, lots of sweat under the pits, moves like Joe Cocker after some bad shellfish... :eek:
-David R.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to (hic) be a happy drunk ash well...but if you guysh don't play "Housh of the rising freebird" I'm gonna kick your all's asshes... I do remember a lo-ng time ago ('81 or '82) playing in a bar in Michigan. A girl I knew (and at one time had kind of a crush on) came into the bar. She happened to dance a couple of songs with a drunk, then sat down (sans the drunk dude). On break I went over to talk to her, just yammering, I wasn't hitting on her as I was already spoken for. This drunk keeps coming around and I wasn't really paying attention. Finally he walks up to the girl and her friend and said "Goodnight ladies" and then turns to me and says "goodnight asshole". Next thing I know, my hand suddenly hurt and he was sprawled across the stage in a pile of cymbal stands. The bouncer (a friend of mine) came running over and got in front of me and ushered the guy (whose nose was split open) out of the bar. The thing is, I can still see Kathy (our lead singer and a total babe) onstage screaming "KICK HIS ASS, TED!! KICK HIS ASS!!!" But he was too drunk and not worth it to pursue it further. I probably shouldn't have hit him at all. Funny thing, I don't consciously remember thinking "I'm gonna plow this dude". It just happened.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A fun thing you might say when you're on stage and someone drunkenly blurts out something is to say, "Yeah...I remember my first beer." :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't a problem I've had to deal with. sure, I've had lots of people happily drunk, and had to remove myself from people wanting to "be friends". But I haven't dealt with the negative/violent. Frankly, it scares me... As to feeling guilty about saluting, I think it's OK to feel bad. Mostly people say too much/curse too much/like to draw a line in the sand. So what if she called you MF - does that change who you are? And without judging what treatment she deserved, what does flipping her say about you? Most people wouldn't care if you flipped her (see above responses), but if you felt you could have taken the high road, then remember it for next time. I'm not suggesting that you be a punching bag for every drunk that comes along, and I'd have gotten to my car fast in your shoes. But what's the benefit of what you did, since you seem to be asking? 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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, you just never know. I hate it. Particularly the "hey, let me play git-ar on a song, huh?" and that turns into a personal battle and then it's "I'll meet you outside, bo"... Whatever. These days that could mean "with a gun", so... What's amusing about the drunk thing is watching women manipulate guys. People think of that situation in reverse, but women are no different. It's ALWAYS a dangerous thing when suddenly there's a women dancing in front of you "in an interesting manner", or flashing you, when you know their BF/significant other is somewhere in the building.... That whole "I'm going to get Johnny jealous" routine. I'd say at least a third of the fights I've seen start in bars/clubs are the result of women being manipulative and guys being cliche immature idiots. BUT, it's always entertaining when they're on another planet and they don't know what's going on at all. I've watched golfers dance to Satriani thinking it was "Brown Eyed Girl", drunks pass out point blank in front of 4/12 cabinets, drunk bikers that suddenly DEMAND everyone in the room put SOMETHING in the tip jar NOW, as they pass it around... ..... on and on. Which is why I always say it's much more interesting/entertaining to watch other people be drunk than it is to be drunk.... IMO

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Tom Capasso: [b]This isn't a problem I've had to deal with. sure, I've had lots of people happily drunk, and had to remove myself from people wanting to "be friends". But I haven't dealt with the negative/violent. Frankly, it scares me... As to feeling guilty about saluting, I think it's OK to feel bad. Mostly people say too much/curse too much/like to draw a line in the sand. So what if she called you MF - does that change who you are? And without judging what treatment she deserved, what does flipping her say about you? Most people wouldn't care if you flipped her (see above responses), but if you felt you could have taken the high road, then remember it for next time. I'm not suggesting that you be a punching bag for every drunk that comes along, and I'd have gotten to my car fast in your shoes. But what's the benefit of what you did, since you seem to be asking? Tom[/b][/quote]Tom, I didn't say there was a "benefit" to what I did, nor did I say it was right. I admitted that I reacted without thinking and likely should have just ignored the woman. That I felt badly about my response afterward - despite her vile approach - tells me that I probably should have taken the higher road, and I plan to learn from this. I've played my share of rowdy clubs and bars and have dealt with intoxicated and obnoxious folks, and my point was to see how you folks handle similar situations. Now if we're talking about a violent drunk who wants to take a swing at me, then forget it. Like you said, I'm nobody's punching bag. Good responses from all of you, now...lesshh play 'freebird to heaven'.....MFers. ;)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...