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Bandmates stories


marino

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Inspired by the "Damn drummers!" thread - I'm sure most of us have funny or revealing stories about their relationship with bandmates.

I've left the group Indaco a few months ago, after nine years and four CDs, so I'm missing group life a little bit at present - maybe it's the right moment for me to let memories go, and hear yours too!

 

I'll start with a couple:

 

1) I have played for about one year with a singer from New York, as keyboardist and musical director. This guy is a good, original singer, but as bandleader, he was just horrible. He used to fight the audience - he teased them, then he got mad at their response and said silly things, embarassing the whole band. Once, he decided to get a new bass player, but 'forgot' to say it to the old one, so both bassists came to the next gig!

Another time, he made me drive for 500 km to a gig, and only when we were far enough, he told me it was a duo gig - voice/keyboards. We'd never reharsed like that... I played that gig, then a last one which was booked already, then I waved goodbye. (To be sure, I *did* inform him beforehand to find a new keyboard player!)

On the last gig, he took away all my arrangements, without asking, and used them with a new group that he started after a few weeks.

 

2) Big band engagement. One reharsal in the early morning, a bus trip in the afternoon, concert at night. I was coming from another gig, had travelled all night driving, and was exhausted.

At the reharsal, I find a beautiful, sexy-looking singer. She's placed right in front of me, but with her back to me. She sings in an aggressive manner, shaking her... um, ahem - behind quite a lot. I enjoy the show, asking myself how much is this intentional (I'm the only one behind her).

On the bus on the way to the concert, she sits near me - I would have appreciated a little sleep, but we start talking anyway, and she's flirting quite a bit. We play the concert (accidentally, she moves a *lot* less this time! :D ), then the bus brings us back. During the trip, she proposes me to go for a short vacation together in the South, where she has a house - but she wants to leave immediately, and it's an eight-hour drive. Oh, almost forgot - she doesn't drive. :rolleyes:

At this point, my body cries for a rest, so I say, "Sorry, but I'm exhausted. If you allow me a few hours of sleep, we could leave in the late morning". She totally turns around at this point, giving me a pitful look, and never talking with me again. I've never met her since.

 

As a bonus, a couple of short/silly ones:

 

- At a concert, the "front-line" player makes a couple of ugly mistakes, then turns around to me and yells: "What the HELL are you doing?!" (I was playing my part perfectly)

 

- There was a complicated, polyrhythmic part in an Indaco tune which really required attention: It shifted from 7/4 to 6/4 and back, with a fast keyboard riff in 16th notes with displaced accents. One of the first nights, I missed a couple of notes, so in order to keep the time, I just improvised a few notes to relink with the beat and the following phrase. The bass player, knowing the tune, realized what I was doing and looked really amused... so amused that he started to laugh and lost his place in the beat too! :freak: It was awful.

 

Your turn now...!! :)

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This was last year... I had my duet gig, and this sax player has been bugging us to a song with us. Next gig was in about a month, so what the hell, we could get something ready. The guy was a decent player, but not exactly creative, so I knew I would have to write his part out, which I did, with the help of his sax teacher... actually, an interesting experience. So we decide on a song...

 

So... fast forward to gig night. We're supposed to start as 9:30, sax player is nowhere to be found (Actually he was doing the last song, so I wasn't to worried.)

 

So I decided to give him a call. He casually mentions he won't be showing up because the reed for his sax broke and he didn't have a spare. :eek: It almost seemed like he wasn't even planning on calling us. :mad:

 

I'm basically controlling myself not to yell at the guy at this point. We could still do the song without him, but I'm just pissed that it was HIS idea to play the song, and we spent a lot more time rehearsing this song than the other ones (and had to take some stuff of the set list since we didn't have enough time to practice them). The singer is visibly very upset too (she gets very emotional if things start going wrong).

 

I finally tell the guy to call every single sax player he knows, get the damn thing, and get his ass over there as quick as possible. (he only lived 20 minutes away from where we were).

 

Ok, where the hell is this guy's sense of commitment?

 

End of story: He did show up, but never called him for a gig again....

 

I did have a drummer bail on us as well. I hated the band, so I didn't really care. We made it through with a substitute drummer, and it actually sounded better... :confused::D

 

Both of these were BIG wake up calls!

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

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...and yet another great thread, courtesy of Marino. :)

 

Let's see.. I was in this power pop band once where we would practice at the bass player's house. The bass player was usually strapped for cash (hey, aren't we all?!), but he would usually find creative ways to make money. There was this one time we showed up at his place for practice. His car was there so we knew he was home. We knocked on the door for a really long time, but he never answered the door. We started calling him and knocking on the windows of the house. When we went around the back of the house, I gave the singer a hoist so he could enter through the bathroom window (sounds like a song). Long story short.. the bass player was there, but was passed out on a chair, and looked white as a ghost. Turns out he went to two or three blood banks to sell pints of his blood so he could pay his rent. duh!

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In an older line up of my funk/jam band, we were playing our first major gig. We were playing one of our songs where I get to just let loose over Adim, and I think it was the last song of our set. Out of nowhere, the drummer launches into a punk beat -- making absolutely no musical sense. I stared at him in a "What the hell are you doing?" face, and went along with it, I guess. I was playing the other band's keyboardist's Rhodes (!!), which he had running through a distortion pedal and a wah. I decided that if we were playing punk, I'd give the distortion pedal a try. The Rhodes started feeding back through the amp -- but ON PITCH!!! So I did some trading with myself -- Rhodes lick, Rhodes feed, Rhodes lick, Rhodes feed. :D I still haven't really forgiven the drummer for that.

 

David

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Damn drummers...

 

I was playing around Orlando Florida with a Top 40 band, and the club owner had a couple of four-bedroom band houses near each other. So the guys and I are playing Nintendo games in one of the band houses after a gig at 4am when a knock at the door reveals the most stunning blond in next to nothing we'd ever seen. She asked "is this the band house?" - which it was but the wrong one actually from the band she'd meant to find. No matter - she was very welcome indeed. Turns out she was a killer whale trainer and showperson at Sea World or something. We entertained her with everything at our disposal before she finally decided to retire with the drummer for the evening (damn drummers). Next day she's gone early, leaving the drummer only with nice memories. So we do the gig per normal that night and afterwards the damn drummer picks up the most stunning Vietnamese girl ever with hair down to the back of her legs. As we are all leaving the club (the drummer arm-in-arm with the new girl), a Camaro screaches to a halt and out pops the blond whale trainer, screaming at the drummer. She then pops open the car trunk and starts pulling out and throwing clothes everywhere. She then climbs back in the car and peels out of the parking lot. As we start picking up the clothes we realize that she went out and bought the drummer a new wardrobe of nice stage outfits and a travel trunk. The drummer was innocent - the blond had left him sleeping earlier that day and hadn't said a word to him about expecting to see him again.

 

Damn drummers... I was jamming with a drummer of a famous band at a club. Afterwards he invited me to go out back and "burn one". What the hell, I agreed. I made small talk while he pulls out a plastic bag and expertly rolls a nice tight doobie. Upon completion he fires it up and hands it to me. I take a deep hit and explode in a coughing fit. "What the hell is that?" I gasped... he replies, "it's tobacco, what'd you expect?"...

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Ok, another drummer story:

 

One night a band I was in known as Boy O Boy (later became Fighting Gravity) was playing a gig in this college town, which was about 4 hours from home for most of us. After sound check, the band collectively drove over to the guitar player's brother's apartment for a little pre-gig party. We walked in the apartment, threw down our bags, and ran to the keg at the speed of light. Just before we got to the keg, our drummer Mike decided to tackle our trumpet player and at the same time he was getting a little push from another happy band member. This caused Mike's head to ram straight into the top of the doorway.

 

Needless to say, he was a bloody mess with a valley in his skull, and feeling a little woozy. With less than an hour to show time we rushed to the hospital to get him fixed up, thinking all that he needed was a really big band-aid. When the receptionist turned green after seeing the wound, we all became a little more worried. The doctors came in, we explained our quandary, and in no time they put twelve staples in Mike's head and had us on our way. He had this white headband on and looked like a lobotomy patient on the way out of the ER.

 

The show went off without a hitch. It was a good night. Mike reportedly didn't feel any pain until they had to pull the staples out three weeks later, actually a training ground for a young resident in staple removal.

 

Regards,

Eric

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1984...Heavy metal club in suburban Chicago. We're opening for a semi-famous hair metal band. We finish our set, and as we're about to tear down, the very drunk drummer of the headliner comes over to our drummer and asks if he can use his drums instead of setting his up...an odd request. Our drummer just shrugs and says sure...I think he felt like it was kind of an honor.

 

Ten seconds before the kick off the first song, the drummer pours a can of beer all over all of the drum heads to create the splashy lighting effect as he played. They didn't even get to chorus of the tune before our drummer had broken the jaw of the headliner's drummer.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Originally posted by The Pro:

Damn drummers... I was jamming with a drummer of a famous band at a club. Afterwards he invited me to go out back and "burn one". What the hell, I agreed. I made small talk while he pulls out a plastic bag and expertly rolls a nice tight doobie. Upon completion he fires it up and hands it to me. I take a deep hit and explode in a coughing fit. "What the hell is that?" I gasped... he replies, "it's tobacco, what'd you expect?"...

:D
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Originally posted by Rod S:

He casually mentions he won't be showing up because the reed for his sax broke and he didn't have a spare. :eek: It almost seemed like he wasn't even planning on calling us. :mad:

This is too much. I wonder how this guy would have survived, for example, in a group of South-Americans I knew... To punish a sax player who used to always be late, they put just a 'bit' of chili pepper on his reed, just before a concert! The funny thing is, they kept calling tunes one right after the other, thus not giving him the time to change the reed. I'm told he got the message.

 

Keep those stories coming! :D

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oh man...i used to play in this rock cover band with the lead singer/band leader from hell!!!

 

During performances if someone made a mistake (normally it was the drummer) he would turn around give you a filthy look and shake his head and curse!!! ON STAGE!! sometimes it was picked up on mic. He would always make condescending remarks about the band members during rehearsals...it was the most unpleasureable experience ive ever had playing in a band. I only lasted around 10 gigs.

 

I later found out that the singer was in signed in the 70s/80s (contemporary of Air Supply) that were on the verge of making it but were "screwed" by a record company, and now he was the most bitter and jaded musician i had EVER met in my life!!!

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It was the end of the disco era, and my wildly popular road band had been whittled down through attrition from an 8 piece horn band to 5 pieces. We had to audition a new singer, and got a green young girl who sang like a bird but was flakey. One night it's time to go to the club and we can't find her. Her motel room is empty and she's gone - just snuck out on us.

 

We called the booking agent the next day saying "send us a singer quick!" The guy who arrived had once been a well regarded singer that we had heard of but now he was a broken down alchoholic. I mean a 6 pack for breakfast kinda guy. He would get drunk and start preaching to the crowd. It got so bad that when he'd say "Break it down!" to the band, we knew he was gonna preach, and we'd start playing louder trying to drown him out.

 

We replaced him with another young female singer, who left us just as soon as she snagged a man.

 

That was a rough 6 months on the road!

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Then there was the time our bass player went home with a woman after the gig. Only problem was that she was the estranged wife of Larry Czonka's brother, and he showed up on her lawn with a shotgun. Our bass player had to escape out the side window.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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There was this band I was in with a lead singer who was a professional ... astrologer ... so anyway, we had this gig at a North Bay club, and everyone shows up except her. We had to play a set and a half without her, improvising the set, taking turns singing when none of us were really singers ... Finally she shows up like nothing is wrong, grabs the mic and starts singing. Of course we were all pissed off at her ...

 

So I ask her what that tardiness was all about; She said she consulted her astrological chart, and it said if she got in the car and drove over Golden Gate Bridge to the gig before a certain time, she'd die in a car accident. So of course she had to wait till the danger passed ...

 

As you can imagine this was such a fun band to be in. I won't even go into the drugs and torrid love triangle among the singer, guitarist and bassist ...

 

That happy lineup lasted about 6 months.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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LOL! This thread is great! I too have some experience similar to the stuff in this thread...

 

Once I did a gig in a school auditorium, where they usually had a theatre play with a lot of scenery; houses and stuff. Halfways through one of the first songs, we generated a little too much groove, :P and the scenery started shaking, and before you knew it one of the 'houses' came falling down on me! It was all fabric and light weight stuff and no one got hurt, and the kids loved the show!

 

I´ll be back with more later...

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I worked 20 years in a professional big band and after a very short amount of time you get to know the ins and outs of everyone. The bass trombone player was a bit on the cheap side - we'll call him Lionel.

 

We're traveling to a weekend of concerts for a bunch of colleges and on the way we stop at a diner. I approach the waitress and tell her that the trombone player will not leave her a tip and would she follow him out of the restaurant and make a big stink about it. The trombone player in question was notorious for being stingy.

 

What she did was this - after he gave his order, she says, 'and don't forget to leave a tip'. Upon hearing that, the bari sax player, without prompting or rehearsal, states, 'oh Lionel, have you been here before?'.

 

Classic.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Somebody stop me!

 

Had a prog rock band in the 70's. We had flashpots but the guitar player thought we needed a big 'boom' sound to go along, so he had a cannon made. It was about 18" long, and turned from solid aluminum. It was tapped for a lawn mower spark plug, and the bore was sized to drumstick size. We would load it with black powder and a paper wad. We soon learned that we had to aim it at a chair bottom because the paper wad would penetrate the exposed insulation on the ceiling of our home base club.

 

One night we played in an elegant 1920's ballroom in Collinsville, IL. It was a tense scene even on the best of nights because the local police were notorious for their Gestapo-like tendencies, and because this place let in underage kids who were not supposed to be able to drink. Anyway, there were a dozen or more cops in there.

 

So we get to our big musical climax, and set off the flashpots and the cannon. Unfortunately, someone had gotten a little happy with the black powder. The cannon went off, the cops hit the floor with their guns out, and the chair seat was blown off the chair frame and flew across the room in flames. The concussion knocked a bunch of mirrors and framed photos of swing bands off the walls.

 

By the time we paid our bar tab and damages, we were WAY in the hole on that gig. And they never invited us back...

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Well, hard to beat some of these stories... mine are fairly mellow...

 

Last year I had my main duet gig, and I was doing a side project with some guys (me on piano, guitar, bass, drums and a female singer). Well, Julie (my duet partner) had asked to come to rehersal to check us out. We really need to rehearse, and the singer bails on us (well, she didn't just bail, she called an hour into the rehersal saying she wasn't making it). :mad: Wasn't the 1st time either in the last few rehersals.

 

So we run through the songs just the instruments, but we obviously need to rehearse with the vocals. Julie asks me (quietly) if I want her to give a shot on the vocals so we can at least practice the changes. What the hell, right? I know the singer *might* get a little uneasy (she's young and a bit unsecure), but at this point I didn't care.

 

I always carry the lyrics with chord tabs with me, so I hand it over to her and away we go. We've worked together enough that she can follow the songs just by me gesturing her on the changes.

 

And she does a better job than the other singer - much better. First time around. The guitar player looks me as if saying - "Why isn't SHE playing with us?" (He later SAID this, so I know for sure ). The drummer gives me the same look.

 

Now the band is pissed at me, like I'm holding out on the 'good singer' :confused:;) Julie is unconfortable with the whole thing, she really just came to check out the rehersal...

 

Well, it was a short project me (the other guys were supposed to continue playing)... which didn't happen. Band was over after that 1st gig.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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Oh yeah, I forgot about this one...

 

Played with a guitar player who would get so nervous before gigs that he would puke. We would be at least 15-20 minutes late starting every gig, between him getting nauseous, puking, and needing some time to recover (no alcohol involved, this was purely psychological)...

 

I mean, I can understand one time or another, but every single gig? :eek:

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

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American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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Originally posted by marino:

This is too much. I wonder how this guy would have survived, for example, in a group of South-Americans I knew... To punish a sax player who used to always be late, they put just a 'bit' of chili pepper on his reed, just before a concert! The funny thing is, they kept calling tunes one right after the other, thus not giving him the time to change the reed. I'm told he got the message.

Ohhhh... you shouldn't have given me this idea... :cool::D

 

I'll keep this one in mind next time.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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Originally posted by Rod S:

Originally posted by marino:

This is too much. I wonder how this guy would have survived, for example, in a group of South-Americans I knew... To punish a sax player who used to always be late, they put just a 'bit' of chili pepper on his reed, just before a concert! The funny thing is, they kept calling tunes one right after the other, thus not giving him the time to change the reed. I'm told he got the message.

Ohhhh... you shouldn't have given me this idea... :cool::D

 

I'll keep this one in mind next time.

I have never done this but have heard about this - if you want to get back at an upright bass player, a small coin in the body of the bass just before show time will work wonders. I've also heard about placing a small dead fish in the body of the bass. (I'm innocent.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Played in a blues band that did Thursday gigs at a country western bar. We were playing all these winter gigs to prove to management that we were dependable and worthy of Summer weekend slots. At this time my guitarist decides to show his ugly drunk side. After being perfect at the preceding 4 gigs, he shows up an hour late drunk out of his mind. Prior to his late arrival, I had made an arrangement to have a backup guitarist available.

The drunk shows up and sees another guitarist on stage with us. He walks up to me and tells me how I had been planning to get rid of him all along...

I barked at him to sober up and get ready to play after the third song. He says he was ready and proceeded to unplug the other guitarist and a shoving match ensued to the horror of the audience. The stand-by leaves the stage and my ears are tormented with off-key dissonance the likes of which had no place in a half-sane venue.

Into the first set drunk boy settles in and refrains from disaster. Ok - if we can sober him up during the break, we can save the second set.

Drunk boy vanishes during the break! 30 minutes later hee returns stumbling and worse than he was when he arrived. I'm sweatin - the owner asked why we suck tonight vs all the other nights - I told him my guitar player was getting over the flu, he looked at me with a scowl that would peel paint. "Don't lose this crowd or you'll never worke here again!"

 

The second set - I can't even convince drunk boy to go home. He decides to sit on the edge of the stage and play his strat as if it were a lap-steel. AAAARGH it gets worse - people begin to leave- he begins to sing "Whippin post" while we're playing something else. Another drunk from the crowd points to me and says we suck, I thanked him for not killing me. After we complete this avante garde - Tom Waits version of Whippin Post, the owner walks on stage and says "you're outta here, and take this bum with you!"

 

I hastily packed up the gear and signaled to my buddies to get the car ready, drunk boy is still sitting on the stage noodling with his unplugged strat. He stumbles to his feet and demands that I pay him for his time! I told him we're not getting paid and he should go home before we get killed. "I'll get us the money!" he walks over to the office at the back of the bar and proceeds to vomit on himself, he walks up to the owner and demands pay.

We collectively winced when the bouncer grabbed drunk boy by the hair and waistband and hurled him out into the parking lot. The owner said he would call the police and tell them taht we wrecked the joint if we didn't leave asap.

 

The following week, drunk boy calls me as if nothing happened. "Hey when are we playing that gig again?"

"Are you f--kin nuts!?!"

We recorded everyone of our gigs then, even this one. I gave him the tape and asked him where he thought our performance was lacking. Needless to say, the drummer and bass-player both quit and drunk boy refused to seek help and actually commented that the performance wasn't too bad but I have to work on my tone.......

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