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Gigs you shouldn't have done: your stories


JohnH

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This past weekend I had the misfortune of saying yes to a gig I had no time to prepare for. I got the call about 9PM Sat, and the gig was a restaurant gig backing a singer. No band to fall back on, no midi files. I spent Sat night in sheer panic and terror knowing I wouldn't be able to pull this off the way I would like to. I got coerced into doing it. I was looking for a New Year's gig, which was what was originally offered. But that got cancelled because she said her old keyboard player wanted to do it but that I could still do the Sun. . I should have hung up the phone at that point as that was all I was looking for and with two weeks to go I would have been able to get ready. The sunday gig was ok, there were a lot of bright spots but also times I was totally lost. Without a band to follow and no time to rehearse I was pretty lost, even trying to play stuff I've played before. Two months ago I took another gig I shouldn't have done, an original band gig. I did fine, but I have no time for projects I don't really want to do. I have to learn to say no. I'm already mostly booked solid playing in three bands plus a day job with a music equipment mfg. But being a singing keyboard player or just a keyboard player period often gets the "oh we could use you" quote when meeting other musicians. I just need to say no. It's the sheer terror of that Sat night and Sun morning that I don't ever want to go through again. Thankfully I had an outstanding Peace Frog Doors gig just down the road from the restaurant Sun afternoon, to make up for the bad gig. So what gigs have you taken that you really shouldn't have?

JH

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Don't have a story like that (don't mean to sound uppity, but I never play live unless I'm ready; messing up live, other than a few things people won't notice, isn't something I'm prepared to do). Sounds like you're going to say 'no' in the future. I would if I knew I wouldn't be ready.

 

Did have a gig once though where we played to the staff and bunches of tables and chairs. Two people came in, had a drink, and then one of them pulled down her pants and the two left together. I'd be glad if that gig never happened.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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Played a college dinner theatre in the round one summer. Four plays on a nightly rotating basis, the director on piano and me on RMI (Broadway plays at that time were seemingly scored for RMI, as the score had specific RMI sounds called out).

 

One of the plays was a memodrama, and they would pass out popcorn to throw at the villain. Every time we did the show it got more rowdy until finally the patrons were wrapping ice and dinner rolls up in napkins and hurling them everywhere. I and my keyboard got soaked several times.

Moe

---

 

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Originally posted by stepay:

Two people came in, had a drink, and then one of them pulled down her pants and the two left together.

WHAT???? :eek::eek::D:P

 

One of them pulled down her pants and the two left together...

 

OMG!

 

Why am I always at home when these things happen? :rolleyes:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Tom,

 

She was apparently a prostitute, and our thinking was that she was showing the guy she was with the goods before they headed out for business. Only way I can come up with why she did that.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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Originally posted by Is There Gas in the Car?:

Steve,

 

That sounds like a classy place, huh? :rolleyes:

 

Next time it happens, make sure you're playing at a FRAT PARTY. :D:thu:

Yeah, it was really bad. The owner wanted us to stop early and take a reduced rate. We didn't. Bars late at night can be really sad places -- some are worse than others. One of the reasons I quit the band for now. Not sure that I'll ever do it on a regular basis again.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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My worst mistake recently was accepting a steady weekend job in a room I really liked working back in the 1990s. This was summer 2005, and a new owner. Of course, this meant turning down other jobs. But I really liked this room.

 

Right away I started hearing about how suppliers were on a cash only basis. Then I started hearing about how the place was behind in paying the bar manager. I should have pulled my stuff right then, but noooo... not me....

 

At least I only got stiffed my last paycheck when the place suddenly closed. Some staff lost more than that.

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John, I did a wedding reception similar to yours, but I was backing a sax player rather than a vocalist. He kept promising me he'd send the charts (he had two weeks) but I never got them so I was sight-reading most of the gig. I will never do that again. (I'm not a sight-reader at all, I was going by the guitar chords on the charts)

 

Only regrettable gig recently was when our drummer's wife got her degree from a small local college, she wanted the band to play for her school's graduation dinner, gratis. No problem, we really like her. Well, the dinner was held at the most inaccessible place on Weber State University campus; we had to drive up a sidewalk, haul stuff up one flight of stairs, down another flight, through a busy kitchen, up an elevator, and down a long hallway to the dinner location. We finally got everything up there, set up, soundcheck, and left while they had the dinner/graduation ceremony. We were introduced, started playing, and by the end of the third song the drummer's wife and the host were the only folks remaining. Damn, that was a waste of an evening.

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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One of the reasons I play solo:

 

I was booked with a band for a wedding reception on the hottest day of the year in late July - 110 degrees in the shade, high humidity and heat advisories were out. I arrived to find the band's 17 year old roadie setting up the equipment in the backyard of a large home, in the sun, about 1pm... the rest of the band was due in later. I happened to know the host and he told me the band had been hired and paid for by a well-wisher as a "wedding present", but no one was going to be in the backyard for the band to play to due to the heat and he didn't want the band to play. In fact, what he really wanted was for me to play piano inside in the air conditioning for people to dance to - the band would be paid the same. This made perfect sense so I agreed and called the band leader to explain the deal. He flipped out - he got totally pissed that I renegotiated the gig even though he was getting paid not to work and might've died if he did. Stepping over a band leader is not something I would normally do but considering the circumstances I had no patience for stupidity and probably said something to that effect. I sent the roadie and the band's gear home with the check and did a nice job of entertaining the party by myself. The jerks in the band didn't even give me my share of the money and I never worked with them again. Saving people from themselves is often not worth the effort.

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I shouldn't have played the gig I did this past Saturday night. 3 hour gig, client had us set up in one place for the first half hour or so, then has us move to another floor of the building for the second hour of the night, then move back where we started for the last hour. Had I known that going in, I wouldn't have taken the gig. The gig barely paid enough for a 3 hour private hit to begin with. Needless to say, the agent got a rather heated email from me.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by kanker.:

I shouldn't have played the gig I did this past Saturday night. 3 hour gig, client had us set up in one place for the first half hour or so, then has us move to another floor of the building for the second hour of the night, then move back where we started for the last hour. Had I known that going in, I wouldn't have taken the gig. The gig barely paid enough for a 3 hour private hit to begin with. Needless to say, the agent got a rather heated email from me.

You reminded me of a lesson I learned when playing weddings in the US. I always made it a point to ask (after being burned) if the cocktail hour was in the same place as the main reception. I learned to ask specific questions regarding the placement of the band.

 

You learned a lesson, next time state that you get paid per hour (or per job) plus a fee for moving the equipment each time.

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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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

You learned a lesson, next time state that you get paid per hour (or per job) plus a fee for moving the equipment each time.

I talked (relatively calmly i might add) to the agent who booked me about this, and he didn't know that that was a part of the deal either. He wasn't very happy that this happened. Regardless, it is something that they should have known up front, as I would ask that were the gig booked through me, and had the client approached me about it at gig time were I hired directly by them, I would have renegotiated on the spot. The agent's been very good to me in the past, so I had to play along so as not to screw up their gig with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, if you get my drift. ;)

 

It's good that you do take care of those concerns up front - it never ceases to amaze me what people think they can expect from us for comparatively nothing.

A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Originally posted by kanker.:

I shouldn't have played the gig I did this past Saturday night. 3 hour gig, client had us set up in one place for the first half hour or so, then has us move to another floor of the building for the second hour of the night, then move back where we started for the last hour. Had I known that going in, I wouldn't have taken the gig. The gig barely paid enough for a 3 hour private hit to begin with. Needless to say, the agent got a rather heated email from me.

You reminded me of a lesson I learned when playing weddings in the US. I always made it a point to ask (after being burned) if the cocktail hour was in the same place as the main reception. I learned to ask specific questions regarding the placement of the band.

 

You learned a lesson, next time state that you get paid per hour (or per job) plus a fee for moving the equipment each time.

That's a great idea. Non-musicians don't understand what's involved in tearing down equipment and setting it up again in a new place. We played a gig that was outside if the weather was nice and inside if it rained, and it was supposed to be raining soon, and the bar maid told us that we could just set up outside and then if it rained we could take a five-minute break to move the stuff inside and then play there. We set up inside.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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