Re: Your first gig experience.
I had to think about this one for a while. I had done a lot of playing in front of people in a school setting, but my first proper gig came after I got out of school.
I had started working in a music store, and one day a co-worker came up to me and said "we need a drummer, you're in our band." So we went over to his buddies house and jammed. No audition, no asking me if I even liked the music, we just went and did it. It was a mix of originals and some quirky covers. Then it was announced we had a gig at some bar. So I went and did it. The gig went well enough I suppose. I can't recall if we got paid, I think we did, but I'm really not sure.
But then the "musical differences" conversation came up a few days later, and we agreed to part ways amicably.
My 2nd gig went about the same way. Some guy wondered into to where I was working and asked me if I could jam with him. He'd give me gas money to drive out to where ever and we'd jam for a while on some songs he had written. I didn't really dig it, but I had nothing better going on at the time, and it was a good excuse to just get some playing under my belt. It was also easy, because he never would stick to any one arrangement. The chorus was whenever he decided we were going to the chorus, and the next verse was whenever he got tired of the chorus. No rhyme or reason to his songs. Next thing I know, he booked us at some bar I had never heard of. We would get the door, and split it between the "band members". Some how he dragged in a bass player and 2nd guitarist to the gig. One person came, my mother, who paid $2 to get in. So my cut was 50 cents. haha.