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  #41  
Old 11-20-2009, 11:36 PM
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larryace larryace is online now
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Yea, Captain Stupid here, ready to do all manner of unthinking, idiotic and dangerous feats, without a single shred of common sense!
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  #42  
Old 11-21-2009, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

I've had several...many due to horrible sound experiences.

One that comes to mind has nothing to do with bad soud though:

We were playing a big venue, with major label record company people in the audience to see us. The guitar player snuck off and got himself so stoned he couldn't work his amp, and inserted guitar solos in places where they weren't supposed to be.

We got a nice letter from the record company, commenting that they loved the band, loved the songs, but hated the *bleeping* Eddie Van Halen wanna be.

Needless to say, the guitar player was promptly fired, but getting those particular record company people to come back out and reevaluate us without him ended up being futile.
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  #43  
Old 11-21-2009, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
PQ, listening to your repeated pedal hassles makes me wonder if you should get rid of the pedals and take up the Mo Connolly approach and play your bass drum with mallets :)
You mean Mo Tucker? I looked up Mo Connolly and found a tennis player.
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  #44  
Old 11-21-2009, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

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Originally Posted by Naveed View Post
You mean Mo Tucker? I looked up Mo Connolly and found a tennis player.
LOL yes - Mo Tucker from Velvet Underground! I'm such a ditz at times.

Thanks for picking it up, Naveed :)
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  #45  
Old 11-21-2009, 07:46 AM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

It's hard to know where to begin!

Okay, well here we go.

1: The stage directly under my drum kit collapsed with me on it 6 bars into a tune. The gravity was very strong that day and I hit the deck along with the kit. Pain.

2. Playing a gig in the Australian outback at a Bachelor and spinsters ball. Imagine a large canvas tent in the middle of nowhere. Loads of totally drunk outback Australians who would not dare speak to anyone from the city band that had come to entertain. "Stay away from the city slickers!"

The young women are wearing old 1960's velvet evening dresses handed down from their mothers. And gum boots.

The guys are just wasted on alcohol.

During the second set things began to get a little wild. I noticed that some drunk had climbed atop the tent and was jumping up and down. Directly above the revelers.

At the back of the tent two enormously fat women had decided to moon the room. Imaging two giant upside down light bulbs.

Just as I was recovering from the sight, I caught a flash to behind and to the right. A couple was having sex behind my drum riser between the tent and it. It was the flash of the white bottom that caught my attention.

I turned to the bass player to point out this amazing image when all of a sudden, the couple were gone.

Dazed and confused I turned my attention to the swarming drunken mass dancing under the mad jumper atop the tent.

The two fat ladies had moved off.

And still he kept jumping.

And jumping.



Riiiiiiiiippppppppppp!

Not so much jumping as falling.


And still they kept dancing. Unaware. Pig ignorant of the danger.


Suddenly they stopped dancing!


The dancing throng had become a mass of limbs.

And vomit.


The band is staring down from the stage.


Staring.


Then looking at each other.


Looking back.


At each other.


Then everyone left. Well not quite. First all the drunks jumped into their utes and did donuts.


Then off they went into the night.


So after we packed up our gear we headed off to the one store in hundreds of square miles because it doubled as the hotel. Of course it was locked and we could not get in. Then we smashed a window and made for our room.

The next day we drove about 500 miles to the next gig.

3. Not so much one gig, but a series of gigs. I had a drum solo on this show. It's length was determined by how long it took the band leader to scream his abuse at the singers and dancers.

4. There I sat with my drums on the stairs as about 100 wild drunks fought a long brawl in the foyer of the club. There was just this one way to get out. I sat there over an hour until enough police arrived to bring it to a halt. I loaded out amid a swell of people covered in blood being booked by the police. No one said a word to me.


5. I broke my nose on a cramped stage with a stick during a song. The stage was very very cramped. I did complete the song but did so covered in blood.


6. The band had been going great. We were on TV just about every week. We had a huge fan club made up of young women. (The best sort. You do not want to play a sausage fest after that!) We'd just played to a huge crowd of thousands. I was happy as a lark.

Then we went to play a club gig. I discovered that someone of note in the "business" had put the word out that we'd better sleep with him to get to the next stage. The band then broke up 30 minutes before the show. I played that show in a very bad mood. So much effort and work gone.................

The next day I discovered our manager had cleaned out our account.

Renovated his house. I hear it looks very nice.

Getting depressed. Can I stop now? I could go on.
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  #46  
Old 11-21-2009, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

No, keep going, Wy. It's enthralling. All of it :)

You reminded me of a couple more disasters:

1. Playing at a party. A smallish lounge room with too many people and they are dancing through the band - there was zero separation. Some drunks fell over my hihat stand mid-song and cracked the top cymbal right around the bell. Not happy Jan. A couple were pashing off behind me (at least they weren't having sex). A weird night.

2. Playing a residency. The night before we finished polishing up a new original. It had three major parts to it that cycled around. For some reason, that night our followers weren't there and the audience sans familiar faces didn't seem keen. In the break we ducked out to have a smoke. It was stronger than we expected.

Returned pie-eyed and launched into the new song. It was going well until we reached a point where the bassist, guitarist and I each went into a different section of the song.

It broke down to the point where it had to stop. Everyone cracked up, including us. We tried again and there were rousing cheers when we finished it without mishap.

The gig raged after that. The world is a crazy place :)
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  #47  
Old 11-22-2009, 03:12 AM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
No, keep going, Wy. It's enthralling. All of it :)

The world is a crazy place :)

I'll let some others have a turn. I've plenty more. I am happy to say I've played some great shows as well.



It surely is. Truth is stranger than fiction.
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  #48  
Old 11-22-2009, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
Getting depressed. Can I stop now? I could go on.
I agree with PollyAnna - GO ON PLEEEZE! Now you've got me curious!
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  #49  
Old 11-22-2009, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Not a bad gig experience but a bad gig related experience.

The year was 1983. The country rock band I was in had been in Cocoa Beach, Florida doing a 2 week engagement. The gig went great and we left to drive home. On the way home, a 22 hour drive, we had taken some illegal stimulants, and we had consumed a certain illegal herbal substance.

I get pulled over for doing 80 mph in my 66 Chevelle.

This was right after we consumed the herbal substance, so the odor was inescapable, no lying about this.

So I proceed to tell the officer the whole truth, we're musicians from Pennsylvania just going home after a 2 week stay in his fine state. I came right out and told him I was in possesion of about 14 grams of Mother Nature. He asked me to produce it, then made me drop it off the bridge, where he had pulled me over, into a Florida swamp. Then he writes me an 80 dollar speeding ticket and sends me on my way. Phew!

Well we had 21.5 hours left to drive and we were kinda jacked up, so after about 5 miles, I decide to turn around to retrieve what I had dropped off the bridge. Went back to the spot where I got pulled over, got out the flashlight (it was nighttime) and managed to spot it. I grab my fishing rod (never leave home without it) and a brand new roll of duct tape. Put the sticky side of the tape facing out and tied the whole roll to my line, to try and lower it down and hopefully stick it.

Well the roll of tape was too heavy and it broke the line in short order. Curses! What to do now? That's when I decided to get brave (read stupid) and said, "I'm going down there after it". So I walked to where the bridge met the land, hopped the guardrail, and started making my way down the embankment.

Meanwhile, the guys were still up on the bridge with the flashlight, shining it on my destination. So I get down the slope and start making my way through this Florida marsh at night. The further I go the deeper my legs are sinking in the marsh. The guys are saying, "Cmon, another 20 feet and you're there".

At this point, I'm literally up to the middle of my thighs in muck, with real water in between me and my destination. Then, I hear some sort of small life form make a noise near me and that's when it all hits me....Larry, you're not in Pennsylvania here, you're in Florida. THERE"S ALLIGATORS IN FLORIDA! (Not to mention water snakes) Headlines flashed through my mind..."Stupid Pennsylvanian gets eaten by alligator".

I got truly terrified and said (with real fear in my voice)...I'm...I'm....I'm gettin outta here! and moved myself as fast as I could back the way I came.

Got up to the road and said, F it let's get out of here! So I jump in the car and speed off, and wouldn't you know it, I get pulled over a 2nd time by the same cop that got me the first time. I get out of the car, mud up to my crotch, and the officer says, "Mr. Hinkel, what are you doing back here?" I made up some lame story that I must've dropped my drivers licence here and I came back to retrieve it. He never said a word about the mud on my thighs. He just wrote me a 2nd 80 dollar speeding ticket and let me go again.... I have no doubt in my mind that he's thinking what an idiot I am. No turnarounds this time, I got the hell outta Dodge.

This story belongs in a museum next to Michealangelo's David.....
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  #50  
Old 11-27-2009, 07:11 PM
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genericdrummingusername genericdrummingusername is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Once I was playing in my high school Wind Ensemble, Michael Daugherty's Bells for Stokowski. The song had a very intense Tympani part, which I was barely up to on familiar Tympani's but this school's Tympani, although very nice, didn't have the tuning range I was used to.

I screwed up throughout the entire piece, including not playing at all in one of the two solos.

Before that, I failed to pack the triangle (hate the triangle) for Mozart's Wedding of Figaro, and walked around the stage like a doofus until deducing it's absence and exiting stage left.

Ugh.

Once I had an audition for a Tunes for Charity event. It was A rock band playing Freebird.

The band leader was involved in organisation of the the event, so our audition was practically a formality, but the kit I had to play on was atrocious.

The bass drum had no spurs, it looked like it couldn't be younger than 30 years old. It was so out-of-tune that once the towel we had draped over it had finished it's journey off the shell, clinging to the pedal's beater and onto the floor, it sounded like a trash can.

There were only two toms, both mounted off the same stand in front of the snare, so I couldn't even get any 4-piece action in. They were both super dusty and out-of-tune as well.

The snare was fine, but given the circumstances, i couldn't lay into it while still hearing any of the rest of the band, so that sounded lame.

The cymbalS weren't: I had one orchestral suspended cymbal to my right. No good for riding, weak bell, couldn't crash or I'd loose my ride.

I didn't play so good.

Night of the actual gig however...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g9Cn...feature=autofb
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Last edited by genericdrummingusername; 11-28-2009 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Moar
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  #51  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

1. 1999, college town party in an apartment complex courtyard, me playing acoustic drums in a live-techno/trance band. A couple people spilled beer from the 2nd floor balcony onto my cymbals. The rest of the band was heavily amplified and I wasn't, which resulted in me getting mega-blisters on my hands from trying to play loud enough to be heard.

2. 2003, restaurant/bar gig, me playing keyboards in a psych/space rock band. Not-quite-freezing cold outside. The restaurant was "too small" for us to play indoors, so they stuck us out on the patio. Bass player and drummer got into a fight, bass player left so I had to try and recreate his lines with my left hand. The only people outside listening to us were vagrants and drunks that were wandering the street... The only thing that saved this from being a total disaster was that we were paid very well and got free food & hot toddies...
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  #52  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:18 AM
curiousnomad curiousnomad is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

1) 1973 First real gig at a Ramada playing standards while in high school. Forgot my stick bag, dad had to drive it to me.

2) 1974 Playing VERY LOUD hard rock in a biker bar in Oklahoma City with topless dancers on the bar- fight breaks out, had to fear for my life. Lukily they didn't care about the band.

3) 1977 Had to drive 6 hours in July from Denton, Tx to Odessa, Tx in 100 degree heat in small car with 5 people and NO air conditioning to play week long hard core country gig in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do in the daytime. We didn't have IPods or CD's back then.

4) 1980 Go to get my car parked on 27th Street and 8th Ave in NYC. Have to drive to NJ for gig. No car- has been stolen. Call friend in sheer panic to get ride to gig. Never recovered car.

5) 1980 playing gig in NYC restuarant - during break some guy walking by outside looks in and see's his girlfriend in the place with some other guy. In a RAGE runs in, tries to jump over the bandstand and lands on the acoustic bass, splintering it into small pieces. He, the other guy and the girl race out leaving us standing there, jaws agap.

6) 1981 Show up to play a gig, only to find another drummer setting up. Turns out the leader forgot he hired me thus two drummers showed up. Professional, I think not.

7) 1981 Playing gig at catering hall in Brooklyn. Maitre de bends over in front of bandstand, hand gun drops out of jacket. He calmly picks it up places it back in his jacket and goes about his business.


All situations were real events, with no fabrication.
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  #53  
Old 11-30-2009, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Here goes...

We are playing this pub that is trying to establish itself as an up-and-coming venue for new live acts which means pushing out all of the miserable old guys that come to drink there on their own. Well we are the first band to play there and needless to say they haven't quite managed the transition and the clientel consists of 10 haggard guys trying to forget it all.

The venue has no equipment so we provide everything and have to set up in the corner where the entrance to the men's toilet is, with the drums in a sort of cubic, bare-brick alcove from which I have to move the heaviest pool table in the world.

When we start playing the alcove is acting as some kind of mental reverb chamber so that the drums sound like noise soup. The guitarist has been positioned such that whenever someone goes to the toilet, he has to stand sideways like when someone passes you in a corridor, so that the person can go for a piss.

During tunings, the bassist is getting the one person who turned up that we know to buy him drinks, and at the end, dissilusioned by the sheer existentialism of the whole affair, I see him slowly turn to face me, bleary-eyed and wobbling on his feet. Then in slow motion, I see him run towards the kit and launch himself. I have a freeze frame of him horizontal, still looking me in the eyes and I swear still playing the bass part, then he just crashes through the kit, taking out the crash and the hi hats before rolling under the snare and just lying there. The old codgers by the bar all turn their heads, registering what has happened, don't change their facial expressions at all and then, in unison, turn back to stare into their half-empty pint glasses. We never went back.
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  #54  
Old 11-30-2009, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Finding out my bandmates couldn't switch to 6/4 measure for the chorus and then switch back to 4/4 for the verse without me playing something obnoxiously obvious.
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  #55  
Old 11-30-2009, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by randrade89 View Post
The entire kit fell down in the MIDDLE of the song, except the snare.
?? How does this even happen? Was it a rack mount that tipped over?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spides666 View Post
In a covers band, guitarist was so drunk he was reading set two and we were on set one!!!

He'd do Sweet Child of Mine guitar to Where The Streets have no name for example.

One song the singer was like what the flip was that?
It's called a mashup. Your guitarist was ahead of his time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbike View Post
Water starts pouring in from the cieling all over our gear, we are scrambling to get our gear back into cases, and the club owner comes in and starts yelling at us to MOVE his pool tables out of the dripping water. We spend the next hour moving everything around while he yells at us.
Ha! I'd be like, "Move your own pool tables! I've got to save my kit from your leaky roof."
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  #56  
Old 12-01-2009, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Wow, some interesting experiences(!).

Ever see the movie Blues brothers with the chicken wire in front of the band as the audience throws beer bottles ? Well, back in the late 80's/early 90's... in Williston Florida.... there are actually bars like that.
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  #57  
Old 12-11-2009, 05:41 AM
tim167246 tim167246 is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

My goodness, i'm still in school band; stage and jazz, but when I play in a concert (in the school gym) the toms ring so much, it gets quite annoying, and the toms are pretty used as well, lots of dents and etc, once, for christmas concert, i played, hit the toms to do a fill ( at a climax i must add) and the hi-tom ripped lol.
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  #58  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Yeah, it always sucks if you break a head during a performance. Especially bass or snare. You can probably squeeze by without the toms for a set but a BD/SD head breaks and your screwed. Especially if you don't have a replacement or backup drum.
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  #59  
Old 12-12-2009, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidr View Post
Here goes...

..... dissilusioned by the sheer existentialism of the whole affair, I see him slowly turn to face me, bleary-eyed and wobbling on his feet. Then in slow motion, I see him run towards the kit and launch himself. I have a freeze frame of him horizontal....
I LOVE the fact there was a deep philosophical realization which then led to said bass player's decision to reach for a previously unknown level of combined musical nirvana and performance art, thus climaxing in a an act of such magnificence only witnessed by 10 wretching drunks and the band.
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  #60  
Old 12-12-2009, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

I hate it when you do not tighten your bass drum beater and it falls off in the middle of a song.
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  #61  
Old 12-13-2009, 01:28 AM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

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We never went back.

Sadly, I can relate to this post. I once had a fight happen virtually under my kit. Sadly again, it involved the bass player. Stones Green Ginger Wine was also involved I believe.
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  #62  
Old 12-13-2009, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

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Originally Posted by curiousnomad View Post
I LOVE the fact there was a deep philosophical realization which then led to said bass player's decision to reach for a previously unknown level of combined musical nirvana and performance art, thus climaxing in a an act of such magnificence only witnessed by 10 wretching drunks and the band.
It was the perfect balance of comedy and tragedy.
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  #63  
Old 12-25-2009, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

i remember my first 'gig', not relly gig but school performnce and was using there shitty stuff and after 2 songs using double pedal, the slave arm broke and the beater loosened up so much that it was metal on thin 1ply plastc. the batter head ended up with dints on it and is now even worse haha!
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  #64  
Old 05-28-2010, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

nothings beating that one larryace!
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  #65  
Old 05-29-2010, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

yea man war stories.
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  #66  
Old 05-29-2010, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Every single night playing in a hotel lounge with the Jerry Farber trio back in the early seventies. Yeah, Jerry, I'm talking about you!
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  #67  
Old 05-04-2011, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Let's see...

I've had many "paid rehearsals" over the years as well. A few years ago my band played a show in Philly on a Sunday night... actually a Monday morning, at 1:00 a.m. - no surprise, only two bartenders and the soundman, and another band, were present.

I've busted a hole in my bass drum head, during a charity performance being broadcast live on the radio (though just my college's station) - happened on the second song of a 45 minute set.

Did a live set on another college station where our guitar player broke a string on the first song.

My band had its first show with a new bass player - our singer's younger brother, who was only 16, told the bar owner his age, and because he was under 18, he wasn't even allowed to sign a performer's contract and be inside the bar at all. We ran a cable out the front door, and he played his bass in the entrance way, confusing people as they walked in. Because he didn't have a monitor (he was hearing the sound as it leaked out through the door and walls) - our timing was apparently way off.

One band played in nasty dive bar where people crapped in the sinks in the bathroom, and a guy in the crowd screamed that he wanted to rape us while we were on stage, as other audience members laughed and cheered.

Played a show in a big venue where the sound guy - a friend of a friend - forgot to turn on our monitors. I asked him about this at the end of the show, after we were almost booed off (we sounded horrible and the owner wanted to pull the plug). He looked down and flipped one little switch - the monitors popped on - and he just said, "Oops!"

Nearly got into a fist fight while another drummer forced me to use his kit. My band had set up the show, and even got to pick them to play with us from a batch of CDs the venue gave us to choose from. But we opted to go on first (at 10 pm) because we, and our audience, were older and would appreciate an earlier night. But this caused the other band to think, "We're the headliners!" and take control. The other band's drummer had huge toms, and only one rack tom with a ride cymbal sticking way out - I'd never played that configuration, and I got trapped and dropped my sticks a bunch of times throughout the show. He wouldn't even let me change the heights of the drums and cymbals. And, he had the name of his band on the bass drum, though we covered it up. Very disheartening.

But the worst show I ever played was at The Fastlane (no longer in business) in Asbury Park, NJ, in 1995. Let me take you back...

I don't know if this goes on any more, but the venue would force you to buy a batch of tickets in advance that you could sell to your family/friends/fans... or not. You fronted the cost, so you were saddled with selling them - I think it was like, 30 tickets at $15 each. The venue told us in advance, "Everyone has to have a ticket - every one you bring to your show. If your girlfriend carries your guitar, she needs to have a ticket! If your buddy comes to help you set up your drums, he needs to have a ticket too!" We told them, "Okay, we get it!" We sold most of our tickets, and had a few left over that we figured we'd give away to anyone who might show up to see us or the other band playing.

So we got there and loaded in 3 hours before the show was supposed to start, but the venue wouldn't let us set up or sound check because, even though we were opening, they wanted the other band to show up, set up, get mic'ed up, sound check - then they'd move their stuff aside and we'd set up, and leave our stuff up. We sat in the bleachers with a couple friends who came with us (don't worry - they had tickets) and waited.

Eventually an employee came around to collect and rip tickets. The two girls we were with handed over their tickets, and the guy ripped them. Then he asked me for my ticket - I told him, "I'm the drummer in the first band." He frowned and said, "Didn't they tell you when you set up the show?! EVERYBODY'S GOTTA HAVE A TICKET!" "Even... even me?" I asked. "Yes, even the guys in the band!" What a scam! So we used those extra tickets on... ourselves, paying $45 off the top to perform.

The first band didn't show up until 40 minutes before the show was supposed to start. They set up slowly and sound checked. When they were done, the sound guy disappeared. I later found him in front of the club smoking a joint. I told him we were finally ready to do our sound check, but he waved me off - "Ah man, there's no time. Your first song will be your sound check!" I told him that we'd come three hours early to be sure we had a sound check, but the bouncer next to him stepped up to me and said something like, "He told you, there ain't time!" So we didn't have a sound check.

We got on, and performed reasonably well, from what I heard and remember. When the last song ended, I spun my mic back on its stand– but it swung too far. It went into the stack of speakers and created the loudest feedback I’ve ever heard. I saw the wasted sound guy jump – I think he thought I did it on purpose. I didn’t, but I was happy. That move may have lead to what happened next though…

When we were loading out, someone threw an M-80 at us from across the street. My memory of that moment is kind of blurry, but I think someone had called us over from the side door (where our cars were) to the front, just in time for the bomb to fly. It was shocking, I think the employees standing around laughed and said something about the kids in town doing that all the time. Asbury Park is a rough town, if you didn't konw.

It was only the next day that our singer/guitarist realized that someone (probably a club employee) had stolen one of his guitars in the commotion. This made us think that the throwing of the M-80 was planned out – the timing was just too perfect. Plus, our music never really seemed to inspire us being assaulted by fireworks – even in Asbury Park.

That's the worst show I've ever played. It's funny how when people who don't play music and don't have anyone close to them who performs ask about what it's like to be in a band, they're thinking of the actual music so often - but most of what I remember from past shows is all the stuff around it - often, the unpleasant stuff you have to endure just to play your music.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:23 AM
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Let's see...

I've had many "paid rehearsals" over the years as well. A few years ago my band played a show in Philly on a Sunday night... actually a Monday morning, at 1:00 a.m. - no surprise, only two bartenders and the soundman, and another band, were present.

I've busted a hole in my bass drum head, during a charity performance being broadcast live on the radio (though just my college's station) - happened on the second song of a 45 minute set.

Did a live set on another college station where our guitar player broke a string on the first song.

My band had its first show with a new bass player - our singer's younger brother, who was only 16, told the bar owner his age, and because he was under 18, he wasn't even allowed to sign a performer's contract and be inside the bar at all. We ran a cable out the front door, and he played his bass in the entrance way, confusing people as they walked in. Because he didn't have a monitor (he was hearing the sound as it leaked out through the door and walls) - our timing was apparently way off.

One band played in nasty dive bar where people crapped in the sinks in the bathroom, and a guy in the crowd screamed that he wanted to rape us while we were on stage, as other audience members laughed and cheered.

Played a show in a big venue where the sound guy - a friend of a friend - forgot to turn on our monitors. I asked him about this at the end of the show, after we were almost booed off (we sounded horrible and the owner wanted to pull the plug). He looked down and flipped one little switch - the monitors popped on - and he just said, "Oops!"

Nearly got into a fist fight while another drummer forced me to use his kit. My band had set up the show, and even got to pick them to play with us from a batch of CDs the venue gave us to choose from. But we opted to go on first (at 10 pm) because we, and our audience, were older and would appreciate an earlier night. But this caused the other band to think, "We're the headliners!" and take control. The other band's drummer had huge toms, and only one rack tom with a ride cymbal sticking way out - I'd never played that configuration, and I got trapped and dropped my sticks a bunch of times throughout the show. He wouldn't even let me change the heights of the drums and cymbals. And, he had the name of his band on the bass drum, though we covered it up. Very disheartening.

But the worst show I ever played was at The Fastlane (no longer in business) in Asbury Park, NJ, in 1995. Let me take you back...

I don't know if this goes on any more, but the venue would force you to buy a batch of tickets in advance that you could sell to your family/friends/fans... or not. You fronted the cost, so you were saddled with selling them - I think it was like, 30 tickets at $15 each. The venue told us in advance, "Everyone has to have a ticket - every one you bring to your show. If your girlfriend carries your guitar, she needs to have a ticket! If your buddy comes to help you set up your drums, he needs to have a ticket too!" We told them, "Okay, we get it!" We sold most of our tickets, and had a few left over that we figured we'd give away to anyone who might show up to see us or the other band playing.

So we got there and loaded in 3 hours before the show was supposed to start, but the venue wouldn't let us set up or sound check because, even though we were opening, they wanted the other band to show up, set up, get mic'ed up, sound check - then they'd move their stuff aside and we'd set up, and leave our stuff up. We sat in the bleachers with a couple friends who came with us (don't worry - they had tickets) and waited.

Eventually an employee came around to collect and rip tickets. The two girls we were with handed over their tickets, and the guy ripped them. Then he asked me for my ticket - I told him, "I'm the drummer in the first band." He frowned and said, "Didn't they tell you when you set up the show?! EVERYBODY'S GOTTA HAVE A TICKET!" "Even... even me?" I asked. "Yes, even the guys in the band!" What a scam! So we used those extra tickets on... ourselves, paying $45 off the top to perform.

The first band didn't show up until 40 minutes before the show was supposed to start. They set up slowly and sound checked. When they were done, the sound guy disappeared. I later found him in front of the club smoking a joint. I told him we were finally ready to do our sound check, but he waved me off - "Ah man, there's no time. Your first song will be your sound check!" I told him that we'd come three hours early to be sure we had a sound check, but the bouncer next to him stepped up to me and said something like, "He told you, there ain't time!" So we didn't have a sound check.

We got on, and performed reasonably well, from what I heard and remember. When the last song ended, I spun my mic back on its stand– but it swung too far. It went into the stack of speakers and created the loudest feedback I’ve ever heard. I saw the wasted sound guy jump – I think he thought I did it on purpose. I didn’t, but I was happy. That move may have lead to what happened next though…

When we were loading out, someone threw an M-80 at us from across the street. My memory of that moment is kind of blurry, but I think someone had called us over from the side door (where our cars were) to the front, just in time for the bomb to fly. It was shocking, I think the employees standing around laughed and said something about the kids in town doing that all the time. Asbury Park is a rough town, if you didn't konw.

It was only the next day that our singer/guitarist realized that someone (probably a club employee) had stolen one of his guitars in the commotion. This made us think that the throwing of the M-80 was planned out – the timing was just too perfect. Plus, our music never really seemed to inspire us being assaulted by fireworks – even in Asbury Park.

That's the worst show I've ever played. It's funny how when people who don't play music and don't have anyone close to them who performs ask about what it's like to be in a band, they're thinking of the actual music so often - but most of what I remember from past shows is all the stuff around it - often, the unpleasant stuff you have to endure just to play your music.
Plasmicsteve,

This is awesome, very few people reading this will have a true visual of the places but I was there, maybe not at those shows but at the Fast Lane, Stone Pony, Asbury, all those towns.

Used to follow a band called Backstreets around. Was hammered out of my head at the bar and the piano kicked a drink onto my lap, fortunately I was too drunk to start a fight so the nice chap bought me another one.

I remember very little of that night or many of those nights. Great memories.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:15 PM
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PlasmicSteve PlasmicSteve is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

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Plasmicsteve,

This is awesome, very few people reading this will have a true visual of the places but I was there, maybe not at those shows but at the Fast Lane, Stone Pony, Asbury, all those towns.

Used to follow a band called Backstreets around. Was hammered out of my head at the bar and the piano kicked a drink onto my lap, fortunately I was too drunk to start a fight so the nice chap bought me another one.

I remember very little of that night or many of those nights. Great memories.
Wow, cool that you were there and remember that place, aaajn - even if the memory is tainted with a spilled beer. Asbury Park is in worse shape than ever now, from what I hear - I haven't been back since that show. Thanks for the memories!
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

I fell off the stage once half-way through a gig, my drum throne slipped back and I went over luckily it was whilst the singer was chatting to the audience, but yeah....that really sucked.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:24 PM
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DanEscapingVendetta DanEscapingVendetta is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

One of my first gigs i decided to cut my hand open by clasping a cymbal a bit too hard.. carried on through the gig, but ended up having to replace my skins due to the blood!! wasnt a nice sight.

Worse gig for sound was when the soung eng decided to put nothing but vocals into my monitor, at a volume where i couldnt hear myself or the rest of the band. When i told him all he said was 'wear earplugs' what a douche!
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:53 PM
DrumDemon DrumDemon is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Played a gig outside, in the woods, at night. Got destroyed by mosquitoes

And to top it off, when I was setting up my drumkit
this guy walks over (drunk) and says
"have you seen these guys play? they're really good!"

my response
"...um yeah, i'm the drummer"

him
"oh shit, seriously?"
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:00 PM
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aaajn aaajn is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

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Played a gig outside, in the woods, at night. Got destroyed by mosquitoes

And to top it off, when I was setting up my drumkit
this guy walks over (drunk) and says
"have you seen these guys play? they're really good!"

my response
"...um yeah, i'm the drummer"

him
"oh shit, seriously?"
Great story, you could have told him you were the new drummer because the last guy got fired for being a homicidal maniac but he comes to the gigs every once in a while to haunt it--- and then pull out that claw attached to the door handle.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Before I started playing full time I done a lot of work for local bands. My worst experience was with a band called KT Offbeat, where they claimed to be country and southern rock (I got paid, so the genre of music didn't bug me.) We arrived at the bar, and had to play behind chicken wire and ended up doing a 4 hour set with only two 15 minute breaks, and 3 fights broke out.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

hmmm. that one reminds me.

my band opened for a well known local band but they didn´t show up.

we rocked the house for 3 hours only stopping for 2 minutes (timed) to change a string.

because we had to pay for the PA (which the headliners would have done) we got paid $1 each.

oh and the time my bass was stolen.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:08 PM
Ecclesrose Ecclesrose is offline
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

First gig I ever did. Wasn't used to playing live, so naturally, I filled every two seconds and dropped my stick halfway through a two song set ahaha.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by genericdrummingusername View Post
Once I was playing in my high school Wind Ensemble, Michael Daugherty's Bells for Stokowski. The song had a very intense Tympani part, which I was barely up to on familiar Tympani's but this school's Tympani, although very nice, didn't have the tuning range I was used to.

I screwed up throughout the entire piece, including not playing at all in one of the two solos.

Before that, I failed to pack the triangle (hate the triangle) for Mozart's Wedding of Figaro, and walked around the stage like a doofus until deducing it's absence and exiting stage left.

Ugh.

Once I had an audition for a Tunes for Charity event. It was A rock band playing Freebird.

The band leader was involved in organisation of the the event, so our audition was practically a formality, but the kit I had to play on was atrocious.

The bass drum had no spurs, it looked like it couldn't be younger than 30 years old. It was so out-of-tune that once the towel we had draped over it had finished it's journey off the shell, clinging to the pedal's beater and onto the floor, it sounded like a trash can.

There were only two toms, both mounted off the same stand in front of the snare, so I couldn't even get any 4-piece action in. They were both super dusty and out-of-tune as well.

The snare was fine, but given the circumstances, i couldn't lay into it while still hearing any of the rest of the band, so that sounded lame.

The cymbalS weren't: I had one orchestral suspended cymbal to my right. No good for riding, weak bell, couldn't crash or I'd loose my ride.

I didn't play so good.

Night of the actual gig however...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g9Cn...feature=autofb
yes.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Worst Gig Experiences?

My first concert; I was playing Don't Cry by Guns N' Roses at a school concert, with a friend of mine on drums, some guy who I didn't really hang out with or get to know singing, and my school's music teacher on bass. I was playing guitar, or course. Before I went on, I had to set up my multi effects pedal, which I had 2 presets on. One for the clean guitar, with delay and chorus on top of it, and on for the distortion, which was slightly louder, and didn't really have any effects. I plugged it in, and it didn't work. So I had to change the clean to distortion on the amp. The amp didn't have 2 channels, only one, so I would have to roll up the gain knob all the way, and start playing again. When I got to that point, and I turned up the gain, the guitar was so loud, and overpowering, that we had to stop the song, and turn down the volume, and start again from where we ended up. Of course, we finished the song correctly then, but I was extremely embarrassed. lol
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