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  #1  
Old 12-06-2011, 11:16 AM
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Default Playing whilst ill.

Just thought I'd throw this one out there. I've been feeling pretty bad this last weekend with a cold/flu type bug thing. I rarely get this crappy stuff. Anyhow, I could have cancelled the weekend's gigs, but I decided to soldier on (we don't like cancelling gigs, do we!). I felt really weak at the start of the first gig. Bandmates were good & took most of the humping duties away from me.

I was fine playing most of the gig, but half way through the second set, my arms just gave up. I went for a few challenging fills, only for them to collapse in a scruffy sort of way.

Second gig, we had crew for humping, & I simplified massively. A close to fill-less performance. I was so weak, I almost couldn't reach the crashes! My bandmates did comment that the show lost quite a bit of dynamic, but were grateful that I'd got through it.

You guys got any similar experiences? If I'm in that situation again, I'll simplify from the get go, that's for sure.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

I remember a gig in winter 2008 where I had the flu, that was tough. Bear in mind I'm playing power metal (lots of double-time skank beats), so I didn't really have the option to drop fills! The whole gig is a fill! I don't really remember how it went other than it was extremely hot and I just had to concentrate very hard. The band we were supporting then played an incredibly loud set which I literally slept through.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

I'd rarely recommend taking pharmaceuticals, but sometimes when the pressure is on, a couple of cold and flu tablets can help keep you up enough to get through a gig.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Funny, i've just recovered from a flu last week. Incredible how effective the paracetamol/ibuprofen combo was, could carry on just about as normal. When it wore off during rehearsal, I knew about it. There's no way i'd even be looking at drums without the pills. I get why people died of it a hundred years ago, horrible.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Excuse me for asking, but "humping"? I have no idea what that means? haha. Well, I know what it's means in the US of A...

Anyway, beware of the smoky pubs too when having a cold. There's no worse environment to be in. Get better soon and get rest :) Steam..
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Once I had been in bed for days, pretty much vomitting. Got up and played a gig, having had no food in a couple days. It was tough, and I thought I was in a dream state a couple times, but got through it. In fact I started feeling better after playing.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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Originally Posted by larryz View Post
Excuse me for asking, but "humping"? I have no idea what that means? haha. Well, I know what it's means in the US of A...

Anyway, beware of the smoky pubs too when having a cold. There's no worse environment to be in. Get better soon and get rest :) Steam..
Means lugging stuff around... You never watched Vietnam War movies (Platoon, etc.)? They're always saying that in those...
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

it has always been either good / bad when i play sick. at least a few times...i play REALLY GOOD when i am sick. i think i just simplify & concentrate on the groove & usually end up feeling real good about the gig. an odd mix of simplicity & sick-apathy.
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2011, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Just thought I'd throw this one out there. I've been feeling pretty bad this last weekend with a cold/flu type bug thing. I rarely get this crappy stuff. Anyhow, I could have cancelled the weekend's gigs, but I decided to soldier on (we don't like cancelling gigs, do we!). I felt really weak at the start of the first gig. Bandmates were good & took most of the humping duties away from me.

I was fine playing most of the gig, but half way through the second set, my arms just gave up. I went for a few challenging fills, only for them to collapse in a scruffy sort of way.

Second gig, we had crew for humping, & I simplified massively. A close to fill-less performance. I was so weak, I almost couldn't reach the crashes! My bandmates did comment that the show lost quite a bit of dynamic, but were grateful that I'd got through it.

You guys got any similar experiences? If I'm in that situation again, I'll simplify from the get go, that's for sure.
That sucks. Glad you made it through it though! The one time I 'almost' cancelled out was when I had a wisdom tooth pulled at 10AM. The drugs were still in effect when I had my wife drive me to the gig at 7:30PM, and I managed to soldier through the job without singing, but feeling pretty woozy the whole time.

The band joke at the time was "Gee, Bo should get more teeth pulled when we have a gig like that". Bastards.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

I went through a time back in the 90s where I ran a fever of 103-104 for two weeks and played two gigs during that time.

I don't sing so I don't have that hanging over my head if I catch a cold or something. I have a cold now thanks to my wife and have a gig coming up Friday for a Christmas party.

I have only sat out one gig in the whole 20 years I have been playing in a band and that was when I took off a weekend when I got married.
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2011, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

I have been lucky on this one, never been sick for a gig, I played with flu and temperature, but only in rehearsals.

In my early years, I would become sick minutes before going on stage, but that's no real sickness ha ha, it was just the thought of having to play for a big audience and the fear of not being able to lay it down...
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

With a flu and/or cold you need to fuel up EAT pile in the carbs and drink soups or broths.
Toast works great with peanutbutter if most foods just won't get down but thats how you get the gig done by fueling up. You stay in the pocket and take the opportunity to listen to the band even more closely. You get your mind off your feelings and on to other things that you enjoy.
The last stressful gig I had was a while back but I had a kidney removed and was asked to do an emergency fill in a month later for a friend who booked a short tour for an old Blues player on the come back from years of being retired. I did it and paid the price after 2 shows I was in a bad situation one morning at Cumberlands Blues Room in SC. The gigs got done and I got back home now I have a "paralized muscle" on my left side. To fix it meand cracking my chest open and heavy lining applied..................no thats not happening!
Played with a left broken arm, 102+ temps, puke bucket right next to my monitor, strained achilles (that hurt) everything was 1 n 3 on the kick or just ONE!!!! hahahaha!!! Bass player was busy that night accenting the beat, good player! The show goes on then you come with the idea of back up players. Now in my band I couldn't be replaced because of the vocals but in the 90s I did have some injuries were I brought in a drummer and sat on the wing and sang my tunes. My boys needed to be paid so I went to work even though it was foolish to do it. Other than vocals theres always someone who could sit in your seat, things will change but thats expected. Its just a gig when your really down stay home your health is far important than a gig. Doc
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Played 6 or 7 gigs with glandular fever many years ago. Obviously didn't realise I had glandular fever, but knew I was crook. I just kept loading up on headache tablets and other various painkillers and pushed on. I used to play a set and then go and crash out in the van or the band room until they woke me for the next set. Lasted for about 2 weeks doing this and holding down a day job until I collapsed with exhaustion one day and was taken to the doctor and finally diagnosed. Took a few weeks off work which allowed me to recouperate enough to be back gigging after two weeks.....wasn't quite that hasty getting back to the day job though....needed three weeks for that. ;-)
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2011, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

I have pretty severe Psorasis and sometimes both of my feet and hands are covered in thick placque.They crack and bleed no matter what you do sometimes,and walking is even difficult ocasionally.

The one thing that does stop me is an occasional gout flare.I don't care how great your resistance to pain is,its that debilitating.I have a female friend who has gout attacks,and she says its worse than giving childbirth.

It truly sucks,and hope none of you ever have to experience it.

Steve B
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Dirt View Post
With a flu and/or cold you need to fuel up EAT pile in the carbs and drink soups or broths.
Toast works great with peanutbutter if most foods just won't get down but thats how you get the gig done by fueling up. You stay in the pocket and take the opportunity to listen to the band even more closely. You get your mind off your feelings and on to other things that you enjoy.
The last stressful gig I had was a while back but I had a kidney removed and was asked to do an emergency fill in a month later for a friend who booked a short tour for an old Blues player on the come back from years of being retired. I did it and paid the price after 2 shows I was in a bad situation one morning at Cumberlands Blues Room in SC. The gigs got done and I got back home now I have a "paralized muscle" on my left side. To fix it meand cracking my chest open and heavy lining applied..................no thats not happening!
Played with a left broken arm, 102+ temps, puke bucket right next to my monitor, strained achilles (that hurt) everything was 1 n 3 on the kick or just ONE!!!! hahahaha!!! Bass player was busy that night accenting the beat, good player! The show goes on then you come with the idea of back up players. Now in my band I couldn't be replaced because of the vocals but in the 90s I did have some injuries were I brought in a drummer and sat on the wing and sang my tunes. My boys needed to be paid so I went to work even though it was foolish to do it. Other than vocals theres always someone who could sit in your seat, things will change but thats expected. Its just a gig when your really down stay home your health is far important than a gig. Doc
This is very true. It is really amazing what having a full stomach can do.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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I have pretty severe Psorasis and sometimes both of my feet and hands are covered in thick placque.They crack and bleed no matter what you do sometimes,and walking is even difficult ocasionally.

The one thing that does stop me is an occasional gout flare.I don't care how great your resistance to pain is,its that debilitating.I have a female friend who has gout attacks,and she says its worse than giving childbirth.

It truly sucks,and hope none of you ever have to experience it.

Steve B
Steve, that sucks big time. So sorry to hear that man :( Of course, I have my spinal tumour to contend with. That's pretty crap in the debilitating department too, but I work through that, & have a partial plan B if it all goes tits up.

That aside, I was thinking more in terms of general flu/bug/sickness stuff that most players encounter from time to time. Doing a solo with tissues hanging out of your nostrils ain't a good look :)
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Ok, here's a little warning for you. I wasn't improving, in fact, feeling very ill, so I checked in the doctor this afternoon. I'm now in hospital, apparently, with the mother of all chest infections. Hooked up to all kinds of crap, feeding me antibiotics, steroids, the whole deal. Apparently, I should have sought help earlier. Stubborn old bastard. If I'm stable, they're happy to throw me out tomorrow. Can't wait! This bloody place is full of sick people :)
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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Ok, here's a little warning for you. I wasn't improving, in fact, feeling very ill, so I checked in the doctor this afternoon. I'm now in hospital, apparently, with the mother of all chest infections. Hooked up to all kinds of crap, feeding me antibiotics, steroids, the whole deal. Apparently, I should have sought help earlier. Stubborn old bastard. If I'm stable, they're happy to throw me out tomorrow. Can't wait! This bloody place is full of sick people :)
Wow! Get better man and get out of there! Yes - you probably should've gone to the doctor sooner. Don't play around with your health Andy!
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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Ok, here's a little warning for you. I wasn't improving, in fact, feeling very ill, so I checked in the doctor this afternoon. I'm now in hospital, apparently, with the mother of all chest infections. Hooked up to all kinds of crap, feeding me antibiotics, steroids, the whole deal. Apparently, I should have sought help earlier. Stubborn old bastard. If I'm stable, they're happy to throw me out tomorrow. Can't wait! This bloody place is full of sick people :)
Hoooo, man, sorry to hear that, I hope you'll get better very quickly, now if you bored, you can cheer yourself up and talk about steam bent drum shell construction with the nurse, I'm sure she'll love that... ;)

Take care of yourself my friend...
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Ok, here's a little warning for you. I wasn't improving, in fact, feeling very ill, so I checked in the doctor this afternoon. I'm now in hospital, apparently, with the mother of all chest infections. Hooked up to all kinds of crap, feeding me antibiotics, steroids, the whole deal. Apparently, I should have sought help earlier. Stubborn old bastard. If I'm stable, they're happy to throw me out tomorrow. Can't wait! This bloody place is full of sick people :)

Thank you for your kind words Andy.Please get well soon,and all my best hope concerning your more severe medical problems

As far as the initial question though,I have played through more than my fair share of colds and flu.I used to gig a minimum of 3 nights a week,so I guess there were more than enough germs to go around in small to average size venues.I do recall getting sicker more often then also;holding down a full time job,and playing out.At least one night a week getting only a few hours sleep,and commuting to work takes its toll.

I guess I know my body well enough to know when I'm pushing it too far though.A temp of 102 and thats it for me..I've been up to 104,and almost hospitalized,but the truth is..105 and that may be all she wrote..

The show must go on and all that but,for me, common sense prevails. I say,sorry boys,I can't do it,and I live to drum another day.Not worth being Mr.Macho and risking your life over playing drums.I have a greater responsibilty to loved ones.

Steve B
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Ok, here's a little warning for you. I wasn't improving, in fact, feeling very ill, so I checked in the doctor this afternoon. I'm now in hospital, apparently, with the mother of all chest infections. Hooked up to all kinds of crap, feeding me antibiotics, steroids, the whole deal. Apparently, I should have sought help earlier. Stubborn old bastard. If I'm stable, they're happy to throw me out tomorrow. Can't wait! This bloody place is full of sick people :)

Thank you for your kind words Andy.Please get well soon,and all my best hope concerning your more severe medical problems

As far as the initial question though,I have played through more than my fair share of colds and flu.I used to gig a minimum of 3 nights a week,so I guess there were more than enough germs to go around in small to average size venues.I do recall getting sicker more often then also;holding down a full time job,and playing out.At least one night a week getting only a few hours sleep,and commuting to work takes its toll.

I guess I know my body well enough to know when I'm pushing it too far though.A temp of 102 and thats it for me..I've been up to 104,and almost hospitalized,but the truth is..105 and that may be all she wrote.Brain damage at that temp.I need my brain in working order thank you.

The show must go on and all that but,for me, common sense prevails. I say,sorry boys,I can't do it,and I live to drum another day.Not worth being Mr.Macho and risking your life over playing drums.I have a greater responsibilty to loved ones.

Steve B
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

One year ago this passed March 21st I was hit by an SUV on a sunday morning at 10am, the kid ran a stop sign and ran through the intersection hit me. My left leg was broken clean through above my ankle and below my knee. My heel was degloved (removed) and my foot had multiple broken bones and ofcourse nerve damage throughout my leg was the final straw.
I went back to work last April 13 months after the accident, my hi hat patterns aren'r exactly the same to say the least and theres NO heel toe action hahaha cause there ain't no heel. I've played drums and sung my entire life, I also trained PP (personal protection) dogs from the same time I started my music career. They both afforded me a nice living. When disco came in and everyone got hurt bad the PP traing was flourishing so other than going back into the small rooms and bars so my guys could earn I survived very well.
Now that I'm in these shoes I will NOT over extend myself even though my heart tells me to do it. I'm only 61 years old but my body is not in good shape, and my mind simply isn't focussed like back in the day.
Be very carefull giging with temps!!!! Thats actually very serious business and when dehydraition is involved you can do some serious damage to yourself. Think! Doc
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Hey KIS,

not sure if you frequent gavins thread...but he had a great set of replys to a similar question.

What a great resource!...suggest searching "sick" against gavins data.

He speaks to health via exercise as well...more implied...but a sure underpinning of his sucess.(amongst many)
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Thanks for your kind thoughts & info guys.

Phew! Doctors round nice & early, so I baled directly :) Feeling like a different guy! Pretty weak, but a whole lot different to 24 hours ago. Those drugs sure did their work. Luckily for me, I've avoided taking antibiotics over the last 25 years, so they really work well on me. Looks like I'll be gigging this weekend after all :) :) :)
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

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Looks like I'll be gigging this weekend after all :) :) :)
So good to hear that Andy, but be cautious after the gig, if your sweating, just put a pullover or something... :-)

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Old 12-08-2011, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Got to give you credit for pushing thru, and hope you get well soon. I have been in the same boat several times. Playing with the flu is not fun, weak, sweating with cold chills and trying to vomit in a bucket whilst still playing have not been the highlight of my musical career but we do what we must do, or think we must do at the time. In my younger days I have played gigs after putting my back out setting up and even had to play the kick drum the whole night once with my left foot after badly spraining my right ankle after miss judging the curb on a snow covered sidewalk while carrying gear into the club. The high hat work suffered that night but thank god for double peddle bass drum peddles as well as extra strength advil...lol
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Thanks guys. I tried to play my kit today. Managed about 15 minutes then had to give up. Coordination all over the place. Guess I've got a hill to climb by Saturday.

BTW Tard, I keep a double pedal exactly for that reason. When my right leg decides to take a holiday, I play the gig out with my left. Just simple grooves, but enough to finish the gig.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:15 AM
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BTW Tard, I keep a double pedal exactly for that reason. When my right leg decides to take a holiday, I play the gig out with my left. Just simple grooves, but enough to finish the gig.
I'm so jealous, I wish I could do that..... :((
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Playing whilst ill.

Geez, Andy, you were in no condition to be out and about, let alone playing!

I've recently taken on a new approach to illnesses: Better to miss one day of work to rest than do half as much work for a week because you're sick. Realistically, I would break out the pad and practice if I were feeling under the weather, but if I can't play the music correctly, then I certainly wouldn't gig. I'd at least try to find a fill-in.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:31 AM
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I'm so jealous, I wish I could do that..... :((
Haha, I didn't say it sounded great :) It's just a plan B when the tumour's in a bad mood. Luckily, that only happens maybe 2 gigs a year.


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Geez, Andy, you were in no condition to be out and about, let alone playing!

I've recently taken on a new approach to illnesses: Better to miss one day of work to rest than do half as much work for a week because you're sick. Realistically, I would break out the pad and practice if I were feeling under the weather, but if I can't play the music correctly, then I certainly wouldn't gig. I'd at least try to find a fill-in.
No sub option I'm afraid for this Saturday. I'll make the final call tomorrow evening. I'm hopeful I'll be ok, but I'll be simplifying to the max if I do the gig. I'll probably put a fair bit more through the PA than usual too. Just so I don't have to give it the hammer quite so much. I hate what that does to the band dynamic though, but better to have a lounge drummer than non at all :)
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:54 AM
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I'd at least try to find a fill-in.
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No sub option I'm afraid for this Saturday. I'll make the final call tomorrow evening. I'm hopeful I'll be ok, but I'll be simplifying to the max if I do the gig. I'll probably put a fair bit more through the PA than usual too. Just so I don't have to give it the hammer quite so much. I hate what that does to the band dynamic though, but better to have a lounge drummer than non at all :)
It's funny you mention a sub to cover for sickness or accidents, I had 2 experiences with that...

Once a broke a bone on the palm of my left hand, 4 days prior to a couple of gigs over a week end, we tried a friend drummer to sub for me, so I was present during his first rehearsal with the band, just to give him advice on some patterns and clue to the arrangements of the songs, he had some difficulties on a paricular song, so I tried to show him on the kit, and to my utter surprise, all my band mates thought that it was good, so we decided that I would play the gigs, and I did, with much less fills and simplified.

The other time was different, I was called for a sub by a hard rock band because their drummer went to hospital with an appendicites, it was just for one gig with about 15 songs to learn/play and a whole week to rehearse for it, we went through their set list 3 times per day for 5 days until the gig on the saturday, that was the only time I had to sub for another drummer and it was quite a stressful experience...
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