Scary gig stories anyone?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I thought this may be fun since we are getting close to Halloween. It could be about the gig, the ride home, weird people you've met on the road while gigging, or whatever.

🥶😵Any takers? :alien:🤡
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
My scary gigs usually involve meeting older guys who "used to be in the business" that want to walk up on stage while we're setting up, grab a guitar and "show us what they got".
When we politely ask them not to come up on stage, they get all butt-hurt. Then the tirade of "I was doing gigs when your daddy was in diapers" blah blah blah...begins.
One guy showed us his wallet full of cash & said, "See this? I made this playing music!" Of which I reply, "So I see you'll be the one hooking us up with the tips? SWEET!!!"
*he gives us the finger*

Naturally, he leaves without paying a thing. Reminding me of another scary fact: Once you make decent money playing music, helping those still in a place you once were, goes out the window.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Let's see, in Memphis our bass player got attacked by a homeless guy over a bag of chips.

On two different occasions the same guy (big fan) had a seizure. Once during the show, once before.

In OKC we played at the Tower Theatre a few times before it closed. The last time we played with Manowar and Six Feet Under. A neighbor complains about all the vehicles behind the venue. We go outside to load in, and our van/trailer is hooked up to a tow truck, as are the 2 tour busses. Cops, venue and band officials, and the neighbor all had it out. The neighbor was at fault, but the vehicles were already hooked up. Manowar paid for our vehicle to be unhooked.

Lots of fights, in and out of the pit. One guy ended up with a broken arm once, but stayed the whole show. It was brutal, you could see the break.

Fire Marshall showed up to a show and stopped it because the bar let in about twice as many people as they were supposed to. A riot almost broke out.

And finally the best one. About 2-3 songs into about an hour set outdoors, cops show up. I had one standing behind me the whole time. It was very nerve-wracking. Turns out the guy who put on the show didn't have a permit, and death metal outside attracts cops. The rest of the bands didn't get to play. The cops were cool enough to at least let us finish. Honestly I think THEY were a bit scared!
 

trickg

Silver Member
Years ago I played in a DC area Latin band, and we played some ROUGH areas of Washington DC.

We did a gig one night that was actually at a school, and somehow a fight broke out and wound up on stage with a guy attempting to pull a knife out of his pants. Fortunately a bunch of people were able to keep him restrained, but I was about *this* close to witnessing a stabbing/knifing. As it was, they knocked over the stacks on stage.

I think one of the worst gigs I've ever been a part of happened a year or two back - it was like a nightmare, only it actually happened.

It started off with my bandleader telling me that our guitar player bailed - he was sick. I managed to sweet-talk the former guitar player who said he'd play the gig, but that he couldn't quite make it in time for downbeat. THEN our sax player totally blew the gig off - it had been a while since we'd had a gig and I guess it just slipped off of his radar. But that's not the worst.

The worst part was that the PA wasn't coming up - at this point the whole system is digital, and there's only one person who knows how it goes together and works - the bandleader. Unfortunately he'd been recently prescribed some meds that interacted badly with some awful side effects - he was conscious, but not coherent, so he was stumbling around all over the place, in an effort to "fix" the PA (ultimately he screwed it up worse than it was because he wasn't thinking straight.) I ended up taking him home so that his wife could get him to the ER, and then I drove back to the gig.

By the time I got back, our former guitar player had managed to cobble together a system of sorts, but we were just doing DJ stuff off of a laptop and a single microphone - all plugged directly into the back of a stack.

The client, understandably, was PISSED. This was a wedding, and it pretty much ruined their reception. I've never before or since been a part of such a catastrophic band debacle.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
My bro played a gig a couple years ago. His band plays it yearly, it's a huge party for some peeps they know. Well, this particular time they were in an enclosed space--a barn. A lot of people were smoking weed, apparently it was stuff that killed Elvis because he was up 16 hours later because of how it effected his heart. It acts as a stimulant--heart rate goes up? Anyhow, that actually does sound a little scary now that I think about it.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
A guitarist in one of my last bands set himself on fire on stage - by accident of course - and didn't realise he was on fire.

He didn't live that down for a long time!

The other one I can think of was stopping a fight between a random person and a family member of one of our bands, as the random stranger felt his hair (lots of alcohol was already consumed by them both)

I had to break it up initially, then keep breaking it up the rest of the night as they refused to quit locking horns.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
The Long Drive Home

Sometime in the fall of 1969 we landed a gig playing a high school dance at the Rim of The World High School near Lake Arrowhead in California. This high school is high in the mountains, 5000 feet high to be exact and located in the San Bernardino National Forest.

So why do they call it “Rim of The World” High School. Well, because in is located on the Rim of The World Highway. And this highway actually is on the rim of the world!! Well, it’s right on the rim of the mountain anyway. From this highway you can clearly see the San Bernardino Valley. Waaaaay down to the San Bernardino valley. And this road had only two small lanes, one in each direction. So it felt like we were actually on the rim of the world.

For this two hour trip we decided to take Johns 1960’s VW Bus. And to save gas we all piled into his bus with all of our equipment. Yes, the whole band in one VW Bus. That was four musicians. Two guitar amps. One bass amp. One set of drums. One PA amp with two speaker boxes. Microphones and stands. And three guitars in cases. Needless to say driving up to 5000 ft. on the Rim of The World Highway in an overloaded VW Bus took some time.

As I remember we got there maybe just a few minutes late. But hey, we were the only rock and roll band within hours of that place. So they were glad to see us. As I recall all went well at the show. The interesting part of the night was yet to come.
After the dance we packed up our gear and when we went outside we realized it was very very dark ! It was close to midnight and cold. And it was starting to get a little foggy. As we were getting ready to drive down that dark road I remember John said “I’m not sure if I can follow that dark road all the way down the mountain”. So some high school kid said “Hey you can follow me down the mountain. I know the way down”. So this kid jumped into his hot rod muscle car and took off down the road at way over the speed limit. John followed him for a mile or so then the kid and his red tail lights disappeared into the night. I guess the kid did not realize just how slow a fully loaded VW Bus was.
Oh crap, a lot of help he was!

As we progressed down the two lane road the fog got thicker and thicker. Pretty soon the road disappeared into the fog! And John was looking out the side window trying to follow the yellow lines painted on the road. We could only see about 10 feet ahead of us. We were traveling about 1 to 2 miles per hour. We could have walked faster. It was really scary. Then it got even more scary! The lines in the road were no longer there!
Bam, they were gone! What was really on our minds was the fact that where the pavement stopped to our left was a cliff going almost straight down. Yeah, of course, it was the “rim of the world”.

At this point Frank and I decided we needed to get out of the bus and slowly guide John along the road. So Frank and I were in front of the bus walking slowly trying to make sure we stayed on the road. We really had no idea where we were on that road. All of a sudden I realized that if another car was coming up the road Frank and I might get run over. Lucky for us no car ever came up that road. In fact looking back on it now; walking and driving on that road that night was a very dangerous thing to do.

Finally after doing this for a while the yellow line returned. So we got back into the bus and drove very slowly until the fog lifted and we could again see the whole road. I don’t remember when we all got home that night, but I’m sure it was very early in the morning and probably just in time to have some breakfast. I’ll never forget that long ride home and the Rim of The World Highway.

.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
These aren't scary stories-WTH no zombies or ghost-Where's the LivingDead Dude he knows zombies I know. Pretty lame. My story is more freaky. About the time I started gigging I had a strange mole pop up on my shoulder. Well the dang thing kept growing so I thought I'd need to see the Pimple Popper lady on TV, But next thing you know it has hair, teeth, and a freaking eyeball. They said first it was a neuroblastoma, but then no it took form to be my younger identical twin-yeah WTH. Turns out I'm a chimera because I absorbed my twin-my kids are actually my twin-my gonads are his, my heart, liver and brain belong to me. So It was like some freak show from Evil Dead. It wasn't attached to my spinal cord or any major organ-apparently the mole had the genetics of my twin and by some twist of fate it grew to look my head. I had the damn thing removed-cause he screwed around with my wife and SOB had to die-yeah gruesome. So top that LOL. Yeah crickets ____I didn't think so ROFL!!!
 

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MrTheOne

Member
Last year we played this club in Miamisburg, OH that was a bank for most of it’s existence. Built around turn of the century, old gray stone building, Greek style columns and carvings. Anyway, played the gig and afterward the owner gave us a tour. Our employer/singer (also my wife) has a real nose for this kind of stuff, I’m usually pretty skeptical. At one point she whispers in my ear “place as haunted.” So the owner takes us upstairs, shows us the speak easy room they put together complete with period furniture, owner is very proud of this particular part. So my wife says “So tell us about the ghost.” Owner chuckles and tells us a story about the banker that used to work there when it was still a bank. Had some kind of salacious affair and ended up killing himself inside the place. Ghost haunts it to this day.

We’re actually playing tonight (here in about 20 minutes) in Pensacola. Oooold brick building that runs the whole block, has a very “French Quarter” vibe, multiple bars and stages in the place, courtyards, refurbbed powder room. Lots of portraits from the late 19th century on the walls. Anyway, took one look inside when we started loading in, whispered to our guitar player “Oh yeah, place is haunted as it gets.” Sure enough, sound guy, without prompting from us mind you, starts talking about the building and all the ghosts. Guitar player and I high fived and had a drink.

I love Halloween.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Driving home after a 2 week stint from Florida to PA, circa 1984, a 22 hour drive, with 3 guys jammed into the front bench seat of my 1966 Chevelle (the back seat I removed to get more gear in) We were doing illegal stimulants and smoking marijuana when I got pulled over for speeding. The result was an 80 dollar ticket and watching a half ounce of weed fall about 50 feet into the swamp. Took off, drove maybe 5 miles and decided to go back and try to retrieve the weed from the swamp with a fishing rod.

We managed to spot the weed with a flashlight, I tried to hook it, but I couldn't, so I decided to try duct tape. Well stupidly, I tied a new full roll of tape on with the sticky side out. But it broke my line. So I decided to go after it in person, hopping the guardrail, making my way down the long embankment. So I get to the bottom and start making my way over to the goodies in the muck. Meanwhile I'm sinking down further and further in the mud. I was maybe 20 feet away from paydirt, but with actual running water between me and my target....when I hear some kind of small life form near me make some kind of noise and that's when it all hits me...I am thigh deep in a Florida swamp...at like midnight. There's alligators in Florida. There were probably alligators that lived in this swamp I am mired in. I got truly scared and said, "I'm I'm I'm getting out of here!" and got out as fast as I could. Hopped back in the car, took off. Wouldn't you know I get pulled over a 2nd time by the same cop. I had mud up to my thighs. He said, "Mr. Hinkel, what are you doing back here?" I told him some lie about dropping my license...He gave me a 2nd speeding ticket.

The only time I was more scared than that is when I lost my steering merging onto Rt. 95. I determined it takes a human 10 full turns of the wheel before said human realizes he has no steering lol. I just missed getting clipped going 60 mph, was able to pull off the road onto onto a grassy median (which isn't there now, it's another lane) looked under my truck, and there was a 4 foot steering arm hanging down. I saw where it went, inserted it, got a long skinny screw and used it as a temporary cotter pin to keep my steering arm in place, and I drove away 5 minutes later.

On the way home from a gig in Philly, I lost my windshield wipers during a bad rainstorm, again, in my 66 Chevelle. So I got some clothesline and loosely tied a rope to each wiper arm base. I brought the rope ends into the cab via the wing windows, and alternately pulled on the ropes to operate the wipers. I had to steer the car with my knee. Manual steering on that car. I'm thankful I have 4 way coordination.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Driving home after a 2 week stint from Florida to PA, circa 1984, a 22 hour drive, with 3 guys jammed into the front bench seat of my 1966 Chevelle (the back seat I removed to get more gear in) We were doing illegal stimulants and smoking marijuana when I got pulled over for speeding. The result was an 80 dollar ticket and watching a half ounce of weed fall about 50 feet into the swamp. Took off, drove maybe 5 miles and decided to go back and try to retrieve the weed from the swamp with a fishing rod.

We managed to spot the weed with a flashlight, I tried to hook it, but I couldn't, so I decided to try duct tape. Well stupidly, I tied a new full roll of tape on with the sticky side out. But it broke my line. So I decided to go after it in person, hopping the guardrail, making my way down the long embankment. So I get to the bottom and start making my way over to the goodies in the muck. Meanwhile I'm sinking down further and further in the mud. I was maybe 20 feet away from paydirt, but with actual running water between me and my target....when I hear some kind of small life form near me make some kind of noise and that's when it all hits me...I am thigh deep in a Florida swamp...at like midnight. There's alligators in Florida. There were probably alligators that lived in this swamp I am mired in. I got truly scared and said, "I'm I'm I'm getting out of here!" and got out as fast as I could. Hopped back in the car, took off. Wouldn't you know I get pulled over a 2nd time by the same cop. I had mud up to my thighs. He said, "Mr. Hinkel, what are you doing back here?" I told him some lie about dropping my license...He gave me a 2nd speeding ticket.

The only time I was more scared than that is when I lost my steering merging onto Rt. 95. I determined it takes a human 10 full turns of the wheel before said human realizes he has no steering lol. I just missed getting clipped going 60 mph, was able to pull off the road onto onto a grassy median (which isn't there now, it's another lane) looked under my truck, and there was a 4 foot steering arm hanging down. I saw where it went, inserted it, got a long skinny screw and used it as a temporary cotter pin to keep my steering arm in place, and I drove away 5 minutes later.

On the way home from a gig in Philly, I lost my windshield wipers during a bad rainstorm, again, in my 66 Chevelle. So I got some clothesline and loosely tied a rope to each wiper arm base. I brought the rope ends into the cab via the wing windows, and alternately pulled on the ropes to operate the wipers. I had to steer the car with my knee. Manual steering on that car. I'm thankful I have 4 way coordination.
And to think I bought a snare drum from you
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Maybe a reality close-call: I wrapped up a gig and packed up and went home. First stop was in the other direction of home to grab a bite to eat. As I drive by the venue (bar-restaurant) after getting some tacos, the whole place is lit up by police and emergency vehicles. This was one of those rare times when we had serial killers in the SoCal area in the late 80s-early 90s, and I was told later that the owner was shot in the alleyway by said serial killer (which they apprehended a week later). The venue never really recovered after that, and alot of the clientele that I had become friends with went their separate ways after that funeral.
 

moxman

Silver Member
....when I hear some kind of small life form near me make some kind of noise and that's when it all hits me...I am thigh deep in a Florida swamp...at like midnight. There's alligators in Florida. There were probably alligators that lived in this swamp I am mired in.
Lol.. that's a great story! Much better than my first ever gig as a jazz trio at an big old run down hotel - where the owner said he wanted to 'attract a higher class of clientele'. Little did we know when we walked in for the first night of a 3-week engagement - that the club was notoriously dangerous - usually packed with drunk construction workers and shady criminals who wanted nothing but country and bar fights! The only thing missing was the chickenwire from the Blues bros. movie. I did setup my cymbals on steep angles to deflect flying beer bottles..Needless to say, after surviving the first night we learned 30 country songs the next day.. we needed the money to pay for all the equipment that was stolen after the first show! In the second week we ended up getting a police escort out of the hotel. Fun times!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I've got nothing on Larry's near alligator supper story (distinct lack of alligators in Herefordshire :unsure:) but many years ago, we did get pulled over by the police while I was being held aloft horizontally by 3 crew inside the bus so I could pee out of one of the high level sliding ventilation windows on a motorway (freeway). It was thick fog, so dangerous to stop.

We all needed to pee, so a rota was organised. It was quite the logistical exercise, but I was the one with active appendage when we passed a police patrol. Thank goodness this was pre dash cam & social media! Police pulled us into the next services, & after a stern word on public exposure + obligatory weed search of the bus, we were let on our way.

In other news, I stopped our gig a couple of numbers before the end last weekend. No stage - very squashed crowd pushing forward + over enthusiastic & drunk audience members straying into the playing area. Drinks getting dropped = broken glass, & some smart ass deciding to sway one of the front lighting trusses. I reckon we were one number away from an injury claim, so I called it, & walked off the kit. Band were bemused at first, until I told them about the jerk on the light truss.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Far too many to mention. The worst though was when we were on tour in the USA 1996. We had played in Philadelphia then after the gig, the guitarist from our support band (Final Warning) disappeared. A few days later, we found out he had bought a gun & shot himself. Horrific.
 

Natewest

Junior Member
One time I crapped myself on stage, a real messy diarrhea crap aswell. It was near the end of the set atleast so I could pull out early as I had crapping running down my leg and no clean pants available. and one time we showed up to the venue and the fire marshall had shut the place down for some reason. The guy who booked us wrote down directions to a new venue on napkins. I'm guessing not even half of the audience bothered heading to the new venue as the place was basically deserted.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Think Kevin has won this one!

Had a beaut on Sunday which is thread starting material so I shall save it for then.

Other than that we played a gig where the bride refused to pay and our guitarist ended up in the honeymoon suite and didn't leave until we got paid. The groom paid pretty damn quick as his car was parked outside and there was 4 rather angry musicians lurking with intent.

The complaint following it was amazing, we always take pics and vids to cover our arse if anyone tries anything funny. Our agent sent them a picture of a packed dancefloor with them laughing and dancing with a big arrow pointing to them saying "is this you?". Never heard from them again.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Alright DW members redeemed themselves-some great stories!!!!! I've never believed in ghost however I've had some strange things happen I can't explain and had a weird feeling of being watched back in college days living in old 1800s homes. Now in 70s a friend and I were riding down the road-in a slightly altered state-when this solid white horse bolted in front of us and started running down highway for quite while then suddenly bolted and just vanished. We said nothing driving some 55-65 miles an hour on road till after it vanished and at same time asked "Did you see that f#$@ing horse?". He thought it was a ghost-I said it was a real horse-looked real to me LOL. Animals can quickly vanish if they like-I remember being late for class driving 100mph to class-I went around a bend and saw this big tail coming out of a huge trash bin on side of road. I thought it was a dog but it stood up and it was a big cat (looked just like the Colorado mountain lion my Dad had stuffed on a big rock in his trophy room)-it was huge. It jumped and cleared to middle of road, next jump into other side of road that had just been cleared so just light brush and it just vanished. Now when I was a kid and either when I drowned or when I got electrocuted and was out I had a weird vision too long to detail that was super freaky related to some of my dead relatives I didn't know. My Mom was very intuitive of peoples intentions-she was gracious to everyone but she'd "get a feeling". I never believed that crap but dang if she wasn't right in all instances-she'd warn my Dad and bros and I of people we should be wary-which of course we all ignored that silly crap LOL.
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Alright DW members redeemed themselves-some great stories!!!!! I've never believed in ghost however I've had some strange things happen I can't explain and had a weird feeling of being watched back in college days living in old 1800s homes. Now in 70s a friend and I were riding down the road-in a slightly altered state-when this solid white horse bolted in front of us and started running down highway for quite while then suddenly bolted and just vanished. We said nothing driving some 55-65 miles an hour on road till after it vanished and at same time asked "Did you see that f#$@ing horse?". He thought it was a ghost-I said it was a real horse-looked real to me LOL. Animals can quickly vanish if they like-I remember being late for class driving 100mph to class-I went around a bend and saw this big tail coming out of a huge trash bin on side of road. I thought it was a dog but it stood up and it was a big cat (looked just like the Colorado mountain lion my Dad had stuffed on a big rock in his trophy room)-it was huge. It jumped and cleared to middle of road, next jump into other side of road that had just been cleared so just light brush and it just vanished. Now when I was a kid and either when I drowned or when I got electrocuted and was out I had a weird vision too long to detail that was super freaky related to some of my dead relatives I didn't know. My Mom was very intuitive of peoples intentions-she was gracious to everyone but she'd "get a feeling". I never believed that crap but dang if she wasn't right in all instances-she'd warn my Dad and bros and I of people we should be wary-which of course we all ignored that silly crap LOL.
I didn't used to believe either, until I moved into a haunted house. Doors would open on their own, stuff would move by itself, voices galore, my wife would feel breathing on her neck, and my dogs would start barking and growling at things not there. Needless to say, I believe now. I think the thing that did it was when my fishtank talked to me. It was a freaky place to live.
 
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