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Thread: Gigs Gone Wrong

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Gigs Gone Wrong

    In the spirit of some of the other conversations we have been having lately, I thought it might be interesting to create a thread where we can post those gigs that went wrong for whatever reason.

    Let's tell our stories!

    dB

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Okay we don't have any takers so I will start.

    We played one gig where the person who hired us told the people in the audience like to dance- I thought it was a nursing home for the aged. It was Thanksgiving and I could not get a drummer so it was just me on rhythm. Having absolutely no guidance as to what to play we brought international music, which we thought would be good to dance to. I'm generally very good at assessing what music to play when I know the demographics of the audience. However...... As we are setting up people in the audience are 20-30 years younger than I expected them to be and they are asking me what songs by Billy Joel we're going to play (is that dance music?). Turns out the place was a nursing home, but not for the aged but rather for younger people who had psychological problems. That in itself is not a problem, but the music we were playing was clearly not what they had expected or what they wanted.

    So here we are, whipping through tarantellas and polkas and the people in the audience were looking for rock. The band sounded fine but the audience slowly crept away little by little while all I could think of was "get through the set and slink off saying nothing to administration", which was exactly what we did....

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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I sympathize, dB.

    Many years ago, my band had the same problem in reverse. We were offered a New Years gig at the Nanaimo firehall. We set up and had only played three or four songs when we realized that the older crowd wasn't ready to rock. Our ace in the hole: Our keyboard player had a regular weekend gig playing organ during intermissions at the Duncan theater, and he and my girlfriend (who was our singer but also an accomplished accordion player) did three sets of standards. It was pure dumb luck that she had the accordion with her.

    Later, when the old folks started to drift away, we got into our regular music...Doors, Vanilla Fudge, Jefferson Airplane, etc. If we hadn't had the keyboards and accordion to fall back on early in the evening, I think we might have been lynched. I never made the mistake of taking another booking till I knew what they were expecting.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I think anyone who has gigged has had one of those experiences where there was a misunderstanding as to what music should be played.

    A guy I know who is a very fine musician said he was a hired in the early 90's for a wedding gig and they were told to "play Top 40" so they prepared the band to play all Madonna, etc. After the 2nd song the people that hired them told them to leave the stage. What they wanted was "Top 40's", meaning big band and Frank Sinatra style music. Now I've never ever heard someone refer to that kind of music as "Top 40's" but you can imagine that neither the band nor the wedding party were happy...

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    Axetastic itsallintheblues's Avatar
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    Oh man, I've never had that experience, yet, but I imagine it would be like a traumatic experience!

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Well different than what's been related--and maybe it really wasn't a gig as such--but it did go wrong.

    I have probably related some parts of this before--but it's been a while.

    When I took lessons there was a band program as well (or combos as they were often referred to)
    the music school also took part in an annual festival with other music schools in he same part of the province.

    So first time around for me the otehr guys in the combo I was in decide at the last minute they aren't going to go to the festival--so much for all the practicing.
    Two other combos had most of the people drop out--so the teacher put together a last minute band from the remains of three bands.
    I was the least experienced--none of us were pros or close.
    I'd never played in a combo in front of people before (Although I had limited experience in front of a crowd doing other musical stuff)

    So we didn't have too many practices--and at least one person was missing from each one except for one practice.

    So we're getting set up.
    The drummer had trouble hearing us the way the drums were set up.

    As we were getting set up I was doing the chord changes to one of our songs (We played two songs)--as I was doing this my strap knob screw decided to take that chance to go flying.
    A strap lock wouldn't have mattered--the screw flew out.
    My hand was on the neck doing the chords so I caught the guitar--but two strings broke.

    I played my teachers SG Custom (The only good thing that day perhaps).

    During the performance of the songs we all made mistakes--and I forgot the chords to one song --so I turned down my volume & faked it.

    It was horrible.

    But it was also a learning experience.
    And it was incentive for me to never be that unprepared again...
    To get it right the next time.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    That is quite a doozy, Zontar

    I can remember one performance where I forgot to bring a cable- luckily it was in town and I frantically called my wife and she brought one over. After that I put spare cables in each of my cars

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    Axe-honerated Keletcaster's Avatar
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    I got this guy one night who fancied himself as a spoon virtuoso. Clackity clack clackity clack he's parading back and forth then he's jumping upon stage He was a major pain in the a$$. Luckily half way through the set one of my crazy buddies came in and I gave him the look of please help me get rid of this idiot. So he walks up to Mr spoon's and starts cheering him on and Mr spoon's was digging that for sure he's showboating back & forth again. clackity clack clackity clack. My buddy yells that's awesome can I try! Mr spoon's happily handed him the spoon's and my buddy start's up clackity clack clackity clack then throws them blindly backwards in opposite direction of each other into the huge dark lit bar. I mean who knows where they landed Mr spoon's shouted "You don't know how!" Then stormed out of the pub. Watching all that go down while I was playing is something I will never forget.
    Last edited by Keletcaster; 01-25-2018 at 08:49 PM.
    Great Guitars Are A Formula Not A Logo.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    You are not going to believe this, KC.

    We were playing a gig and someone comes up to us afterwards and asks if they can play spoons with the band on our next gig. What is it with these spoon players?

    Oh well, better spoons than a conga drum. Conga drums seem to bring out the very worst in people. Give a guy a conga drum and he thinks that playing with no rhythm makes him "gifted"

  10. #10
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    But if they have rhythm--the congas can be real cool

    If money was no object I would buy some conga drums & take lessons from someone who specialized in them & Latin music.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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