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  1. #1

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    Saw this post here: https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/band...tml#post981481, thought I open a thread to hear your stories from the most crazy moments of your muso life.

    So here we go:

    I did this gig with a top 40 band in a German beer tent, think Oktoberfest, just a bit smaller. I was just starting our post midnight "Greatest Hits" set with "Smoke On The Water" when I saw some movement at the entrance area of the tent.

    Turns out a guy had entered the tent with a running chainsaw to take revenge for his advancements towards a girl not being appreciated.
    We just looked at each other to decide what to do, when the promoter storms the bandstand and yells: "Don't stop playing, don't stop the music!"

    So here I stand, playing the infamous riff while watching 5 to 6 men fighting with benches an attacker with a running chainsaw in a Bavarian beer tent...



    PS. No one was hurt, they had him down in a couple of (seemingly endless) minutes, police arrived etc...

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  3. #2

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    I think this might be a short thread. You’ve kinda peaked .

  4. #3

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    Not gonna beat that.

    I think my most surreal gig experience was playing a house party just off campus at Eastern Illinois University in mid-January. There was a smell of gas somewhere in the house, and some guy yelled "gas leak, everybody out!" and everyone (easily a hundred people) ran outside.

    I remember standing in the street in a t-shirt and jeans, guitar around my neck, sweaty, about 15 degrees outside, waiting for the fire department, who figured out it was just somebody lighting cigarettes off the stove burner and they hadn't completely turned it off.

    We came back in and played "Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads.

  5. #4

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    A few decades back a couple of friends of mine called me to give them a hand playing "a benefit for jerry's kids" one Autumn weekend. Turned out to be a biker party, in the days when bikers were less likely to be dentists than to need dentists, if you know what I mean. This was out in the sticks at some guy's house. We were set up on the back porch, maybe 8'x8', drums, bass, & 2 guitars. A squeeze. The party had already been going on for two days, and would go on for a couple more. As we roll up in the other guitar player's battleship-size Mercury, a couple of burly bikers had a guest by the arms and were escorting him from the premises, if by "escorting" you mean pulling him along so that his knees and his Doc Martens were leaving trench-like trails in the lawn. His eyes were glazed over and there were cobwebs and twigs in his hair. "Who's that?" I queried.

    "Our bass player" said my friend (who I might add, did restorations/mods on Harleys, and knew many of the principals on a first-alias basis, hence the gig).

    So things went OK for while and eventually Wingnut (our bass player's name - an ex-commodities trader who had done some time inside and was now finding his feet outside) joined us and we went on serving up the blues and blooze, funkin' it up royally.

    Abruptly in the distance was heard the sound of gunfire. Immediately from the house behind us our host (presumably; if it wasn't then this story is weirder than I thought) burst a man with a high-powered rifle who proceeded to empty his clip (six rounds, IIRC) into the air, six inches from my right ear. There was no room to move, and nowhere to move to. My ears are still ringing. No, really.

    Well as I said, the party continued for a couple more days, but without Mark and I. Pat and Wingnut having elected to stay, Mark and I had our stuff packed up and in the back of the Marquis in thirty seconds flat.

    Alas, I'm the only left from that crew to tell the tale. God Rest their souls.

    Always travel light, Kids, and have an escape plan. No, really.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think this might be a short thread. You’ve kinda peaked .
    C'mon, Christian. Surely you have some crazy story from your many performances! Don't hold out on us, man!

  7. #6

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    My story about the playback Russian wedding gets better! Most (all?) players in the band have never done a playback gig before, so they were bored, changing instruments on stage, acting funny, etc.

    At some point the musical directors wife (one of the singers) takes offense, so finally asks the guy playing the drums (wasn't the drummer!) to stop, he refuses, before you know it they start fighting, the whole security team (VERY wrong looking guys to mess with) rushes onstage while some of the band is playing, some are rushing to help the guy, some are ducking. The brawl only lasts like a minute or so, behind the wall of 6 singers with the playback music playing. We continue afterwards. My telecaster survived!

  8. #7

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    I used to play lead guitar occasionally for a singer-songwriter who played amplified acoustic guitar. It was a quartet with bass and drums too. She wrote weird songs: In an attempt to be original, most of her chord progressions made little or no sense. But that was sort of an interesting challenge. Then she would call covers of songs I'd never played before: "These Boots Are Made For Walking," didn't pose much of a problem, however. Finally, we're playing live and she says, "We're gonna play, 'In The Day'." I said, "Do I know that one? Have we ever rehearsed it?" She said, "I just wrote it this afternoon." That wasn't the final straw, though. That came when she 'couldn't afford to pay me' for the last gig I did with her, even though she'd gotten the check from the venue. By the way, the group on before us was billed as a Jazz Trio. The promotional material said, "They play everything from standards to improvisation!"

  9. #8

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    ok, this may be a bit long.
    About 15 yrs ago I bought a jazz organ lp on ebay, the 2nd highest bidder emailed and asked if I could make a tape of it for him. No problem I said and we found out we were both jazz organ fanatics.
    He told me about a local Hammond B-3 player in his hometown and said it would be cool if we could work together.
    I didn't recognize his name but he sent me a half dozen VHS tape of the guy in action and I was seriously impressed, how I never heard of him before I didn't know and he had recently put out his 1st cd in his late 50's.
    The contact told me the organist and his drummer had a few gigs coming up and he wanted to add me to make it a trio.
    They lived about 9 hrs away but I accepted because this guy was just a monster player.
    So I set off on a 90 degree morning w/2 Twin Reverbs in the trunk and my L-5 in the back seat.
    Travelling on the highway at about 70 mph a couple hrs into the drive one of my rear tires blew out while I was sandwiched between 2 tractor trailors. It was a miracle I didn't swerve into one of them.
    Sitting there in the median in 100 degree temps I unloaded everything from the trunk including the Twins and put the donut tire on. By the time I finished I was completely soaked from sweat and had resigned myself to just turn around and go home. As I started driving the next crossroad was named "Hammond Ave", I mean how could I turn around at that point?? So I said "f it" I'm going on.
    When I finally hit town I got a new tire and drove into the mountains to the house of the guy I had been communicating with, he was providing the B-3 and Leslies for the gigs.
    When I got there his house was built into the mountainside w/ a 20' rickety wooden staircase from the front door to the ground. Turns out the organ was inside and we had to take it down the steps load it into his pickup and drive down the mountains back into to town. He had a friend to help and we managed to get it in the pickup.
    They sat in the front and I was in the bed w/the organ, hanging on for dear life through the twists and turns of the road. Not what I had in mind when I set out that morning.
    When we got to the club I met the organist, he was huge, well over 300 lbs and we seemed to hit it off pretty well.
    We played the gig and then the next one and hung out all weekend, he was full of stories and had me in stitches the whole time. I was having a great time, all the hassle seemed to be worth it.
    We had one gig left and 1/2 the town was there jammed in like sardines, he was a local celeb of sorts. He was friends w/the mayor and he came up on the bandstand for a few pics for the local paper. Right as we were going to start playing again he turned to me and called off the next tune and didn't move for a minute or two. I noticed his cigarette was burning close to his fingers so I flicked it away. He got up and went to the bathroom but didn't come out and they had to break down the door to get in, he was out cold. The whole place was in shock and you could hear a pin drop.
    He was having a stroke and they called an ambulance. I wanted to go to the hospital w/him but everyone said I had to stay, they had another organist coming to fill in for the rest of the night.
    When the gig was over I went to the hospital, everyone else had gone home by then.
    I sat next to his bed the rest of the night and watched the sun come up. He woke up and asked if he could have a cigarette!
    Some family started trickling back in and I said goodbye and headed for the 9 hr trip back home.
    He survived the stroke but his organ playing days were done.
    I got a few nice letters from some family and friends as well as some pics of the gigs, but they couldn't bear to watch the videos of the last night. Can't say I blame them....

  10. #9

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    You're a stand-up guy, wintermoon! Well done!

  11. #10

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    I have blotted from my memory the fights, the drunks, the non-paying bar owners, leaving only the more enjoyable incidents. Such as the two supermodel-beautiful young women dancing together in front of the band, taking their mutual affection to the next level, and the next, while I and the rest of the stupefied band, jaws hitting the floor, fell apart.

  12. #11

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    Not a jazz gig tales - sorry

    I played in the army band... there were lots of storied...

    Once we had that marching drill while playing... I do not know how it is called in English... when you play and walks making different figures, so you have to count steps turn into the right direction and other 'dancing' stuff...
    By the way we were playing 'Washington Post' - I can't remeber why, I played trombone it was pretty challenging becasue in American marches trombone parts are usually very intensive and independent (in European ones they usually dub the bass baritones or just comp chords)...

    So at the end of all that the whole band should have advanced to the front line than all turn left just on the spot and march way way with music...

    During rehearsals all was fine... but during the parade at the very end when the band had to make - one!two! - turn!left! - the guy with a big drum turn right...
    Music kept playing people (including high rank officers) kept watching, the band mached away to the left, the drummer with a big drum kept going to the right while he kept playing... he decided that he could not just turaround and run to catch the band so he began to make strange marching figures keeping the step in time: turning left than a few stepst, then turning left again etc. When he understood that he would not catch the band like that he desperately made it double time, he definitely did not want to stay alone in the open space with a drum...
    Finally somebody gave a sign to the bandleader and he gave a command to march without going for a few moments so he could get to the back band.


    Another story was about our tenor sax player and clarinetists - he was already in hos 50s, a bit strange guy, nice but always a bit lost, also he drank a lot... they all drank quite a lot (I mean all except us who were on duty service there).. especially in winter because they gave us spirit to prevent instruments from froxing outside... many musicians supposed that having spirit inside themeselves is much more effective for it becasue then you have spirit in your breath.

    Well anyway ... we had one of this big events when all the regiments are there and so on... so the band is there too but we cannot see our sax player - not a big problem, the band is big... somebody just filled in his place...
    But right before the beginning we saw him running from behind... he got to the band, stood oh his place smiling... and grabbed his sax, or tried to grab it becasue there was no sax, only strap... he forgot it. The seargent (out 1st trumpet) whispered at him: go away! just go awya! we will mach right in front of the general! He will see you...
    But the guy said (absolutely sincerely): it is ok, I have a nice voice and can sing my part well!
    Go away!
    But then everything began... so we played the whole event inclyding marching in front of the generals with our sax player holding imaginary sax (he really held his hands as if he had a sax to pplay) and singing his part quite loudly!

  13. #12

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    I can't tell the story about what happened one Sunday at church during the choir's anthem.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtfree
    I have blotted from my memory the fights, the drunks, the non-paying bar owners, leaving only the more enjoyable incidents. Such as the two supermodel-beautiful young women dancing together in front of the band, taking their mutual affection to the next level, and the next, while I and the rest of the stupefied band, jaws hitting the floor, fell apart.
    That takes a lot of blotting! In a similar vein: We had been working on a project for quite some weeks when the opportunity arose to do a half-hour audition for a roadhouse. We figured it would be a nice opportunity for dinner with the wives/girlfriends and a bit of an evening out. Big mistake. As we're setting up, in walks an oddly dressed couple - matching Fedoras and trench coats, male and female. Well, it takes all kinds, so....So we're about three songs into our set (mid- "Proud Mary" IIRC) when the lady whips off her trench coat and starts shakin' it wearing an electric blue bikini complete with matching fringe. Turns out the management was auditioning go-go dancers. Needless to say, our built-in-cheering section took a dim view. The long, silent trip back home left no doubt that Federal Aid (our fledgling project's name) was a goner. That was The Year of No Gigs.

  15. #14

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    I grew up in a very rural area, maybe 2500 people in the entire county, with the county seat being the only real town, fewer than 2000 residents, so everybody knew everybody. It always amazed me to see the potential adultery going on out on the dance floor, including dry humping. I don't know what made any of them think they weren't being seen, it was either the liquor or they wanted to be seen. I'm not talking about a roadhouse out of town, because there were none. We'd rent the American Legion or VFW hall and hope to make money on the gate, and most of the town would be there, with open liquor bottles everywhere, in a dry Texas county, including the mayor. The sheriff or the police chief (he was the chief because he was the entire force) would come by and see if anyone was being a public danger with a firearm, but never ever bothered anyone otherwise. He would have soon been out of a job if he had. But the raw sex drive of otherwise respectable people when they started drinking and dancing never ceased to amaze me.

  16. #15

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    Yes, the follies of youth. Hormones plus alcohol plus music can lead to some crazy antics.

    For some reason I don't see this type of behavior at the senior living facilities I mostly play now.

  17. #16

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    I'm not talking about youth. I'm talking middle-aged farmers and small-town merchants. We never got a lot of teen-agers at our dances. I did play years later in a group that went to different nursing homes weekly, and we would watch the residents dance in their wheelchairs, but otherwise pretty tame. The staff generally keeps nursing home residents pretty well medicated.

  18. #17
    These are great stories, and so varied.
    Once i played a rock gig with an ungrounded microphone -- we were stupid high school kids in someone's garage. First lyric of the first song (Light My Fire, naturally), my lip touched that mic and POW! Felt like I'd been struck by lightening and my left eyelid fluttered for a minute afterward. Years later, I felt proud to know the same thing happened to Bob Weir at Woodstock 1969.

  19. #18

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    Not too exciting but here it is.

    Short story #1

    I played bass if a party band back in the 80's. We were playing a Christmas party for the night shift nurses from the local hospital. After the gig was over 1 of the nurses remained while we packed up. She wanted to take the whole band home with her. 3 out of 4 didn't go home with her, the drummer did.

    Short story #2

    We were playing a wedding in the nearest big city. We were a non union band. The local union business agent came in and tried to collect a work tax. The brides father was a police officer. The union guy was escorted out and told if he bothered us again he would be arrested. We didn't see him again.

    There were many times the two families at a wedding would degenerate into booze inspired fist fights complete with whacking each other with folding chairs.

    Fun times.

  20. #19

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    I was on the road for 5 years with a popular band and got to fully participate in the pleasures of "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll"
    Oh gosh, it was fun! That's all I'm gonna say about that!

    More recently:
    I played a wedding reception at an expensive country club venue. There was the bride and her family and friends, all dressed up, but kind of a weird vibe. It turns out the groom, a busy executive, was coming in from out of town but, without explanation, did not show up. Everything was booked, so they had the reception anyway, but it was not exactly a festive occasion.

    I found out a few days later that the groom did not exist, the bride was delusional and had constructed this elaborate fantasy and persuaded her family to fund it. She had to go away for a while to get some help.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilpy
    I was on the road for 5 years with a popular band and got to fully participate in the pleasures of "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll" Oh gosh, it was fun! That's all I'm gonna say about that!More recently: I played a wedding reception at an expensive country club venue. There was the bride and her family and friends, all dressed up, but kind of a weird vibe. It turns out the groom, a busy executive, was coming in from out of town but, without explanation, did not show up. Everything was booked, so they had the reception anyway, but it was not exactly a festive occasion.I found out a few days later that the groom did not exist, the bride was delusional and had constructed this elaborate fantasy and persuaded her family to fund it. She had to go away for a while to get some help.
    That's sad. We used to do a lot of weddings, many at upscale clubs and resorts. One in particular stands out. It was quite a lavish shindig with all the imaginable amenities.I was describing the largesse to my wise wife who explained that that was SOP in some circles when the groom was not considered worthy and was being shown the type of people he would be dealing with should he not be toeing the line down the straight and narrow. Sure enough, six months in the divorce hits the papers. I always felt a little sad for them.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 01-15-2021 at 12:25 PM. Reason: spellin'

  22. #21

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    So - business as usual? This brings to mind a Christmas party we played for a Fortune 500 company - lots of high level execs and their entourages about. The revelry was quite uninhibited - the usual thing is for the lady to remove the gentleman's hand from her posterior and move it up to more genteel position. In this case, the ladies were reversing the procedure. And this was happening amongst multiple couples simultaneously. Age discrepancies were also pronounced. Office politics never do go away, do they? BTW, I'm descended from Puritans, who would surely look askance; I'm also in favor of continuing our species.
    Last edited by Dirk; 04-07-2020 at 02:03 PM.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtfree
    Yes, the follies of youth. Hormones plus alcohol plus music can lead to some crazy antics.For some reason I don't see this type of behavior at the senior living facilities I mostly play now.
    Grown-ups sometimes learn discretion.

  24. #23

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    I once played a free jazz/improvised music gig where , without telling the rest of the band , I got a couple of friends to dress up in a pantomime horse outfit and dance across the stage while we played terribly intense free improv . The irony was that the horse got mentioned in the following month's ' Wire ' magazine , the band didn't . O well that's showbusiness .

  25. #24

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    Back in the 70s, I played in a trio that had a fairly regular gig at a restaurant in N. Myrtle Beach, SC. The place was so popular that the owner decided to add another location in nearby Murrels Inlet. That restaurant opened in the late winter/early spring - kind of a shakedown run before the summer season began in earnest. It was a quiet night, a couple of waitresses, a customer or two, our trio playing our usual swing repertoire, when a couple showed up and sat at a table directly in front of us. I noticed that the guy was wearing a heavy coat - a little too much for the mild SC weather. When he took off the coat, it revealed a large revolver in a shoulder holster rig. Turns out he was drunk, and thought it would be a good idea for our mandolin player to sing "Dixie", while wearing his (the drunk's) KKK outfit. At this point, the revolver was on the table, and he sent his girlfriend out to retrieve the outfit from his pick up truck. It was the whole deal - robe, pointy hood, both fashioned with some kind of embroidery - now sitting on the table next to the gun. Things got a little tense before our mando player, who was a native North Carolinian, finally convinced the Klansman that a rendition of "The Dying Rebel Soldier" ("Will my soul pass thru the South Land?"), performed without the costume, would suffice.

    That ended the set, and was the last time we played in either restaurant...

  26. #25

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    Early 80s I played in a free-improv quartet around Hartford.

    We got booked into a straight-ahead club. As we were loading in the owner looked up, realized who he had hired and fired us before we started!







    He was right, too. We woulda cleared that bar in about four minutes.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Early 80s I played in a free-improv quartet around Hartford. We got booked into a straight-ahead club. As we were loading in the owner looked up, realized who he had hired and fired us before we startedHe was right, too. We woulda cleared that bar in about four minutes.
    We got thrown out of one dive two weeks in a row (too loud). Now you tell me - when you book a band called "Guttersnipes," what, exactly, are you expecting?

  28. #27

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    Chainsaws, Klansmen, Outlaw Bikers....what a thread!

    My story involves Exxon Executives, perhaps not a different bunch than Klansmen, Outlaw Bikers or other groups where a moral compass might get in the way, but perhaps this is not the place to discuss that.

    I was hired by an agent to provide a jazz quartet to play a private event for some of Exxon's top brass. The venue was a hilltop estate in Big Sur, California. We were met in Carmel, CA by some folks who took us and our gear on a very long drive in a van to the venue. This estate was on a hilltop and the dirt road that got us to the top took about 45 minutes. Once there we saw a huge mansion and a large outdoor tent. We were told that we would be performing outside as the Exxon execs were being helicoptered in (after a Day of playing golf in Pebble Beach) and then we would move into the tent where dinner would be served.Well as soon as the first Helicopter approached, I saw that the wind would blow away us (and our gear) and I instructed my crew to take cover and protect their gear. We all made it to safety. The tent was blown down. Apparently the folks planning this "grand entrance" failed to consider the wind generated by helicopters. It took awhile and the tent was rebuilt and the event happened, albeit a bit later than expected (our overtime was quite generous and none of us were hurt and our gear suffered no damage).

    At the time it seemed like a Twilight zone episode, but now it makes for a good story. Still it is hard to follow posts about Chainsaws, Klansmen and Outlaw Bikers....
    Last edited by Stringswinger; 10-12-2019 at 12:01 PM.

  29. #28

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    The only real story I can remember was I played with a very large jazz orchestra and after awhile the leader was getting pretty crazy. He just was pushy and completely nasty looking out for his own interest. I would always have my guitar case next to me to keep the guitar in it when not playing........no stands for me. Well the leader at this place decided he did not like that and it made things look bad. I said I need the case within a short distance did not want my guitar getting crunched. He then got nasty and said wonder why I was special the brass did not have any problems and ect....

    I told him my guitar goes in the case between breaks period and he said no........otherwise hit the road.......and I did left right there never to return. I told him the gig paid almost nothing considering time and hassel factor. I the end he caused so much friction the band broke up under him........I just stood up to him and no one really did.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    The only real story I can remember was I played with a very large jazz orchestra and after awhile the leader was getting pretty crazy. He just was pushy and completely nasty looking out for his own interest. I would always have my guitar case next to me to keep the guitar in it when not playing........no stands for me. Well the leader at this place decided he did not like that and it made things look bad. I said I need the case within a short distance did not want my guitar getting crunched. He then got nasty and said wonder why I was special the brass did not have any problems and ect....

    I told him my guitar goes in the case between breaks period and he said no........otherwise hit the road.......and I did left right there never to return. I told him the gig paid almost nothing considering time and hassel factor. I the end he caused so much friction the band broke up under him........I just stood up to him and no one really did.
    I also keep my guitar in the case during breaks. Unless it is a solo or trio gig. Never had an issue.

  31. #30

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    this is a true story.....

    in 1971 I was eighteen and playing in a top 40 band traveling around the south eastern US; one of the clubs we frequented was a topless bar in Gainesville Fla, named Dub's Steer Room. It was a large venue holding 500-600 folks IIRC. Dub was an ex body builder who was about 5'2" and was almost as square as Sponge Bob. Every Thursday night he held an amateur strip contest that was extremely popular. The young women contestants got about $50 for participating and there was a regular cast of about a half a dozen supplemented by the occasional adventurous college girl. None of the girls got to the full monty as Dub had two rules for the contest that he announced weekly: "no skin no win and too much skin put Dub in the pen". The placed would be cram packed with people sitting on and under the tables. Every single time there would be a huge fight that resulted in Dub leading the bouncers though the place, throwing people over his shoulders. It was so bad our two roadies sat on the stage with us holding spare mic stands.

    We played five sets, around eighty tunes, every night. That particular Thursday we were playing Santana's "Black Magic Woman" and I was playing my gold top LP though a Bandmaster stack when one of the regulars came up, a large black lady named Betty. All the regulars had a gimmick or shtick; Betty's was humping. Sometimes the floor, sometimes another contestant but aways with the humping. That night she humped my Bandmaster. At the end of my solo, while she was humping, the amp burst into flame with a lot of grey smoke. All the band and most in the audience were completely amazed, as was Betty. The band limped on, but never stopped. I can't remember if there was a fight that night.

    Mitch

  32. #31

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    This was in the late 1960s when I was still in high school. Somehow I got a gig for a rock n' roll trio to play for the kids of the adults at a major business convention.
    I was playing bass, and I got a couple of friends for guitar and drums.

    We were told to play in a large room on one of the lower floors of a very tall hotel. We got set up and started to play. They were an easy crowd to please.

    After a while I called "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida" even though we didn't have an organ player. The kids loved it. At one point, right after the drum solo started, the guitar player and I put down our instruments and decided to go up to the 35th floor for a cup of coffee, which we did for about 15 minutes. When we got back down to the gig room the drummer was still playing the solo. He gave us a nasty look but we started playing the main lick out. We got a big round of applause, and even got a bonus for keeping the kids so well entertained.

  33. #32
    I love these kinds of stories! I went to Hot Springs,Ar. today to have pickups removed from my recent 335 so they can be rebuilt. This town prides itself on a gangster loving past. They have a Gangster Museum even. On the big lake is a multi-million dollar house that was built by and for Al Capone,the original Scarface. There is a statue of him on Main St. in front of the Ohio club which still has live classic rock music bar. Al never got to live in his large beautiful lakeside home though, the Feds had other plans for his last residence and Ive seen it too. Its in a place called Alcatraz Bay Area not quite so plush but well deserved! Well how the music ties in is that there was a room namedThe Vapors which had national acts and probably backroom gambling. About 40 years ago I got to see the Very,Very Funny Phillis Diller do her stand up show and it was Great! Very Pro and fast paced. She brought a pianist conductor and used local musicians who could read the charts for the show similar to the O Jays method of cutting costs but still a good sound.At the end of the run one week she was so pleased with the quality of the musicians work that she bought the band several cases of beer! She was really a Class Act!!!

  34. #33
    I do remember another event more in the correct spirit of the thread There was an after hours rock club and they had weird between the bands set acts. This act was a man and a woman.They had a large box kinda like a coffin with holes cut out for the mans arms. The woman was very scantily dressed kind of like belly dancer in a bikini. She would lie down on this box and writhe around like she was aroused while he would hold his arms which is all you could see of him about six inchs over her body Love Zones shall we say? And they had weird snake charmer music playing while they did it. It was about a ten minute show.It was also in Hot Springs at the Black OrchidLounge. I have been afraid to play over in Hot Springs at night for a long time because it is a 60 mile drive back to my home on a two way 4 lane highway and I am afraid a drunk driver might kill me since it is a 24 hour a day gambling lakeside party city. Its popular for the hot mineral water bathes also known as the Spa City and they are proud Bill Clinton grew up there. One music store has a life size wooden cutout of Wild Bill with his shades and sax! Former home of the Rock N RollPresident!

  35. #34

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    In 1987 my band was asked to play in the bar of a venue called Jamie's On Seven, during a Maynard Ferguson concert. Maynard's band played two sets and we played between them. His band members all loved our sound and sat in with us on their break, and Maynard called me the next morning to offer me the job in his band.

    When I went to Jamie's to get paid for the previous night, the owner refused to give us our money - 100.00 total for four guys - because he said we "weren't very good." I said, "Maynard tried to hire me this morning, so I guess he doesn't agree."

    Another gig, this one in about 1985 in Windsor, Ontario, was with a band I had just joined, a quintet led by a trombonist/flutist. On one of the originals, in Dm, the guitar solo wound up to a high register, ending on the highest D note, then segued into a drum solo. I worked my way up the neck, hit the high note, then looked up to see an older man heading for the restroom next to the stage; he fell flat on his face and died from a heart attack. The music stopped, the medics arrived, and a hush fell over the room. The keyboard player sidled up next to me and said quietly, "You know... you just killed that guy with your solo."

  36. #35

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    It's hard to top a German with a chainsaw dealing with rejection. Any number of slasher movies come to mind.
    Last edited by Stevebol; 01-15-2021 at 05:02 PM.

  37. #36

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    Around 23 years ago I was in a band backing a "singer/songwriter" hippie type chick. We were playing a birthday-going away party for a girl at a local small theatre.

    Midway through the party I see a police officer enter, we lower the volume of the music but keep jamming and the singer says to him, "Hello officer... are we too loud?" The officer replies, "You're not loud enough!" and tears off his shirt!

    (Someone hired a stripper for the birthday girl, lol. I had no clue and thought we were going to get shut down for the loudness..)

    As soon as he tore off the shirt I laughed and switched on the wah pedal, appropriate music ensued. We all had a good time that night and I ended up making out with the b-day girl later.

  38. #37

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    The most fun I ever had with gigs was doing breakdance shows back in the 80's. A drummer doing community service put together a rhythm section. It was really easy and we only played about 6 songs. No vocals. Teens from different neighborhoods would compete. We'd be onstage laughing at these acrobatic kids.

    The best one looked straight out of Village of the Damned.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozo
    This was in the late 1960s when I was still in high school. Somehow I got a gig for a rock n' roll trio to play for the kids of the adults at a major business convention.
    I was playing bass, and I got a couple of friends for guitar and drums.

    We were told to play in a large room on one of the lower floors of a very tall hotel. We got set up and started to play. They were an easy crowd to please.

    After a while I called "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida" even though we didn't have an organ player. The kids loved it. At one point, right after the drum solo started, the guitar player and I put down our instruments and decided to go up to the 35th floor for a cup of coffee, which we did for about 15 minutes. When we got back down to the gig room the drummer was still playing the solo. He gave us a nasty look but we started playing the main lick out. We got a big round of applause, and even got a bonus for keeping the kids so well entertained.
    "Inna Gadda Davida...." We had a drummer who used to play that drum solo just out of the blue. Audiences loved it, the band just considered it a bonus break. Win-win!
    Last edited by citizenk74; 01-20-2021 at 03:39 PM. Reason: clarity

  40. #39

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    Maybe you noticed that EarlBrother's post got me reminiscing. Mid '70s I was in a Latin/Fusion/Jazz group that grew out of an early '70s free jazz experiment. Somehow we got booked for a wedding on a farm somewhere near Hillsboro Or. It was a very bad booking. Total mismatch. We were in some sort of open shed with no stage and bales of hay. In the middle of the day. Not us at all.

    We did something like Manha de Carnival or Sometime Ago. Pretty innocuous tune until the soprano sax solo. He enjoyed a tone and approach born from Coltrane,Ayler,Shepp and Sanders. No applause whatsoever. This huge guy in overalls and some sort of straw hat walks right up to the sax guy. Towering over him: "You play that thang one mo' time an I'ma gonna shove it right down yo throat". He didn't so much as touch it again.

    Not as wild as some of these stories, but I'm sure there was a chainsaw or 2 on the property...

  41. #40

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    I was working a six-week engagement with a wedding band in the early '80s at a suburban club that was a pickup spot for people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was a strange place (!), with a private room off to one side that was dimly lit. I wandered in there after closing time one night and I can't even describe the smell...

    Anyway, I was using a bright red ES-335 through a Deluxe Reverb (1979 model 335, so it was a bright cherry color) and, during the first set of the first night, the owner came up to yell at me to turn it down. I knew I was the quietest member of the band, so I wondered if he was reacting to the color of the guitar.

    Over the course of the run, he constantly yelled at me to turn down, but after the first set that first night, I unplugged my guitar, turned off my amp, and played acoustically. After the first night I took my amp home and showed up with just my guitar, but for six weeks he said I was too loud...

  42. #41

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    Remembered another: We played the first Fat Tuesday in Seattle. We had the final spot on closing night and had a packed venue. We had one of our best gigs until it was time to stop. They didn't want it to end. There was no way off the stage. They started throwing bottles. We hid behind the equipment until some cops came and made way for us to get out. First and only time I've ever been happy to see the man. So far.

    I've had the pleasure on another occasion to have my amp unplugged by someone who didn't appreciate my playing. I see that one as more of a badge of honour.

  43. #42

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    At a wedding gig I had a Twin and it was pointed low. Too big an amp and I should have had it pointed at me. At the end of the night an old guy comes up and starts kicking my amp. I was laughing. A couple people said, you're not mad?
    I said no. Look at him.
    We're all standing there laughing at him.

  44. #43

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    Great stories here!

    I was 17 and we were booked to play a gig at a local hall. A week or so before the gig, I fell off my Honda 125cc motorcycle at 60mph or so and sustained some pretty severe abrasions on my right hand, leg and even the side of my face. Needless to say, the gig went ahead and I played the set with right hand literally bandaged, limping on my right leg and with scrapes on face covered by liquid foundation provided by GF. Real teen-hero stuff!

    Anyway, the gig actually went down a storm and our roadie told us we had sold around 500 tickets at the door, though I'd had a few shots of "something" to kill the pain (the hand bandage had turned an eerie kind of red halfway through) and didn't really notice. I got paid 25 pounds.

    A few days later I was lying in bed and suddenly curled up into foetal position as I heard a car go past my house just as I was falling asleep. Delayed shock. Gotta love the teens.

  45. #44

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    "Bad Gigs," by Tuck Andress (Used to be on the Tuck and Patti website but isn't anymore. Punctuation unchanged from original.)

    Borrowed guitar, different string spacing, bridge or nut sliding during string bending or vibrato, wrong strap length or strap breaking during solo, unwound guitar string used as backup strap gradually cutting through shirt and shoulder, sleeve snagging on bridge suddenly locking up hand, wrong pick, dropped pick, broken pick, no pick, pick stuck between strings, finger caught between strings, wrong strings, dead strings, sticky strings, blood on strings, broken strings, no extra strings, jar of honey spilled all over strings, vintage L-5's gig bag shoulder strap breaking immediately before album release concert for 5,000 people causing guitar to fall on concrete and creating crack from tailpiece to neck which gradually splits apart during performance with action getting higher and higher, amp too far away, amp too close, amp broken so play through bass amp or P.A., tone all wrong, overdrive bypass switch broken, cymbal in ear, band too loud, audience too loud, band downstairs too loud, bad monitors, no monitors, in-ear monitors broken so Patti is heard acoustically but Tuck is heard only through house PA 50 yards away resulting in Tuck being unavoidably out of sync with Patti by 1/6 second for whole show, guitar buzz, RF from nearby transmitter louder than the music itself, brownouts making organ pitch fluctuate randomly over an octave range, power outage, equipment plugged into 230 volts immediately before show, earthquake during show in high-rise, outdoor desert performance at 131 degrees with sand-blasting winds, sub-freezing outdoor mountaintop performance with snow storms and 40 mph winds, high altitude dizziness, no sleep, no food, too much food, wrong food, food poisoning, fever, locked bathrooms, way too many liquids before long show, nagging suspicion that zipper is down, contact lens falling out during moment of peak concentration, compromised hand position due to repeatedly sliding full width of stage while trying to keep playing but not collide with Patti on yacht in rough Finnish Gulf of Bothnia, charts blown away by wind, charts on thermal fax paper, charts in wrong key, charts without bar lines, charts with bar lines all displaced by two beats, charts in bass clef or C clef, chord charts with do/re/mi instead of C/D/E and everything else in Portuguese, realization that Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, George Benson, Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin or Steve Gadd just walked in, drunks falling on stage, drunks disrobing on stage, drunks grabbing instruments or band members, band members falling asleep during song, pigs frolicking in sawdust-covered frat house knocking over band equipment, thinly veiled animosity between bride's and groom's families erupting into violence during heartfelt version of My Romance, nightly juggling of playing and operating the lighting console/footswitches and talking to audience members and trying to reign in tempos and egos of various fellow top-40 band members, arrival at duo gig with unbelievably loud, aggressive fuzz-wah hard rock bass player to discover that assignment is to back up elderly white-haired and white-suited gentleman singing unfamiliar country songs to unforgiving patrons, crowded upscale happy hour dance floor unraveling into pandemonium as normal-looking customers all collapse to the floor and writhe around on each other while astonished saxophone-playing duo partner walks out leaving helpless solo guitarist playing The Hustle for 25 minutes, funk bass player imprisoned in lounge band insisting on popping strings throughout sensitive ballads, accidental imprisonment of Patti in wine cellar out of earshot during guitar instrumentals, onstage and on-instrument living creatures with varying numbers of legs, belligerent drunken bowling alley lounge customer demanding that funk band play Debussy's Clair de Lune while remainder of band looks expectantly at guitarist, drummer watching ball game on portable TV with headphones throughout performance, guest singer repeatedly changing keys at random moments, realization that the people who have just boldly picked up instruments and are unexpectedly sitting in are Herbie Hancock and Wah Wah Watson, guns drawn at rehearsals to settle disputes about form of song, marginally famous singer resorting to the dreaded "Do you know who I am" line, drummer and delusional would-be front man jumping off the drums in the middle of a song and mistakenly chanting "we don't need no drummer to keep that funky beat" to a dance floor packed with suddenly hostile former dancers, unstable band member deciding that it is his responsibility to educate the audience over the microphone, bass player playing random notes and rhythms because he is not a bass player at all but nonetheless booked the gig, drummer announcing that he killed somebody just before the show, swimming pool party turning into orgy with splashing on inexperienced solo electric guitarist sitting beside pool doing his first solo gig and fielding endless requests for the same song he had just played yet again, bride's and groom's special song evaporating from mortified solo musician's mind at the crucial moment, band member disappearing suddenly when his chair falls backwards off riser, unstable enormous man peaking on LSD brandishing artificial limb removed from his companion at audience and threatening band to "sing with this", mirrors on back wall of club causing introspective young guitarist to question meaning of his life at early stage in career.

  46. #45

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    So did he do any good gigs at all?

  47. #46

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    Sounds pretty run-of-the-mill to me.

  48. #47

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    Playing at a big roadhouse out in the sticks during a bad thunderstorm, next to a big open door. I told the band leader “let’s take a break until this blows over”. He basically called me a pussy and continued with the set. The lightning hit the metal roof about 10 feet above us. It did not sound like thunder but rather like a shotgun going off next to your ear. We felt the electricity.
    We took a long break. None of us felt very good for a while.

  49. #48

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    There has been someone grabbing a cowbell and joining the band while dancing up front on a dance floor. Loud cowbell solo for the entire tune. Usually a women, alcohol was a factor.

    Hide the cowbell.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    There has been someone grabbing a cowbell and joining the band while dancing up front on a dance floor. Loud cowbell solo for the entire tune. Usually a women, alcohol was a factor.

    Hide the cowbell.
    Don't get me started on drunken frat boys and harm - onicas....

  51. #50

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    Reading about wedding gigs gone wrong reminded me of one. Throughout the 80s I played in a wedding band that worked fairly regularly. But in a slow month the leader booked us a low paying gig sans the usual showcase, etc. Word was, after we got there, that it was a "shotgun wedding." So we take the stage and the audience was lined up on either side of the room, dead silence, no mingling, all us, a really tense setting. After a couple of tunes from our usual set, it was clear that Spyro-Gyra and Lionel Ritchie wouldn't cut it. Some one asked if we knew any country music. We must've played Rawhide a dozen times that night! The power of music (not to mention the alcohol) brought people together. As a footnote, the bandleader went on to be a drum major for the USAF!