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cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 804
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 9:00 am:   Edit Post

As mentioned in another thread...here's mine.
There was a joint somewhere in southern Ohio - I don't recall the name of it, or even what little town it was closest to - that actually had chicken wire around the stage. Of course, as soundman, this did me no good, though it did save the band from some bottles.
Worst one I can recall particulars would have to be the Stabilizer in West Lafayette, IN. The stage was pallets set on milk crates in a corner - 6 of them if I recall, for a 5-piece. There were no aisles - tables full of drunk college kids crammed wall to wall to stage. The first time I worked there, there was a suspended ceiling, from which our light guy hung his instruments, but during the show the crowd tore it down. A guy at a front table reached out & poured a beer on the guitar player's feet; as I (as stage man) was wiping it off his pedals, the soundman grabbed the hand of the guy who was swinging a bottle at my head. Only way off & on stage was through the crowd; fortunately they assigned a bouncer to guard the "stage" while the road crew drug the band through. And we went back. Repeatedly. And the soundman & I worked it several times with another band, this one an 8-piece - same set-up. Sick thing is, I miss that stuff.

Peter
tmoney61092
Senior Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 549
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post

Somewhere Else Tavern in Greensboro, North Carolina. dirty, too much of a "metal" place for anyone to enjoy some more talented music, tiny, sound guy was a total jackass, and had my bass turned down so much you couldn't even hardly hear it as if he wasn't even listening during sound check. it's a good place if you're JUST getting started but i wouldn't suggest it to anyone looking to make some money. we had a gig there, about 75-100 people, got paid $50..... i suggest Greene Street in Greensboro, North Carolina because they often have pretty big bands come through and have good sound quality.

~Taylor
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1855
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post

Some big club in Columbia, Tennessee in late '83. The police arrested anyone who so much as spoke to the band (cops were in the club in case of "trouble"). We were pop/punk/alternative, and Columbia had had MTV for one solid week at that time.

John
slawie
Advanced Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 266
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 5:13 pm:   Edit Post

Our band (back in the day) played the (edit) club house for a celebration of one sort.
As I recall it was the birthday of one of the prominent members.
We arrived in our van in the early afternoon and planned to set up, sound check and go out get something to eat.
After the sound check we went out to the van only to find that it was encapsulated in a sea of really nice motorcycles. None of us dared asked for them (Motorcycles) to be moved so we could get out and invariably returned to the "stage".
The biggest, hairiest, most mean looking and downright scariest dude I have ever encountered
came up to us and asked if we were hungry and in a unanimous reply we chorussed YES. He led us out the back of the place and on an enormous spit was the largest spit roast in the entire world. What looked like a very large Steer or hippopotumus was spinning away roasting over an open fire (hades). (BTW we did not ask for salads)
So we had our fill of meat and decided that if we were not able to get out we might as well start playing. This was a good decision because the crowd appreciated the early start although we were reminded that we were contracted to play until 2:00am.

During the second set a female biker person/lady? was giving me the eye and as there was no stage she was right up close at eye level to me. She stared at me for 4 songs while provocatively dancing and grinding her way around my mike stand and at times my leg. During a song she then made a suggestion of somewhat an intimate nature referring to herself and me. I was really not that attracted to her suggestions although her no teeth smile thing did make me wonder?!
I was just nodding and smiling then turning to the band and telling/pleading with the guys "Let's play another song". My interaction with the "smiley girl" was the source of some amusement for them.
Who says that Bass players don't get chicks?

The rest of the band were really encouraging her actions by their comments and the guitarist pushed me out onto the dance floor with me almost falling into her arms. So I kind of had to stay and dance with her for that song. Her whispering in my ear did not relent and seriously my ear and half my face was dripping with her saliva. Luckily for me I had the next song to sing in the set it was "Roadhouse Blues"
"smiley girl" screams "Oh I love this song"! and I thought this is not doing much in the way of discouraging her actions. Half way through the song "smiley girl" walked to the back of the room to this man-mountain and starts talking to him with much animation and gesticulation. I thought to myself for sure I'm dead. At the end of the song "Mount Everest" yells out "Hey bass-boy my girlfriend want to f@$k you". I thought man I'm so double dead. Then he makes a beeline (if that can be possible for someone so huge) for the stage steps up beside me and suggests/insists, "You, me and my girl will get together at the next break". Oh my God I'm triple dead! That set lasted 85 minutes. By this time I think the rest of the band was a little more compassionate to my cause.
At the end of the set smiley and Mount Everest cam up to the stage to collect me and I convinced them that it would be better if we hooked up after the show so that we could have more time. The stalling worked and I was schemeing my retreat/escape from the place.

We played until the 2:00am supposed end of the show and instantly were requested for encores. How do you refuse 250 odd bikers and hangers on? The encores lasted til 3:30am and by this time we were absolutely exhausted and looking to pack up and get the hell out of there.
I was scanning the room for "smiley girl" but could not see her anywhere then "Mount Everest" made his way toward the stage. He came up to me and said, "You guys really rock and made the night a kick-ass event, we decided to give you a little bonus". They paid us double for the gig and included a few chemical rewards.
As he was walking away I thought I was in the clear then he stops in his tracks, as if he remembers something, turns around and heads back towards me. He says, "Man my girlfriend has passed out so maybe we will hook up next time you guys play here. We want you to come back"

Needless to say we never played there a second time for some strange reason we would be already booked when they requested a date for a return show.

slawie

[moderator's edit: club member suggested removing name of organization; original poster agreed and suggested form of edit]

(Message edited by davehouck on November 01, 2010)
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1537
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 10:19 pm:   Edit Post

Played _________'s in Sulfur, Louisiana (that Loozie-anna), 2nd shift, from 2AM to 7AM. We were advised that under no circumstances could we get to the stage though the club, nor would we want to . . . . there was a massive steel door with 2 deadbolts and a board across the door.

This was a pickup gig, I was subbing for a friend (hah!). I go through the door, to find the stage is fenced in. Not that chicken-wire stuff, but good old chain link, just like around your back yard. Floor to ceiling. All you can see through the dark is the beer lights over the back bar.

Anyway, after the usual setlist for this kind of joint (Skynyrd, Hank Jr., you get the picture), they ALL start fighting. What I can see looks like one of those saloon fights in a cowboy movie. And they're BOUNCING off the fencing! Either as the result of a punch, or some of them are bouncing into it to fly off back into the room to punch even harder. Five minutes later, house lights up, more cops than I've ever seen who close the place at 4:30. Got paid in full anyway, and N E V E R went back.

But then again, there was this place in East Texas that had a Pit Bull for a bouncer . . . .

There's No Bidness Like Show Bidness ! !

J o e y
mike1762
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 665
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 4:41 am:   Edit Post

We were a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band in the vein of Black Sabbath, Dio, Metallica, etc. We signed with a new agent and were booked for a series of gigs in the mid-West (we were from the Atlanta area). The first gig was somewhere in Colorado. We made the 32hr drive... in the process spending as much on gas (we traveled with a 22' equipment truck and a Winnebago) as the gig paid. We get to the club and start sound-check. The club owner is looking at us kind-of confused. "Is this the material you guys play? Your agent told me you were Top-40". We didn't play ANYthing you would consider Top-40. The first night it didn't matter... nobody was there anyway. We started learning songs off the juke-box so that we had about a sets worth of pop-rock songs by the weekend. As such, our audience had ballooned to 10-12 people by Friday night. At various points in the night, all 10-12 people would be involved in a fist-fight with one-another (women included). We finally managed to scare them all away after recreating the live rendition of "Heaven and Hell" (Black Sabbath). We had the whole production with a single red spot-light shining into the singers face with pyro going off as he delivers the line: "I want to go to HELL!!! With YOU and YOU and YOU... AAAaaarrrrgggghhhh". Needless to say, the rest of the bookings were canceled and we made our way way back home (but not before having a truck kick-up a rock and bust out the windshield on the Winnebago). That's when we made the decision to stop playing covers and do our own stuff.
2400wattman
Senior Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 841
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 11:55 pm:   Edit Post

Alabama......
oddmetersam
Intermediate Member
Username: oddmetersam

Post Number: 108
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 1:50 am:   Edit Post

In the early 70's I became the bass player in Osiris, a band with the (now deceased) younger brother of the Dead's Pigpen. We played a gig near Palo Alto where some down on their luck guys living in a warehouse decided to pool their meager resources and put on a gig there so they could charge money and pay their rent.

So, you got two bands and all the beer you could drink for $3. This was even advertised on local radio, so a horde of hell raisin' party animals showed up. During the opening act, I was hanging out with our conga player in the front room when this completely red faced guy bursts in, shouting "I want my money back! You promised all the beer I could drink and you've run out already!"

Before the promoters could calm him down, he slugged one of them, knocking him out cold. As if on cue, like a Mel Brooks movie, everyone in the room seemed to suddenly turn to the person next to them and just started swinging haymakers. Chairs were being overturned, glass was shattering, the (few) women were screaming and the opening band even stopped. Momentarily, that is, then they cranked up even louder as if to provide a soundtrack for the action!

My bandmate and I slowly backed up against the wall, trying to be invisible before we were spotted and sucked into the vortex of flying fists and stomping work boots. Being the only two black people in a melee of 300 or so, we were kinda sticking out like sore thumbs so we just knew we were doomed (and with just a single punch we both would have crumpled like $2 umbrellas in a hurricane).

But just before the conflagration reached us, the cops finally showed up and restored order. They carted a fair share off to jail as they left and just when things were getting back to normal, suddenly a crazed maniac from across the room points and shouts to another guy standing right next to me something along the lines of, "Jasper B-------! You **%^^&* snitch! You put me away for 4 years! I vowed if I ever found you I'd GET you! NOW I'VE FOUND YOU!!!!"

As he's saying this he's practically foaming at the mouth and starts to move towards us. Literally 3 or 4 guys grab him and one shouts to the "snitch" (who's just standing there, transfixed), "Don't just stand there, you fool. We can't hold this guy, forever. Run!".

Which he did...

When we finished our set and were packing up, one of the bloodied, swollen-eyed promoters claimed the milk urn they'd used to collect the gate had been pilfered during the embroglio and so they couldn't pay us. Being naive, I was prepared to believe him and just chock it up to the experiences of playing in a band. But our 2nd guitarist stepped in with a profanity-laden threat that if we didn't have our money by the time we were finished packing, the promoter's other eye was going to be "fist-dotted" much worse than the first.

Needless to say, we even got paid a bonus!
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1386
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 7:15 am:   Edit Post

We in the UK are far more choosy when it comes to gigs LOL..I have never played any rough places so I have been lucky.
Those stories you guys told are so entertaining..keep 'em coming.
The best one which gets my vote is slawie's..the thing is when he says;- "You, me and my girl will get together at the next break" I cannot imagine which way around he means!!!!
afrobeat_fool
Advanced Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 258
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post

Back in the early 90's I was playing a lot of Raves and hip-hop events. Mostly we would break out some J.B's grooves, Headhunters, etc... The majority of these were held in boarded up wearhouses, old tentaments, and a few closed schools. They ran all night and a guy could make good money and hook up with chick's.
On one particular night after my gig at the Opus, I arrived at the Event in an old wearhouse. There were a lot of heavy brothers with prison Tat's and mean attitudes already there and the kid running the event said it could be a rough night. We got off to a good start with a DJ playing with the band. Rappers were working the crowd and everything was cool. The second set turned into a Cutting session with the rappers. Still fine. Between the second and third set, while the band was getting groovy in the Green Room aka alley, some action was hitting in the Hall. We didn't know, and it was over.
So... we are playing and it's almost light, when some of the antagonists, who were booted between sets, came back. And started shooting the place up. It was bad. 5 or 6 people got hit. My Amp got hit. So you can figure how close I was to getting shot. The police came. Many kids went to jail on possession charges, and we never got paid. The worst part was the cops never made an arrest on the shooters. That was my worst night playing music.


Nick

(Message edited by afrobeat_fool on October 22, 2010)
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1107
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post

!!! Holy crap Nick,
..that's a close call.

Great stories everyone, I'll echo Terry, ...keep 'em coming .
hifiguy
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 235
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 12:03 pm:   Edit Post

Once played a hotel bar in the far northwestern reaches of Minnesota. The only business in town, apparently, was a huge plant where they made snowmobiles.

We were there for four nights and the place was half-full two nights and packed the other two. The only two requests we got over the whole gig were for Garth Brooks and Ozzy. I think we amassed a total of 30 seconds of applause over four nights, three sets a night. But they drank. Lordy Lu, did they drink.

At the end of the last night, I was talking with the singer, a long time veteran of gigs all across the country. The only thing I was able to say about the experience was "Jimmy, I've never seen dead people smoke before."
benson_murrensun
Advanced Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 355
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 1:36 pm:   Edit Post

These are all great stories! I thought my gig was bad! My story doesn't involve violence... just bad weather. In the mountains above Leadville, Colorado, 4th of July weekend, and it starts to snow in the afternoon. Colder and snowier, colder and snowier, and we are out on a flatbed trailer "shielded" by a blue tarp, which was in tatters. It was a biker gig (these are my peeps) and I had arranged it, so I had no intention of bailing no matter how cold it got. I put on my insulated coveralls, a knit hat and some cut-off gloves. But when I stepped up to the mike to sing and my lips stuck to it, I had had enough!
richbass939
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 1120
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post

Before I started reading this thread, I thought I had a story, but now ........ never mind.
My vote goes to Slawie .... holy crap.
Rich
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 808
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 6:01 pm:   Edit Post

I'll have to disagree, Rich; Slawie's is impressive, but Nick had his freakin' amp shot!!!!!! Damn. I've seen firearms at a gig, but (am glad to say) never heard them.

Peter
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 809
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 6:01 pm:   Edit Post

I'll have to disagree, Rich; Slawie's is impressive, but Nick had his freakin' amp shot!!!!!! Damn. I've seen firearms at a gig, but (am glad to say) never heard them.

Peter
afrobeat_fool
Advanced Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 259
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post

I never intended this to be a one-up's manship thing. In my early day's of playing there were gun's at every show. I started playing cowboy music in Wyoming and we did trail ride sing alongs every day, and dances a couple times a week. Very different from what I grew up with in Cincinnati. Then having moved to PDX, I wanted nothing to do with Cowboy tunes and started playing Jazz.
Slawie has my vote. Playing biker events must have been interesting. I lived a block from the Gypsy Jokers hangout for a few years and I wouldn't go anywhere near their parties. Rough.
slawie
Advanced Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 270
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post

I don't think it is a case of one upmanship either.
In all seriousness, there are so many people on this planet going through
really horrible things in their lives at the moment, in the past and unfortunately in the future
that my episode would be a welcome relief to their reality.
I escaped unscathed although and now, upon reflection
it does make for a riveting yarn.

Anyhow Nick, you got mt vote. Holy Smoking Gun Barrels.
I can't even imagine what it was like to have a bullet pass by you and smack into your amp!

Fortunately for me my main protagonist didn't get his gun out. ;)

slawie

(Message edited by slawie on October 24, 2010)
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 785
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 7:29 pm:   Edit Post

Slawie, you are so right about what goes on out there. I'm a research assistant at school for my criminal law teacher and we're working on a death penalty project, which means I read every DP case in Oregon and Louisiana from 2001-2009. Before I started this project, I had no idea what people are capable of doing and was staunchly anti-death penalty. Each one of those people left a world of hurt in their wake.

I've had some really crazy gigs, but I'm not going to repeat what happened. I doubt any of the parties involved want to what went done aired in public. Luckily no flying bullets (although up in the mountains I've played parties where there were guns with live ammunition and plenty of holes in the buildings from past escapades).
afrobeat_fool
Advanced Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 260
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 10:40 pm:   Edit Post

I remember, I was playing thru a RB 400 at the time. I thought the three band EQ was T!T$. And I was packing around a 70' Fender Bassman 4/12 cab. It just Farted at high volume. For a long time after I would think, how the heck did a round hit that tiny amp and miss the cabinet completely?
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2767
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 6:11 am:   Edit Post

Terry..
"We in the UK are far more choosy when it comes to gigs LOL..I have never played any rough places so I have been lucky. "

You should come up to Scotland sometime. On our first outing as a wedding band, we were playing at a 5 star hotel in Glasgow. Around 3 songs from the end of the first set, the room emptied and we figured they must have opened the buffet early. As it happens, the Best man had started beating up the bride's younger brother upon which the Bride's father had thrown the best man down a short flight of stairs and through the windscreen of an Audi TT. This was when all hell broke loose as apparently there was no love lost between the families. Kind of Romeo and Juliet without the final death scene. By the time we finished the first set the police had arrived and calmed everyone down. We were getting a bit concerned about how we were going to get our gear past the angry mob when the bride and groom came and asked (very politely) if we wouldn't mind carrying on. Being consumate professionals, we couldn't refuse (it had nothing to do with the large angry Glaswegians standing behind the couple.... Honest).

Having said all that, the worst gig we ever played was one Sunday evening in Kirkcaldy. The only audience was the barmaid and she kept sloping off for a break. Talk about a paid rehearsal.

Graeme
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 1302
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 9:30 pm:   Edit Post

Here go! Paterson NJ, 1981. Talk of the Town go go by day and most evenings. Bands every now and them. I was in a 3 pc with a frontman sit playing covers, Rush, Priest, Focus Crimson, Zep ., 60;s, 70;s and whatever else was the flavor of the day and days gone by. After doing the 2nd side of 2112 and finishing up with Green Manalishi a scream rang out as we got the end of the riff. A bad deal went down and a man was knifed to death in the doorway of the place. The killer ran past us, through the kitchen and out of the joint. We still played another set after that. Guitarist had an Electra ES type and I had my Ripper. The singer needed a few shots of brandy to settle his nerves after the police left. Neil Diamond's Coming to America was on the jukebox. Quite a baptism for an 18 year old kid. The Polish American Democratic Society Hall in Fairview NJ 1979 wasn't great either. Baseball bats and Cadoos. Wait, why do we continue after these experiences?
jet_powers
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 515
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 7:41 pm:   Edit Post

"why do we continue after these experiences?"

To see what's next?
svlilioukalani
Member
Username: svlilioukalani

Post Number: 78
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 4:02 am:   Edit Post

These are great stories. So I thought I would add one of my own. I was gigging with this Blues Band Sly Slick and Wicked out of Columbia Mo. in the late 80’s. There was this small club AJR’s Lounge; just outside of the housing projects. This bar taught me the reason why you say no to the girl that say’s, “want to fool around, my husband is in jail.”

My sax player had a side job as an armature pharmacist. Between sets there was a dispute between him and one of his clients out behind the bar. His client, upset about the deal, shot him 5 times with a 25caliber pistol. My sax player was quite pissed by this. He calmly walked over to the guy, took the gun out of his hand and beat him to death. Then calmly walked into the bathroom and passed out. He passed out against the door. The rest of the band was unaware this happened.

About half way through our set we were wondering where the sax man was. The bartender wondered why the bathroom door wouldn’t open. As our set was ending, we saw the medic’s haling the 2 away; A bloody mess.

It turns out a 25 has very small bullets. He was back gigging with us 3 weeks later.

It’s the small country bars or road houses that are really dangerous. Say what you want but I have never had trouble in a biker bar.
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 858
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 6:24 am:   Edit Post

I'm sitting in Columbia Missouri planning gigs, so needless to say I'm getting a good laugh from Gary's story. I played some real dives in Joplin Missouri in High School, but nothing to compare to these stories. The most I can brag about are the people who were asking us if we had seen their crack rocks in the couch we were sitting on while we were waiting to play.
jet_powers
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 516
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 6:45 am:   Edit Post

Biker bashes are the best gigs...at least in my experience. They can handle their liquor and police themselves.

Once, at a biker bash, we asked if someone could bring the band a beer. A few minutes later a keg was placed on the stage!
5stringfreak
New
Username: 5stringfreak

Post Number: 10
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post

My trio in '96 played what we were told was a frat party, when we got to the address it was a bake sale full of older folks in their 70s-80s. "Well, we're allready here, so let's play!" We set up anyways and played a toned down set. They liked it and paid us in strawberry shortcake. Unexciting but memorable.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1544
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

I was playing a steady gig in Texas when the place was 'adopted' for a while by a local chapter of a nationwide, notorious, well-known MC. We weren't real sure what to do. They'd come in, drink, basically acted like anyone else, but folks did give them a wide berth.

You kind of get to know the regulars after a while, and eventually their lieutenant said they liked us as we treated them like normal folks, liked our music. Whew . . . .

Used to be an old fella we called Uncle Bill would take the cab from the retirement home out to the joint every Saturday night. Always dressed up: Shined up cowboy boots, Western suit, bolo tie, white dress shirt, little dress Stetson hat, and a gold-topped cane. He'd take a drink or two, and we'd get him up and play his favorite Western Swing tunes for him to sing. 'Take Me Back to Tulsa', that kind of Bob Wills, Moon Mullican stuff. The crowd would eat it up, and we just loved him. The whole crowd adopted him as 'their' Uncle Bill.

Anyway, he gets off stage, and on his way back to his table, some punk bumps into him, almost knocked him down, and told him to 'watch out, you old *****' and a few more things equally aggravating. Bill wasn't having it and wacked him good in the head with that cane and the punk falls down. When he comes back off the floor, he's facing Bill . . . . and a dozen bikers !

Till the fellas moved on as bikes always do, Bill never had to take the cab back and forth every Saturday night, and he really dug it as he said he 'got more women (at age 80!!) since he started riding on the back of that murdersickle'!

Ya just can't make this stuff up ! !

J o e y
gtrguy
Advanced Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 318
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 5:32 pm:   Edit Post

Well, last year I saw Joe Cocker live at a packed casino arena in Oregon and right in the middle of him crooning out "You are soooo Beautiful" (which is one of the most surpy cloyingly sweet tune you never want to hear) two guys in their 60's sitting right in front of me start bashing each others brains out until security tossed them outside into the cold. What were they thinking? At least it got me through having to listen to the song.

Dave
smuprof
Intermediate Member
Username: smuprof

Post Number: 123
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 8:10 pm:   Edit Post

Couldn't pass this up . . . Probably 1977, the drummer and I were still juniors in high school, and the band leader books us into Uncle Sam's club somewhere in South Georgia. This place is a cinder block building painted all the way around in three broad bands . . . you guessed it Red, White and Blue.

Outside it was surrounded by jacked up pick-up trucks - pretty common site in South Georgia. Inside the building was divided in half with a pool hall/bar on one side and dance hall on the other. We played for whatever came through the door. The stage was surrounded by what else - chicken wire. Unfortunately it turned out we wouldn't need it.

This was about an hour away from our hometown, and the band policy was two guys would drive their cars/trucks with the gear and each would get an extra $10 for gas. I drove my mom's station wagon :-)

We got there and discovered someone forgot to pack the bass drum pedal - you can work around a lot of things, but hard to play without a bass drum pedal . . . so the drummer and the other guitarist made a 2 hour round trip to get the bass drum pedal.

We played the requisite 4 hours with no more than a half dozen couples wandering in for a few dances. We played for ourselves more than for anyone else.

At the end of the night, we packed up and the band leader went and got our money and came back laughing. He handed me $10 for gas and the other guitar player $10, then he said: John, here's your $1, Mitch here's your $1, Hutch here's your $1 and here's my $1 . . . :-)

But the night wasn't over! A couple of minutes later the other guitar player came in shouting "Who shut the trunk? Who shut the trunk?" You guessed it - his keys were in there. I wound up taking him home (only room for two people) to get his spare key and his Dad's car.

He drove back himself - just in the nick of time - the drummer was so ticked off he had started playing the drunk patrons in the bar rounds of pool for money and was cleaning up and making them mad in the process. When the guitar player got back, he grabbed the band leader, the drummer grabbed his money and they ran out the door and took off for home.

I'm not sure whether it's worse to play and not get paid, or play and earn $1 . . . but that was 30 years ago and I'm still playing.
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2788
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2010 - 1:22 am:   Edit Post

I don't think there can be anything worse than playing to an empty bar John.

Graeme
smuprof
Intermediate Member
Username: smuprof

Post Number: 124
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2010 - 5:12 am:   Edit Post

Well said, Graeme - it's never really been about the money, has it? No audience is worse than no money (although that night we just about accomplished both) :-(
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 829
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2010 - 6:39 am:   Edit Post

Yeah, but how much did the drummer make hustling the drunks? And did he share?

Peter
smuprof
Intermediate Member
Username: smuprof

Post Number: 125
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2010 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

Good point, Peter - I believe he cleared over $100 that night, and no, he didn't share. But that's okay - I've long had a policy against hustling drunk bikers and Ga. boys from the backwoods.
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 872
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

That seems like a good policy for those who like their teeth.

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