Gig nightmare!!! Submit yours here...

old_K_ride

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Played at a bonfire. Mosquitoes were biting the heck out of us. Then the band leader thought it was a great idea to have BOTH female lead singers without one bit of rhythm play tambourines and that was all I could in my in ear monitors.
wow...that reminds me of a wedding reception I played decades ago.we had to set up on the lawn of this big house.so we're playing...and getting bit by mosquitos constantly...someone in the house brought us down a box of fabric softener sheets to wipe ourselves down with because they evidently double as mosquito repellent...well they worked to a degree...but not well enough...the band leader shut the band down after 2 sets saying we would not play under those conditions...incredibly we got full pay and the hosts understood...
 

backtodrum

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When Living Colour released "Cult of Personality", I thought playing in a wetsuit was the coolest possible thing anyone had ever done. I was sixteen.

My band at the time landed a gig 989km away in front of two hundred people, requiring us to drive through the night to get there in a borrowed van. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to play my trusty Swingstar and steal the show by wearing my friend's wetsuit. We were going to be remembered forever.

As I counted in and we played the first note, only myself and our bass player could be heard. Our guitarist had a problem. Unsure what to do, the bassist and I continued to play the intro for three minutes while our guitarist furiously tried everything he could to fix the problem with help from stageside.

During those three minutes, I discovered that wetsuits may look cool, but they are 1) incredibly stiff to play in when filled with dried-up salt water, and 2) on land, under stage lights, incredibly hot.

Eventually, the only solution for our guitarist was to swap guitars with the opening act. We readied ourselves, and...

The replacement guitar was tuned a step higher. Try as he might - and he tried real hard - he only managed to transpose every second or third chord correctly, meaning the entire song was a wildly dissonant mess of clashing chords, and as a bonus, I very nearly passed out from the heat.

It probably was memorable. But not quite for the reasons I was hoping.

Best,

853guy
This one made me laugh! you had to have preictally smothered in that wet suit!
 

Bonzoholic

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Many moons ago, the band I was in played a backyard party. It was at a huge house with an equally huge backyard. We built a full-on stage and had a two-car garage door on milk crates for the drum riser. Our bass player had this huge red & white striped parachute that we draped over the stages because it "looked cool".
After an afternoon of pre-party keg privilege's, we got ready to start playing. I neglected to realize my drum throne was riiiiiiiight on the edge of the drum riser. I sauntered up to my drums with a red Solo cup of libation and sat down. My bass player said he had looked around at me and all he saw was elbows and ankles going over the edge. Then all of a sudden I popped up from behind the stage with my drink in my hand and hadn't spilled a drop!
 

backtodrum

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Many moons ago, the band I was in played a backyard party. It was at a huge house with an equally huge backyard. We built a full-on stage and had a two-car garage door on milk crates for the drum riser. Our bass player had this huge red & white striped parachute that we draped over the stages because it "looked cool".
After an afternoon of pre-party keg privilege's, we got ready to start playing. I neglected to realize my drum throne was riiiiiiiight on the edge of the drum riser. I sauntered up to my drums with a red Solo cup of libation and sat down. My bass player said he had looked around at me and all he saw was elbows and ankles going over the edge. Then all of a sudden I popped up from behind the stage with my drink in my hand and hadn't spilled a drop!
Lol! I have had a good laugh at some of these stories...
 

mattmalloy66

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Long story short. I had a guy threaten me more than once simply because I was dating his ex.
As a convicted felon, for many previous assaults, my reporting him landed him back in jail for 6 months. He was big, crazy, and a hardened criminal.
Sure enough, after he was released, he showed up at one of our gigs.
I told my bandmates and friends that were there that I may need help.
He did step up, spew a lot of drunken talk, but nothing more.
I did take advantage of my ability to carry concealed for awhile after that.
Certainly threw me off for the rest of that nights gig, and put me on edge for a few gigs after that.
The threat of personal harm worried me more than whether our performance was good.
 
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Grooovepig

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Long story short. I had a guy threaten me more than once simply because I was dating his ex.
As a convicted felon, for many previous assaults, my reporting him landed him back in jail for 6 months. He was big, crazy, and a hardened criminal.
Sure enough, after he was released, he showed up at one of our gigs.
I told my bandmates and friends that were there that I may need help.
He did step up, spew a lot of drunken talk, but nothing more.
I did take advantage of my ability to carry concealed for awhile after that.
I had something similar happen a couple years ago.
I was on my way to a gig.
A guy on a motorcycle drove up to me at a light and starting hitting my car and shouting at me.
He followed me for like 15 miles. Turn for turn.
Not wanting him to see where my gig was, I pulled over to talk to him.
He said I cut him off, endangered his life and his wife who was on the back, and that he had my license plate and was going to come to my house and hurt me.
I pulled out my phone to call the cops and he sped off.
I got his plate number too when he did. .
I arrived at my gig shaken and had a drink to calm down.
Finished the gig and reported the incident to the cops the next morning.

A few weeks later he came up to me at another gig (we're a pretty popular band in this neck of the woods) and said "remember me?"
I said NO. He kept saying I was gonna get mine. Just wait. When you're least expecting it. Just wait.
Then I remembered who he was and I asked him to come back and discuss the issue calmly like adults.
But he just walked away backwards mumbling idle threats.

Come to find out from other patrons of this establishment that he's pretty well known for being an unbalanced, aggressive A-hole.
I would love for him to start with me at one of our gigs.
It would NOT end well.....for him.
 

Deafmoon

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It’s so true that the gigs that are smooth sailing have less of a place in our memory than some of the disasters. Who knows why? At any rate: through all the blown power shows, bar room and parking lot brawls that got the plug pulled on us, a drunk that cut one of our 18” subwoofer speakers in the bass bin to screw with our quad sound,
electrical storms that barreled through to kill the night, on and on; the worst for me was caused by a little lock nut that held the felt beater on my pedal. 3 minutes into a 5 song Zep Medley, my felt flew off and the entire rod cut through the head. That was a major embarrassment and when you are playing Achilles Last Stand into Bring It On Home into The Ocean into Nobody’s Fault But Mine into The Immigrant Song you cannot get away with no bass drum. That sucked!
 

RyanLovesDrums

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It’s so true that the gigs that are smooth sailing have less of a place in our memory than some of the disasters. Who knows why? At any rate: through all the blown power shows, bar room and parking lot brawls that got the plug pulled on us, a drunk that cut one of our 18” subwoofer speakers in the bass bin to screw with our quad sound,
electrical storms that barreled through to kill the night, on and on; the worst for me was caused by a little lock nut that held the felt beater on my pedal. 3 minutes into a 5 song Zep Medley, my felt flew off and the entire rod cut through the head. That was a major embarrassment and when you are playing Achilles Last Stand into Bring It On Home into The Ocean into Nobody’s Fault But Mine into The Immigrant Song you cannot get away with no bass drum. That sucked!
When that famous drummer Roger Hawkins recently died, I was reading an interview he did and it sounded like he didn’t even like doing gigs. He said in the beginning of his career he played a lot of bars and there was lots of bar fights and people gave him a hard time because he wore glasses and he said the hell with this and turned to studio drumming.
 

hsosdrum

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Let's see, I guess it's a toss-up between:

• The time the band showed up to sound check and the roadies hadn't been able to set up the drums because the hardware case had fallen out of the (left-open) back door of the truck and was lost on a road somewhere between there and the previous-night's gig a couple-hundred miles away...*

• The time a roadie was accidentally set on fire while reloading pyro boxes between sets...**

• The time we played an elementary school dance where the singer and I caught the chicken-pox (it subsequently cost us a week's worth of gigs)...

• The two weeks I had to play with my right wrist completely immobilized in an Ace bandage because I had developed tendinitis...

• The week I had to play holding my right stick between my forefinger and middle finger because I had smashed my right thumb while filling in for an absent roadie...

• The two or three times I had to finish a set using my left bass drum "side-saddle" after breaking the strap on my right bass drum pedal, or the one time I had to do it after putting the pedal beater shaft through the batter head because the beater head had come off (from then on nothing but chain-drive for this drummer)...

• The gig we had to cancel because a roadie had rolled our equipment truck into a ditch while reaching for a spoon so he could eat his yogurt while driving...

• The time our singer was electrocuted after grabbing the mic while touching a bare toe to the metal flatbed truck bed that served as a stage at an outdoor gig. He hit the deck out cold; the audience thought it was part of the show. We ended the song (last one of the set, fortunately), carried him offstage and revived him. He never wore open-toed shoes on stage again...

• Or the countless times we played a full night (four 50-minute sets) and never had more than six or eight people in the audience.

• On the other side of the coin, one night we were all set to go on stage to play a high-school dance when the principal told us they were cancelling the dance because the weather service was predicting an incoming blizzard. They paid us in full, but we felt bad for the kids (and the blizzard never materialized).


*A drumset had been stored at the club, and after plying its owner with alcohol and $$ we were able to do the gig. Honest people found my hardware case in a ditch next to a farmer's field and contacted us because we put business cards inside of every case. We got it back in time for the next gig.

**He spent a couple of days in the hospital with second-degree burns but rejoined us at the end of our stay at the club. He finally quit after he and another roadie survived crashing a rental truck into a tree at 50mph (they had fallen asleep at the wheel). P.S. The pyro incident was my fault — I had been absent-mindedly flipping switches on the lighting console between sets and didn't realize that I had set the pyros to 'live'.
 
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Matched Gripper

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It involved playing a Hell's Angel wake, bikers laying patches inside the bar on carpet, finding a piece of a ear (I think?) in the guys bathroom, and playing 'Born to be wild' 6 times in a row, surrounded by D level strippers. I'll leave it at that.
D level strippers?
 

Doof

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Man there’s some good one here. I’ll submit 2 of many:

1. Charity gig for RonaldMacDonald House in an actual MacDonald’s. Snare and brushes only, acoustic set. I’m so up immediately next to the self-serve soda machine, which was louder than me. We went completely unnoticed. One younger guy even asked me as he’s filling his cup “why are you here”? Good question.

2. Canada Day fireworks show on a beach. One of the largest displays in the country. We are set up on a new stage pavilion with a great sound and light show hired in by the organizers. We were told over 30,000 people were in attendance. Not to see us of course, but by far the largest amount of people I’ve looked onto from the stage. I start off a 4 count to a song we all start together, them BAM! On the downbeat -Power and lights out. Someone underestimated the required power. Nothing is more embarrassing than all of a sudden having all the attention drawn to the stage for the wrong reason. 20 minutes later, we restarted successfully.
 

bassanddrum84

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Mind just so happen to be this weekend. The stage was maybe 30” back to front 4” high and then a riser another 25” with Karaoke crap on the left side. I barley fit up there after trying to get the ow er to let us play on the floor on the other side of the bar. Used half my kit. My seat fell off the stage three times. O and directly behind me a full ground to ceiling rock wall. Not smooth rocks, rough so needless to say my elbows are chewed up from hitting it. Top it all off bad ground so everything buzzed.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Not the worst, but worth relating. When loading in, I realized someone had climbed into my truck and turned it off.
"Who the ___ entered and operated my truck?!" (I'm told I have an unusual manner of speaking.)
"The exhaust was killing us," a drunkard in the outdoor SMOKING SECTION stated.
As I unloaded my kick (over my head to easily slip through parked cars), I informed him of my low opinion of people who commit misdemeanors instead of asking someone to turn off his car, at which point he got in my face and notified me of his intent to escalate to punchy-poos. Mind you, this Mensa candidate is threatening me while his bald head sat 2.5 feet below an 8 ply kick with steel hoops. "You gonna sucker punch me while I have this hanging over your gourd?" At that point he allowed the bouncer to escort him to his truck and tell him never to come back.
 
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DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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Ooooh I got loads of those!!

This was in the late 90's, we were playing at this big club with my former band and there were two biker dudes with their female escorts near the front row. At that time we had a single that was a big hit on local radios. During the break, the manager comes in our dressing room all flustered and says : "Well we have a delicate situation here and I got to ask you something." Well, the boss of the Quebec chapter of the Hell's Angels had just recently been incarcerated after a highly mediatised sting and trial. It turns out that the 2 biker dudes were his Lieutenants. He was supposedly a big fan of our song and was listenning the show from his cell through a mobile phone and wanted this song of ours dedicated to him. I was the lead singer then, so that query fell under my jurisdiction.

I was really in a pickle because, 1- I don't KNOW the guy and 2- I don't want to be associated in any way shape or form, but 3- I still would appreciate keeping my pearly whites and kneecaps intact. So I mull it over for the remainder of the break and we head back on stage. One of the dudes points to the cell phone in his right hand. So I take a deep breath, I muster all the diplomatic skills I can channel and say "To kick off our second set, we'd like to warmly dedicate this song to a VERY special person who unfortunately could not be here tonight..." the cell phone guy looked at me right in the eye while putting the phone to his ear and after what seemed to me like an hour, nodded to me ever so slightly and extended his arm, phone mic pointed towards the stage. So we played the song and we were given handshakes that could've pulverized a billiard ball as thank yous after the show.

I had another nightmarish gig about 3 years ago. I was playing this big televised 4th of july type of event in Winipeg, Manitoba (2 thousand miles away from home). My girlfriend of 5 years and I had been fighting a lot for a few months, but I thought the time away would somehow be good. First there was a tornado warning for the area we were playing in and the organisers decided to still go on with the show. The Stage-Line, lighting rig and PA rocked hard and were completely drenched just moments before showcall. The site that held maybe 5000 people emptied out, down to maybe 7-800 people. And then the coup-de-grace was when I checked my phone a few minutes before going on stage (I was first on the bill) and found out the GF had switched her FB status to "single". Of course, I couldn't change the setlist because, on a TV show, with a house band, you just can't. Aaaaand... I was kicking of the show with a song about HER... Here I was, devastated, guitar in hand, in front of an empty field, on a dangerously rocking and dreched stage, playing a lovesong I wrote about her, with close-ups of my miserable face broadcasted on 3 giant screens and recorded for National TV... Fun factor: Minus infinity....!!!
 

robthedrummer

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Sorry guys, I win this thread hands down...

I got hired in 93' to sub in a wedding band. Their drummer was sick. I lived about an hour and a half north of NYC and the gig was just north of the city in Westchester. In good weather, a 50 minute drive. It started snowing heavily in the morning of the gig. The forecast was for a full-blown Nor'easter. I called and the wedding was still on. For a 7pm start time, I left the house at 12 noon in my crappy Dodge Caravan. Roads sucked and I averaged about 10 miles or less an hour. I was dressed in my tux, all ready to go.

The road had been very hard to navigate, with deep slush and icy ruts. I finally made it onto the Tappan Zee bridge about 4pm, as it was getting dark. The road seemed even rougher than normal, so I pulled over to check the car. I stepped out into above ankle slush, soaking my tux pants, socks, and dress shoes in icy goodness. I figured out the problem. I had blown a tire somewhere. The road had been so bad, I didn't notice. All that was left was a rim. My spare was flat.

Keep in mind this was before cell phones. No one would stop. Finally, a state trooper stopped and called for a wrecker. I asked the cop what time estimate he was given and he told 4, maybe 5 hours. I offered him 20 bucks and begged him to take me to the gig. He said no, but he'd make a call to the band leader for 20 bucks. I had him tell the band leader the problem and to find another drummer. I never made it to the gig and didn't get off the bridge until 12am.

The tow truck dropped me off at a gas station. It was the classic "How much do I owe you?" "How much you got?" situation. He basically cleaned me out of all money I had on hand. I got the spare filled, put it on myself (again, in my tux) and started the drive home.

The band leader was unable to get another drummer in that weather and on short notice, so the band played with no drummer and the wedding party was NOT happy. I finally made it home at 6 am, 18 hours after I left the house. I made no money and paid 60 for the tow and 20 for the phone call from the cop. The tux and shoes were ruined, I got a case of walking pneumonia, and the band never called me again. And I had to buy a new tire.
 

Dumpy

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Sorry guys, I win this thread hands down...

I got hired in 93' to sub in a wedding band. Their drummer was sick. I lived about an hour and a half north of NYC and the gig was just north of the city in Westchester. In good weather, a 50 minute drive. It started snowing heavily in the morning of the gig. The forecast was for a full-blown Nor'easter. I called and the wedding was still on. For a 7pm start time, I left the house at 12 noon in my crappy Dodge Caravan. Roads sucked and I averaged about 10 miles or less an hour. I was dressed in my tux, all ready to go.

The road had been very hard to navigate, with deep slush and icy ruts. I finally made it onto the Tappan Zee bridge about 4pm, as it was getting dark. The road seemed even rougher than normal, so I pulled over to check the car. I stepped out into above ankle slush, soaking my tux pants, socks, and dress shoes in icy goodness. I figured out the problem. I had blown a tire somewhere. The road had been so bad, I didn't notice. All that was left was a rim. My spare was flat.

Keep in mind this was before cell phones. No one would stop. Finally, a state trooper stopped and called for a wrecker. I asked the cop what time estimate he was given and he told 4, maybe 5 hours. I offered him 20 bucks and begged him to take me to the gig. He said no, but he'd make a call to the band leader for 20 bucks. I had him tell the band leader the problem and to find another drummer. I never made it to the gig and didn't get off the bridge until 12am.

The tow truck dropped me off at a gas station. It was the classic "How much do I owe you?" "How much you got?" situation. He basically cleaned me out of all money I had on hand. I got the spare filled, put it on myself (again, in my tux) and started the drive home.

The band leader was unable to get another drummer in that weather and on short notice, so the band played with no drummer and the wedding party was NOT happy. I finally made it home at 6 am, 18 hours after I left the house. I made no money and paid 60 for the tow and 20 for the phone call from the cop. The tux and shoes were ruined, I got a case of walking pneumonia, and the band never called me again. And I had to buy a new tire.
Wow. Just wow. Where do I even begin?!?
 
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