You know how you make it rain when you wash your car? I create torrential downpours when I have a long way to load in. Fist fights at a private warehouse gig. But I got nothing on you guys. Gigs are pretty boring when nobody's there to watch!
Now that's a drummer!!!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!
That last line resonates with me!I played a gig 2 Sundays ago at a legendary Northern Kentucky restaurant/jazz themed club with an exceptionally good 21 yr old blues pianist.
It's been in business since 1984.A DRUM SET has been on stage every day since their doors opened.
So I show up with my own snare,bass drum pedal,cymbals,& sticks...and see that the drums have been taken down the night before.WHAT??!!
Before I left for the gig I put my trap case in the car just in case I didn't dig the hi-hat stand,whatever,I could get one from my car.
Soooo...I ended up bringing the case in to get my stool,snare stand,ride cymbal stand,and hi-hat to play the gig in a sold-out house.
No bass drum...I pulled it off,the crowd still grooved...but it was like playing with my pants down around my ankles.
Too bad there wasn't a clause in the contract for incessant bar room-style brawling and parking lot shootings.We played a wedding reception in a Knights of Columbus hall located next to a police station in a respectable neighborhood. A fight involving several women broke out during the first set. Screaming, hair pulling, kicking, dirty fighting like you wouldn't believe. Second set same thing. Third set same thing again. Leader said he'd had it, pack up, we're getting out of here and we left without playing the final set. Shortly after we left there was a shooting in the parking lot. A few days later the leader got a letter from the bride's father demanding a refund for the set we didn't play. We had to oblige because we had signed a union contract specifying that we would play four sets.
It was the standard contract provided by the union for its members. The union preached that contracts protected both the players and the customers. The only two gigs where I didn't get paid were ones where we had signed contracts. One was for a bowling banquet where the treasurer absconded with the club's funds and the other was at a bar that had just declared bankruptcy. The union's response: ya can't get it if they ain't got it.Too bad there wasn't a clause in the contract for incessant bar room-style brawling and parking lot shootings.
That'll learn you not to take a spare! 4 decades of touring with 25 years overseas tours. Always have a spare of anything mechanical. Spare Hat stand, spare pedal setup, spare snare drum and a spare stool/throne. I've witnessed those items go south during gigs and have had them fail on me while on stage. I also have spare skins for every drum and an extra set of cymbals. At least two dozen pairs of new sticks packed at all times. A professional preps for the worst.Played a gig this weekend at the Jersey shore. 3 songs into the last set the kevlar strap on my trusty Yamaha FP-9500C broke. The dance floor was packed (a much welcomed site to see in this post-Covid world) and we weren't stopping between songs, so I just decided to side-saddle it, and play the last approx. 12 songs on the slave pedal! Needless to say my back was sore and I was whooped when we finished.
Anyone else encounter any gig nightmares?
...and yes I've put on a bunch of weight (mostly alcohol) since the pandemic!
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