Gig nightmare!!! Submit yours here...

Michael M.

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I went to visit two of my sisters up in the Dublin outskirts. Lucy and Marty were with friends set on celebrating a multi family-baptismal. Nine Irish families is a friggin army!! This was during their 'Troubles' of the early 80's. Taits vs Proddies. Catholics vs Protestants. RUC/IRA/Sinn Finn, you get the picture. To avoid rival problems the roofs of commercial/industrial buildings were commonly used as makeshift venues. Considered safer than an enclosed area. Weddings were done like this too. This one had 5-foot of concrete wall above the roofline. There were about 600 people. The hired band lost their drummer to another stinking Garda checkpoint on the way to this gathering. There ain't a local Irish band existing that doesn't have a member or two most-wanted by the authorities! Of course, my sister Lucy rats me out as a drummer. I set up his scarred 5-piece Premiere-made Yamaha with a 26-inch bass drum. Two bullet holes on the floor tom. All Paiste cymbals. Beautiful to look at as their sound. The riser was a couple of sheets of rotted plywood over half-broken milk crates. A heavy, thick and fine-meshed fishnet caught what is called Irish Rain stretched over the so-called stage. WOW!! The band, "The Despots" were masters at playing Motown covers. They knew over a hundred songs by heart! Name the group, singer, male or female. I was hearing and playing with them. Voices were perfect. I guess the Proddies didn't like the music. They came out of the concrete work in droves bombing us with anything they could throw. Gunfire coming from below. At least a hundred showed up to bomb the party. Not a soul got hit! From Irish grenades (a stone) to an Irish Spring (a firebomb) the party went on as if nothing extraordinary went on. This was common. Everybody is calm. I can barley hold on to my sticks with an a$$ pucker factor of 20 and sweaty hands for three hours on a rickety riser. Unbelievable! The Bass-player's amp got hit with a cobblestone the size of a softball during "Get Ready". Still thumping his bass without missing a beat, calmly walks to the roof's edge, pulls out a pistol and empties the magazine at the folks below. He was aiming at individuals! A kid goes up to his side, takes another magazine from the Bass' case, takes the pistol, inserts the new magazine, racks the slide chambering a round and hands it to the lead guitarist who repeats the shooting! All seven members take their turn! All while the music seamlessly goes on. Holy crap!! Some brave fool tosses up an Irish Spring. The flame went out before hitting a table nearby that was the makeshift bar. Bottle still intact, a friggin pre-teen girl takes it to an older dude who's asleep with a frigging lit cigarette in his mouth. She pulls his cigarette from his lips, adjusts the rag, shakes the bottle and lights it returning the cigarette to the old man's mouth. She tosses it back to those below. Someone got cooked! After playing Stevie Wonder's "Uptight" all could hear the screams of those cooked below. Whoever got cooked below was celebrated by tipping back shots of booze by those on the roof. Crap like this was normal. The absolute lousiest stage ever! Even the Blues Brothers had it better! I got 20 lousy Quid!
Son of a biscuit eater !!! Thanks so much. I'm going to save these two stories. BTW , what is a Quid ?
 

cruddola

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Son of a biscuit eater !!! Thanks so much. I'm going to save these two stories. BTW , what is a Quid ?
Twenty Pounds, British currency. About 27 dollars American. I posted this a long time ago. Here it is. Back in my Dark Ages I got assigned to a UN company as one of their medics. Anyhow, eleven different countries were represented. As always we compared our gear. I being the only American displayed my American 'SET' of gear. Everyone displayed their 'KIT'. Everyone liked my 'SET' better than their issued 'KITS'. On the way back from a job I 'liberated' a killer 5-piece Colbalt Blue Premiere drum 'SET' from a bombed-out music store with the help of my mates. A SoCal surfer-looking South African 'liberated' a Djembe and Bongos. When I put them up to play my guys said, "Nice drum KIT". 8 of us posted in the middle of a square mile of dirt runways. Those Premier's were played like there was no tomorrow. Be it snipers, arrows, spears, mortars, RPGs or recoiless, those bastards got played even during bombardments out in the middle if the airfield. Nearest worthy defensive hole or bomb crater was about a 50-yard run depending on how much you zig-zagged. Gene Krupa's ghost protected us! Not a single sign of damage to the drum 'SET'. Only two of us (the South African who was master conga-player) had the time of our lives. When we played that 'SET' we were in heaven. We got sent out to play and draw fire a few times when the bad guys were in our AO. Decimated those guys with our drum 'SET'. Whenever the drums were played no one in our squad got hit or injured the slightest. They became known as "The SET". Hollywood couldn't ever come up with that scene done multiple times a day. I still have that war-trophy brass snare. The rest of the SET was parted and a drum was given to each member of my squad. Cymbals went to the South African. Upon parting our ways he said we had a "Great SET" of a time. An addition to that story was we used to have Drum SET vs. Djembe battles to let the other side know we're still around. Imagine hearing dueling drums for hours in the middle of the peaceful nights. They attracted crowds far in the distance. Crank out a rhythm and they'd chant to it. Both sides chanting in unison! Beautiful!! They dared not attack because we had night-vison gear and could tell where they were shooting from. We were peace-keepers. They had to go through us to get to their enemies. Mighty expensive for them when they tried it. Life was so cheap. 57 nations in total and always packed a Djembe wherever I was sent. Therapy! That's the reason I now live a peaceful and protected life too. I have an obligation to live a positive life for those on all sides who lost theirs in these stupid and insane wars. I accepted a full scholarship to get out of a drug, alcohol and crime-ridden home and neighborhood. In return I had to give equal time in Uniform. So they made me a medic. Was worth every second many times over then. Delivered 63 babies there and each mom got a recording (cassettes in those times) of the drum duels. I played them along with Frank Marino's "World Anthem" from his "Mahogany Rush Live" album of 1978 while they gave birth. When the music played never a problem from either side. Give it an ear, you might like it. They especially liked the never-defeated drum SET. I was "Doc Dram". LOL! Drumming is my therapy. Good drumming to you!
 
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Michael M.

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Twenty Pounds, British currency. About 27 dollars American. I posted this a long time ago. Here it is. Back in my Dark Ages I got assigned to a UN company as one of their medics. Anyhow, eleven different countries were represented. As always we compared our gear. I being the only American displayed my American 'SET' of gear. Everyone displayed their 'KIT'. Everyone liked my 'SET' better than their issued 'KITS'. On the way back from a job I 'liberated' a killer 5-piece Colbalt Blue Premiere drum 'SET' from a bombed-out music store with the help of my mates. A SoCal surfer-looking South African 'liberated' a Djembe and Bongos. When I put them up to play my guys said, "Nice drum KIT". 8 of us posted in the middle of a square mile of dirt runways. Those Premier's were played like there was no tomorrow. Be it snipers, arrows, spears, mortars, RPGs or recoiless, those bastards got played even during bombardments out in the middle if the airfield. Nearest worthy defensive hole or bomb crater was about a 50-yard run depending on how much you zig-zagged. Gene Krupa's ghost protected us! Not a single sign of damage to the drum 'SET'. Only two of us (the South African who was master conga-player) had the time of our lives. When we played that 'SET' we were in heaven. We got sent out to play and draw fire a few times when the bad guys were in our AO. Decimated those guys with our drum 'SET'. Whenever the drums were played no one in our squad got hit or injured the slightest. They became known as "The SET". Hollywood couldn't ever come up with that scene done multiple times a day. I still have that war-trophy brass snare. The rest of the SET was parted and a drum was given to each member of my squad. Cymbals went to the South African. Upon parting our ways he said we had a "Great SET" of a time. An addition to that story was we used to have Drum SET vs. Djembe battles to let the other side know we're still around. Imagine hearing dueling drums for hours in the middle of the peaceful nights. They attracted crowds far in the distance. Crank out a rhythm and they'd chant to it. Both sides chanting in unison! Beautiful!! They dared not attack because we had night-vison gear and could tell where they were shooting from. We were peace-keepers. They had to go through us to get to their enemies. Mighty expensive for them when they tried it. Life was so cheap. 57 nations in total and always packed a Djembe wherever I was sent. Therapy! That's the reason I now live a peaceful and protected life too. I have an obligation to live a positive life for those on all sides who lost theirs in these stupid and insane wars. I accepted a full scholarship to get out of a drug, alcohol and crime-ridden home and neighborhood. In return I had to give equal time in Uniform. So they made me a medic. Was worth every second many times over then. Delivered 63 babies there and each mom got a recording (cassettes in those times) of the drum duels. I played them along with Frank Marino's "World Anthem" from his "Mahogany Rush Live" album of 1978 while they gave birth. When the music played never a problem from either side. Give it an ear, you might like it. They especially liked the never-defeated drum SET. I was "Doc Dram". LOL! Drumming is my therapy. Good drumming to you!
WOW !!! Another GREAT keeper of a story ! I would Love to spend an afternoon with you listening to music and stories. Oh man, those RPG' s , they scare the crap out of me. The first time I had one fired my way, I loaded my pants !!!
 

halldorl

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No real nightmare gigs except playing with fellow musicians who have too much to drink. I absolutely hate that plus it makes me look and sound bad.

I once left a gig mid-song when the guitarist (and band leader) was getting too drunk. Amateur.
 

Rich K.

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I have had tons of gig stories, but none I really considered nightmares. Until last night!
Most of my gigs are in rural Georgia in various towns an hour to two hours outside of Savannah.
Many of them are off dirt roads.
Last night, I drove an hour and 45 minutes in the rain. Arrive at a beautiful large old 19th century house. It's raining, so I sit in the car waiting for the other two guys to arrive. A guy, walking in the rain and holding a bud light, comes casually walking up to the car... "are you in the band?" You're going to be setting up over there, behind the double wide past the tractor." (oops...)
I meet the bass player by the "stage." It's just a cement pad with a roof in front of a not so nice trailer. It's raining and the cement "floor" is mostly wet. Me and the bass player agree that we can't set up here.
The folks are nice and this was a big deal to them. Someone's birthday, big one. The singer / leader arrives with the PA. He pulls up and we see the middle back section is still dry, so the bass player and I, not wanting to be bitchy, decide it will be ok to set up there.
The rain holds up and we start our first set. The rain stops, then starts to drizzle, then stops again. Things are going fine. A couple of guys staples a tarp around the area to keep the wind from blowing the rain in.
We come back from the first break, and the crowd is getting large and we're rocking Gimme Three Steps, Takin care of business, Mustang Sally (for the second time by request), Neon Moon, etc. Then the rain really kicks up.We're noticing the loud rumble of thunder, but we keep playing. Then I see the rain starting to leak in under my drum set. Simultaneously, the guitarist / singer see one of the PA columns and his Fender tube amp start to get hit. In a second we were breaking down as fast as possible while it's pouring rain. I had a patron hold up my bass drum while I moved stands, mics and chords to the shrinking dry spots. My drum rug, and a bunch of mic cable got wet (I usually buy the cheap ones anyway). Had to get my cases and load up in the pouring rain. I drove home (1 hour and 45 minutes) soaked, but at least I got home early.
I overhead one of the guys holding my bass drum talking to a buddy about whether or not we should get paid since we couldn't finish the night! They paid us of course without issue.
I will assess the damage today if and when the Georgia sun comes out.
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cruddola

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WOW !!! Another GREAT keeper of a story ! I would Love to spend an afternoon with you listening to music and stories. Oh man, those RPG' s , they scare the crap out of me. The first time I had one fired my way, I loaded my pants !!!
What made me download in my pants was witnessing how cheap life was for those people caught in the middle of what a stupid man could start. A stinking war. Man is stupid no matter where in the planet located. I'll be honest, I not only crapped, peed and puked on myself many times, I actually thought I had died! Especially after coming back from an op. Anyone who says they weren't afraid hunting the bad guys or running from the bad guys is a liar or wasn't there. My sanity (or what's left of it) was saved by the simple playing of a friggin djembe. I played it like one would play a drum kit. I really feel that by playing drums and music in the house 24/7/365 and sleeping with music on keeps me from ever going back. The funniest thing is I lost my 1st language, Spanish (I'm a Beaner) and my Yankee English long gone. I came home with a mighty heavy Northern Irish accent that took decades to get rid of. I was the only Yankee among a mostly Northern Irish team. I'm still working on ridding my Pashto, Yazit, Dari and Farsi 'stains'. Nothing playing Rock can't handle.
 

komodobob

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Not my nightmare. When My wife and I went to PR on a vacation, the resort we stayed at had a band one night. The drummer forgot his bass drum pedal and it was too far to travel for him to get it. I felt so sorry for him, but he did get through the gig by using his right hand stick to play the bass part. Quite honestly, other than my wife and me, no one else even noticed. The guy was a real pro, IMO.
 

cruddola

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I know of a very popular party band's nightmare gig that stands above anything I've ever put to words. They've had that gig for those particular families for over two decades. Every weekend one of those 5 families would fund a pachanga (party) on a rotating basis. Each at their respective estates. Gargantuan Ranches with huge private venues. I've been over to watch them own 500 to a thousand private audiences in attendance many, many times. Loan them my trucks on occasion when theirs needed work. Had I got the invite for that weekend, I might have gone to it, who knows? Free food and board! I really feel for the cover band that played that particular night. I grew up with two of them. I have family and friends on both sides of the law and both sides of the border few minutes away in Mexighanistan. It's always partying down there. It never sleeps. There's a rural area that makes Las Vegas at it's prime look like a ghost town. Cars that cost more than houses everywhere. Cops nowhere to be found. That's because at night the cops and army guys ARE the Narcos. Especially when our two PAC-12 universities are out for the summer, parties are full swing. Tons of the local and state's filthy-rich business elite Americans like to party where their kids can do dope and booze without the restrictions of American laws. Some even have huge multi-acre property party houses built there for those kids and themselves. I know because my father built many of the five and six-figure fireplaces in those homes back in the late '50s through the '70s. 300 acre ranches are normal. Beverly Hills and Montecito is ghetto compared. We used to help on the job as kids. No such thing as labor laws in Mexico still today. Highly exclusive invitation only parties. The problem with that is so do the Cartel boys of the two gangs battling it out for the Sonora territory. Chapo's Sinaloa guys vs. the Jalisco guys. They attend many of the same very exclusive parties or attend a party held at the estate down or across the road. American party bands can land very profitable gigs there. Very profitable. I used to play down there back in the '70s when the only cartel was the Mexican government. We only made a grand for the whole weekend. Today I know of guys making two-grand a night three times a week. Six grand cash a week playing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Room and board included! Those guys were making 30 grand a month tax-free and living like kings and queens. Some make more. Sinaloa guys found out that Jalisco's New Generation guys were thought to be at the party down the the road. Sinaloa guys go looking for the Jalisco guys. They left after they figured they were outnumbered and outgunned by the Sinaloa guys. Sinaloa guys are angered they missed at getting the Jalisco guys. They take it out on the band playing the party instead. Like Las Vegas, what happens in Mexighanistan stays in Mexighanistan. Never made ANY news here in the States or in Mexico. I had to go down and claim the bodies and gear of my friends. Now there's a nightmare!
 
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notINtheband

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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!
Had that exact thing happen to me once back in the 80s at a gig.
 

cruddola

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I have had tons of gig stories, but none I really considered nightmares. Until last night!
Most of my gigs are in rural Georgia in various towns an hour to two hours outside of Savannah.
Many of them are off dirt roads.
Last night, I drove an hour and 45 minutes in the rain. Arrive at a beautiful large old 19th century house. It's raining, so I sit in the car waiting for the other two guys to arrive. A guy, walking in the rain and holding a bud light, comes casually walking up to the car... "are you in the band?" You're going to be setting up over there, behind the double wide past the tractor." (oops...)
I meet the bass player by the "stage." It's just a cement pad with a roof in front of a not so nice trailer. It's raining and the cement "floor" is mostly wet. Me and the bass player agree that we can't set up here.
The folks are nice and this was a big deal to them. Someone's birthday, big one. The singer / leader arrives with the PA. He pulls up and we see the middle back section is still dry, so the bass player and I, not wanting to be bitchy, decide it will be ok to set up there.
The rain holds up and we start our first set. The rain stops, then starts to drizzle, then stops again. Things are going fine. A couple of guys staples a tarp around the area to keep the wind from blowing the rain in.
We come back from the first break, and the crowd is getting large and we're rocking Gimme Three Steps, Takin care of business, Mustang Sally (for the second time by request), Neon Moon, etc. Then the rain really kicks up.We're noticing the loud rumble of thunder, but we keep playing. Then I see the rain starting to leak in under my drum set. Simultaneously, the guitarist / singer see one of the PA columns and his Fender tube amp start to get hit. In a second we were breaking down as fast as possible while it's pouring rain. I had a patron hold up my bass drum while I moved stands, mics and chords to the shrinking dry spots. My drum rug, and a bunch of mic cable got wet (I usually buy the cheap ones anyway). Had to get my cases and load up in the pouring rain. I drove home (1 hour and 45 minutes) soaked, but at least I got home early.
I overhead one of the guys holding my bass drum talking to a buddy about whether or not we should get paid since we couldn't finish the night! They paid us of course without issue.
I will assess the damage today if and when the Georgia sun comes out. View attachment 504071 View attachment 504072
Folks, gotta understand that gigs like this example are what reinforces the addiction of playing before an audience. Playing before any audience is game. It's an intoxicating dream come true for me back in the day. I'm too old now, but reading this is refreshing to my weathered soul!
 

cruddola

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I went to a venue located on the wrong side of the interstate (and railroad tracks) to see a band my niece was singing with. The regular singer was still in jail for beating up on a drunken female pervert who goosed her. A straight-up killer of a pseudo-Motownish band. I've seen them before and my niece was fronting the band for the first time. It's a wedding. She does a killer Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. And she's a Beaner! I was running late because some idiot decided to block my driveway. I pulled the offending car with my neighbor's truck down to the center of the nearest intersection. Shanked all the tires. Window's down so I popped the trunk and shanked the spare too! Let them deal with that! That venue is known to produce a wide spectrum of reasons for the Blueboys to show up in multiple cars with more than two cops in each along with flying hardware from above. Our version of a CBGB in the wild, wild west. Everybody wants to play there. Not me, not ever, Hell no! In high school I photographed many a wedding and sweet-sixteen event there as an apprentice to our high school photography teacher. Body armor wasn't available to photographers or common folks then. It was dangerous then. Packing hardware has never been restricted out here. Somehow, I managed four years photographing there. I don't even like to drive anywhere near it! Especially at night. Sometimes two helicopters will show. One stays over the venue lighting the scene from above with it's pseudo-sun and the second guides the cops after those rabbiting the scene. Anyhow, the streets are cordoned off. I'm stuck, turn off the car. Wait and watch folks rabbiting in all directions with a Blueboy or two right behind. I'm waiting and can't turn around, too many cars behind me. It's Saturday night. School's out for the summer. What's a pair of school busses showing up here? People are being herded aboard with their hands zip-tied behind their backs. Men in one bus, women in the other. The cops are taking E V E R Y B O D Y ! Every meat-wagon in town must be there. I see my niece, she's headed to the bus. I know that incident commander assigned to that scene. He's a Lieutenant with 25 years on that department. Another nickel with the Sheriff's department before that. He's got a couple of years on me and we grew up in the same lousy neighborhood. He was a bully until my sisters tag-teamed a Gregory Hines on his face back in seventh grade. He's cool now, very cool. He sees me and I him from a distance. He motions me to call him. He plays bass on that very band when not on the job. He will not play at that venue. I get it. I get him on my phone. My niece gets released to me. Turns out a group of nine thugs pull a take-over robbery of the club. All are illegals with yellow-sheets from here to the Mexican border and beyond. They robbed the patrons and venue staff. As soon as they went for the band all Hell broke loose. Bullets fly everywhere and no one was hit except for the robbers. Over a hundred rounds expended inside. Another hundred or more outside the venue. Miracle! Gotta remember Mexighanistan is a short drive and a stone's throw away. The glass, body & fender business skyrocketed on the following Monday! Forensics must have been there for a month! The robbers were shot multiple times and beaten mercilessly into humps of raw meat by the audience. And shot again. They got past the Reaper by a breath or two and the Great Pumpkin allowed all of them to live. They were the only ones needing the meat-wagons to the ER. None of their limbs or their eyes worked for a long, mighty long time. Bone, bruise and pain management got the best of them never to return as before. That was two decades ago and those thugs still hurt today and are to die behind bars. It was the robbers who called the cops! YIKES!! No wonder the venue was called the Sky View. One gets nothing but a view of the sky when awakening after violently laid on your back out in the parking lot. Folks still rent that venue. No frigging thanks!
 
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paul

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In the mid 70's my rock band played a large club in Tennessee (seating for 800 or so). It was our first time there, a big stage, and we were ready. We set up flash pods strategically along the front, and arranged to start from a dark stage. First song started with a big gong hit, and the stage manager was to flip the switch to set off the flash pods at the same time. In the event his timing was perfect, but his selection was terrible. Instead of setting off the pods, he killed main power to the stagge, which left me playing alone, acoustically, and in the dark for several bars. It was actually a good thing, though, since when they got the lights on our bass player realized he was straddling one of the pods. The existence of his son is I believe solely because of that stage manager's error.

We played that town multiple times after that, but never at that club.
 

Beesting

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We played for the Sons of Silence biker gang in Colorado....at their clubhouse. The entrance is guarded...you don't get in unless you're a member or an invited guest. We were the band so that was no problem but man, did I feel out of place. The evening was going fine...they liked the music...but then one guy came up to us and said some of their members played music and they wanted to use our gear. You don't say no to a bunch of armed bikers. Turns out they weren't too bad. But the drummer was a giant guy named Trashcan. When he sat on my stool, he bent one of the double braced legs...real badly. When they finished and we resumed playing, I spent the rest of the gig playing on a stool and was leaning severely to one side.

Another time we played at a nasty biker bar. When we walked in, it looked and felt like a snake pit. I told myself, "just keep your head down, do your job and try to get out alive". We finished the gig and when we walked out to load our gear, there were cops waiting outside. They had an arrest warrant for somebody in the bar. There was no violence, at least not before we drove away, but you never know.

I'm glad I'm not playing those kinds of gigs anymore.
 

notINtheband

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Back in the 80s we played a local festival for about 1,000 people. We were a hard rock cover band and was playing stuff like Scorpions, Judas Priest, AC/DC, etc. the response was great and as we came off stage a woman approached us with a gig offer.
She said she ran a night club for high schoolers and it was a no-alcohol dance venue. We immediately spoke up, “you know we don’t really cover dance music”. She assured us that was no problem, she had watched our whole set and we were exactly what they were looking for.
“Ok, as long as you understand we play hard rock and we never have people dancing at our gigs, the music just doesn’t work for dancing.”
She again stressed that even though it was a dance club that their patrons would love us.
Reluctantly we took the gig.
Showed up at the venue and began setting up. There was only about a dozen high school kids there as we set up, and sure enough, playing over the house system as we set up, was pure disco, dance music. The kids were dancing like it was a movie about Studio 54!
Before going on we made one final clarification with the venue owner. You know we play hard rock, right?
“Yes, go do your thing, they are going to love it!”
We take the stage and tear into Rock and Roll from Led Zepplin.
The kids immediately sit down. When we finish the song….crickets.
The first set was played to a dozen wall flowers who didn’t move, didn’t applaud, silence.
At the end of the first set, as we leave the stage for a break, the dance music comes on the house system and the kids are immediately back on the floor dancing like it’s the end of Footloose!
Another set and another break and the same result.
So before the final set, I am elected by the band to go to the club owner and see if she just wants us to call it a night.
I approach her and explain we completely understand, it didn’t work out the way she wanted, and that clearly the kids would rather dance to recorded music than suffer through another set of Iron Maiden and Motley Crue.
I told her we would be happy to let the kids dance and pack up and that she didn’t even have to pay us for the 3rd set, that we were ok calling it a night and getting on the road, live and learn.
The owner begged us to play that final set and she would absolutely take care of us, she loved our music and stage show and please go on for the last set.
I said we would be happy to but just were thinking of our audience and what would make them happy, but we would definitely fulfill our contract.
As we came out of the dressing room for the final set, the house music goes down and the kids head for their seats.
The owner takes the stage, gets on the mic, and announces,
“Attention please, you have hurt the bands feelings! Why won’t you dance to their music?! Please show them how much you love them as they didn’t even want to play for you again because you have treated them so rudely!”

:O
WE
WERE
HORRIFIED!!!

The guys in the band looked at me and said, “what the hell did you say to her??? Did you tell her we said that????”
‘NO!!! I didn’t!!!’
Needless to say that final set was the most painful 45 minutes I’ve ever spent on a stage.
making it even worse, the high schoolers began to reluctantly dance, pretending to dance, pretending to enjoy it, and doing so in shifts of 4-6 people at a time. When one song would end, the dancers would motion for those sitting to stand up and do THEIR shift of forced dancing to keep the club owner happy.
So there you go, high school kids shamed into dancing in shifts to music they hated as we played.
it is, to date, the most embarrassing experience of my life.
 

Grooovepig

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We played for the Sons of Silence biker gang in Colorado....at their clubhouse. The entrance is guarded...you don't get in unless you're a member or an invited guest. We were the band so that was no problem but man, did I feel out of place. The evening was going fine...they liked the music...but then one guy came up to us and said some of their members played music and they wanted to use our gear. You don't say no to a bunch of armed bikers. Turns out they weren't too bad. But the drummer was a giant guy named Trashcan. When he sat on my stool, he bent one of the double braced legs...real badly. When they finished and we resumed playing, I spent the rest of the gig playing on a stool and was leaning severely to one side.

Another time we played at a nasty biker bar. When we walked in, it looked and felt like a snake pit. I told myself, "just keep your head down, do your job and try to get out alive". We finished the gig and when we walked out to load our gear, there were cops waiting outside. They had an arrest warrant for somebody in the bar. There was no violence, at least not before we drove away, but you never know.

I'm glad I'm not playing those kinds of gigs anymore.
Wow! A huge biker named Trashcan bent a double braced leg on your drum stool... can't make that up! :icon_e_biggrin:
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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When I played in the high school stage band, I was in a drum battle with two other drummers, in the annual variety talent show. When it came my turn to solo, my Ludwig Speed King pedal fell apart. I was really trying to thump the thing, but the front of the pedal was rubbing against the drum head. Eventually, which seemed like an hour, it punctured the head, and I had to finish my solo without a bass drum. Humiliating! Two days later, I traded in that sorry pedal for a Rogers Swivomatic.
 

MVM17

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There's been a lot of times things didn't go so well over the years! A couple times come to mind. Once I was playing in a bar that was set up to resemble an old trappers cabin. I was back in the dark corner of the stage. A spider crawled over my floor tom. I tried to ignore it, then decided to swat it with my drumstick. We were covering Steely Dan and I didn't want to screw up the song. I wasn't able to get it, (but I managed to stay in the groove/pocket, while trying to swat it). The next song it bit me on the leg.(I was playing in shorts). l had a big red circle on my leg that itched like crazy for 3 days!

Another gig (years ago when I was single), the band played a club up north, every six weeks or so. Two different girls I had been interested in,(that had flirted with me at previous gigs), showed up as the same gig! Both were waiting for me on break after 1st set (and luckily didn't know about each other). I couldn't go out from behind my kit and had to make up excuses,(fixing equipment, etc). My band mates thought it was funny and wouldn't help me out. Second set break, I snuck out back and hid in the van. 3rd set break, one of them had finally already left, so I was able to go out and talk to the other one, who by then had a few drinks and never figured out what was going on. I actually ended up getting laid after the gig in my van, so I guess it worked out after all!
Having got paid to play, for the first time at a garage party, back in high school, almost 40 years ago (in beer and weed), there have been a lot of things go wrong since then,(with equipment, personnel, venues, club owners, unruly crowds, etc) but most of the really bad ones are probably inappropriate to post!
 

cruddola

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We played for the Sons of Silence biker gang in Colorado....at their clubhouse. The entrance is guarded...you don't get in unless you're a member or an invited guest. We were the band so that was no problem but man, did I feel out of place. The evening was going fine...they liked the music...but then one guy came up to us and said some of their members played music and they wanted to use our gear. You don't say no to a bunch of armed bikers. Turns out they weren't too bad. But the drummer was a giant guy named Trashcan. When he sat on my stool, he bent one of the double braced legs...real badly. When they finished and we resumed playing, I spent the rest of the gig playing on a stool and was leaning severely to one side.

Another time we played at a nasty biker bar. When we walked in, it looked and felt like a snake pit. I told myself, "just keep your head down, do your job and try to get out alive". We finished the gig and when we walked out to load our gear, there were cops waiting outside. They had an arrest warrant for somebody in the bar. There was no violence, at least not before we drove away, but you never know.

I'm glad I'm not playing those kinds of gigs anymore.
That's killer! I like the guy 'Trashcan', very fitting. Back in my Dark Ages I was the substitute drummer for a band that got the gig to play for the Devil's Disciples up in a 'rented' former farm outside Rochester. They were celebrating one of their own being released from Attica. A most restricted venue. The only non-Disciples was the band. They had everything set up. All we had to do was plug and play. A lot of them were musicians and most were real good. We could tell because we witnessed their soundcheck. They could've done the gig themselves but they didn't have a drummer. They asked permission to join the band about two hours into the gig. They were great. Their vocalists blew ours away! Everybody was well behaved and nobody got out of line. We were fed good, drank good non-alcohol beverages (their insistence for the band). We got 500 bucks each for a four hour gig and ate like kings. The problem came when we left the gig. Highway Patrol and Sheriff's guys pulled us over just outside the gate. They were gonna search the trailer and van. They didn't ask either. They questioned all of us relentlessly. As usual we refused to answer any questions. The cops are separating us further away from each other. Then the approach of a ton of bikers roll up on us and surround the cops. More and more bikers show up. Two of them walk right up to the boss cop. Turns out those two bikers are lawyers and shut the cops down. We get an escort of about a hundred bikes for over 20 miles till we hit Rochester.
 


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