Gig nightmare!!! Submit yours here...

Beesting

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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.
You have some unbelievable stories! I've led a very sheltered life by comparison.
 

cruddola

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You have some unbelievable stories! I've led a very sheltered life by comparison.
Not really, I'm just a drop in the ocean. I'm sure there's an infinite amount of better stories out there, but most won't talk about them or they're not publishable here on the Forum. Kinda like combat vets. I've retired from gigging and retired from 34 years at a 9-5 too that allowed me to tour without losing my job. Besides, they couldn't afford to lose me anyway. LOL I have no problem talking about my experiences because I'm retired (and retarded) with the freedom to do so now. Four decades of gigging is enough. Two of them touring overseas. In those four decades a lot has happened, I wouldn't want to experience going through those experiences I posted here again. I've missed out what you've been able to enjoy, a sheltered life. I have that now. But that was the nature of the beast, it came with wanting to be a drummer and working my way to the experience of being the featured band performing to over a hundred thousand stuffed into a stadium, or getting to play Carnegie, Royal Albert, Kennedy, Corke stadium or the Butt 'n Beer Hole in Devil's Crotch City. Never wanted to be famous or rich. I'm famous for one thing in the music world. "Yeah, he's the drummer with that roadie!" in reference to my sister, Lucy. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd be playing in those places. I got to live that dream. The one thing I'm fortunate at is I've never gotten drunk, done dope of any kind or bed-surfed with 'extra-curricular' women in my 66 years of being stupid. I don't know what any of that feels like. Honestly, I don't. I have lived a sheltered life as a result of not engaging in the big three. Booze, dope and bitches. Because of that I believe I'm cognizant of how things went down. My best experiences are about my sisters Lucy and Marty (Martina). Especially Lucy. I've noted a story about her elsewhere on this forum. Both are keyboard masters, guitarists, mandolinists and vocalists. Both are Yale music grads on scholarship. I'm the dummy. Both fronted bands of their own. Made great careers in Europe. I toured with them most, especially overseas. Because of them I've fallen in love with Northern Ireland. I started as one of Marty's roadies, a year later turned around and made Lucy my roadie. Yeah, "THAT" roadie. LOL!
 
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cobaltspike

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The last gig I played was almost two years ago and through the whole show the arthritis in both thumbs was killing me. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to hold onto the sticks but somehow got through it. The ending of the last song has a drum fill that is quite long and played fast and because of the pain in my thumbs I blew it big time. In retrospect I should have just skipped the fill and ended the song there but no, and now it's the only song from that gig that made in onto youtube so my trainwreck is there for all to see. I won't tell you what song or band it is but it was not pretty.
 

RockrGrl

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Sorry guys, I win this thread hands down...
Guess again I can top that with both hands tied behind my back.
I was 18 very naive, I still lived at home and my parents had no idea what types of places the band played. The band, a power trio made up of 2 Air Force guys currently serving at the time. We were on our way to an out of town gig in a little town called Twin Falls Idaho. A biker bar, strategically placed right next door to the state police office. We are playing both Friday and Saturday night, but we have to make the 2 hour drive back home after the show both nights. :( So its Friday night and the place is PACKED, we're groovin' along its maybe 10p for our 4 hour set, and bam! People are RUNNING out of the bar, all hell has broken loose and we're standing on the stage wondering what just happened. Now I'm thinking, that its a bust because the cops are right next door, right? But before I can even formulate what might be going on the two guitar guys and our lighting dude, literally grab me, pull me from the stage, and we all boogie out the back door. They open up the van throw me inside and tell me to stay put. So there I am alone in this van no keys to start it, kind of hiding, from what I don't actually know, parking lot is devoid of people but packed with cars, and its quiet. This has to be drugs and the cops, and if my mom finds out my ass is grass! Well I wait, and wait, and wait and finally like half an hour later the boys come back, carrying guitars, get in the van and say "We're done for the night." They won't tell me what happened until we're about an hour out of town. "Apparently someone was shot and died, as they tried to walk into the club." Was all they would say. "Well who was it?" I asked. "They got away." But the cops were right there how does that happen? So we have to come back and play Saturday and I'm thinking what if this crazy person comes back and decides to shoot someone else? I mean I have to sing "Hit me with your best shot!"
The actually story as I learned on our way home Saturday night, it was a biker hit. My parents never found out, and I played with that band for several more months.

When I was in HS I played crash cymbals in the marching band and was friends with the little sister of the drum major. I don't remember exactly what brought it on be one cold night of practice marching the drummers were pissed off at something the drum major was doing to us, we all decided that at the next game a couple of days hence we would just walk. Well this information got back to my friend, who thought we were all serious. She cornered me after practice and got in my face, the next thing I new my head snapped back and my face hurt. She'd punched me in the eye! She didn't realize I was still holding my 20" crash cymbals, which I then proceeded to try to remove her head from her body with. No one really messed with me after that.

OK top that!! :)
 
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RockrGrl

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Just for you, alright? I had gotten time off the job and I went to visit my two sisters up in the central Dublin outskirts. Lucy and Marty were with friends set on celebrating a multi family-baptismal. I was a Yankee stationed with the two guys who were dating my sisters. 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, magic that goes boom, you get the picture. To avoid rival problems the roofs of commercial/industrial buildings were commonly used as makeshift venues. Considered safer than getting caught by rivals in 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 in attendance. I'd categorize them as "Tough-skinned folks". They were probably related to the frigging Krays. 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, takes a hit for herself, adjusts the rag, shakes the bottle and re-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!
Holy Sh*t!!!!
 

jptrickster

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Just the usual, surprise monsoon came upon us abrubtly fortunately my truck was only about 100 feet away got the drums out of the rain quickly with very minor damage although water was pouring off a small tent right into my powered monitor horn and all over the electric cables that was a scary site.
Another liquid event comes to kind, outdoor/pool party frisbee knocks over a beer sitting on top of the pa rack and fry"s everything. Oh and the gig with no cymbals, that was weird. And I almost forgot , another outdoor event/barbeque pig roast at someone's farm(they shot the pigs when we were loading in) we were set up about 10 feet from the septic field which at one point was overflowing like a small river....that was memorable
 

RockrGrl

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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.
Did you get the gig?
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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OK top that!! :)
Can do.

I did a gig with a old original band back in the 90's where a gang leader was shoot in the head in the bar, while we were playing our set (right on the dance floor, about 30 feet away). Now, we couldn't see anything, except when the crowd started to freak out and run in different directions. Cops were near by and got there fairly quick, locked the club down and interviewed everyone that was still there. We were there for hours while they questioned everyone (body lying there in a pool of blood). All I could tell the detective was "saw nothing, couldn't hear anything, it was very dark and loud". Turns out the killer got out a side door before the cops locked it down, and to this day they've never caught the guy. But, good chance someone did the same thing to him.
 

RockrGrl

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Can do.

I did a gig with a old original band back in the 90's where a gang leader was shoot in the head in the bar, while we were playing our set (right on the dance floor, about 30 feet away). Now, we couldn't see anything, except when the crowd started to freak out and run in different directions. Cops were near by and got there fairly quick, locked the club down and interviewed everyone that was still there. We were there for hours while they questioned everyone (body lying there in a pool of blood). All I could tell the detective was "saw nothing, couldn't hear anything, it was very dark and loud". Turns out the killer got out a side door before the cops locked it down, and to this day they've never caught the guy. But, good chance someone did the same thing to him.
Holy <can't say it here> why didn't they move the body? :(
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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Holy <can't say it here> why didn't they move the body? :(
Because it was a crime scene and had to be processed first. I was let go before that part was finished, but I'm sure that took a while. I couldn't remove my drums for a two days, until they were all done with the scene, and the bar manager would let me in.
 

RockrGrl

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Because it was a crime scene and had to be processed first. I was let go before that part was finished, but I'm sure that took a while. I couldn't remove my drums for a two days, until they were all done with the scene, and the bar manager would let me in.
Thanks for the response, sorry you had to go through that. :(
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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Thanks for the response, sorry you had to go through that. :(
Oh, no worries. We were told pretty quickly who he was, so he was in the game, he knew the risks. I felt bad for his friends and family, though. I did my degree in Criminal Justice and did some practicums with some gnarly police units. Sadly, I saw much worse.
 

goodcat1337

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Thought of another one that happened shortly before the pandemic. It's nothing crazy, but still sucked to be in the situation.

We booked a gig at a brewery on a Friday night close to Athens, GA. We were super pumped because Athens is where UGA is located so we figured it would be packed. It kinda was, but literally 2 people other than wives and girlfriends stayed inside to watch us play. The other 80-100 people were all outside sitting and playing games. Every few minutes a couple people would walk in to get more beer, but they'd hurry back outside as fast as they could.

Then to make it worse, lead singer gets diarrhea between the first and second set. But hey, no one's in here listening anyways, so we might as well take a few extra minutes of a break. The rest of the night, he's struggling to get thru each song. If it weren't for the fact that we were getting paid a little bit of money, we would have packed it up and called it a night after that first set. The staff were awesome though, so I guess it wasn't all bad.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Thought of another one that happened shortly before the pandemic. It's nothing crazy, but still sucked to be in the situation.

We booked a gig at a brewery on a Friday night close to Athens, GA. We were super pumped because Athens is where UGA is located so we figured it would be packed. It kinda was, but literally 2 people other than wives and girlfriends stayed inside to watch us play. The other 80-100 people were all outside sitting and playing games. Every few minutes a couple people would walk in to get more beer, but they'd hurry back outside as fast as they could.

Then to make it worse, lead singer gets diarrhea between the first and second set. But hey, no one's in here listening anyways, so we might as well take a few extra minutes of a break. The rest of the night, he's struggling to get thru each song. If it weren't for the fact that we were getting paid a little bit of money, we would have packed it up and called it a night after that first set. The staff were awesome though, so I guess it wasn't all bad.
That all depends on the matchup between the music and the clientele. I've had a poor matchup like that at a bar, where my metal band was booked on pop punk night. We started the set with 30 people, started the second tune with zero, then a hobo liked what he heard from the street and came in a rocked out alone for the remainder of the set. We gave him tons of merch.

Also related: My wife and I decided to visit a brewery we were in the vicinity of after an out of town sporting event, and to my delight (and her chagrin) they were having a death metal show right by the main bar. Where I'm going with this is that over half the patrons remained inside for the show, which I doubt would've happened at many other breweries. Like sports, it's all about the matchups.
 

goodcat1337

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That all depends on the matchup between the music and the clientele. I've had a poor matchup like that at a bar, where my metal band was booked on pop punk night. We started the set with 30 people, started the second tune with zero, then a hobo liked what he heard from the street and came in a rocked out alone for the remainder of the set. We gave him tons of merch.

Also related: My wife and I decided to visit a brewery we were in the vicinity of after an out of town sporting event, and to my delight (and her chagrin) they were having a death metal show right by the main bar. Where I'm going with this is that over half the patrons remained inside for the show, which I doubt would've happened at many other breweries. Like sports, it's all about the matchups.
haha, yeah I've had shows booked like that before. We were just a pop rock band, nothing too aggressive. We would do about 70% covers and 30% originals, ranging from Beat It to Won't Back Down to Fix You and even our own versions of Blank Space by Taylor Swift, etc. And our originals were along the lines of Coldplay, Switchfoot, Deathcab For Cutie, etc. IMO, we fit in pretty good with the college scene, I think it was just one of those nights that no matter what we were doing, they just weren't gonna be interested.
 

Roch

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I was in a small rural town, at a popular Tavern/Hotel and when we showed up at around 7 to set up for a 9-1 gig there were guys there who had obviously been drinking all day..fair enough..usual stuff..It was an L shaped room and while we were playing the first song I looked over to the side of the stage and one had the other down and was choking the bejeezus out of him..nobody in the room saw what was happening except me..The guy had gone limp and he was still choking him..I was yelling and nobody heard me so I stopped drumming and jumped off of the stage and tried to pull the guy off..when people noticed they came over and helped me and we got him off but the other guy was unresponsive..they called the ambulance and thankfully, he started breathing a few minutes later...crazy thing is, I went back a few weeks later and the same two guys were sitting together drinking again...
 
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Michael M.

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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.
Yeah, I carry too. It just makes good sense these days. Not just for myself, but I've been in situations where others need help.
 

Michael M.

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Here's just a few that stand out from the bunch
Frisbee knocked a over a beer into the PA rack fried some very expensive equiptment.
Storm knocked out power minutes before showtime. Began sho with drum solo...a long one. Toad.
Showed up to large venue opening for big name act back line has no cymbals, none, nada, they told me to bring nothing except sticks. Yikes!! Like they say if you drink enough your bound to spill a few.
Ha ! All you need is sticks !
 

Michael M.

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I’ve had a few nightmare scenarios, some are just due to my not knowing any better, like when my right hand is starting to go numb and I am desperately trying to move the drumstick to another grip. Switching it to between other sets of fingers works ok for a bit, but then I start to tear the skin out because there aren’t any callouses and the way the stick is moving gives no relief after a few minutes and I’ll switch back but my hand is just dying with every hit Shake it off to try to get blood back in it between songs and do it all over again. Maybe I need gloves, or some lessons on stick control? I don’t know, it has gotten a bit better but still happens occasionally.

The next one involves a hydraulic thone for a back line kit I used one night playing with a ska band in Seattle, wa. The kit seems like it would be close enough to my setup, for an hour and a half set…. But then I realized the upwards motion for the hydraulic throne was stronger and faster than the downwards settling and that the maximum “tempo” of the seat was slower than many of our faster songs. So my ass was stuck at a slower tempo than the song, which left my legs flailing for the ground and the bass and hi hats - it was ridiculous. Also very hard to explain, ugh.
Try lowering your ride as low as possible, for the numb hand.
 


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