Holy crap, TPC! We must have played the same place. I'll never forget that night...we checked in at the bar and the guy says "We usually put the drums on the pool table. The fellas will help you with the plywood". Fortunately we persuaded the owner to open a set of side doors and give us a little more space. We convinced them to move the pool table so the boys could continue to play and I set up on the floor.Pool table covered with cheap plywood. A real adventure.
A VFW Hall stage. Think there was enough room for a guitar trio, if the amps and speakers were on the dance floor in front. One- two hold power plug on a 15 amp circuit.Not the worst gig you ever played but just the worst stage you ever gigged on. I have 2 stories to start this one off. We played a club in fort Walton beach Florida called the java pit. The stage was only about 8 inches off the floor and it was made up of a bunch of mini platforms that seemed to only be held together by the carpet that was stapled to it. When we were getting on the stage our lead singer tripped over a mic cord and separated the platforms on the front corner. We pushed them back together the best we could but before the end of the gig our singer forgot about that section, stepped over it and got his leg stuck between the platforms. We had to stop the song and dig him out of the hole. It sucked at the time but we laughed about it hard the next day.
The second worst stage we ever played on was a flatbed trailer at our local fair. It was literally the width of my drumset with me behind it. I couldn't set up to the side because they didn't have mics for the drums so I had to be in the middle. I spent that entire set completely terrified to lean back or lay to hard into my kick drum for fear of falling off the back of the stage, or knocking my drums off the front. We didn't laugh about that stage. Nobody liked it.
20 quid! A story like that is worth paying 20 to play it!I went to visit two of my sisters up in the Dublin outskirts. They 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. 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 sisters rat me out as a drummer. I set up his scarred 5-piece Yamaha Rock Tour Customs with a 26-inch bass drum. Whoopie! 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!! These guys 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. 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. 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 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, pulls his cigarette from his lips, adjusts the Spring, shakes the bottle and lights it returning the cigarette to the old man. She tosses it back to those below. Someone got cooked! After playing Uptight all could hear the screams of those cooked below. Crap like this was normal. The absolute lousiest stage ever! Even the Blues Brothers had it better! I got 20 lousy Quid!