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The worse gig ever.


rdclmn7

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It had to be around 1983-84, there was one night in a series of youth services with kids coming from all points within some 20-odd miles every night.

I do remember it was a thursday night, and I had to have had my friends' trem blocked.

This is why.

We started the service, popped a string.

Another song, popped another string.

About 3 or 4 songs later, another string.

 

When you lose your 1st, 3d, and 5th string;

1. You're glad for the trem block.

2. You hop all over the neck.

- it feel like musical chairs without chairs.

3. You can't believe you got away with it.

 

Only you my man, only you...

 

Lets see what you guys have been through.

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We once had a gig over on the eastern shore of MD. Way out in the boonies. When we arrived, the locals were watching cock fighting on CC TV. That tells you what kind of place it was. It was a foggy night, and for some reason our female singer didn't ride with any of us and had no cell phone. She never made it that night because she got lost and never could find the place. There went half our songs! The crowd was pretty understanding but it was very tense for us trying to pull a bunch of material out of our a**es. There was one point when it started to get ugly because we screwed up some song we had never attempted before. We only got paid about half of what we were originally supposed to, but we took it and got the heck out of there!

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Mine was the "Before The Gig".

 

I was playing lead in Mesa Az, around 1980 with a Country Band. The leader had bought an old 1970 ish Caddy full stretch Limo. Yep.

 

The gig was at an Air Force Base down past Gila Bend, I don't remember the name. We had an ice chest full of beer and left about about an hour ahead of our bass player and drummer who were riding in an old 40's Ford pickup the drummer was going to restore. Someday.

 

The Caddy got hot, Gila Bend Arizona is the hottest place on Earth, and we pulled the Black Caddy over in the middle of no-where. The only shade was the black car. It was in the neighborhood of 112 degrees. All we had to drink was, yep.

 

Beer.

 

So we drank it.

 

About 1 1/2 hours later our boys pull up, we cram our gear into the back of the truck (those old trucks were very small, remember?) and pile into the front and continue our drinking till we get there.

 

As we pull up to the security gate at a United States Air Force Base, with the guard and his shined shoes, our front man stumbles out of the front of the truck with his shirt unbuttoned, hot, drunk, and wobbles over to the shack.

 

As long as I live I will NEVER forget this..............

 

He walked up to guard, pulling out a business card, and says....................................

 

 

 

"Sorry we're late, but our Limo broke down."

 

Bwahahahahaha.

 

It still cracks me up.

 

Great topic.

 

Murph.

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Why is it that we remember all the bad ones? Oh geez, let's see here....

 

There's the gig where we nearly fried the wiring in the bar (NEVER use exposed metals parts as a conductor, especially when people are tossing beer around; ok this is way before my rocket scientist days).

 

There's the gig where we learned that using a paperclip for a fuse is a bad idea (this was different from the one above).

 

There's the gig where we almost got into a fight with the bouncers at 3:00AM on Main street (they tried to stiff us on our money).

 

There's the gig where we had a number of sheriffs (from two counties!) plus state troopers show up (you think that playing out in the middle of nowhere outside would make you safe from that, but...NNNOOO).

 

There's the gig where we were drunk off our a$$e$ but didn't realize that we were playing at an alcohol free venue (never a good idea).

 

There's the gig where we couldn't hear the horn section and while we were still playing the two bar vamp at the beginning, the horns had already gone through the entire chart.

 

There's the gig where our drummer decided to do a drum roll (and I mean literally...by rolling his bass drum down).

 

There's the gig where we got to thank everyone personally because only about 20 people showed up.

 

OK, I'll stop there...

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Mine was the "Before The Gig".

 

 

He walked up to guard' date=' pulling out a business card, and says....................................

 

 

 

"Sorry we're late, but our Limo broke down."

 

Bwahahahahaha.

 

It still cracks me up.

 

Great topic.

 

 

Murph.

 

 

[/quote']

 

Great story, Murph. I loved it!

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Okay, mine's not musical but from when I was doing stand up comedy. This was about 1999 or so, I get booked in a comedy club in Dallas, Texas. I drive 17 hours, check in to the hotel, meet up with the headliner (I was a "feature act") and we drive to the club. Strangely the headliner was named John Bonham.

We get inside about 30 minutes before the show and there are NO customers. No crowd. We walk up the the bartender and he says, "We aren't a comedy club anymore. I don't know why they booked you."

We call the club owner and he says, "We are a country western bar now. We have a band that will play at 10 pm."

 

So, we tell the guy that we are under contract with him and we would like to get paid because he didn't notify us and we both drove for HOURS just to work his club. He says, "If you want to get paid, you gotta give me a show." We tell the guy there is no crowd, he says that he didn't care.

 

SO, there I am, on the stage, doing stand up comedy to an absolutely EMPTY ROOM! I mean it, nobody. After about 20 minutes, the waitress arrives and feels sorry for me and sits at one of the tables for about 5 minutes.

 

So, I actually played a gig to an empty room. I GOT PAID! That's all that counts. Oh, and I really got stupid on stage and made myself and the other comedian laugh. If you're gonna get screwed you might as well enjoy it.

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So' date=' I actually played a gig to an empty room. I GOT PAID! That's all that counts. Oh, and I really got stupid on stage and made myself and the other comedian laugh. If you're gonna get screwed you might as well enjoy it.[/quote']

 

That story reminds me of the "truth is stranger (or funnier) than fiction" cliche. =D>

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Hmmmmm.....

 

Well, I can tell yah this, the Blues Brothers bit ain't something totally invented. Been there, done that. I don't even remember why, probably something to do with a girl... then a switchblade... finishing the gig sorta and having an uncomfortable "escort" outa town.

 

I was in college playing rock at the time.

 

Then, of course, was another rock gig in those days hours away from home and on New Year's. It was colder than ... well, it was awfully cold. The problem is the booker put us into a cowboy country Legion Hall and they expected country. The "old guys" were truly gentlemen and told us sorry, you just ain't what we wanted, so here's your money and we'll use the juke box for the party.

 

And... hey, there truly used to was places with chicken wire on the front of the stage. And a "board" guitar does work relatively well to discourage folks from being nasty if used as a bayonet. It ain't all bad to turn up the amps to cover the sound of the two guys rolling around the floor too drunk to really fight, but both with hormones up over a woman.

 

Ah, the memories of youth. <grin> No, I'd not care to go back 40 years. But a smoky dark club to do jazz standards and blues, and a bit of OJ and a brandy at the end of the gig... heaven.

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The worst gig that I ever played at was my very first gig, and not because of any technical problems or patrons or anything. I was around 15 years old and also the lead singer of the band when we played at a little social at a camp. I was just plain terrified. I couldn't wait for it to be over and then I threw up afterward.

 

When I used to do live sound engineering, I had a few though. This one is a story that started out bad that turned good...

 

While working for a live sound contractor, we worked a gig at some bar and, once gain, I got pretty lit. By the time we got back to the office, it was around 4 AM and had a noon all ages show the next day for some punk rock bands so I crashed on a sofa for the night to wake up later with a nasty hangover.

 

Fortunately, we left the PA in the truck for the night so we didn't have to load up and just took off to the venue the next morning. I didn't know much about punk and was a big Van Halen fan at the time so I wasn't looking forward to it. We got there and, as we're finishing setting up the PA, in walks this band who looked like they had just rolled out of bed too. The other guy I'm working with throws in a tape and cranks it to oblivion to "test the mains" and impress the band when the singer comes storming over and yells, "Turn that **** off! Put THIS in!" and hands him "Axis: Bold as Love." Go figure.

 

So, we do sound check, blah, blah, blah and then the kids start rolling in - a LOT of them - and the place is rocking, complete with lots of slam dancing. Since I'm the junior guy on the gig, it is determined for me that I should go stand in front of the stage right mains stack (which is set up on the floor) to keep anyone from slamming into it. So, I have to stand there in front of the freaking mains for cranked up punk rock...

 

...which was sounding really GOOD!

 

After the show, we're breaking down and I walked over to the guitar player and told him that I thought they were too good to just be called "punk rock." He says, "Thanks, it's just rock and roll."

 

And, still to this day, I am a huge fan of Black Flag.

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Guitarest...

 

BTW, where in Korea? They used to have some odd looking gigs at the Tower Hotel's "night club" some 20 years ago. Funny how "Rock" gets a different accent elsewhere. <grin> Ever eat at the Nashville Club. (Both in Seoul, for others who likely couldn't differentiate Itawon from Namdemun.) No, I was never military. Was writing for a magazine in a different and better-paid life. <grin>

 

I get your tale of the drunken lady. Seen that too. Actually my experience in country saloons up here has always been pretty good. Not always so good doing rock gigs. Of course I haven't done either for money in years because of work schedules, but I know a lotta the guys who do. I'll also admit that even 30 miles away from Sturgis I tend to stay away from the saloons in Bike Week.

 

Still, the wildest were some of the country dance halls 40 years ago that were far from any sort of heat and where the country boys came to dance, flirt, drink and mostly fight. Usually they only fought each other and not the band. I always figured that was another reason not to drink while pickin'. And again, that too was in a different life.

 

Also, I've been to Gulfport. Any problems with guitars from the @#$%@#$%@ humidity that's even worse than Memphis? (Which largely is why I was only 8 years there... Never did get used to the humidity and low altitudes.)

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Whooeee on the Katrina pix.

 

I think you're right about consistent weather likely being easiest on guitars of any sort.

 

I've been quite surprised mine have held up as well as they have over the years of moving from here, where most folks figure it's awfully dry, to west Tennessee, then back. The worst, though, I think may have been what guitars have been put through when it's 30-40 below, then brought out to play a gig at 75 or 80 and then back into the cold. Just the change in relative humidity ain't good.

 

I never got to Pusan. The farthest south would have been Onyang or the village at Haein-sa temple.

 

The sushi at Kangnung (now Gangnung in official transliteration) could be wonderful, though. <grin>

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We were a 4 piece acoustic jazz group in Huntsville, Alabama - Jazz in alabama ha ha... in Huntsville where there are so many engineers there they couldn't swing if you hung them from a meat hook.

 

Anyway, we got this gig for something like the Huntsville art league or guild at the Raddison Inn during a Saturday brunch. We were told that on top of being paid we could eat after the gig when most of the patrons had left. We're cool with that.

 

After we sat down to eat they started taking all of the food away and then they came to our table and took our bottles of catsup and mustard away too. Never asked if we were using them which we were, but they took them and I think the salt & pepper shakers too. It was one of those things where if they could have, they would have asked us to come in thru the back door.

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