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First gig / Memorable gig

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Ray & I touched on this the other week. maybe a thread of your first gig & your most memorable gig.  this has probably been done before ...

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First gig I was in the 8th grade and talked my way into being the drummer for a group of high school guys who had no one else to play drums.  I didn't really know how to play drums, and didn't own a set either.  There was a place in the city where we went to practice a couple of times, it had sound proof practice rooms and there was a set of drums in each room.  You could also rent amps and instruments there so I rented a drum set for the gig.  It was a dance for our school and they played a lot of Beach Boys covers, it was 1963 or 64.  I faked my way through it and got paid enough to cover the drum rental anyway.

Most memorable is hard to determine as there were many worth recalling for various reasons.  One in particular though stands out.  I had a band in college and we played a sorority party at a supper club.  The owner of the club really liked us for some reason, so when he booked a wedding reception for a young couple he recommended us highly for the gig.  Without ever hearing us they took his word and we got the gig.  We hauled all our stuff out there and set up and decided to do a sound check and only a few people had arrived by this time, but one of them was father of the bride who was paying.  We played one long blues jam with everyone taking a solo so we could check the sound.  The father said  he didn't want to hear another note from us and they would use the juke box for the reception dancing.  We sat down and ate the dinner with all the guests, got paid and left.  We bought a few cases of beer, went back to campus and set up in the student union and played a free concert.  Only gig I ever got paid the full amount and only played one song.   

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First gig was in the 6th grade, 1972 in Jacksonville Arkansas with a guy that would be a drummer in bands that I was in for years to come. We played "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by CCR. Believe it or not our name was "The Unfinished Product".  My mom still has the "mimeograph" copy of the program list from the talent show at our elementary school.

Memorable gigs:

Played for 10,000 at the Murray Rock and Jam in Little Rock Arkansas on July 4th, 1979. There are youtube videos from the gig (band was called Roxx).

Another was from sometime in 78 or 79 when we went to Camden Arkansas to play a gig and we got kicked out after the first song (Ready for Love - Bad Company) because we weren't country. They hired a band called Roxx. Go figure. Our other guitarist ran out of gas in his AMC gremlin and I had to siphon gas using my talkbox tube so he could make it home. My talkbox smelled/tasted like gas from then on. 

 

Most recent memorable gig was September 2nd, 2018 where we released an album - Black Squirrel. 200 people were there and we jammed into the night. Was fantastic. The release party was at my house which burned to the ground a month later. 

 

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First gig:  I was in high school, and my fellow garage band-mates were still in junior high. We had practiced up a decent number of songs, including one original. 
We did songs by Alice Cooper, Bad Company, KISS, and the like. 
Somehow or another, we were invite to play a dance at the junior high where my mates attended. 
This had to have been in 1976, I reckon. 

My brother Stacey was on drums, a cheap kit of the red sparkle variety. 
Danny was on bass guitar, and he played a j-bass copy thru a decent bass rig. 
Curtis owned a red Gibson SG, and he shared his nice Fender Twin amp with me. 
I played a borrowed Framus electric, and I sang. The school provided a primitive PA system with mic stand and mic. 

We were well-received, and after one set we ran out of songs to play. 
So we played most of them over again, and extended the jam on the one original. 

We celebrated with a trip to Hardee's afterwards, and had burgers and shakes. 
Good times. 

Most memorable gig:  Man, I don't know. 
It's tough, because there have been many over the years, and there were many memorable high points and low ones as well. 

Okay, here. This one will do;

My current band started out as a trio. Me on guitar and vocals, my brother Stacey again on bass and vocals, and Bob on drums. 
This was in 2011. 
We were later booked into the Firehouse pub for a Halloween party in 2012. 
The crowd was right, and we played a lot of fun rock and roll. 

At one point, we launched into a Journey song, and our good friend Lisa was in the audience. 
She was there with her entire crew and family, and she was a huge fan of Journey and Steve Perry. 
Dissatisfied with how we were singing it, she stepped up on stage (did I mention that she had had a drink or two), and began to sing the lead. 
Well, naturally she killed it. 
Along with the Fleetwood Mac song that followed, and the Foreigner one after that. 

Lisa had sung with us at a previous event, but was (at that time) a bit shy and full of stage-fright. 
The night of this Halloween party however, she was bold, happy, and confident. 
And her voice was strong and gorgeous. 

The night was a smash, and we had a really good time. 

The next morning, I called her up, and said, "You're in the band."

She's been our lead singer and resident diva ever since. 

:)



 

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I was never in bands in high school. Just jammed with friends sometimes but never more than that. Until my mid 20's. I worked for an airline at BWI and started jamming with some co-workers at a drummers basement. All kinds of people would drop in to jam as word got around.I brought in a buddy who I grew up with ( who I now work for) and we settled in to an actual band lineup with a pretty good repertoire of classic rock songs. One of the wives named us Spanker and made us a poster where the S looked like a butt. We threw a Christmas party and set up in the basement where we jammed. Must have been at least 100 people there, mostly airline workers and it was a huge success.  That was either 1995 or 96......? Almost every band I've been in since then has some connection back to that first band.

Some of my most memorable gigs aren't fit to talk about here. [blush] I'll have to do some thinking and come back to that. 

 

Edited by saturn
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First gig:

I was in Junior High School. Although I was in the school band, after school I was in this little rock 'n roll  band (me on sax, guitar, bass and drums). We were terrible (everybody was back then).

Somehow we got a gig at the school for a dance, a 'sock hop' in the gymnatorium. I think the drummer put that together.

So there I was on stage, with my very best friends in the world, playing the pop songs we worked so hard to approximate, having the time of my life, and when I looked out at the audience, that cute girl who didn't even acknowledge my existence in English class was 'making eyes' at me. And at the end of the night, they payed me money!

That's when I said, "This is what I want to do for the rest of my life!" And so many decades later I'm still gigging for a living. Now with my wife who I met when we were in different bands. Both our bands broke up, we joined another, hit it off, and eventually married. We've been in a duo since 1985, I do the backing tracks, she sings, plays guitar and synth. I sing play sax, flute, wind synth, and guitar on stage (drums, bass and keys I prerecord).

Music has been good to me.

Notes

 

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my 1st gig was in 1975 at a little bar in town. I was 15. the other guys were of age.  they brought me in thru the rear loading door.  got $30 & free beer all night. it was awesome.

one memorable gig was at a local event, played to around 3500 people. was a lot of fun. that was about 10 years ago.

another memorable gig was in 1984 at a local bar.  I was 24. a very attractive 40+ yr old woman really took a liking to me ...  that was a good night. 

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(this was 1974/75??)

First REAL gig with one of the bands I was a member (named, Deathwish...  LOL!)  got a gig at Fort Devens,  which at the time was an active military base in Shirley Mass.

It was Memorial Day weekend, and there was a huge cookout, along with the parades and activities day on the base.  The Army took care of stage setups and sound system and all those details.   There was  dance for all the army brats in the Gym in the evening.  This a huge cavernous building with like two basket ball courts.  Fold out seating, etc.  There had to have been 500/600 kids in there.

So we do a few tunes to kind of get things rolling and let the sound guys get things set.   As yet  none of the kids in this hall had ventured way from their little clicks, as the lights were still full on and the stage lights hadn't been turned on yet.  Finally it gets dark enough out side, and the lights go down and the stage lighting goes on   The singer calls an audible.  Tells me to start Smoke on the Water.   That seemed to light the fuse, they all rush the stage and remained there for the rest of the night.  It was a riot.  We wound up doing a few more dances like that at the same place.  The people that ran the functions were awesome.

Most Memorable  was a private party (pre-wedding party) the band I was in at the time played at a Rod and Gun club out in the sticks of Western/Central Mass.  we thought going in it was gonna be a sleeper.  Man we're we wrong,  Those people came to party.   The place lit up from the first tune to the last. Place was packed (225/250)  every song we played seem to hit a sweet spot with about 90% of the people there.   We were supposed to quit at midnight, 1:00 am. we're still going.   I still play in a band with two of the members of that band and we all still look back that night as the one for the ages.

Edited by kidblast
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First Gig I was a Senior in High School and we played the weekend before 9/11. That was really the only thing memorable about it. I was jamming with some friends during that time and had only learned guitar a year prior. We formed a band and wrote a few songs and learned a few punk rock cover songs.  A class-mate of ours was having a block party and her band was going to play. They invited us to play and it was basically just our friends watching while the rest of the block party congregated at the other end of the block! I'm sure we sounded horrible but its punk rock so who cares, it was fun.

Most Memorable, somehow we got booked opening for the Aquabats at The Metro in Chicago (they're a superhero gimmick nerd-punk band with quite a cult following). At this time, It was about 2003 or 2004 and we were a full-blown emo band. It had to have been 10 seconds into our first song and insults, boos and quite nasty slurs started being hurled our way and just continued on for the whole set. My response was to just rock harder and run around like a maniac and our singer fired back insults. It was a real shame because we did have a great show and actually got quite a bit of comments positive comments after the show...perhaps they just felt bad for us having to endure that verbal onslaught.

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My memories are hazy; not surprisingly as  I was definitely in a haze......anyway.... I may have told these before but here goes; circa 1978 I think.

My 1st gig was either a party or a then-local-to-me pub.  The pub still has bands to this day.  Our band was called Snatters which is (apparently) Irish slang for bogeys.  I remember I was playing bass as everyone else wanted to play guitar (there were 3 guitars in it!) and we were so green we didn't even work out how many verses and choruses to play on each number.  During "Crossroads" I was enjoying it so much I turned round to the drummer and nodded an excited "YEAH!"

He f***in' stopped.  

Argh.  Then picked it up again.  At the end my friend Ken came up and said "well John, you all really did go different ways down at the crossroads didn't you! Ho! Ho!"

Touché, Ken.  I've never forgotten that one and it brings a smile to my face every time I think about it now.

 

Was that the 1st gig? Or was it the party where no less a person than famous Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was in attendance?  Read on......

The party was in an old barn (other end of the town where I live now, funnily enough) and we supported a band who - stick with me on this, ok?  - had the guitarist and bassist from a band called Unicorn in.   Now Unicorn were a PROPER band with albums out on Transatlantic and Harvest and their main songwriter wrote "There's No Way Out Of Here" which David Gilmour covered on his 1st solo LP.  

At that time myself and 2 other members of our band were 'studying' - ha! - at W Surrey College of Art, where also studying was a real party animal and photographer called John R*****.   His sister (it may have been her party) was at the time an 'item' with Nick Mason, who obviously at least vaguely knew the ex-Unicorn members of the main band.

So as WE played, I was completely amazed to see none other than NICK MASON from THE PINK FLOYD watching us!  With a "WTF?" bemused expression on his face. 

True story, no exaggeration.  

And it's been steadily downhill ever since!

Best wishes to all.

Edited by jdgm
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So I'm a late bloomer, started playing at the coffee table after college (which was 30ish years ago) and really only started to get decent when I discovered youtube 10 or so years ago. 

Missed all the glory times of high school bands and post college, finding folks who want to dedicate time to jamming is scarce with most folks either have already walked the path and don't want to deal with a learner, or others getting into fulltime jobs, families etc...  so I've become a solo guy (with aspirations to get a counterpart in the next year or so, but will see...).  So my first and best gigs (and times of glory) are on the open mic circuit.

My first open mic gig was about 1 year and a few months ago...  local brewery, lots of friends and family for support, t-shirts made for the event and was fun for all.  Used my 3 string cigar box guitar for the first song and gibby j45 for the next 2 - showing my stuff on the things I love to play, felt like a hero, learned what songs resonated with the crowd and not.  

Most memorable gig was about 4 open mics later.  Opened with 2 fun covers (blister in the sun, mary janes last dance)…  known songs got everyone going, and then launched into an original 'had a run in with a POS today'.  A song built on my favorite riff, with some lyrics I believe are pretty cool, playing on my favorite guitar and rockin' it.  The song ends abrupt, and the place was silent for a second (and I'm thinking 'ohhhh shtttt') but then it erupted (or clapped more than just polite).  It was cool, I got some good comments on it...  love playing my stuff to people who are into hearing it - that was fun!.

I do aspire to real gigs, and doing a band-ish thing, but here's where I'm at today rockin my old man stuff the best way I can 😉 

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First:  Junior HIGH dance at Monongahela Jr HIGH, with my band Astra, '75.

Most Memorable:  1977 with a band I was fairly new in, Summerwind* **.  A young lady I had been sweet on in school was there, Deptford Skating Rink.  In our two classes together I would bum a pencil from her and she would bum a smoke from me.  We were really good friends.  I took her home that night.  We've been married 39 years now.

Next Most Memorable:  1984 - 1987, every single time I took a guitar out in the fine nation of Bermuda.  My band was Blade, we were the band on the Naval Air Station.  I was civilian and had a two foot long pony tail, the rest were Squids.  Two guitars, keys, bass, drums, singer.  We had a ball always.  Rehearsed at base theater, probably 300 seats, 50 foot wide stage 5 feet off the floor.  We played any weekend we wanted at Enlisted Men's Club, once a month at Officers Club.  Played any party any division was having on the beach out at Coopers Island.  When I wasn't with them I was at marathon blues jams at White Horse Tavern in Devonshire(I think I remember that right), or rocking with some locals at 40 Thieves, or Brit Night at Rum Runners.  Met and played with so many people from all over Europe, still communicate with some to this day.  It was a glorious time and place to be 25 and in a band.

Really memorable days and nights were the big ones with several bands, flatbeds at festivals and at Deptford Day for quite a few years running.  King Theater in Gloucester NJ.  D1ck Lees and Bogeys, Galaxy, Dr. Jekyll's High Times.  Three Pines Inn!  Great times at the big ones, 500 people, 3000 people.  Big ones here in recent years on the beach in Atlantic City, they were and are a blast every time no matter who.  Wildwood NJ, Penalty Box and a couple other places.  

Best Recording:  1982 with Billy Paul.  That was great.  Can't even explain it.  The record went nowhere, he was a mess but MAN I learned a whole lot.

rct

*A full fifteen years later, walking on the boardwalk in Ocean City, a young lady walked straight up to me, stuck her index finger in my chest and said "You are Ron from Summerwind and you are (Mrs Name)".  I was speechless, a rarity.  Mrs said "Yes, he is and Yes, we are!".  That was strange.

**In 2002 we were on one of our younger days marathon trips to Disney World, in the fall.  The time was called New Jersey days because NJ schools were out for a week and it seemed everybody went to Disney World.  We were sitting at a table out back at Wilderness Lodge and had decided to just sit tonight, have dinner, couple drinks, retire late and sleep late tomorrow.  A table across the way kept looking at us and finally a guy got up and came over and said "Yer that guitar player guy with Gene and Billy from Deptford".  This was a full 25 years after Summerwind.  Crazy talk ensued, lots of cocktails.  That was most bizarre moment.

I AM LUCKY MAN.

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3 hours ago, rct said:

*A full fifteen years later, walking on the boardwalk in Ocean City, a young lady walked straight up to me, stuck her index finger in my chest and said "You are Ron from Summerwind and you are (Mrs Name)".  I was speechless, a rarity.  Mrs said "Yes, he is and Yes, we are!".  That was strange.

**In 2002 we were on one of our younger days marathon trips to Disney World, in the fall.  The time was called New Jersey days because NJ schools were out for a week and it seemed everybody went to Disney World.  We were sitting at a table out back at Wilderness Lodge and had decided to just sit tonight, have dinner, couple drinks, retire late and sleep late tomorrow.  A table across the way kept looking at us and finally a guy got up and came over and said "Yer that guitar player guy with Gene and Billy from Deptford".  This was a full 25 years after Summerwind.  Crazy talk ensued, lots of cocktails.  That was most bizarre moment.

I AM LUCKY MAN.

Not looking to hijack your post (an enjoyable read as expected).

I sold one of my Fender amps about 2 years back on Craigslist.   Buyer agreed to do a local pickup/cash transaction  (hoorah.. my kind-a transaction!)  when we finally hook up, he takes one look at me and says "Oh man! I know you..."  We start with the 20 questions to find the common ground.  As it turns out, our bands both played frequently at the same club in the mid/late 80s.   club was not a local one for us, about a 40 minute drive from where we were.  He recalled a number of Moe Town remakes we worked out.  IIRC no one else did those tunes.  30+ years later, we meet again on a craigslist add..   not as nuts as your story but it reminded me of this.

Edited by kidblast
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3 minutes ago, kidblast said:

Not looking to hijack your post (an enjoyable read as expected).

I sold one of my Fender amps about 2 years back on Craigslist.   Buyer agreed to do a local pickup/cash transaction  (hoorah.. my kind-a transaction!)  when we finally hook up, he takes one look at me and says "Oh man! I know you..."  We start with the 20 questions to find the common ground.  As it turns out, our bands both played frequently at the same club in the mid/late 80s.   club was not a local one for us, about a 40 minute drive from where we were.  He recalled a number of Moe Town remakes we worked out.  IIRC no one else did those tunes.  30+ years later, we meet again on a craigslist add..   not as nuts as your story but it reminded me of this.

 

Oh man yes.  Hijack away.  I guess we could have another thread, like a legacy thing or something.  That's a good story!  I have a couple similar hookups after long and short times.  Always exciting!

rct

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My sons engagement party last year was very memorable. He & his fiance wanted us to play, but thought I wouldn't want to because I would miss out on the 'celebrating'. When word reached me I assured them I could play and celebrate.

But our bassist couldn't make it. So we needed a dep. Just so happens that my sons stepfather is an old mate from way back (back to college actually) who is a excellent bassist. So now 2 family members are in the band. He brought his in incredible original '62 PB along to use (what a bass!). We hadn’t jammed or shared a stage together for years but I knew he would be great. So he was. He added his own unique vibe to the band’s sound that evening.

We knew we were doing great when we saw all the bar staff dancing behind the bar. After we played some ska, my future daughter in law told me she had ‘never seen (her) dad dance like that before!’.

It was a gas meeting family and friends I had not seen for many years. I didn’t recognise everyone at first. The night just wasn’t long enough to catch up with everyone. 

 

There will be another opportunity. We will be playing the wedding next year. 

 

 

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Edited by merciful-evans
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16 minutes ago, rct said:

 

Oh man yes.  Hijack away.  I guess we could have another thread, like a legacy thing or something.  That's a good story!  I have a couple similar hookups after long and short times.  Always exciting!

rct

I don't know about you, but I get that "deer in the headlights" feeling when someone calls out my name, and I've no clue who the hell they are!... I just cut to the chase and tell them just that... LOL!  perhaps they appreciate the honesty...

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7 minutes ago, kidblast said:

I don't know about you, but I get that "deer in the headlights" feeling when someone calls out my name, and I've no clue who the hell they are!... I just cut to the chase and tell them just that... LOL!  perhaps they appreciate the honesty...

 

It isn't something you get used to at all I don't think.  Not that I can't get a Starbucks without being recognized or anything.  I'm amazed anyone remembers some joker fooling around with a Tele in some crummy bar!

rct

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58 minutes ago, kidblast said:

I don't know about you, but I get that "deer in the headlights" feeling when someone calls out my name, and I've no clue who the hell they are!... I just cut to the chase and tell them just that... LOL!  perhaps they appreciate the honesty...

 

49 minutes ago, rct said:

 

It isn't something you get used to at all I don't think.  Not that I can't get a Starbucks without being recognized or anything.  I'm amazed anyone remembers some joker fooling around with a Tele in some crummy bar!

rct

 

thats always  really cool when that happens. about 12 years back I was with my wife and another couple at a bar. good local band was playing, the guitarist was really good.  they went on break, the guitar player came up to me & introduced himself. apparently he saw me play a handful of times 10 or 12 years earlier. said at some outside gig he & his mom walked up to me afterwards. said he had just started playing. I then remembered because I thought that was really cool at the time, young kid asking for tips & pointers on playing, & complimented me on my playing.  I told him as good as he's playing I should ask him for pointers now ...

theres been a handful of times walking through a store / mall someone will come up & say "hey, when are you guys playing again, you guys are great" that kinda stuff.   I'm gracious, polite & humble. then as soon as they walk away I look at my wife and say "whooo" and strut away like Ric Flair. lol. (I really do)

Edited by Karloff
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10 minutes ago, Karloff said:

 

 

thats always  really cool when that happens. about 12 years back I was with my wife and another couple at a bar. good local band was playing, the guitarist was really good.  they went on break, the guitar player came up to me & introduced himself. apparently he saw me play a handful of times 10 or 12 years earlier. said at some outside gig he & his mom walked up to me afterwards. said he had just started playing. I then remembered because I thought that was really cool at the time, young kid asking for tips & pointers on playing, & complimented me on my playing.  I told him as good as he's playing I should ask him for pointers now ...

theres been a handful of times walking through a store / mall someone will come up & say "hey, when are you guys playing again, you guys are great" that kinda stuff.   I'm gracious, polite & humble. then as soon as they walk away I look at my wife and say "whooo" and strut away like Ric Flair. lol. (I really do)

There's a good tale right there....  And I can see the Ric Flair resemblance, no, really... I do..   LOL! 

It isn't something you get used to at all I don't think.  Not that I can't get a Starbucks without being recognized or anything.  I'm amazed anyone remembers some joker fooling around with a Tele in some crummy bar!

Tru dat...  then again, maybe some of us don't change much?  But then again, you must a made an impression at some point, and it stuck.

 

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1 hour ago, Mutha said:

Hey Rabs, the first you played.😃

Haha.. Whoops... Obviously didn't read the whole thread.. Been a long day.. Well that's my excuse anyway 😛 

decided to just get rid of it..

 

Edited by Rabs

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