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Drum Forums => Drum Forum - Drummers Discussions - General => Topic started by: Carthage on May 15, 2008, 10:41:50 AM

Title: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: Carthage on May 15, 2008, 10:41:50 AM

      Everyone who has played any gigs at all has had something weird happen.  I thought it might be interesting and fun to tell about them.

      To start off, I'd like to tell about the time I played at a new restaurant and dance place.  The restaurant part was separated from the dance hall.  I think the building used to be a barn or something of that sort.

      Anyway, we were the first band to ever play there.  We were up on the stage rocking away.  The lights were down low.  People dancing.  I think we were playing "Money"  (the Kingsmen's version), so we were making a lot of noise and the place was vibrating a lot.

      I was really getting into it.  Really having fun when suddenly I noticed a big spider coming down from the ceiling over my cymbal.  It sort of freaked me out, but I wasn't to worried.  As soon as the song was over I would take care of it.

      But, suddenly I noticed another spider twirling down.  I started thinking that it was getting scary.  Before I could decide what to do about that one I noticed that there were spiders coming down all around me.  It was like some kind of horror movie with me the victim.

      At that point I forgot all about playing and yelled and jumped of the drum seat and weaved my way through the spiders as fast as I could and jumped off the stage.  The rest of the band thought I went crazy, and the crowd stopped dancing and was watching me sort of like when Michael J. Fox got done playing his guitar in "Back to the Future". 

       I was yelling something about spiders, but noboby was listening.  I think they all thought I just flipped out or something.  But, finally people started noticing the spiders (which were only coming down around the drums).  Some girls screamed an ran into the restaurant with their boyfriends following right behind them.

      Everything came to a halt while the owner dealt with the problem.   After a while it was ok to go back and play, but for the rest of the night I must say I was very nervous.  These were BIG spiders. 

      I always wondered why they came down just over me.  I guess they either liked or disliked my drumming.  I thought that was weird.


Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: KenSanders on May 15, 2008, 04:46:14 PM
Great story!   ;D

I've had those big spiders after me too.   Then there were the voices.   :o

That's why I gave up Tequila.  I've found reality is for us people who can't face alcohol.

Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: Johnathan on December 02, 2008, 07:03:47 AM
LoL  Stange story indeed.

Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: KenSanders on June 01, 2010, 10:27:27 PM
This happened a very, very long time ago, but it is worth sharing now.

I was in club and playing a solo.  People started cheering, clapping.....basically going crazy.  I thought....wow this is a great response and I continued to build the solo to a climax where the band came back in.  However, the band didn't come back onto the stage. The stage lights were blinding me somewhat, but I could see the band out there.....off the stage...looking to the back of the room and they were yelling and clapping too. That's when I realized something else was happening.  :-\

A VERY well-proportioned girl had jumped up onto a table during my solo.  As I played she proceded to take every single sticth of her clothing off.   :o Then the REALLY weird stuff started that I won't describe.

That was....for me at least.....the strangest and most crazy drum solo experience I ever had.  But, because of the stage lights, I didn't see ANYTHING. The band members latter explained everything in great detail.  For a long time afterwards....they looked forward to my solo....just hoping for that strange effect to happen...again.  But, to my knowledge it never happened again  :-[, although the story lingered for a very long time.  ;D

DANG....I wish I could remember the part of that solo that produced that strange effect!

Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: Tomm on June 02, 2010, 08:53:11 AM
The second band I ever worked with, about a hundred years ago, booked the warm-up and break sessions for an up and coming band in the area, which was promoting the album they had just recorded.  I was the only member of our group that had any stage experience, but we were well practiced and I was confident that we were going to do fine.  Three other members were handling there stage fright pretty well, but then there was the bass player.  He broke out in the second worse case of hives I have ever seen in my life...three minutes before our first tune.  His performance consisted of...play a bar, scratch a bar, play a bar, scratch somewhere else a bar...etc...etc...etc.

In addition to this thread, Ken, maybe we should start one expressing some Tequila experiences... ;D ::)

Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: KenSanders on June 02, 2010, 12:10:36 PM
I am very familiar with scratch golfers......but scratch bass players?  ;D

Tequila? Maybe, some topics are best left burried in the blurred and fuzzy past.

Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: KenSanders on October 05, 2010, 08:51:43 PM
This story isn't as powerful in written words as the actual incident, but perhaps it is worth sharing.  :D

I was playing an acoustic jazz gig with my trio at a venue that we work at quite often.  The owner is always happy with our performances and we do have a loyal following.  On this particular night, the manager asked if one of his regular patrons could “sit in” on a couple of numbers. 

As I have written before, I usually do not let strangers play my drums.  However, the owner was really pushing for this fellow to play and I reluctantly agreed....with the provsion that anything he damaged would be replaced.  The owner said "Oh he won't hurt your drums.  He's been playing for years.  I knew him back in college."  ::)

Now, I was using my small acoustic jazz kit (18” bass drum, 13” snare drum, 8”, 10” and 13” toms) and my light weight Paiste Traditionals cymbals.  I had been playing with brushes and some very small maple drum sticks.  Translation......my gear was set up for jazz lounge volume.

The fellow sat down at the drums as the keyboard  player announced a tune and counted it off.  The guest player hit “one” by crashing the ride cymbal and the crash cymbal with the butt end of these little sticks at about a quadruple forte volume level.  He proceeded to play on the small snare like he was playing in a Metal band with round house tom fills every four bars.  He wasn't drunk, he was just playing a (not-so-good) hard rock style in a jazz setting. I knew my single-ply coated heads weren't going to survive the punishment he was giving them.

The immediate reaction was that several customers got up and left.  The other members of the band couldn’t be heard so it sounded (to the audience) like a loud drum track to some unknown tune.    ???

At about three long minutes into this situation, the owner came to me and said “what the hell are they doing?”  I said “THEY aren’t the problem.  The problem is that your friend is driving your customers right out the door, and it looks and sounds like he just ruined a new set of batter heads on MY drums.  My question is what are YOU going to do?”

He went up onto the stage; grabbed a microphone and said “okay ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for our guest drummer,  Mr. ____  ____.”  He, along with me and the band clapped our hands…………….but absolutely no one else in the entire room did. My guitar player softly played the intro riff to "Cold Shot" as his comment, and that brought a laugh from the audience.  Fortunately, the ownwer didn't "get" the pun.

“I stepped up to the microphone beside the owner and said, “We’re going to take a ten minute break right now, but we’ll be right back to play some of the jazz requests you’ve made tonight.  There's lots more cool jazz coming your way.”

The owner left the stage with his “regular patron” who left right after we ended our break and began to play again.  At the end of the evening, the owner apologized for the whole incident.  I accepted his apology and have never mentioned it to him again.  I also brought him the drum shop receipt for a new set of replacement batter heads and the pitted, dented, ruined drum heads....as his souvenirs. He wrote me a check without hesitation.

Aside from the inconvenience of having to replace the drum heads, it was worth it because the owner learned a lesson that would never have been received well had I refused to let his "guest" play that night.

The owner wants happy customers and good sales receipts at the end of the evening.  We provide those results for him on a regular basis.  The happy ending to this story is that we don’t have to be concerned with his “guest players” anymore.

Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: yamaharec on March 01, 2012, 08:54:28 PM
The weirdest gig was in Washington DC in late 80's.We were looking this club & circled the block 2 times already.Our 5 ton truck & Econline Ford Van.We saw this huge black guy in middle of the street??We all were wondering HUH??He said to us?Are you the band?We said yeah!Saids to us back up the truck at that entarance but DON'T open the back of the truck?About 15 min pass by & 2 cop cars show up?The black guy & the bar owner tell us!"Now unload the gear!!"The singer asked?"Why do we need cops to unload the truck! The black guy ( turns out he was a bouncer)He said"See there boy" & points towards some gang about 2 blocks away looking at us ?There was about 20 black teens sitting on this old stripped Monte Carlo!!"They'll jack yo truck & gear & beat you up"!! Needless to say we were very nervous & were worried about a couple white boys playing to some bar a LONG way from home!!Anyways !We  unloaded the gear & set-up & played!!The bar owner & 2 of our bandmates brought our truck & van to overnight parking lot with an armed guard!!Did the gig without hitch or problem!After the gig got paid ,tore down ,got the truck & loaded the truck with an armed bouncer & bar owner!!Left Washington DC in 5 in the morning!!We never went back !!

Title: Re: Wierd things that have happened on gigs.
Post by: Carthage on May 12, 2013, 10:14:29 PM
 Here is another one.  When I used to live in Boston in the good ole days I was in a psychodelic rock band that I've mentioned before in other posts.  It consisted of two guitars, bass, and me.

We never had any money, and occasionally the bass player or I could get gigs around town through the agencies when they needed someone to fill in or make a quick band to play somewhere.

It was New Year's Eve, and one agent got in touch with me (we didn't have a phone) and asked me if I could get a band together to play at some club for New Year's.  I, of course, said yes not knowing exactly what I was going to do.  But, I knew a lot of musicans (Boston is where Berklee is).
I contacted some of them and got it all together.  You have to remember that this was back in the time of psychodelic stuff.  We were all psychodelic and that included our clothes.

One of the musicians had a car and picked me and my drums up and we boogied (wow, haven't used that word in a long time) on over to the club.  None of us knew what to expect and of course really didn't care.
Psychodelic musicians don't care much about anything except the music and getting high.

So, we showed up there looking our best.  I was wearing my good gold and green paisly shirt with the red and black striped jeans.  The others were similarily attired.  Well, when we walked in a announced with the customary swagger "We're the band", needless to say, no one believed us.  They were all dressed in tuxedos andstuff.  I had to seriously convince them we were the band.  Finally they got the manager, and when I saw him I started thinking I had stepped into some kind of roaring twenties ganster movie.  Wow!  This guy could have played Jack Dempsy.  He took one look at me and said "You can't play dressed lik that!!".

I really couldn't understand what he was talking about.  I had been out of the "real" world for a long time and the concept of wearing a suit or tuxedo didn't even register on my brain.  He took me to his office and started talking to me like I was his son to try and make me understand that I had to be "dressed up" because it was New Year's".  I tried to make him understand that "I just play music and don't know anything about clothes". 

We bandied that back and forth for a while, and his wife came in and started taking my side.  She just wanted some music.  She liked us.  But, he insisted that we couldn't play unless we were "dressed" correctly.  He said if we go get some proper clothes, we could play.  I told him we don't have any other clothes, and if we did it would take to long to go change and come back.

He said we had to leave.  His wife protested.  It didn't do any good.  So, we left.  But, I came back and tried again.  He said no.  I tried again.  He said no.  I tried again.  Then I got the impression if I didn't leave I might get some cement overshoes.  So, we left and didn't play.  That was a pretty strange gig.
The gig that never was.  And on New Year's Eve too.  That was my big chance to make a big impression on the agent.  I made a big impression alright but not the kind I wanted.

I still dress the way I want.