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Author Topic: Your worst gig  (Read 3277 times)

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Your worst gig
« on: Time Format »

I hear alot of "worst gig " stories from other local musicians so I was wondering what were some of yours?

Here's one of mine:
Back in  the fall of 1985 (holy shit I suddenly feel old) I was a 15 year old teenage guitar player who just moved to a new town. Didn't take me long to hook up with some fellow musicians at my new high school, form a band and start to play small gigs.  We had a handful of gigs under our belt when we signed up for a local "battle of the bands". We went on 4th out of 10 bands, and each band could play 2 songs. Song 1 we played Take these chains off by Judas Priest. I nailed the solo and going back into the chorus my guitar strap came undone and I dropped my axe. Leaving a nice size divet on the bottom corner. Picked it up and finished the song.
Song 2 was Slick black Cadillac by Quiet Riot, I broke 2 strings playing the solo but carried on. To top it all off, Our bass player was having some terrible stage fright and decided to drink some liquor and smoke a little weed prior to us going on.  By the time I finished butchering the solo his buzz kicked into overdrive and he started stumbling around the stage. He tripped over his mic cord, fell into the drum kit, knocking over a cymbal that fell down slicing the power cord for my amp in half.
Lessons learned:
1. from that point until now I install Schaller strap locks on all my guitars.
2. i haven't broken that many strings playing live, cause I change them alot more frequently than I did as a kid.
3. I won't play with someone who gets hammered prior to a show. Afterwards,  knock yourself out!
So pretty much everything that could go wrong did.
We did boot that bass player not long after that, I wonder what ever happened to that guy..........
Anyways that was my first horrible gig. Let's hear some of yours  :headbanger:
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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Hahaha great story man.  I have worst gigs, many of them.  However what annoys me is some of these gigs end up the crowd loving it and people saying it was really good and yet I fell like I played so shit!  That for me is hard to deal with.
Anyways one story back in our early years was when we were playing some show, our first show out of Belfast I believe and we were promised backline to use which was cool as we could never have gotten all our gear to the gig in the first place.  So we show up and the organization of the event is terrible.  First off no one is there really other than other bands, second, the back line we were promised was grossly under equipped for us.  Anyways, we started playing as we were the first band on that night, and about 4-5 songs in some guy walks in, and right the way up to where we were playing, and begins switching all the gear off, lifting it down and taking it out the side door.  We were getting ready to have a fight when someone stepped over and said "that's that guy's gear and he wasn't asked permission for anyone else to use it".  So the show ended early and the gear was takin out of the room, the so called promoter hid in a corner somewhere and didn't give us an explanation and basically the whole thing was a joke.  That being said, that fateful night we were the only band who got to play so we stole the show I guess  :lol:
"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

I hear alot of "worst gig " stories from other local musicians so I was wondering what were some of yours?

What a great idea for a Topic! 

Man.....I can recall a lot of little things going on here and there but not really an entirely "bad" gig. 

A gig where my patch cables in the rack case decided to go bad.  No warning, just intermittent signal going and just winding me up.  There's me, literally kicking my rack case while playing in an attempt to get it to behave and finish the set.  Pretty entertaining for the crowd I suppose. 

Had a strap come off, but actually didn't drop the guitar.  Had to crouch down and play for a bit until the guitarist from the support band noticed what happened and jumped up onstage to fasten it back on for me.   :bow:  I've also done the same for others onstage.  Good to have each others' backs that way.

Tried to do a Halloween gig in 5" heels.  Guess I didn't think that one through very well; I had an absolute miserable time trying to hit the correct buttons on my midi floorboard, and my feet really hurt like hell on top of that.  Funny I made it to the show, set up, soundchecked, and hob-knobbed about the place all the way up to to showtime in those heels with no problems.  The minute we start playing onstage and then it's f*ck me.  Had to kick them off my feet halfway through the first song and they stayed off for the rest of our set. 

Someone booked us to play at a popular club (which we've played several times before with success. The owner loved us!) on the same night the city was having their annual River Festival thing.  The band playing at that Festival was this relatively unknown and somwhat obscure band that happened to go by the name "Foreigner".    ;)  Guess where everyone was that night?  Not at the club we were playing.  We played to 5 people and the club staff and the owner was hopping mad.  He blamed us for not drawing the crowd and we were like "Dude.....FOREIGNER is playing down at the f**king Riverfront! Who were we supposed to draw in?  YOU booked us for that night!"
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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

What a great idea for a Topic! 

I couldn't agree more!

Now then, how to pick the WORST gig out of all the friggin train wrecks I've been through....
  • The time I broke the headstock in half on my 1983 Explorer (custom shop edition, built by Wayne Charvel, in candy-apple red, with a Kahler) Now, it's blue and worth less than a third of what it would be, had I not broken it.
  • the time my MP-1 was acting up, so I brought my MP-2 instead - and it made more hum than tone when I showed up to the gig, so I used a Tube Screamer and my Crate Powerblock head for the entire 4 hours gig.
  • the time my rhythm guitarist got so drunk on St. Patty's day that he fell down onstage several times....or any other time he got so drunk that he played the wrong shit and gave the rest of the band the stinkeye (as if WE were making mistakes).
  • the time my out-of-touch other guitarist was so out of tune, the bass player tried several methods to shut him down during the song including; stepping on the tuner to mute the signal, unplugging the cable from the tuner, moving the mic away from his amp, and even unplugging the amp altogether....gawd

I have more, lots more...remind me again why I do this?
« Last Edit: Time Format by Dante »
ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | Viper Combo | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Carvin V3m head into my Viper combo as a speaker cab, using my TCE G-System via 4CM.


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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Hi everybody and happy new year 2018 !

It's a good thread for me, my first gig was also the worst because it ended at ...ER ! but it's the only one !

Back in 1988 (30 years  :facepalm:), first band at school, we were a sort of "funky band" with an yngwie malmsteen fan as lead guitarist (he was unable to play rythm)
who always finished every solo with a guitar flip (even at rehearsal).it was kind of scary being aside this guy !

On gig day he forgot his strap at home so I lent him my secondary strap... an elastic one !  :poop:

As he finished his first solo he throw the guitar for flip but then the elastic strap get stuck in his stretched a little bit
and the guitar came back right to his face... it broke his nose !here we go on our way to the ER with his parents yelling at us
'cause we were such a bad influence...and us, trying to explain the only responsible is Mr Malmsteen... it's his fault not ours !

Here is the 2 lessons I've learned ;

-no guitar flip, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever...

-someone offering you an elastic strap is not a friend, don't trust him !


"As far back as I can remember,  I've always wanted to be a  gangster..."



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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

-no guitar flip, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever...

^^ That's how I broke the headstock on my Explorer
ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | Viper Combo | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Carvin V3m head into my Viper combo as a speaker cab, using my TCE G-System via 4CM.


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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Well over the years I've had a number of gigs where various things have gone sideways  :facepalm: , hard to call any of them worst  :dunno: but here's a few incidents from over the years (not in any particular order):
The bass (which I'd built for a friend) had the peg head snap because it was lent against the amp the wrong way and took a hit, so had to do the rest of the gig with no bass, and then I performed my first (IIRC) peg head repair, solid as a rock after that..

Playing away (fortunately running in stereo with 2 amps with my new stereo chorus pedal) and the drummer is making eyes and twitching his head toward my amp(s), finally looked around to see a cloud of smoke coming from my Marshall 1972/3 50, blew the output trany  :facepalm: , so finished the night through the Roland Cube I'd purloined as a 2nd amp

Raging into a solo and the strap lets go and my Anderson hits the deck, lands on the jack, makes a great bang, bends the jack etc.  The crowd loved it so I picked up my spare to finish the night and bounced it off the stage a few times, they went more wild..  I didn't mind mashing my spare a bit, it's my 3rd ever guitar (very early 70's MIJ Anson strat copy) which I've highly modified over the years, but the Anderson  :facepalm: . The jack plate on the Anderson has never been quite the same..

We're playing support for the Angels, our drummer decided to smoke cones with their roadies and is off his scon, he totally lost it in one song and the bass player stood next to him yelling 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.  Though overall was a great gig

Other guitarist is in a really shit mood, his pedal board/collection didn't work right so he looses it and kicks it off the stage.  So the bass player takes him away to chill out while I sort it out and get it all working for him, after the gig we're loading out and he's still really angry (I think with his wife, she was our main singer) so he drop kicks a small road case (a wooden one) and it breaks his toe and it misses my head by inches.  I still have the case but it's not in great shape...

We are playing in the main road/shops pubs etc (back of a truck) of a country town for their cherry picking festival, the sound and lighting guys are driving the hired PA/truck.  They drink a case of (Australian) beer (24 cans) on the way, so are maggoted when they get there, so I have to set the PA up as the sound guy was off with the fairies, other band members helped with the lights (I don't like working on lights, they are hot, sharp, often dirty and dangerous), but the gig went surprisingly well and the organisers gave us a box of cherries and a tour of a cherry farm.

First gig with my brand new MP-2 and it just dies in sound check  :facepalm: .  Luckily I'd sold my MP-1 to MikeB and he was at the gig and lived very close, he raced home and got it for me so I could do the gig, the shop replaced the MP-2 for another new unit which is still in my live rig.

Playing on generator power, middle of solos (seems to be when it happens most) my MP-2 goes loopy, display is all hieroglyphics, can't change programs, sounds shit and the only fix is to power cycle it. So now I use a UPS whenever there is a generator involved.

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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

My worst gig was so bad, it almost made me quit playing.   It was actually worse than the gig that led to that gig.

It started with some drunk leaping over a balcony and taking out our drummer.  According to the police who
carted him off, he was just trying to jump down, be friendly and jam.  From my view, it looked like he was
trying to do some insane flying scissors suplex sunset flip takedown.  Yeah, that makes no sense, but that's
what it looked like.  Drummer's down and out, and hurt so bad, out for following night.   That's when bassist
goes "Oh, didn't I tell you, cannot make it tommorow"  That would have been nice to know.

So we do the following night with a substitute drummer AND substitute bassist.  The bassist played, although
a bit boring with no energy.  Unfortunately, we let him sing a song.  Just one song.  He wanted to sing more. 
Nope.  The drummer could play, just couldn't keep tempo.  At all.  By the end of the night I was hoping songs
would stay within 60bpm between beginning of a verse and end.  I should have just canceled the second
night and walked away from the money.

Since that wasn't the worst gig I ever played, that should tell you just how bad it was.  I don't even want to
go in to that, it is so traumatic.

I *did* learn things again though.  I never, ever, ever got a substitute bassist again.  That was the final straw
and I just filled out the gigs on the books.  If I needed a bassist, I played bass, and got a sub guitarist.  It went
a *lot* better.  It probably helped that I actually do play bass too.  There is a world of difference between an
actual bassist, and someone just playing the same root notes from a guitar on a bass.

Okay, I said I wasn't going to say it since it was so traumatic, but that substitute bassist was *so* bad, I forgot
the words to Johnny B Goode and just had to go "Da da da da" the whole song.   Never wanted to step on
stage again.

Fortunately, I learned lessons.  Hard lessons.  But, have not been aggravated to anywhere near that degree since.

Granted, I did stop clubbing since then, but I've had some great and fun gigs and experiences.


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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

LOL.. everything above is sooo rock n roll!! it made me laugh. I have nothing that compares to the above!! and you're all talking gigs in the 80s.. while i was dreaming of being a rockstar at 10yo watching and loving any hairband with neon lights.

The only thing i had was my first gig as a fill in with this tribute band, with no rehearsal or rundown before hand to get a feel of how songs start finish or even how they might specifically play them (long versions, short.. extended etc). I was told before hand.. bahh you'll be right theres not much to it .. *facepalm*.. umm yes. To make it worse i was setting up my rack (MP1 via Lexicon G2 with R1 midi controller) on stage and i was getting no comms between R1 and the rack. Powered but no data being transmitted. So off/on it went and unplugging re-plugging at least 15 times as it was intermittent. I had 2 old guys sitting at a table next to where i was on the stage (like the 2 old guys in the muppets up in the balcony) watching me panic and trying to get the stupid thing working. (was midi cable, ,which i replaced)

First gig, gear not working, completely unprepared. 2 cover songs in the support list i swore id never play again which leads me onto Summer of 69 the song i swore id never play again.. its cursed and overplayed in my books. Anyway, i start, pedalling on the D waiting for the singer to start.. cant sit on the D for any longer as its losing musical purpose.. i looked at the drummer like "wtf is the singer waiting for" .. so i thought fk it, Im changing to the A and he can come back in on the D .. but of course he starts singing in the middle of the A *facepalm and made me sound like "I" was playing the wrong thing so i had to fumble to the D to follow him.. killed me.

That gig was soo all over the place.. yet after.. i had those guys and bunch of girls express how much they loved it. I kept thinking you must be drunk cause it was crap on my part lol.

another .. not so circus like. I was filling in a Poison tribute show. I was in my element. dream come true (dont laugh). big gig. I had the bc rich gunslingers out with crackle finish, mp1 doing its thing... 3 songs in and the drummers snare broke (or was it his tom?).  the singer says to me - do you know such and such (which i did luckily) - and we played a duo while the drummer replaced the skin. The drummer finished fixing and as we nearly got to the part of the song where the drummer would jump in and all the lights turn on i broke a string and being floating floyd rose the whole thing went out of tune.. the song was soo impromptu and was going sooo well all unplanned and then that, FML. I had to change guitars and we just continued with the set as per normal.

Then just as everything started to fall in place and everything going well with the other band i was in, no more issues, everything gelling.. the band splits *facepalm

on the plus side.. the mp1 really sings at loud volumes. eg. factory patch 1 sounds somewhat avg at home volumes.. adjust a bit of the builtin eq for the venue with the power amp cranked all the way and youre in hot rodded marshall with clarity territory. I was blown away how good it sounded.

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Re: Your worst gig
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

Geez, the life I've missed out on by not doing that band stuff  :facepalm:
But then again, regarding the action sports stuff, I could tell a thing or two..  :o :crazy: 8)
..but it's buggy!
- not a bug, it's a feature
- it's software, dummy..
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