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Band Crashed Our Bar Gig with Owner's OK - What the Eff?!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jaywa, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    So last week, first night of a 2-night engagement at a bar we'd never played before.

    We get done with our first set, things are going pretty well. All the sudden these 4 dudes walk up to the stage with their guitar cases and before I know it the bassist is plugging into my amp and the drummer sitting down at our kit. I ask my BL what the heck is going on and he says the owner wants us to let this band play (on our gear, through our P.A.), while we're on our break.

    My drummer and I are mad as hell and the BL says he had no idea this was coming but says we just have to go with it. So they play 4 or 5 songs, thank us for letting them use our gear, pack up their stuff and leave. Meanwhile all these people in the crowd are coming up to the guys in my band and wondering what's happening and saying this other band sucks and they did it to the band who was there the night before us as well. Then when we get back up for our 2nd set I had to completely re-do my amp settings cause the other bassist had screwed them up so bad even though I asked him THREE TIMES to use a different pre-set on my amp and leave my settings alone.

    If this had been a big-name band who just happened to drop in I could totally see it, but these were guys nobody had ever heard of before. So it left us all just scratching our heads. I mean really... I've been playing live music for almost 30 years and this has NEVER happened to me on a gig before. Anyone have something similar happen or know what might have been behind it?
  2. Personally, it would have been a deal breaker. The club owner may own the stage, but he doesn't own the gear sitting on it. I have a "never loan my gear to anyone" policy.

    No, I have never had this happen before. Even 13 or more years ago when I was in a garage band playing highschool parties. The closest thing I've had happen like that was a club sound guy insisting I play through his DI (between pedalboard and head) instead of mic'ing my cab or using the DI out on my head.
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    It wasn't like we got docked any pay or anything, and everything before and after that little glitch went just fine. And nothing like that happened the 2nd night. So I don't know what was going on, it was just a really weird thing.

    I'm guessing the owner either had friends/relatives in the band and this was a favor to them, or he was considering hiring these guys and wanted to give them a listen without committing to them for a full gig. I have no evidence either was the case and both reasons are pretty damn shady, IMO. Anyway I doubt it makes much difference. It wasn't a real great trip for us from a financial perspective so I don't think our BL has much interest in going back.
  4. ransombass


    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    Nope! Nobody plays my gear except for two close friends. Deal breaker IMHO.
  5. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    I think it would have been cool, we let people come up and play all the time, whats the big deal? I like to hear my rig played by someone else. It is not like it's your wife these guys are jumping on, but then again I wear shorts at my gigs...lol
  6. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I've rushed the stage and crashed friends who were playing a gig nearby, but not anything like this.

    The BL is between a rock and a hard place on this one. Who is he gonna piss off, the client or his bandmates?
    Tough call. And unfortunately, the most graceful and polite folks are the ones who usually get the short-end of the stick on this.
  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    My BL even wanted me to let the other bassist use my bass (so he wouldn't have to change our settings at the board) and I told him I couldn't believe he'd even ask me to do that and that the line at loaning my gear stops at my amp and even that had damn well better be with advance warning. So at least we got that straight.

    FWIW I didn't think the other band sucked as much as some of the people were saying... but I still felt it was really tacky. And I don't hold anything against my BL cause he really didn't have any other options but OTOH it's a lot easier for him to volunteer other peoples' gear cause he's the lead singer so he doesn't have any of his own. Granted he owns the P.A. but that stuff's a lot less susceptible to abuse than the drums and amps on our backline.

    What really hacked me off is that the day after this all happened, we were on a multi-band bill at another venue and our drummer asked the band ahead of us on the bill if he could use that band's drums (to speed changeover), and that band's drummer basically told him to get bent. So much for karma I guess.
  8. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    The club owner would've gotten an earful, for sure. And I'd probably not so politely let him know that my band wouldn't be returning to his venue.

    I don't let other people use my gear, for ANY reason. I've been burned too many times. If they'd have pressed the issue, the rest of the evening would have no bass player.
  9. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2005
    Kansas City, MO
    How much advance notice did your BL receive? IMO he should have told you what was going on before hand. Personally, I really wouldn't have minded it that much as long as the other band didn't do anything to make our band look bad or drive our fans away. I don't think it is cool that you asked the other bass player not to mess with your settings and he did anyway! It would have been nice to know what was going on ahead of time though and not have it sprung on you at the last second!
  10. nope would not have happen no one touches our stuff could not care less what the owner wants. People would have been flying in every direction.They would have to get the emergency crew to surgically remove my foot from someones A** period.
  11. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Virtually none. We got done with the first set, I went to get a beer and someone behind the bar asked me where our BL was cause the owner wanted to talk to him, I pointed to the BL and took my beer out to the patio. A couple minutes after that I'm out on the patio and someone comes out and says, "do you know there's another band on the stage?" and I ran back inside and this dude is plugging into my amp. So our BL literally only knew about this a couple minutes before the rest of us did.

    We sort of made it up the next night though... started about 50 minutes late (due to another gig at another venue) and the owner didn't say a thing or dock us cause I think he knew he had already pushed as far as we'd go the night before.
  12. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2005
    Kansas City, MO
    Then the bar owner is a jerk for not giving you prior notice about the other band. The polite thing to do would have been to ask ahead of time if you guys minded another band playing a few songs during your break. If you play there again I would specify that no one else plays while you are there unless it is someone you personally invite to the stage.
  13. It's happened to me, once, but there was plenty of advance notice, and the other bassist did not mess with my settings, at all. Sure, I wasn't to thrilled about it, but the discomfort was minimized by how it was handled. Never again, however.

    EDIT: I should also mention that they brought their own instruments, and did not sing through our mic's; their lead singer had her own. I'm particular about people singing through my mic.

  14. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Did any of you guys say anything to the Bar Owner about it?
  15. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I assume there was some discussion on the front end between the BL and the owner. None of the rest of us even saw the owner.

    I think our BL may have been a little more accommodating than usual of that request because he had booked us for an 8 to 9 gig at another venue the 2nd night of our engagement at this one and knew we were going to need at least a 45-minute cushion for transit back to this place. In fact he had already told this owner we may be getting a late start the 2nd night (which wound up being exactly the case). So I think it wound up being a little bit of a tit-for-tat deal with unfortunately, our band's P.A. and personal gear being part of the bargain.
  16. bigmuff113


    Jul 4, 2012
    San Antonio
    I wouldn't ever use anyone's gear unless it was someone I knew personally and trusted me. Even then I would rather use my own gear, and I would only use their gear if something happened to my stuff. Now here's and idea... Rent the loudest possible gear available (Fender Twins, Marshall Plexi's, Ampeg SVT's and whatever else you can get, then play Dinosaur Jr or death metal :bag:
  17. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
  18. dlargent


    Aug 7, 2003
    Carrboro, NC
    Good for you for letting some guys play a short set on your equipment! It can be hard for new bands to get any exposure, and I'm sure they really appreciated the opportunity, even though the club owner had to step on some toes to provide it.

    Don't understand the attitude of not sharing equipment. Most people buy and sell basses and amps before they even use 1% of these tools' lifespan anyway.

    I realize that I'm probably in the minority here, but go ahead and let someone play your bass and amp!
  19. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    And who would be liable should the amp/cab get blown during their set? The club owner? The other band? Either way, you won't get reimbursed and you will be without a rig for your next set.
  20. The bar owner is a dick. Plain and simple. You guys were good sports and it all worked out OK.

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