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Bar Gigs (The good the bad the drunken)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jimmy4string, May 31, 2018.

  1. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I have tons - from 30 yrs of gigging, on both sides of the stage.

    It was 9:30pm - 2 songs from the end of the 2nd set - on the outdoor stage of a local BBQ restaurant that hosted live music Fri/Sat nights complete with outside bar and wait staff. We played to 11.
    Cop walks up, stands 4 feet from front of stage holding some device. Turns out that device was a dB meter.
    We're all thinking ***? What's going on ??????
    30 seconds later, he walks away. Comes back at end of the set and tells us we are good to go. Obviously, we were playing under the noise limit :)

    Turned out that local residents had petitioned the city about the noise, who then implemented a noise ordinance the prior week and had NOT notified ANY of the venues. Strike one for bureaucracy!!
    Soon after, the venue cuts bands, and now only host acoustic duos and singer songwriter types to avoid fines.
    el jeffe bass and Mr_Moo like this.
  2. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Definitely have a few over the years. Only one that got a little scary was at the end of one night, a gentleman got into it with his date/girlfriend while we were loading out. We're almost done at this point, still 20 or so people in the bar even though it's past close. All at once he pulls a knife and starts talking a little louder. All the staff and the owner are still there, but do NOTHING, ya know, like get the girl who's egging him on out of the bar!

    Luckily our lead singer is a former prison guard. After taking his stuff to his car he did grab his handgun "just in case", but came back in and managed to distract the guy and get him calmed down. Turned into nothing but there was enough alcohol-infused stupidity that it could have gotten really bad, quickly. We no longer play that club, by choice, and last I heard they had lost their liquor license and were having trouble getting it back because of various violations. Oh well...
  3. Before playing bass, I played five string banjo.
    My band played in this bar where the stage was small.
    I had to stand right beside a pinball machine.
    The neck of my instrument was right over the machine while I played.
    One night this smart alec a hole plugs the machine in during our set and starts playing pinball.
    I wanted to pound my banjo over his head but kept calm and played through it until he gave up the nonsense.
    Jimmy4string and Mr_Moo like this.
  4. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I play jazz gigs. We had someone come up to us, and in the midst of polite, appreciative conversation, ended his sentence with a preposition. We were flabbergasted and never accepted gigs at that wine bar ever again.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    That is just the worst. I hate it when that happens.
  6. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Yes, that is a situation with up, I will not put.
    esoxhntr, Mr_Moo and ak56 like this.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    "... up with which I will not put."

  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I'm a bass player. Nothing exciting happens at gigs really. Chicks, making out in the bathroom, lots of pics of cute girls snuggled up together. Nothing. Drunk lead singers is about all I remember. My gig history is pretty boring compared to most. I was too busy unloading, running cables, packing the van after the gig, stuff like that.
  9. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    The phrase I gave earlier was a famous quote from a british guy who was mocking pedantic people who get all bent out of shape about grammar....

    Even "... up with which I will not put." sounds pedantic...
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  10. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    My rule is simple. Never leave the building with a patron. I have never ever "had" a groupie, and I never ever will. Blecccch. It's nice for there to be conversation, and some getting to know a person, and it's better if that person is not drunk. A guitar player I used to know left the building with a woman who had been trying to grope me for the better part of the evening. She bit him in the stomach. I pointed out my rule. NEVER leave the building with a bar patron. EVER.
  11. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Then most of us would have never gotten married...
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    It was Winston Churchill. “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”
    PauFerro likes this.
  13. Uche_bass


    Jul 31, 2017
    The guitarist/lead singer got drunk af, got on stage, complained to the soundman that his guitar wasn't working. I walk up to him, plug it in, and go back to my spot. He never even noticed
    ELG60 likes this.
  14. strat59


    Jul 24, 2018
    played a bar gig awhile back where halfway thru the song i realize all of a sudden i can't hear the drummer.....

    i turn around and the kit is empty and think wt*?? the rest of us look at each other bewildered and hastily wrap up and end the tune and announce we'll be taking short break

    i go to the restroom to take a leak ( small bar with just one stall ) and discover a huge pile of steaming s#$t in one of the urinals. back out to the stage where i'm relaying this new info to the rest of the band when the aforementioned drummer appears head down with a sheepish look on his face

    turns out he overdid a burrito/beer combo before the gig and was really percolating....can't wait any longer and bolts for the john mid-song but some other guy is already in there, so.....

    we called him "Uri" from then on
  15. FingerDub

    FingerDub Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2016
    I've never done a corporate gig but bar gigs are my favorite.
  16. Most bar band players got into the biz to get to go home with bar patrons. We played mostly college bars in the very early 90s, hard rock/hair metal. I’d have done it for free!! We had a blast!
    Mr_Moo and Jimmy4string like this.
  17. Back in the days when the PA gear was huge, and before we had a trailer, we would take multiple vehicles to gigs just to get it all there. 6 guys in the band and a soundman so we're talking maybe 4 vehicles.

    We traveled about 1 1/2 hours out of town to a gig, goes well, so well the singer overindulged in spirits and at the end of the night he was face down at a table next to the stage while we load out. No one is particularly thrilled with this situation but 1am with a long drive home was not the time to start the discussion.

    So we finish loading up and head out. The different vehicles make different stops for coffee/take a leak etc on the way home. When we all get back to the barn, where's the singer? Yep, turns out everyone thought he was riding with someone else and we left him there. He had to call some other friend and work out something the next morning to get home. That worked better than anything we could have come up with as a punishment.
    Crusher47, richntiff, dave64o and 7 others like this.


    Mar 29, 2006
    That is something up with which I simply will not put!


    Mar 29, 2006

    Looks like you were a HUUGE attraction, too!

    I've played to my share of chairs and walls.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  20. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    I used to call it "playin for candles and ashtrays".

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