Class reunion gig coming up

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by rust_preacher, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    So my wife is in a class reunion organizing team and she happened to ask me if my band could play, now that they changed to a bigger venue with a stage and dance area. :hyper:

    Only the keys/2nd guitar player can't make it, but a quick exchange of texts got an old friend to join as second guitarist instead. Our project has nicely fallen into a 60s - 70s rock groove, and since this is a 35-year reunion for a class that graduated in 1979, I felt we can do it. :cool:

    This will mean some changes in the song list. And, while we're at it, I suggested some songs I knew the sub guitar player was comfortable with. I also knew he would be okay with songs I just knew would be suggested by the said organizing committee member. ;)

    Today is our first rehearsal. I quickly dug up chord charts to about 10 songs we haven't played before but that I felt we would need to do at the gig.

    This morning, wife says something to the effect that requests will be coming from the organizing committee. I told her that we will listen, but that due to the lineup changes, we would prefer rocking numbers that a 2-guitar four-piece could comfortably do. This ensued in a big row about life and my attitude in general. :rolleyes:

    Oh boy what I have dragged myself into. And... I, the one-time science nerd, would be rocking in public, to my old friends from high school. Probably 100 in attendance. We'll see how the buildup to the June 14th Saturday goes. :help:
  2. I did a college reunion with my college band 3 summers ago. We hadn't played together in 25 years. Our classmates loved it and we had a blast. It was like a time machine. We played songs I hadn't played in years. Somehow I went right back to tone and scales and technique from all those years ago. It went so well that we've been getting together for a couple gigs every summer. You are going to have a great time.
  3. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    I still play with my three best friends. We started in 9th grade 1967. Played semipro for almost 20 years. We still get together and jam and play 3-5 gigs a year. Just like riding a bike. Good luck
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Have fun, enjoy.
  5. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    Thanks boombloom, theduke1, and MrLenny1.

    I am sure it will be a total throwback blast for all once we can agree with the organizing committee what is expected. Of course, there is no money involved, either way and we probably have to pay our own cover to boot.

    The tricky thing here is how I can communicate with the committee, through my wife. She has no experience in playing music. And we all have our day jobs.
  6. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    Sounds like a blast all the same. Here's to hoping you and the missus/committee can come to a reasonable meeting of the minds...
  7. I remember doing sound at a festival where a high school band would reunite for one gig a year. Those guys acted like they were still in high school and had a blast. Always looked forward to that show.

    You'll love it!

  8. One more thing---don't worry about the dread committee. It's rock and roll.
  9. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Class of '79? Brush up on your disco octaves! :bag:

    (class of '77 here)
  10. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    No money? I say they get what they pay for. Rock your own music. The "committee" seems very presumptuous and should have absolutely no say regarding your songlist, especially if they are not paying you. They should be glad they have a band at all. They have no clue what it takes to put together a repertoire. I'm sure they will love you no matter what you play. Sure, you want to try to make them happy within reason, but for no money? How much time and rehearsal is everyone willing to devote? Let's be reasonable here.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    INTP likes this.
  11. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    Wait a minute...freebie gig? Um, whatever you want.
  12. Howlin' Hanson

    Howlin' Hanson Lighter cabs, please. Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Austin TX
    Did a reunion gig like this for my wife's class. Someone suggested we should do the number one song for that year. When we researched the charts, the two biggest songs for the year were Love Is Blue by Paul Mauriat and We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters. We chose to rock and roll instead.
  13. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    Thanks again for the responses.

    We had a rehearsal last night and the sub guitarist was like a fish in low-oxygen water, but water nevertheless. This means he would learn the progressions real quick, but struggle a bit on the structures. The keys player was there, filling in on vocals and ad-libbing where he shouldn't. All in all, it was a bit chaotic, as we have gelled quite nicely among the original 4. The new guitarist will bring a much rockier edge to the sound. he played a parts Tele through a Marshall SL-X, very dry, choppy-choppy rhythm. He doubled the solo with our main guitarist on "Cocaine" really tastefully. I know he's going to do his homework, so in two weeks or so we should be quite nicely on track.

    The committee... we reached a reasonable compromise with my wife. After the rehearsal I sent her the song list in an e-mail and she forwarded it to the committee members, asking them to list 10 of their favorites from that list and suggest new songs, by Wednesday next week. This means we will have a prioritized selection from songs we know we can play and enough time to learn a few oddballs if necessary.

    We won't do disco. I have practiced on ELO's "Last Train to London" though which is as clichey a disco song as they come. This is my warmup exercise.

    And, as to the "pay" involved - I think it's a win-win for all if we get to play to a receptive crowd. We don't need to make money playing. The necessity to practice for a performance will help us focus on the music, making the practice more productive. Everyone wins in this case. If we were attempting to make income on the cover band circuit, our attitude would be different, I am sure. We are not taking anybody's job here either, as there would be no entertainment if we weren't there.
  14. I do kinda-sorta agree that the committee has a bit of nerve in trying to 'manage' your set-list for you. I understand that they have an idea of what they'd like to hear, but still...

    The gig sounds fun, in any case...keep us informed!
  15. marmadaddy


    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Assuming that the other band members have no ties to this school, I'd make sure to communicate very clearly to the committee that the people in your band are doing them a very big favor and are to be treated with nothing but gratitude.

    "we probably have to pay our own cover to boot."
    Seriously, the other band members are ok with this? Paying a cover charge to play a gig that is strictly for the benefit of the people attending? My response to that would be immediate, firm and beyond obscene.

    I've had an experience with a singer who booked the band for her high school reunion and when asked two weeks before the gig "so how much are we making?" was shocked, shocked I say, that I would ask such a thing. Said reunion was held at a high end golf club with an open bar and filet mignon on the menu. There was a committee full of people who were so entitled, Paris Hilton would have been amazed.

    Singer end up paying me out of her own pocket and it was my last gig with that band.
  16. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    No worries Marmadaddy. If required I can foot the cover for the band members. I owe them already for what they did for my dissertation party two years ago. As I said before, it's really a win-win situation. The guys in the band just want to rock out.

    The band is fundamentally guys from my work, some current and others gone different paths. The sub guitarist seems happy to join our band, as his previous project went on hold due to a member of that band succumbing to cancer. He definitely needs this.
  17. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    I'm cool with it preacher... we (well, lots of us) gig all year and sometimes it's like work for pain money rather than a fun side-job. I've found that sometimes, cool stuff happens when you are just playing one for the fun of it. Play some music with your buds, dance at least one with the wife, and have some fun! Charge the next party double and it'll balance out. :D

    Re: class reunions... at the time of my 10 yr. (1997) I was a bonafide road player living out of the proverbial suitcase, and sleeping at rest stops. I was hungry, but lean, and carefree, not broke, but badly bent... oh, and cool at last! :p Haven't heard plans of a 30 yr. reunion, but I would totally play at it if asked. (yeah, for free)
  18. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    Oh yeah, and regarding the set list and committee requests... mp3's are your best friend. Take a break and hit play on your way to the bar. :thumbup::thumbup:
  19. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    That's actually very important. In the two previous reunions I provided the CD and, later, mp3 collection to play. I might actually do a "leading up" Winamp list, and a "break" list, with favorites from genres and styles from the era that we won't play.

    So far, only two committee members provided their top 10 so I guess the song selection isn't really that important, as long as it's along the lines we have told the organizers.
  20. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    Okay, another rehearsal done and this time we continued down the prospective set list where we let off the first time. The sub guitarist asked to play one song from the rehearsal 2 weeks ago, "Get Back".

    The reunion committee voted for 10 favorites from our set list. The votes spread quite nicely, and no surprises were suggested. There are a couple of tougher numbers to practice that I feel we need to play based on the votes. I could scratch about 20 songs of our list right off, and moving around a couple of numbers, I think we have two solid sets and 4-5 encores to choose from.

    The sub guitarist brought his Les Paul this time and rocked harder than 2 weeks ago. I liked that sound, it complements the singer-guitarists single-coil sound. If he agrees to stay, come September, we will have a very tight 5-piece band! He even sings our Ramones numbers.

    The only thing that worries me is that now that the set list is more rock and roll than before, I can feel it in my forearms.OK, we still have 2 months to go so I will hopefully get to the stamina level I need.

    I think this project will lead to something really good.