ever miss or walk out on a gig?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    i've played thousands of gigs, (and i'm hoping i don't jinx myself here) and only walked out one time. never missed one.... yet. not planning on it.

    the show was booked at a local bar by the guy who runs the studio we rehearse in. he asked if we wanted to play and i said ONLY if he guarantees we'll go on by midnite. he did, said he'd put us in the 11 o'clock spot. at 11:30 he hadn't even started the first band, and there were 2 bands before us. when i questioned him he laughed and flat out told me he lied to me, he said "i'm learning to be a promoter, i have to lie." it was a big joke to him.

    at the same time we were dealing with the craziest drummer we ever played with. won't even get into details about this guy, but he was one of those guys you simply can't avoid getting into an argument with. he saw i was really upset by the fact that we were going to wind up going on at 2AM and started screaming at me in the club. lots of friends were around and I was getting somewhat embarrassed, for my band and myself. as i was trying to calm and quiet him he got louder and louder yelling such things as "what's the matter, you're too much of a rock star to go on at 2AM!, you're too big and important for that!!" that wasn't the case at all but this guy wasn't letting up. my girlfriend jumped to my defense and he started with her. i told him one more sentence and i was leaving, he continued - and i left. i felt like i was in a dream, actually walking out on a gig - but it seemed to best thing to do. it was gonna get ugly with me and this guy.

    so that's my great story. whats yours?

    ps. the bar wasn't a happening place and I knew everyone was going to be loooong gone by 2AM. we didn't let anyone down. alright, so i still feel a little guilty.
  2. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Almost walked out on a couple, but didn't. Both were pick up blues gigs.

    1. Didn't recognize the name of the club, and was surprised when I followed the bandleader out of town to a rural icehouse, located near Vidor, TX - well known around here for certain things. Inside were rebel flags everywhere and "white pride" banners, Tshirts and the like. The latino guitarist was obviously nervous, but I knew he needed the money and nobody was going to get paid if I turned and walked. Never played with that outfit again, though.

    2. Different bandleader. I was told it was a private party, and it was paying well, so I assumed it would be a pretty cush gig. Turned out to be a couple of motorcycle clubs (gangs) had rented out a bar for the evening. Almost got my amp peed on by a Bandito!
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    sounds like good ol' texas crap

    my boss was doing a gig and he had just bought a bass from the drummer's brother. well the drummer's brother wanted the bass back (it turned out to be a nasty thing) so the the drummer's brother's friend had some of his bandito friends go to the gig and they were messing with my boss. during the gig they would sit right in front of him and point and spit on him. at the end of the night they told them that they were going to mess him up if he didn't give them the bass. my boss was totally freaked out. what do you do?? give the dudes the bass. the whole band was freaking out, so after those guys left, the bar owner (who was a gun nut) escorted my boss and his wife out of the bar with a gun (to make sure that they made it to the car OK).

    well the band broke up after they found out that the drummer's brother did that crap just to make a few bucks.

    on another note, i was doing a gig up in austin with a salsa band. i was playing second trumpet and the lead player (who no one likes at all) started talking trash in the middle of a tune. after the first set i packed up my stuff and told the contractor don't ever call me again unless this a-hole is gone.

    they fired him a couple of weeks later and i was back on the gig with friend. i had to play lead (i hate playing lead with salsa groups - parts are hard and i end up with a massive headache after the gig is done)

    i saw this trumpet player at a big band jam and he didn't come near me :)D - i did tell him rather ugly things when i walked off the gig - he was probably a little scared..)
  4. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Missed a couple weeks ago. We thought we're were scheduled for a Sat. but really it was for a Fri. Oh well, for some reason they still paid us. Works for us!!:D
  5. cant find a band let alone a gig:(
  6. Amethska


    Jan 27, 2003
    NJ, USA
    Yeah, I'm in the same situation as Todd here...

    Maaaan. :meh:
  7. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I've only missed one gig. The band was playing a small show out of town on the same night I was in Atlanta seeing the Stones. Hmm...geee...which was I gonna pick?! :D The rythem guitarist and synth player were able to cover on bass, so it really wasn't a problem.
  8. Shuller


    Feb 2, 2003
    moscow, russia
    I was close as hell and only once. We were suposed to play a semi-big festival on the outskirts of Moscow and as a begginer band compared to most there we were told we'd go on at two (it started at 12). Get there for half one, confirm on four. Good weather, good company good bands etc...
    At four, we're told 'later', okay. At 5, we're told 6,at 8 we're told 'i don't know', it began to rain, and having no tent is no fun when it storming over your head. We hid in the car (whoever fit) and proceeded to wait. At 12 we're told to play at one for sure. Our equipment by then is soaked (don't ask...) but we go on at one, before the headliners!! and have a great time playing 3!!! fakin songs. We spent 12 1/2 hours there and about 8 we've spent arguing whether to go home and screw it or not. I made everyone stay and in the end it was well worth. Drove home in a toyata corolla with nine people. The windows were well fogged up. Good night, oh and when we were done we were promised 'to go on at a better time next year'.
  9. I've never walked out, or missed a gig, but a band I was in did once.

    I get to the gig, which was in the center of downtown, and had to double park in order to get my equipment in the door. I was trying to get this dones very quickly, so I didn't block traffic for too long, when our drummer comes running up to me waving his hands and saying, "don't bother, we walked."

    Our singer booked the gig but never verified when we were going on. As it was a weekday gig, it wouldn't have done us much good to go on too late as there probably wouldn't be many people there. I even asked the singer numerous times to please verify what time we were scheduled. My feeling was that if we couldn't bother to verify the time, we should play when ever they scheduled us. Apparently the guitar player and singer didn't feel the same way because when they found out we were going to be the 3rd (out of 4) band to go on, they walked. The part that irked me the most was the fact they didn't even bother to wait to tell me what was going on and left that to the drummer. I never played a gig with that band again.
  10. Keep the faith, Tee. Sooner or later you'll find sumthin' :)
  11. So I find myself in a brand new band, brand new job, wife and I are expecting our firstborn child any day. Made sure that:

    1) My new boss was informed that my new job was extremely important to me
    2) My new band was informed that our gigs are extremely important to me


    3) I made sure that my boss and my band understood that I absolutely would not miss the birth of our son, regardless of job or gig responsibilities.

    My boss was totally cool about the whole thing. My band however.... :meh: I told them not to book that weekend, but they did anyway and they said "No problem... if it's time for your baby, and you can't make it - we'll do a bunch of acoustic stuff and have one of the guitarists 'fake it' on bass for a few tunes." I thought, ok... cool.

    Then, Saturday night, it was time to go to the hospital (labor), & let the band know that I wouldn't make the gig. One bandmember starts laying this guilt trip on me, like I had my priorities messed up or something. I said "Look, if having a baby isn't a good enough excuse to miss a gig, then you can kiss my (backside deadcenter)."

    So short story long.... yeah, I missed a gig. For my wife and son :) .
  12. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Good for you! I suggest you smear some Preparation H on that bandmate of yours! ;)
  13. I pulled out on a gig two days before when it was made known to me that it was a fundraiser for a loyalist pipe band (read paramilitary organisation). I'd already managed to be duped into playing one of those before, and I wasn't happy about it that time either. Of course, the rest of the band completely failed to understand what the problem was, and so I never played with them again.
  14. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I walked once. Actually, the whole band did. Our drummer had to get up @ 4:30 am, and the promoter promised us that we'd go on @ 11:00. Well, things started late, so he said that we'd go on @ 12:00, and we were understanding, but then at about 11:50, his friend shows up.....with his band! :eek: So, Mr. Promoter decides to let his friend's band, who ISN'T scheduled to play, do a "quick hour long set", his words. :rolleyes: We bailed.
  15. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    My band had a gig last Friday at a frat. The weather was crappy and every other frat and sorority were having a party or a mixer that night, so we weren't expecting much of a crowd. We weren't even thinking of walking out, but the social chair of the frat actually asked us if we wanted to leave. He said the crowd was probably going to be crappy and that if we wanted to, we could pack up and leave and he would pay us $100 and call it even. We had already set up and we like playing so we decided to stay, and the party turned out to be pretty good in the end.
  16. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    We almost walked on a gig(and in hindsight I wish we would have). We get a call to do a Monday gig with two other bands, and we play second. We get there, and theres five bands, with us on last. Naturally the dude that called us originally isnt there, the guy that was there got called in at the last minute, he's confused, too etc...... Ok, whatever, the crowd is pretty decent that night, but by the time we take the stage at 1:00am, you'd have thought they were giving away free money outside, cause the place was empty.

    Havent played that place since.........
  17. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    A booking agent had double-booked one of his bands and needed a band last minute to fill in for a weekend at a local club... Found a 'band' to do it, but their bassplayer can't make it, so I get a call out of left field... The agent assures me that these guys are 'pro-level' and 'dedicated', so I agree to play...

    I get to the club, meet the owner, set-up my gear, tune my basses, and wait... and wait... Owner's getting a bit peeved, and I'm assuring him that I've never met these guys, hired gun and all... They finally show and I help 'em get setup, we start playing... AND THEY SOUND LIKE SH**!! People are actually booing!

    During the second break, I'm outside talking with the keyboard player, (the only decent guy there), and come to find that he's in the same boat as me... never met these guys before tonight! Halfway through the third set, the guitarist breaks a string, and while he's changing it, Mr. Keyboards and I launch into an impromptu blues jam that turns out to be the best thing of the night, by far...

    At the next break, the owner says that he is docking us 25% since we started late. I tell him fine, I'll take my pay now and leave as I was ready in plenty of time... Harsh words fly, owner and I at each others' throats... Finally he pays me, I walk and tell the guys to find someone else to finish the weekend. As I'm driving away, I see Mr. Keyboards doing the same...

    A year and a half later, I'll be in a band that plays regularly at this same club, the owner and I get along famously and often laugh about the incident :cool:

  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Back in the high-school days when gigs were a rare comodity, we scored a birthday party. The guitarist spent all night having a domestic with his girlfriend. He was no-where to be found and it was time to start playing. SO we did the first set without him.

    When he found out, he was furious that we could betray him like that.

    "Dude you're the one that let US down, not the other way around".

    ANyway one thing led to another and the guitarist ended up taking an unplanned dip in the pool! I shouldn't have done that - he was one of the "popular" guys at school and I wasn't. SO the whole party turned on me. I hid in the name of self preservation, waited for things to calm down. ThenI snuck back in, grabed my gear and got out of there as quickly as as I could.

    Funny thing is that 15 years on, he's the only person from school that I keep in contact with.
  19. Tiwaz


    Sep 22, 2002
    I've never missed a gig, nor have I walked out on one. However , there have been a couple that I wish we did walk out:

    In 2000 when Satyricon did the European headliner tour "Filthgrinding Europe" :D , we played in Hamburg at a pretty cool venue called Markthalle.
    Satyr (singer and frontman), appearantly has some issues with the German people , so in many interviews he had slammed Germans, just talking sh*t about them in general. Well, not very wise at all before a major tour with 15 gigs in Germany...
    The venue hold about 1500 people at maximum, and the place was allmost filled. But only a minor part of the audience (only like 10 people or so) were giving us a hard time. They were throwing bottles , pints of beer, cigarette-butts , spitting etc etc
    But what really made us weary, was when our singer felt something running down his forehead and cheek, he wiped with his hand, looked at his hand...blood...
    He hadn't been hit by any bottles or anything, so he look into the audience, and there she stood , right in front of him , with a syringe in her hand....
    So of course we all thought that the blood in all likelyness could be infected with who-knows-what...
    However, he just went off the stage for a couple of minutes, washed his face and rinsed his eyes (since some of the blood had made it there), he came back and we finished the gig.
    He went to see the a doctor the following day , took the nescesarry tests and had a few shots, and thankfully the blood was clean, so he checked out fine.

    Similar things happed a few days later at our gig in Leipzig , only this time the whole band was threatened by neo-nazis , fight broke out between those morons and our crew and the guards. We finished the gig and was escorted by the police from the venue to the city limits....

    Another one was on the US tour we did a little later that year, the tour-management had booked a gig for us in Detroit at Harpo's. All good and well, only thing was that the local promotor had done nothing to promote the gig neither had our label or anyone else.
    So this was really stupid, about 50 people turned up at this venue that has a capacity of almost 4000... And as a finishing touch 7-8 people were actually dressed in nazi-uniforms , and they were marching around on the floor. Horrible, horrible gig, the stage was huge about 3.5 meters in height, so we had no contact with the "crowd"...
    I guess this last one was my Spinal Tap experience...
  20. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    27 years of playing, three bands and never missed a gig. Now my singer is another story:eek:
    My band has showed up at clubs on schedualed shows and found the club closed or another band playing, that has happend a few times.
    That sucks! It's 10 degrees out 75 mile drive and your whole band is standing in a parkinglot of closed club dumfounded that nobody called to tell us they lost there liquer license:mad:
    Club owners are the lowest of people!