Gig from HELL Horror stories

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by WildeStarr, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. I am sure that we can all share bad/funny/scary moments we had on stage....

    On tour in Japan with "Vicious Rumors" back in 1992, we were recording a show for a "Live in Tokyo" CD. That was the night that my GK 800RB decided to blow up near the end of the set and I had no back up amp! So I went Pete Townsend and smashed my Washburn bass into a zillion pieces. One of our guitar players took a piece of the neck and threw it out into the crowd and it hit a guy in the face sending him to the hospital. We were lucky to get out of country, the kids parents wanted to sue us! I still have the headstock. :ninja:

    Dave Starr: Bassist with CHASTAIN & Vicious Rumors
  2. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Wow, that's rough.

    Our worst gig was in Boston. We left to get up there for a weekend show at this one club (Friday & Saturday night) after work. We all left work early so we could get there on time. Well, we got stuck in traffic for the big dig up there, of course. We carry all our gear through a packed Fanneuil Hall and on stage and ended up getting there about 20 minutes late (8:20, remember this time). So we set up and get ready for sound check.

    The drum check was first. My drummer must've hit his snare drum 6,843 times before moving on to the 1st rack tom. He hit that another 4,327 times before going back to have to hit the snare for another 20 minutes. Drum check in all took at least 2 and a half hours, no exageration. It was getting very close to gig time by the time he finished it. Then we did a quick check of all the other instruments.

    We go on stage and it's a pretty decent night. The sound wasn't. My monitor consisted of only keyboard and my singer's vocals at about 400 db. It was easily the LOUDEST thing I've ever heard ever in my life. I forgot my wireless that night and was able to get to the staircase leading off the stage and played there the whole night. There was too much physical pain if I went anywhere closer to the monitor. I begged and pleaded with the sound guy to turn my monitor down, but he never did. My guitar player wasn't as polite. At one point I heard "TURN THESE FV&#ING MONITORS OFF, NOW!!" screaming into the mics. My keyboard player just walked off stage mid song, he couldn't take it anymore.

    After one of the songs there was a good 10 minutes of feedback where everyone in the club just cringed and covered their ears. Despite all this, we managed to play through it and the crowd loved us ( I think they knew it wasn't our fault).

    Well, here's where it gets bad. The next night we show up to find out that the sound guy the previous night had never done sound for a band before. So, we go up to the owner who was there the 2nd night to ask him if we're going to have a better sound guy. We never got that far. The owner sees us and goes ballistic. "What the f@#$ happened last night, the sound guy told me you guys are the worst band he's ever heard!!" We tried to tell him what happened, but he wouldn't let us speak. We got as far as 'sound check' and he starts yelling at us that it was our fault we got there late and that the sound guy wasn't given adequate time to get a good sound check. What??!? He wouldn't even let us tell him that we had the longest sound check I've ever heard of and we still had the worst sound ever not to mention possible hearing damage.

    The 2nd night went awesome, packed house and good sound, we had so many people come up to us and say we were the best band they had ever heard, and requests for us to play their weddings. But the owner still called our manager to tell him never to even mention us again because we were a "garbage band." Haha, these are the gigs you can only laugh at.
  3. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    sound guy was his son? mother? wife?

    the worst thing that's happened to me is playing a mostly empty bar and having the door charge my wife 5$ even though she was on the guest list. (the damn singer later pocketed all the money from that night.)
  4. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002

    I guess it was the regular sound guy's friend. He had only done sound for acapella groups before. Mere words do not describe the torture that was the sound that night.
  5. pretty much our worst gig ever

    A while back we had a singer who was partial to a drink or too. We had been booked for a gig in a decent venue with big stage, lights, professiional sound the works. The band arrived without our singer (as he lived in a different area and made his own way there).

    Anyways when he actually arrived, he was pissed. He brought with him a 2ltr bottle of "water" which was actually vodka.
    By the time we went on he was totally wasted so we told him if he forgets any lyrics just sing another verse over again.

    That night we done cover of ozzy's "Crazytrain". He sang the line "Crazy, and thats how it goes" the whole way through the song.
    He also feel off the stage which was pretty dam high, fell asleep on the floor during an instrumental, and broke a microphone at the end.

    That was the last gig we ever played with old gavin.
  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I know it was rough for you, but that was funny!
  7. my worst was when i was playing jamband-bluegrassy-phishy stuff with some guys and being sandwiched between Eek-a-Mouse and some other hardcore(?) reggae band. imagine 20 rows deep of militant (no kidding i was shocked too) rastas telling me to get off the stage and throwing stuff at us... so then we did a bluegrassy version of For Whom the Bell Tolls and they didn't know how to respond... i guess seeing the looks on their faces wasn't all that bad.. i just didn't like dodging UFO's and being hit by red-stripe bottles the whole set....
  8. we look back on it now and laugh, but that night we were not best pleased.

    Also played a gig not so long ago there were our lead guiatrist bust the same string on two different guitars, our drummer put a snare skin through and our rythm guitarist was forced to use the worst guitar in the history of guitars.

    And in other ****ty gig news we once arranged for a lift home from a gig with a guy who thought we only had our guitars with us. He turned up in his relatively small rover with the boot full of tools and bricks for building a house. we managed to fit

    Two guitars with Hard cases
    One bass guitar with hard case
    two rack mountable effects units
    Two footboards for them rack mountable effects units
    snare drum
    Drum stands
    double foot pedal
    One big assed bass amp
    One big assed guitar amp
    four band members and a driver all into one car, It was the most painful journey of my life :meh:
  9. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I've told you the ones as a bassist, but here's one as a rapper. I was doing a rap verse for this prima dona R&B muckity muck singer. This guy had a long flowing jheri curl, glitter britches, high heeled boots, and he wore mascara! :eyebrow: Anyway, he also fashioned himself to be a "master showman", so he put together a couple of flashpots made from coffee cans that were supposed to go off during his rousing psuedo rock number. Well, they didn't THAT time! He moves on with the show, and gets to the gospel number. While he's praising Jesus, yep, you guessed it, flashpot #1 goes off and scares the holy hell outta him! He stops talking up the Lord, and yells, "Oh sh*t!" :D He apologizes, moves on, and towards the ending, flashpot #2 refuses to be outdone! He drops the mic, and hightails for the frontrow. Funniest disaster I've ever had the honor of being a part of! :cool:
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I was doing sound for an 80s hair metal band. Their manager booked us into a strip joint, with obvious mob overtones. I went early, to scope the scene out. This was before the strippers came on, BTW. :eyebrow:

    The club wanted disco, or some kind of top 40 thing, I guess. The band comes out in spandex, doing Van Whalen and AC/DC; pretty hardcore, and quite loud. It went over like a turd, but we worked on some ideas for tunes that would work a little better for the next set. The strippers alternated with the band, and shared the same dressing room. During the changeover, one of our barely-legal roadies "handles da merchandise". This violates Rule Number One, of course.

    We got invited, at gunpoint, to leave immediately. Fastest tear down ever! Because I had been hanging with the manager and bouncer before the band arrived, I was able to negotiate half payment for the one set, and safe passage outta there. I think someone would've gotten seriously hurt otherwise. I never saw the gun, nor was I threatened personally, but everyone else was white as a sheet, if not brown in their drawers.

    This band was always good for a lot of drama, but that gig took the cake.
  11. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    Woodchuck you should be a writer. That was hilarious especially your delivery. That is great.
  12. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    Ok I will share my. We had a nice house party gig, nice part of town. Well, we get there and find out it is his parents house. Now keep in mind this guy is 27 yr. old. The parents are out of town and he thought having a band and some kegs would be a good idea. Well, he shows us the room to set up and it is full with furniture. So he says he and a few friends will move the furniture. Well they gut the family room. All of the furniture is now in the garage. We set up and start playing. The house it rockin. People everywhere. Now for the fun stuff. The singer can't remember all of his words so he has cheat sheets and he has to have a little bright ass light to help him out. He positions the light up against the wall that is painted. This is a little halogen filled bulb light. Sure enough after 30 mins. of playing a flame shoots up the wall and catches the wall on fire. This dumbass put the light right up against the wall so it wouldn't be so bright. People throw beer on it and yell. The fire is extinguished. You would think the party would be over but no they still want us to play. In the meantime the furniture in the garage is getting destroyed by many a drunken fools. Now a guy walks out in between a song and is extremely drunk. He faces the band and puts his hands in the air and falls flat on his face and smashes his nose. Blood goes everywhere, all over the carpet and he is yelling. His friends pick him up and carry him off. You would think we would have left. Instead we keep playing. All of a sudden a loud scream is heard even over the band. A fight has broken out. 2 guys come in the room fighting. A bunch of guys break it up for a few seconds. They are fighting over who has the most right to be in this house. The two fighting are the guy having the parties best friend and the guy who is having the parties sister's boyfriend. They are literally fighting over who has more right to be there. Well, you guessed it the fight starts again but this time with a twist. The sisters boyfriend now has a pair of 4-5 inch long scissors and is attempting to cut, stab the other guy. At this point we stop and pack up our stuff and get the heck out of there. I have never tore down a rig so quick. I even got the drums down in record time. Now that I look back on it I laugh. It was quite an experience.
  13. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    My gig from hell started out as a “gig for heaven” in a way. I was drafted by a missionary team to go to Romania last year as a part of their Praise Band. We were playing in this tiny little remote village church. Our PA amp had fried at power up on their 220v power even with a converter. We had to haggle through translators with one of the locals for a barely working 220 volt amp from a nightclub in a nearby city to use temporarily. We obtained it just barely in time for the first night of revival. It would work for about 15 minutes at a time and then overheat or something and cutoff. The tiny little church was so hot inside, and crammed to the rafters with about 200 people that rarely if ever bathed (God bless em!) I was in the back next to a window. Between each song, I would plop back on the window ledge and lean back to try to get some air. After one of the songs, I misjudged my plop and went all the way through the window and fell about 4ft onto the walkway outside. I was unhurt, and amazingly only got some tiny scratches on my bass. The racket my bass caused in the fall however fried the rickety loaner amp and it took them an hour of major fiddling to get it back working again. This was just the first of many misadventures on that 10 day trip, but the overall experience was worth every minute.
  14. geeyza


    Apr 6, 2004
    well, I ll share what I heard from my late 80s,popular local heavy metal band plays in a quite large venue, where they have the seats set up all the way near to the stage.the band sounds solid,really good at what they do,and the lead guitarist is all over the place doing his solos and all that,but later he gets bored or something (seems like he wants a little bit ACTION!) he decides to do a stunt show!in the middle of a song he takes off from the stage(in a flying mode),and dives into the crowd,but he doesnt get a soft landing :(((
    everyone (where they are supposed to be standing and providing a soft landing for him, DISSAPEARS)and his face lands on the solid seats (uuuuuchhh!!) his face get smashed,blood all over,straight to the hospital,band stops playing,gig ends.
    I actually met the guy after 8 years or so,I didnt see any stiches on his face,he looked ok,(LUCKY GUY)actually he was an ok guy,funny as well,but I never mentioned about that story to him.
  15. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    Keep these stories coming everyone, they're awesome!

    My worst gig was one of the first ones I ever played. I was 15, and in a ska/punk band. We played mostly at local VFW's and KofC halls. Nobody ever really came, but they were usually fun anyways.

    Here's the kicker. At this particular show we were playing with a band I'd never heard of, and when it was their time to go on stage, somebody told me to get the band from the bar (which was attached) and tell them to go on. So I open the door to the bar, and this older (mid-30s) guy jumps in front of me wearing a speedo and shooting beer all over the place, while yelling "GET OUT!!!! GET OUT!!! AHHHHAHHAHAHAA!!"

    It was the scariest thing that had ever happened to me, haha. :ninja:
  16. OK, here is another good one that you will all get a good laugh out of! The following text is taken from my "Vicious Rumors" history website. This event took place on our 1988 European tour (first show.. of course!)

    "...What transpired that night was truly memorable. The best of times, and the worst of times all in one night. I cannot say enough good things about how great the crowd was for that first show! We were told about how different the audiences were over in Europe compared to the ones in America. In the U.S., fans tend to be a bit more laid back, but not in Europe. We were greeted by a packed house of screaming and yelling VR fans pounding their fists in the air and on the stage. They knew all of our tunes and sang all of the lyrics with us! It was a really awesome night.
    The downside was me having technical problems with my bass all night long. I normally never have any problems with my gear, and so I did not think it was necessary to bring a back-up bass on this short tour. Bad idea!! A few songs into the set, my bass starts cutting out and then it cuts out completely! I could not figure out what the problem was, but I knew it was a really embarrassing situation for me and the band. I thought why me?? Why now?? What did I do to deserve this! I finally gave up trying to fix the bass, and ended up picking up Geoff's back up guitar and plugging it into my rig! I turned all of the tone knobs on the guitar down to get the most bass sound as possible, then switched to the neck pick-up to get even more bass out of Geoff's poor Flying V ! I think I was operating on sheer terror at this point, but was else could I do?? It's only rock and roll right? Or so I thought...Geoff looks at me and says something like.." what the f**k is going on!"...I think I nearly had a stroke from the pressure of the situation! To make it even worse, this show is on video tape! We ended up halting the show for a few minutes while I figured out that there was a wiring problem in my bass. I made a quick fix that was able to get me through the rest of the show....Thank God! All in all a great time was had despite my little mini disaster. The crowd was very understanding of the technical problems, and they made us feel on top of the world all night long!...."

    Dave Starr: Bassist with CHASTAIN & Vicious Rumors
  17. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    So my last band that was together for around 10 years booked a gig at this joint in southern Wisconsin. We did all original rock. So we're jammin' our set when we quickly figure out it's a Country music bar. Every time we'd finish a song, the crowd would yell, "Turn it down!". Then some toothless hick turns on freakin' Garth Brooks on the juke box. Now we were pro's. We played right through all of that crap as it was also a paying gig. But then, the next band didn't show. So in order to get payed, the bar owner wanted us to play our same 12 song set again to the same audience. Mid-way through the second set, my singer threw out his voice and told the audience, " good night everybody." My drummer got steamin' pissed and yelled," I quit, he sucks!" and started kicking his drums all over the place. The audience looked at us as if we all had two heads or something. Believe it or not, we still were payed our full amount. :rollno:
  18. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    A sub gig about 10 years ago comes to mind. I worked with a guy who played guitar, and sang in a country band. We both knew each other played, but not much was ever said about it.

    One day, he asks me if I think I could pull off playing in a country band, since their guy quit on them, and they had gigs lined up the next two weeks. I asked what it paid, and decided I'd do it.

    One night we went over to another of the guys houses, they put some tapes in to see if I could hack it, and immediately begged me to join full time. I played 4 hours worth a night, of stuff I had never heard in my life before. Not to generalize country music, but this stuff was so predictable it wasn't funny.

    Anyway, first gig out, I find out the guy I work with likes to drink and be obnoxious. On our first break, he sat down at the bar next to a total stranger who just had her meal delivered. He reached over and took the pickle off her plate, and ate it. Needless to say, she was not happy!

    She then takes her entire untouched sub sandwitch off her plate, and hurls it at splattered all over him, it was great. Being the dumbass that he is, he picked up every single slither of the sandwitch off the bar floor, reassembled it as good as he could......took a big ol bite out of it, and heaved it right back at her....splat again. The argument that ensued was equally entertaining.

    Fast forward to later that night......I had rode with shannon, the singer guy I knew, and HE decided he was leaving with some bar fly he met there (peperoni stains and all), but he was so nice as to hook me up with some drunk dumbass he knew to take me to an afterhours party where he would pick me up from later. I was pissed and wanted to just go home. The drunk moron got us in a wreck on the snowy roads, and I ended up at this sucky party where I knew NO ONE until almost 6 am, before shannon came to get me, and take me home.

    I was so mad, I decided I was going to no call/ no show at their gig the following week just to screw him back. At the last minute, I decided that wasn't cool, and went to the gig (DRIVING MYSELF). Good thing I didn't try to be spiteful and stiff them, the place had double booked the weekend. We all got full pay, and didn't have to set up or play anything.

    I let them know I was no longer interested in workng with them, so they found someone else.
  19. devain21to7


    Jun 5, 2004
    Well , I do actually have a gig story that is far worse than the now popular Redkneckland! It was actually last week. We were playing a gig in Wichita Kansas . A CCR trib band opened for us with a good show. Then we went on , and as soon as I opened my mouth to sing the first line my strap ripped apart and my bass fell on the guy below, near the stage. He was fine, but my beautiful Thunderbird was destroyed, but as you know , the show must go on , so I borrowed the Trib bands bass and played our set. When we were done and I was loading the amps into the van , I was hit in the back of the head by a Bass. I turned and saw it was my own broken bass and some damn ******* drunk started hitting me with it. So I grabbed a mic stand outta the van and skewered the guy in the crouch. Someone called the cops and I spent the night in a jail cell with three beefy, greasey, (homosexual?), guys while I was in makeup, leather pants, lipstick, and a womans red velvet jacket. They all stared at me all night and one of em kept smiling at me. So that one by far was worse than redkneckland.
  20. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    "You got a purty mouf!" :bag: