I carved up a drummer last week

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Don Higdon, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. There's an open mic session that I sometimes go to on Sunday nights. The house pays for a fine guitarist, Vic Cenicola, and lets other players sit in. The problem with these things is, there's no controlling who comes up. The owner doesn't have the balls, he's getting free music. So it was Vic and me and two very good tenors, when the worst drummer I have ever heard gets on the stand. From beat one, he's behind. He had no business being on the stand. I dug in hard. My buddy said "I think you should go with him." I decided no, f^^k this s**t, I've had it with these no-talent bastards. I dug in harder, absolutely determined that I would keep the original time no matter how far off the a**hole went. The group followed me and the drummer flailed around totally lost the whole set. I gave no mercy. I figured either way, he screwed up my set. If I went with him, he'd have a nice experience and come back. If I destroyed him, my set was just as screwed, but he wouldn't come back. And that's what happened.
    Ego? Maybe. But I'm tired of decades of being used as a plow horse by wannabees that can't get a gig. I've wanted to do this for years. My buddy said I was worse than Mingus. (We're both old enough to have seen him live many times.) I liked that.
  2. Bravo! - been there - done that! I don't know if it does any good, but it does make you feel good.
  3. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Musicians (using the term loosely at present) who don't listen to the other players should consider another profession/hobby.
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Sweeeet. I'd have paid money to see that. I've played with too many players at open mics who just had NO IDEA. It's one thing to be inexperienced. It's another thing, entirely, to be unable, or unwilling to HEAR what is going on around you.
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Kid Rock sat in on my duo gig at the Seasons about a month ago. He mostly did a bunch of old R&B tunes; "What'd I Say", etc....nice enough guy. He does NOT play piano. Pam Anderson kept saying "you should get yer guitar, Honey", but he just kept hammering away on the house Yamaha (it's since been retuned). I guess he had fun, and the crowd he drew seemed thrilled. Me...well, I just took one for the team...
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I guess that's why Ed called you "Rex", Don.

    Good on ya.
  7. Either that or I'm extinct and just don't know it.
  8. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    As an open-micer myself, I feel your pain and I congratulate you on doing what I have been wanting to do to many, many people but never had the stones to do...

    Curious though, what would you have done if everyone else followed the drummer?
  9. They wouldn't; they're superior musicians. But for discussion's sake: I'd go with them, finish the tune, and get off the stand. If everyone on the stand had been as bad as the drummer, I'd have walked off in the middle of the tune, and started packing up.
  10. Last week we had a bloke come over during a break and say that he "loved jazz, and used to sing and play guitar to work his way through college," and wouldn't we just love to have him sing a few numbers later in the evening for us?

    We tried every tack imaginable to discourage and refuse him, but dauntless, he reiterated his generous offer many times over, first during breaks, and then, as more and more scotches went down his throat, between tunes, and finally even during tunes. At last he even stumbled right up onto the stage and put an arm around me while I was playing the bleeding bass, blubbering in my ear about how much everyone would certainly enjoy one vocal gem from him before he went off to his hotel room.

    At this point, I saw no way to deter him short of physical violence, which I felt the owners would certainly frown upon, so I figured best to let him get it over with, and then take another break and hope he'd clear off.

    He called "Danny Boy" (what else?), and leapt in head first, howling away in no discernable key. I signalled the other players to leave him be, a capella, in hopes he'd tire soon. But our pianist, feeling less diplomatic than I, decided the best response was to give him "Cecil Taylor plays 'Danny Boy'" as an accompaniment. After a few lines of this our crooner paused and turned to me with a look of exasperation, and with a sympathetic face I told him "oooohh, sorry, we don't really know this tune, but don't worry, I think the piano player's starting to get it. Keep going, man, keep going!"

    The guy hung in for another six or eight bars, then fumbled a quick ending and rushed from the stage to a smattering of feigned applause. He clearly didn't know we'd had him on, and he paid up his check and beat a hasty retreat, undoubtedly grousing to himself about how bad we made him sound 'cause we didn't even know 'Danny Boy' . The entire rest of the audience got the joke and enjoyed it thoroughly, and the guys in the band didn't stop laughing for two or three nights.

    A trick I shall remember in the future for dealing with these sorts.
  11. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC

    Was the drummer even competent enough to know he'd been carved?
  12. I wouldn't say "competent", but he knew he had been destroyed. That's what felt so good. And he never came back on the following sets, even after I left.

    Mire Ick reminds me of Vito and his cuff links coming up to sing on another gig.
    "What would you like to sing, Vito?"
    "Any particular 'Sinatra'?"
    "Yeah. The Summer Wind."
    So Vito sings the first bar in 5/4, the second in 4/4, the third in 7/4, etc.
    At the end of the chorus, he turns to the tenor sax and like a big shot, says "Take it."
    So the tenor plays the first bar in 5/4, the second in 4/4, the third in 7/4, etc. The rest of us are pissing in our pants with laughter, and Vito doesn't know whether to be angry or not, because we're not laughing while he sings.
    Simple pleasures are the best.
  13. "
    The Summer Wind . . . the first bar in 5/4, the second in 4/4, the third in 7/4, etc.


    Love it. Actually, I think I've heard this guy sing somewhere before.

    Then again, . . . polish it up and make it swing - hey, it might sound pretty hip. Perhaps you should make it a regular part of your book. Next time Vito come in you could ask him to join you again for his famous rendition of Summer Wind. But wait. . ., he might do the 5/4, 4/4, 7/4, etc. exactly as before, perfectly. THAT would be scary. Then you'd probably have to hire the guy. ;)
  14. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I know we all have to start somewhere, and I've met newbies that couldn't take a hint if it fell out the sky and bit them on the arse...

    So I was in this trad.jazz/western swing band. Lots of fun, got paid in food and beer. A young fan comes up and asks if he could sit in. Well, what do you play? Trombone. Great. So, he sits in, on a blues. Not great, but definitely not horrible, nor disrespectful. I tell him to keep with it, practice, blah blah...

    Later that night, he tries to convince us that he plays much better on didgeridoo. I just llooked at him... didgeridoo? Western swing/hot jazz, and didgeridoo? I'm not sure how I talked him out of it. Maybe "uh, no way, nope, not here" worked...

    Man, didgeridoo?:confused:
  15. Man, that was fun...so You lost Your chance to hear him dig in with didgeridoo.
    I think this calls for a call:
    What´s the most strange/uncommon instrument with which somebody has sat in with you? Let´s here some good stories...

  16. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Well not a strange instrument, but different music. I played a wedding last year where one of the guests was from south of the border. He arrived with his guitar, and his sit-in was actually part of the contract.

    He told us to just follow along, and said play Polka beats. Apparently his little slice of Mexico was settled by the Polish, and the music that evolved is a sort of latinized Polka. The guy was hot as hell on the guitar, sang a bit, and led us through lots of kicks and such. Take your stereotypical Mexican guitar feel and put it on an ooo-pah beat, and there you go! We had a ball, and the crowd freaked.
    I wish I could remember what they called the style.
  17. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    I think that's Tejano you're describing.
  18. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    That's the first time you heard Tejano? Joke's on you...
  19. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Welllll, I live a sheltered life in a small NY town, and Paul keeps me busy so I don't get out much. The town I grew up in is so small, it's called "Shortsville", no lie.:rolleyes: