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Most intimidating gig ever. In prison!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by LoJoe, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    My neighbor, the pastor of a prison ministry group recruited me to go and play with them this past weekend since their regular bass player was unavailable. The songs were easy enough, but the venue was definitely different. On Saturday night we did a women's minimum security prison. They were great, really appreciative, really into the music, and it did wonders for my ego to have so many women checking me out, winking at me, making goo goo eyes at me etc... On the other hand, Sunday morning was at the other end of the spectrum. We played a men's maximum security prison. It took 2hrs just to get in the place from all the security measures. There were guards all over the place, and it was much more controlled. Still they seemed to have a good time for the most part. At the end after the Pastor had given his sermon, we had to form a gauntlet at the door and they all shook hands with us on their way out. There were about 600 inmates there and I thought it would never end. Some of the guys were as big or bigger as the dude in the Green Mile movie. One guy told me I did a great job on bass and that he had been a bass player too until he gave it up. Not thinking, I asked him why he quit. He said "Well I killed someone and ended up in here." :eek: That could have been the worst of it except for some guys whose hands were all wet. I asked the coordinator afterwards what that was about. He said that some of the guys sit in the back and give each other hand jobs during the program. I washed my hands up to my elbows for about 20 mins immediately after hearing that. I'm definitely ready to go back to my normal "boring" gigs. Ugh!!
  2. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I've done one of these gigs too. Medium security men's prison in Jefferson County, CO. Biggest pain for load in and load-out. The gig was 1 hour, and load in/out took about 4. I left my cigaretes in the car, and couldn't get back out to get them. Couldn't get one from a inmate, because we were not to take anything from them, or give anything from them. Luckily, I found a prison guard who smoked.
    It was wierd to see the prison "b1tches" (guys who looked like women). We had a female singer in that band, so she drew most of the attention. We ended the show with Jailhouse rock, which went over pretty well. Don't really want to do one of those gigs again. The gig went well, but had a really wierd vibe. Puts a new meaning on a captive audience.
  3. ClarkW


    Aug 1, 2003
    Provo, UT. USA
    Much like a good thriller or horror movie, this thread both frightens and sickens me, yet compels me to continue watching!
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    My old band, Lorian, did a gig in a jail, some years before I joined.
    It was a pretty normal and fun gig from what I've heard, the inmates being an appreciative audience.
    German prisons are not as rough as US prisons though AFAIK.
  5. theydolph

    theydolph Guest

    Oct 26, 2002
    I remember that Johnny Cash used to play prison shows all the time back in the day, and that the audience was always really appreciative. You don't see anybody doing it anymore, although its kind of hard to picture Justin Timberlake performing at Fulsum prison.
    vasilio likes this.
  6. ClarkW


    Aug 1, 2003
    Provo, UT. USA
    Oh no, that's not hard. In fact, I can see it crystal clear right now, up through the part where riots break out and the J-man is rushed by a crowd of randy felons. It does get a little fuzzy after that, though.

    Disclaimer: The above was intended purely as humor and should not be construed as a threat on Mr. Timberlake's well-being, or even conspiracy of threat on Mr. Timberlake's well-being.
  7. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I've played several of these gigs, (more than 10, less than 20), over the years here at the federal pen in Sheridan, Oregon with a church that I attended years back... Definitely a different vibe, but a very uplifting experience... Yeah, the load in/out can be a pain, but for the most part, I was happy to do it. Most of these guys were allowed to attend based on behavior, and it was a religous service... The only hinky feelings we got were when we had gals on the team... The drummer's wife was quite a looker and totally oblivious to that fact, so she'd laugh and joke flirtatiosly without intending to... After one of the guards had a talk with her about it, she started dressing down a bit and it was much more comfortable...

  8. wow, a thread about prison without one sodomy joke!

    oh man, I just jinxed it... :ninja:
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I used to play with a drummer who was a psychologist. So every X-mas we would perform for the criminally insane section of the mental institution he worked at. Remember these people have committed rapes, murders etc and have been found criminally insane by the courts.

    You get used to it after a while, but the first gig is indeed scary. The "nmates helped us carry our equipment in. The guy that carried my 4x10 was so big he was strong enough to hold it with 2 fingers. He put it down, walked over to the old piano on the stage and shashed 5 keys off it with one blow.

    At one stage I was talkin with what I thought was one of the nurses. I walked over to my friend and said "he's a nice guy. How long has he been working here". Michael pulled a puzzled face and said "Working here? He's an inmate. He killed his mum."

    We did that gig 5 years straight. Unfortunately the government closed it down.
  10. I’ve played at the Oregon State Penitentiary a few times. The nice thing about it was that they had a "roadie school" so the would actually take the equipment to the stage and help set it all up. They did a great job too.

    The strangest part about it was that they told you not to wear blue as that was what all the inmates wore. In case of a riot they didn’t want to mistake you for a prisoner. That turned out to come in handy because the last time we played there the inmates started to get a little too excited and they went into lock down mode right as we were leaving- pretty chaotic.
  11. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    So, tell us, in which prison did you get more winks? :D
  12. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL

    :eek: :spit: I hope that guy was kidding...sick...

    Anyway, not your average bar gig that's for sure.

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