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New Sub Gig Adventure and Rehearsal Report

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mrcbass, Feb 13, 2020 at 10:21 AM.

  1. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I think I'm proving that I'm quite insane....

    About a month ago, A CL add popped up looking for a bass and drummer to cover a Valentine's day gig. I have a good drummer in my circle who's available most of the time and likes to gig, so I contacted the ad and inquired about some details.

    The guy (Gary) got bakc to me in a reasonable timeframe (that in itself is a miracle these days) and we went through the details: Gig is in Santa cruz (about 3 hours from home) on Friday night and pay "isn't great". We'll get comped rooms and some beverage food credit."

    A couple of these details don't really thrill me (the 3 hour drive and the Friday afernoon requiribng a three hourt drive - I'll need to take some time off work. I'm taking a couple weeks of vacation starting next week and didn't figure that my job wold be craazy about needing another day off this week. I'm really going out of my way to expand my circle of contacts, so I let him know that it would be difficult, but if the music is in my wheel house, I could manage the gig if I could get the time off. I had been in contact with my drummer and he said he would do it if it happened. I emailed Gary and let him know tha the drummer was in if this happened.

    Then I heard nothing back. No surprises, I didn't mkae my availability sound real good and he obviosly found some other guys. No sweat.

    So SUnday, I get home from my rehearsal and find an Email from Gary: "The guys we had bailed last minute - can you do this?" Keep in mind, we've never met and have no clue regarding each other's talent. I chewed on it for a bit before responding: half of me wanted to send the "Sorry, too short of notice." just out of spite for the dead silence and this is severely inconvenient. BUt as I mentioned, trying to expand my connections and this could turn into another band for me, so I got back to him and gave him all the "bad" news again, but asked for a setlist so I could tell if I could even pull it off on such short notice.

    I also asked him to specify exactly what "not much money" meant. He told me $60/man. Wow, that's kind of an insult to "not much" - that the low end of what I'll gig for 20 minutes form home. But I kept repeating the mantra "expanding my connections, expanding my connections...".

    It took a couple of emails of asking to get the list, and then a couple more to get answers to a few of the songs I didn't recognize (which artist, what's the full name of the song - is midnight train the Gladys Knight song (no)) but I got what I needed and there were four songs I'd never herad (all very simple) about a third that I'd already worked out or am currently playing and the rest were very well known classic rock songs tha I'd probably noodled on and was comfortable that I could manage.

    I'd been in contact with my drummer and he was still able to do this, so pending time off approval, I said I would do it. We penciled in a rehearsal for Wednesday (last night) which gave me a grand total of about hours to prep my charts and run through the newer songs. And that's about what amount of practice I got in - running through the songs. Very little shedding. But I was pretty solid - nothing fancy - on most of the songs.

    I got home from work on MOnday to find an Email stating that he talked wih the guys and they agreed to bump our pay to $100/head. Hmm were they holding out on us or are they cutting them selves out of their "fair" share? Don't care! Another $40 helps to compensate for the fact that this gig is eating up my week. I had actually sent him the OK, I'm good to go confirmation before reading his email, so I fired back a "Thanks!" as well.

    I was able to get my first level charts prepped on Sunday night. On Monday, I did my chart vertting and ran throughs on about 60% (skipping abnyting that is in my band's current playlist) of the list and finsihed that on Tuesday. I didn't have time to do my normal YouTube grab of the tracks, so just put up with the YouTube ads and played to them.

    Gary never answerd my question about the song listed as "MIdnight Train" on the playlist. I discoverd a "Midnight Train to Memphis" and figured that was more likely to be the song than "Midnight Train to Georgia". Two versions of the Memphis song (Stapleton. Kid Rock) and I guessed Kid Rock based on the other songs in the list. Until listened to it. Turns out they are two completely different songs so I fired a text to Gary and he confirmed it was the Stapkleton version. I had an extra 15 minutes at home before leaving for work on Wednesay (driving instead of commute train) so I used that time to get that under my fingers.

    Come to find out they rehearse on the other side of town (their ad showed differently or I wouldn't have even contacted the ad to begin with) so I was lucky enough to obtain a parking spot at work (employers don't provide parking pretty much anywhere downtown) and had my gear and was able to leave from work to dodge most of the ugly commute traffic.

    Keep in mind, all the while, I'm imagining this perverse scenario, where these guys are just luring players into driving 3 hours to a gig that doesn't exist, so I was very comfortable to at least meet people and and hope they weren't complete ass hats (why did the other guys bail?) and hope that they were at least competent musicians.

    These guys rehearse in a winery under the LS's appartment in Rocklin - normally. The winery had some unscheduled event (an no they didn;t want any free live music! :cool:), so we had to lug all of our gear two flights up to his appartment - boy was I glad I don't tote a fridge around! They helped with our gear and we were all winded and had to take break before setting up! Being an old dude is just not for the faint of heart!

    The guys were all cool - two of them mid 50s and younger cat (35-40?) so the drummer and myself are the geezers (66, 61). Everyone is chill and the LS offered beer, whiskey and waters. No excess, just casual sipping. I stuck to the water. And at least there are actual people with musical instruments.

    Once we were set and tuned, we just started running the set. It soon became apparent that these guys hadn't even really polished these songs yet. They were still , figuring out endings and form - nothing dramatic, just cutting a few bars out here adding a few bars there. One of the guitar players hadn't even got to "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" in his shed yet. Seriously? I had a few hours and got through your whole 33 song playlist! But the opther guitar player knew it, so no biggie. My drummer disappointed me a few times - he obviously didn't even listen to most of the songs and we had to prime him a few times. The dude is essentially retired (disability and a handful of gigs per month) so he had 2 full days to prep. But he's otherwise a solid pro (been playing for like 50 years) and I think he just relied on faking it, which he is very good at.

    LS has a great voice, convincing ly pulling off everything from Tennesse Whiskey - to Highway to Hell. Both gutar players are a bit above average, but neither were blowing me away. We actaully did pretty good job considering all the newness - about half the songs sounded like we knew what we were doing and the other half were passable to a non-musician. Over all, I think they wre very impresseed that we just fell into place with them.

    One of the LS's neighbors popped her head in the door wondering what was going on - "My daughter thought she heard Tom Petty being blasted." We all laguhed and she actually came in and hung out for about an hour listening to us rehearse.

    I was a little emarassed to have to admit that the one song I wasn't reasonably tight on is "Sweet Emotions". You know, the one that starts with the cool bass lick? I somehow have never put any real work in on that song and that lick is very awkward for me - once I get rolling I can get grooving on it, but it takes about 4 runs at it and that's an awful way to start a song. I'll be shedding that tontght and then probably again between soundcheck and gig start (several hours). And then I'll have another iconinc vass song under my fingers!

    We really didn't spend a lot of time reworking rough spots. We did a few roll overs, but it was mostly "remember this" or "we'll do this" - you know the stuff that none of us will possibly remember, but we got through all of the songs on the "set list", but none of the ones that were extras. I guess they're not too worried about us being super polished and are looking at this as more of an orgainzed jam than a gig. And it is all pretty low hanging, Classic Rock fruit.

    We were loaded out by 8:45 after confirming load in time and dress codes and I felt much better about not getting punked into driving to Santa Cruz just amuse some fool. And if that is still a possibility, I at least know where oneof th guys lives!

    They were already talking about booking more gigs, so I suspect I'll be offerd a full time position. If we can work out another rehearsal locat. I'd be interested in working with them, but I doubt I'd sign on toe regular rehearsals across town. I never respond to ads from that part of town becaue the drive to get there is just brutal and that stresses me out immensely.

    Not looking forward to the drive down to Santa Cruz - I can't leave work until 11 which give me three hours to make the 2:45 (according to Google) which runs me through San jose around lunch time on a Friday. I fully expect to be a little late and I let them know the situation and they are fine - they know they are getting very lucky to find a couple of gig whores willing to make them successful at the last minute.

    Gig report to follow....
  2. Gustopher


    Jul 30, 2018
    Isn't it neat that music is a universal language and even though you guys didn't know each other, you could just get together and start putting out acceptable versions of classic songs! Thats one thing I love about playing music, it really brings people together. Now, this doesn't happen all the time obviously and you probably got really lucky it wasn't a complete poopieshow! lol! Good luck at the gig!
    mrcbass and alanloomis1980 like this.
  3. Sounds like a promising networking opportunity, if a little inconvenient. But finding an excellent lead singer in this town who isn't super busy? That's like gold. Hope you guys have a great show and that this leads to more fun in the future!
    mrcbass and alanloomis1980 like this.
  4. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    And it's in Santa Cruz. Lots of less interesting places to do a a Friday night gig. Have fun. Looking forward to the gig report.
    mrcbass and alanloomis1980 like this.
  5. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I really hope the gig goes well...and even leads to further work. You sure sound like a guy who does his very best to give his very best, and hopefully this will be recognised and rewarded.
    mrcbass, LBS-bass and alanloomis1980 like this.
  6. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to a gig report- and GOOD LUCK! :D
    mrcbass likes this.
  7. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Agreed. The LG and I actually had a conversation in this vain between sets. "It really should just be this easy."

    Gig report posted...
    Gustopher and Oddly like this.
  8. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Agreed. This guy is the best LS I've worked with and no signs of ego issues either. I'd love to Frankenstein him and one of the guitars players with my drummer and LG - we'd be pretty damn awesome.
  9. Got a short version?
  10. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    You don't know me do you? ;)

    After a month of silence to a CL response to a sub gig, I got a call for the gig on a week's notice. After deliberation and negotiation, I decided to go for it despite the fact that it's a very long drive (2.5 hours) and it would eat up every spare minute I had for the week. I did it because I wanted the challenge of the very short prep time (all low hanging fruit) and am trying to expand my musical contact.
    Oddly and Downunderwonder like this.
  11. “I think he just relied on faking it”: every drummer.
  12. 51PRI


    Aug 7, 2014
    Glad it turned out ok, but yikes!

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