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Playing live on TV

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Interceptor, May 1, 2010.

  1. Interceptor


    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    The band I play in had the joy of crawling out of bed just after bar time to go play a couple of live segments on set at a local TV station this morning.

    It was amazing how little time one gets in that situation to make it all work. We did fine, but it was pretty scary.

    I'm curious what this experience has been like for others.
  2. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Just did the live TV thing ...

    Thank goodness ours was at 5 in the afternoon, pretty easy for us ... we took very small gear (we used my micro YAMAHA drum set) and small amps etc: Your right though, we had to set up fast and just hit the ground running, wasn't really happy with the stations sound but hey it was live TV (shrugs sholders)

    Anyway here is the result ...
  3. Congrats!

    The artist I play for does TV every now and then. I think I'd be more nervous if I were a singer - but I've played some higher profile gigs w/ him and they are incredibly nerve racking - no crowd to play off of, kinda boxed in.

    I guess you'd have to do a bunch for them to become routine. Hope I can feel that one day!
  4. Sneakypete


    Jul 22, 2009
    Excellent Kenny! My sort of band in every way - three people and no gimmicks. If I'd been in the HR Cafe (different youtube vid) that night I would have been listening not talking!
  5. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    When playing on the HORDE tour back in '98 we did a local tv appearance. Acoustic guitars, but used drums and I brought my electric bass. Quick load in and I didn't have my power cord for my amp. :eek:

    No extras in sight and time was money. So...I played along like my amp was up to 11 (even though it wasn't on). This was back before everyone had subs or pretty much even stereo on their home tvs. You couldn't even tell watching it after the fact LOL.
  6. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Back in the early-to-mid-'80s, I played several times on local (New England) morning shows and one cool overnight show.
    What I remember most:
    ~We'd bring our gear in the door and then stand back while union guys brought everything to the stage area. We weren't allowed to do so much as adjust the height of a microphone.
    ~We ran into the oddest people who were fellow guests. Once I went to get coffee and a doughnut and ran into John Erlichman, one of Richard Nixon's henchmen! (I also remember meeting the makeup artist Rick Baker and the Yiddish theater actress/comedienne Molly Picon.)
    ~Before our segments, we'd have to stand still and be perfectly quiet, and then the hosts would introduce us, the cameras would swing around, and suddenly we'd be ON, performing to a virtually empty room. Quite uncomfortable.
  7. Interceptor


    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Thanks all, you (and a bit of time) have made me feel better.

    It sounds like TV gigs are a good test of nerves for just about everyone. It was hard on us, but it also made our gig that night feel easy.
  8. Clank


    Jan 7, 2008
    Huntington Beach
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Strings
    We did the Jimmy Kimmel show twice. The gear was all rented but good stuff and we dis get a soundcheck. The stagecrew were incredibly nice and very professional. Great to work with. The greenroom backstage had free beer so that took care of the nerves of playing live tv. and there was a pretty decent crowd. I had a blast. My favorite moment was while we were playing, my singer coaxed Tammy Faye Baker ( of PTL fame)
    out onstage and was dancing with her. Very surreal.
  9. In the very early stages of my playing. We performed on the Uncle Floyd Show which was a variety show back when in New Jersey He had on local up and coming original bands kind of strange playing only to the crew and a camera but, those were fun times RTS
  10. fingertap


    May 12, 2010
    I was hired once to replace a player (who was 'on vacation') in a friend's band for a shoot of a television production to be portrayed as broadcast "live." It was supposed to be coverage of a live festival, but actually was a dog-and-pony lip-sync production, prerecorded for 'The Telethon.' My friend planned to have his band play their recorded 'Nearly Famous' cover of "free bird" (I could be wrong?); anyway, whatever it was, it was way too long, way too draggy, and way too sticky, and way too sucky. I could not get into it.

    I started out playing into it but when it started dragging in the mix [doesn't even a non-long "free bird" or similar (I could be wrong?) always end up in drag??] I lifted off and began to mime fingerings for mustang sally, don't be cruel, and others. I was animated and somewhat aggressive playing-wise, to boot. I had no vocal part in the production so I was completely divorced from what was heard.

    Years later, the other bass player (the one who was at the time 'on vacation,' was finally released from jail) and he and I had become friends. We were having a 'beer' at a pub. He asked me, "What the holy ****(!) were you playing on that? You know," he said, "I have had a hell of a lot of people ask me: ***? "

    I said, "Well, we both got paid, right?"

    He said, "Good point!"

    We both had (at least another or two or a few) other Guinnesses and that was the last I saw of him.


    My friend never ever hired me to stand in for an absent bass player on a production shoot ever again. Indeed, he has never spoken to me after that...

    But I had a good time...

  11. Nomad5

    Nomad5 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Dallas, Texas
    Have done a few TV appearances over the years - many on guitar.

    I also hosted a "Bingo" program on local TV for about 3 years. 1 hour shows. There's no longer 5 minutes in the world than when the last game ends early and you hear the producer say in your ear monitor "4 & a half - just stretch for a while"!!

    The thing I remember most about TV in my younger days was the makeup - especially when they had to do my hands.....it just seemed weird. Also, no crowd to feed off of. Surreal for sure.

    Glad you got to do it - and hope you get to do it again!

  12. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Gowanna, gowanna, gowanna - Uncle Tony....

    It was weirder than that - it was a variety show on NJ PBS. Floyd later was in Good Morning Vietnam as a radio announcer, and had a short stint on NBC late night. Not sure what happened to Mugsy and Netto.

    That must have been an interesting TV appearance. Mine was on an ABC affiliate, pretty much as everyone else has described, just the crew for audience.
  13. Audio Music

    Audio Music Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2010
    Owner Live Sound Audio
    IT's difficult to seem convincing at 6am!
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Done it a few times. The best part was watching all the prissed-up 24 year old TV b*tches running around trying to look professional at 0-dark thirty... That and the free donuts. That was cool. The rest kinda sucked...
  15. deekay911

    deekay911 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    My band did this for the first time today. Sound was a little different, since they have little ambient sound pickup in the studio, we had to do like a live setup with PA, just the vocals through the monitors, and a mixer line out from the PA to their studio board. Seemed to give a nice sound, especially for vocals. They are giving us a mpeg recording which I will post later - got out my shiny new Fender 50th Anniversary Jazz for this special occasion, it really popped on camera. You can see it in the studio pic I took with my Blackberry.. :)

  16. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Nice. Are the hats company issue, or do you have to supply your own? :p
  17. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    My trio did our thing on the local cable station. We played three songs, they aired the two best. The drummer thought it would be fun to push the tempo on an already fast song, despite my warning. He was right, it was fun.
  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yeah my TV experience was a blast. The sound guys were real pros! I was actually stunned by how well damped the room was. There were no room acoustics to speak of - no ambient reverb, no frequency peaks of troughs, perfect. I wish every room was like that!

    Anyway we were asked to do a spot for a variety program who were doing an 80's special, and the host asked us to play her favourite 80's song. I was moving house at the time and earlier than morning I managed to smash the middle finger on my plucking hand, so that was hard to work around. I think I did OK, despite the song, plucking with my index finger and the one next to my pinkie.

    Here's the (low res) footage.

  19. badstonebass


    Jun 7, 2006
    One time did a morning news show at 7 am after a 2am gig.

    We get there set up our gear in an empty room. 2 Marshalls my bass rig and drums. Sound guy comes in and says run through a song. We do one tune he says stand by.

    We watch the hosts on a monitor the keep PROMOING us saying "blank band" is in the studio today. So we start a tune and play for 20/30 seconds then stop. Wait for commercials to end and get a 10 count to start in the middle of the song for about 10 seconds...stop.

    We did this for every break on a one hour show. We DID get to play ONE full song and got interviewed.

    Won't mention the band because I don't care to give them any free promo. Nobody famous.

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