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Sleezy Bar Stories

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Bassmanbob, Oct 21, 2006.


  1. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I'm still laughing about my new band's first gig in the sleeziest bar in town. A little back ground: I'm a local professional, clean cut, husband and father of two mild mannered daughters. Well a guitarist friend of mine asked me to join his new band. They play some originals, and mostly heavy rock. It's really not my usual style, but I like the guys in the band and I figured why not?

    So we rehearse for three weeks and have our first gig last Sunday night. I've never been to this bar before, but I was warned to, "dirty up" for the gig, and not make eye contact with anyone's woman. I usually keep my hair really short and clean shaven face except for my goatee, so I shaved my head but not my face that day.

    Well I get there to set up and the first guy I see in the place has a freshly inflicted black eye that he could barely see through. The guy next to him has no shirt, but a leather vest with a picture on the back of a skull with long blond hair, a cowboy hat and a Confederate flag bandana around it's missing neck. Any the guy had Summer Teeth (Sum 'r there and Sum 'r not). This was culture shock for me.

    Anyway the gig went off without any problems, except for the usual first gig jitters. Oh yeah. The song that got the best responce was Gimme Three Steps by Lynard Skynard. Yeeah Haaa Buddy! Half way through the gig I turn to the guitarist and tell him the place wasn't as sleezy as he lead me to beleive. He responded with, "You showed up on Preppy Night. They dressed up for you tonight." I thought that was pretty funny.

    So what are your sleezy bar stories?
     
  2. hartke20g

    hartke20g

    Apr 12, 2006
    miami, FL
    i lol'd at that. a lot. unfortuantely for me, i'm not exactly old enough to play at bars like that.:p
     
  3. Back in the mid 90s this doofus guitarist booked our band to play "The Green Bank" which we found out to be a total redneck/sh*t kicker's bar. Now I don't scare easy, but the guy who booked us promised we'd play, <gasp> country!?!? I mean we did some Allman Bros, ZZ top, and misc classic rock, but we covered mostly Pearl Jam, STP, and Green Day which were popular at the time.

    Things started out OK but quickly started to disintegrate towards the 2nd set when, around 11pm, the natives were growing restless and started yelling "suggestions" like "Play some F'in country!!" and the barkeep came up to us on stage to concur. On stage in between songs we had a band meeting (BTW we were video taping the "show") and I remember telling the guitarist that booked the show that this was BS that he got us into this and we weren't, in fact, couldn't change who we were on stage, so let's play what we play best and get the hell out. So I stepped up to the mic and said something like "OK folks...let's play some Green Day for the Green Bank" and I looked at my drummer to get this over with. Fortunately, the other guitarist had brought a bunch of good looking woman and they started getting into the up beat tempo so then when we slammed into The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" even the locals joined into the frenzy and somehow we made it out alive. I remember the barkeep after the show paying/telling the dumbass who booked us "you boys sure got lucky t'night" - damn straight!! Thank you, goodnight.

    I can look back at that video and laugh at our body language during our on stage "meeting." whew.

    >Truth be told I posted this story in a "~related" thread, but this thread is dead-on for this happy memory. :rollno:
     
  4. Morrolan

    Morrolan

    Apr 23, 2006
    Missouri
    How could you get into this situation and not bust out "Rawhide"?! Good lord, man, have you no sense of tradition?
     
  5. can't leave out "Stand By Your Man" either.
     
  6. Got booked into a bar in Timmins, Ontario for two weeks / ten shows. Timmins is roughly 600km north of Ottawa, and pretty much the northernmost city of any relevant size in Ontario. The tavern had been around for about 100 years, and the clientele was basically guys who worked in the mines and natives.

    The front doors to this place were made of steel. We didn't believe the owner when he said it was to keep the drunks out after closing time when they tried to get back in, or when he proudly showed us which dents were caused by people heads getting knocked into the door by his staff. It didn't take long for these stories to be proven to us.

    The bar had cheap alcohol and didn't make much profit off booze... but they made a huge profit off other illegal substances going through it. The cops knew this and came through many times each night. The solution: keep the lighting so dark that you could just barely see to get around in the place, and the doorman had a powerful flashlight. Anytime the cops came in, the doorman would effectively be able to blind them for the first minute or so with the flashilight combined with no light in the room while any illegal activities could cease.

    Good times.
     
  7. Larry99

    Larry99

    Aug 17, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    In the 80s I played in a classic rock cover band and we had a regular gig at his bar under the elevated train in a rough part of Philly. Patrons were a mix of bikers, strange neighborhood locals and underage teenagers. Lots of tatoos, fat, skinny, summer teeth (I like that one!), strange clothing and body extremities, you name it... We called it the "Star Wars" bar.

    There were incidents almost every night from nasty fights with billiards balls and cue sticks to toothless women propositioning the singer in the middle of a tune. Once it got a little unsettling with an angry biker demanding we play a tune we didn't know. We often saw police coming in and doing nothing at all the underage patrons in the bar, only to leave with about 2 cases of beer as hush money. On good nights our payment included a case of beer and a bottle of Jack Daniels. ...I have to say that as a young bass player (I was only 17 or 18 at this time), it was a really fun place to play :~)
     
  8. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Back in the 1980s, I frequently played at a venue called Ruthie's Inn on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland. This place was a massive s***hole, but we always seemed to be booked there. It attracted a nice cross-section of street bums, local loonies, horse addicts, and ex-freakshow stars. Mix that with the white, suburban audience that we would bring with us. I remember very clearly having to go around the back to the dumpster to find the manager so we could get paid. Good thing I got there AFTER he was done shooting up. Now what is really funny, is that there is a local guy who was recently putting together a reunion show for all of the punk bands that took over the place after we stopped playing there. Kind of an homage to skank. Good times!
     
  9. Spoiled Grape

    Spoiled Grape I <3 Darkstar

    May 29, 2003
    Riverside, CA
    We played a bar in Menifee, which is about 40-50 miles north of San Diego in California. The area is known for white suburbia and drugs. The show went fine, as instead of playing originals, we just played covers the entire night. At the end of the night, the owner didn't want to pay, and after 20 minutes of arguing, finally agreed to pay us in COCAINE.

    So yes, we eventually got out of there with fifty bucks and a bottle of cheap vodka. Never came back. :)
     
  10. What? You turned down COCAINE? What kind of rock star are you?
     
  11. To add to this thread, our band recently did a show at a local bar that's fairly known as a spot for local bands to play, and this was our first show there. We were opening for this death metal band we had never worked with (it was their CD release party, IIRC), and before the show one of their guys says to us after soundcheck "You guys should play everything a little faster." I'm thinking "no," and tell our lead singer afterwards "We don't take requests from anyone, and no one tells us how to play." I think it's a good policy.
     
  12. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass

    Dec 26, 2004
    A smart one.

    Wait a minute... Smart Rockstar:eek:!? That's an oxymoron!!
     
  13. LP75

    LP75

    Aug 29, 2006
    Seattle
    Sometime in the late '90s, one of the bands I played with got a gig at a "club" in the Pioneer Square part of downtown Seattle. I had not heard the name of the club before, and was told it was very new. So I get there along with the other guys, and there it is - a steel door in a skanky looking block-wall with no windows right off Occidental Park (the central outdoor sleeping zone for the homeless) with a HANDWRITTEN sign over the door, along with a quartz-lamped WORK-LIGHT hanging on a hook, with a yellow power cord running back in through the door. Ohh great. The place was run by a crew of guys who seemed to be barely 21. They had yet to obtain a liquor license, and any permit to actually have a function there was questionable. I think someone was selling beer out of a cooler. We were booked with at least one more band than we were told there would be of course, and we probably had less minutes to actually play music than we had setting up and tearing down.
    Loading the gear in and out was a challenge in making sure that things were not being stolen right from in front of us by the dozens of shifty looking characters that orbited the "Saturday Night at the Fights" boxing match that sprung up between bums in the park. It made gigs at the biker bar across from the landfill on hwy 99 south look like Carnegie Hall.

    LP
     
  14. In the late 80's the band I was in at the time played an inner city bar on University Ave. in St. Paul. It had a clientele of street people, recent Ethopian immigrants, bikers and prostitutes. The first time I walked into the men's room, I nearly died...there were about a dozen (used) syringes on the floor. Later during the evening, a guy was dancing and a revolver fell out of his pocket onto the floor!

    We played there regularly for several years and never had a problem...we were always treated respectfully by the customers and the help. Oh yeah, if any of us happened to stop by when we weren't playing (this didn't happen often) our drinks were free and they wouldn't accept tips from us EVER!

    During the same time period, we played in a small-town bar way out in the western suburbs of Minneapolis...your basic biker bar. I must say, though, that there were some fine looking women who frequented the bar, but that's not the half of it. Some of them were "stripper wannabes" who loved to dance and show off their boobs and...um...the southward area as well. One time, one of the "wannabes" had her birthday party in the bar and asked me if I wanted to join her in a shot of tequila. "Sure, sounds good to me!" I said. She then pulled up her shirt, shook some salt onto one of her nipples and offered it to me. After I had cleaned off all the salt, she kissed me with her mouth full of tequila and propelled it into my mouth! I wish I had known what was coming...I'd have ordered a double.
     
  15. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    LOL that's CLASSIC! I thought the gal who served me my lime slice from between her teeth was cool, but this..!!! Kudos to the both of you!
     
  16. We pull up outside The Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan, I step out of the car and the first thing I hear is a guy yelling "Ohhh s*#t woman, gimme a break, I just got out o' jail!"

    The second thing I hear is someone throwing up in the alley. It's 7:30pm. We later learn that it was the bar tender.

    Our jail-bird buddy asked our singer mid-set "When are your balls gonna drop?"

    ...good times, good times.

    But the ultimate has to be seeing the cops turn up at The Holy Grail in Canberra and arrest the owner for 2 counts of sexual harassment of his customers. Nice...
     
  17. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    In an outer tier nothern suburb of Minneapolis. The place was small and kinda wild, we were the highest paid band there and most of the crowd loved us. The manager didn't like us, (whenever we played 1-2 weekend per month), he needed an extra waitress and would swamp the bartenders, so the manager had to help out. He was also afraid that the other bands would start to demand more money.
    Lotsa fighting, some was women and if it was women, our guitarists girlfriend was in on it.
    The band stopped playing just in time too hear a guy tell a chick he woul like to have anal sex with here (way less politely than I phrased it) the whole bar heard.
    We even got to meet the producer for Dave Dudley hit, 'Six Days On The Road"

    One night I had more fun that usual,

    1. I let some drunk lady wear my hat. She actually took it off my head as I walked by.

    2. 10 minutes later let same drunk lady unbutton my shirt and attack me orally.

    3. 3 minutes later let same drunk lady start to unbuckle my pants.

    4. Tapped drunk ladies friend on the shoulder and pointed toward the action, thus stopping the fun.

    5. All night long She would dance infront of the stage and make grabbing motion towards me. Whenever she would be looking I would make suggestive movements.

    Wesley R.
     
  18. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    i had the pleasure of playing at " Little Sturgis " ,
    a dive of questionable repute , to say the least .
    seems it had a bad reputation for fights , both knife and gun ...:meh:

    anyway , after the usual set-up , listening to the patrons talking about this and that ,
    i decided to check on my truck , and as i walk out the front door into the parking lot ,
    i see this couple arguing about some other woman .
    ... no big deal , i thought ...

    the guy goes back towards the bar , leaving the sobbing woman standing there .
    she proceeds to pull a blade from her b!tch bag , and started stabbing the tires
    on the guy's Harley ....
    that didn't sit too well with him , so he starts punching the crazy chick ...

    meanwhile the cops are sitting across the street at Dunkin' Donuts { i kid you not ! }
    and come to the rescue .

    ... beside the usual barfight between biker chicks , the gig itself was pretty uneventful .
    cocaine , beer , whiskey and tequilla ,
    and a good time was had by all ...
    :D
     
  19. bluetiejeeper

    bluetiejeeper

    Oct 24, 2006
    danville CA
    played a little hole in the wall bar in fremont, on sinco demio(sp) it was a thrusday night, school night for everyone in the band. We went on stage around 11 had a half hour than I played with my other band after that. it was full of the "regulars" I am sorry if you regularly visit a bar on the thursday night your white trash and have no life. so the show all goes well but we found out they had a hole in their stage, that was fun. and their was this drunk guy walking around with TWO full pitchers of beer yelling double fisting and than drinking both. I thought it was great, the cool part was I played in two bands that night and didnt have to change my set up at all. and we played LOUD everyone ran through the PA which wasnot needed but it was fun
     
  20. jimb213

    jimb213

    Nov 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    there was the bar that we showed up at for a gig that had a notice on the front door:

    Closed by notice of the Health Inspector

    that was pretty awesome. Although I guess we didn't actually play there that night...
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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