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So we played a biker bar last night....

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by w. edgar evans, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. w. edgar evans

    w. edgar evans

    Jan 21, 2004
    ...which is odd for us, as we're a Christian praise and worship band, but...

    So, I was approached by my landlord, a composer/keyboardist, to play bass with his group of seasoned musicians at some weekend retreats. After finishing our set Saturday evening with an arrangement of "Praise to the Lord the Almighty," we decided to go to a local tavern to get something to eat and drink.

    While sitting outside with the guitarist and his friend, we overhear a waitress speaking loudly on the phone to her friend about a place with an awesome band. Intrigued, the guitarist asks her about the location of said venue. After getting some directions, he rounds up the rest of the guys from the bar, and we're off to see this band.

    After driving for about 15 minutes through what I can only describe as the middle of nowhere in Maryland, we come across the bar that the waitress mentioned, thanks in no small part to GPS navigation. Outside are parked a row of Harleys. Our group, with admitted trepidation, decides to go in.

    We enter just in time for the start of a loud, 45 minute rendition of "Freebird." The band are all large, long-haired guys that you wouldn't want to run into in a dark alley. Thankfully, they were friendly drunks. Did I mention, they were very LOUD?

    After the extended jam, the band takes a break. Our keyboardist (who is absolutely fearless, I should say) starts talking to the lead singer of the group. Three minutes of sweettalking later, we're running on to stage to play a few songs...

    Anyway, we get in two songs before the band begins rushing back to the stage. We were able to pull off a crude rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Long Train Runnin'", both of which seemed to be appreciated by the crowd. I got to play the bassist's Aria Pro through an '80 Ampeg head through a Trace Elliot 4x10 which sounded great for the style of music. Unfortunately, I'm used to using a low B string for both songs, and the bassist was using a four banger, which took about 1/4 of each song to get used to.

    Well, after the band decided to reclaim the stage, we thanked them and went on our way after the guitarist bought the band a round of drinks (which was a highly diplomatic move on his part.)

    Talk about fish out of water...:)

    It was fun though, not the kind of thing you'd expect to do playing a Christian Men's retreat. Several of the patrons inquired if we were playing in the area in the near future.

    I'm not quite ready to join a Southern rock cover band, but if I ever do, at least I now know a place where we could get booked. :)

  2. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    Of course the biker bar liked you, you played Skynrd! You should of played KISS too. Bikers love Kiss and Skynrd. It's a scientific fact.
  3. Wow, that's a cool story!
  4. w. edgar evans

    w. edgar evans

    Jan 21, 2004
    Thanks. The fact that they were playing "Freebird" just made the night.

    Here's the web page of the band that was playing:

    Their bassist had a great rock feel; very solid 1/8th note stuff. Their drummer still seemed to be cutting he teeth a bit, so the overall feel was still under development, but the bassist by himself sounded good. He was also able to light a cigarette while playing one-handed tap. :)

  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    An art I mastered long ago........... :D
  6. rfalter


    Jul 20, 2004
    Pasadena, MD
    We play a couple of biker places in Southern MD. It is always a blast. They really know how to have fun. We usually don't play any Skynyrd, but there we will make an exception. The one place had diamond plate on the bar top and motorcycle burnout marks on the tile floor [inside the bar!]. We play there again next month ... I can't wait !
  7. My band got to play at the Biker-fest in Fenlon Falls in Ontario a few years back - no problems at all... until we stopped :) There was one guy in particular where Neil Young was his fave. Luckily for us we were there with the Christian Bikers - who themselves were more than a little intimidating :) All-in-all we had no problems, they were very accepting.

    - Andrew
  8. verbass


    Apr 26, 2004
    dayville ct
    Love biker bars
    used to bounce in one....
    Played in many
    Better than college bars
    no pretensous 19 year olds looking for trouble

    If the futrue is now..................
    What was yesterday?
  9. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    In other words where I used to live.

    Bikers are cool, like big mean looking dogs. They won't give you a hard time unless you try pulling their tails, but if you do then your in for it!
  10. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    Reminds me of Pat Boone donning biker attire several years ago (a lot of his fans didn't quite 'get' the irony, and he caught some heat for his joke)
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    The Nerve! seems to go over best with Bikers, and 16 year old girls. Not sure what that's all about. I actually feel safer in biker bars than just about anywhere else. As said above, they're basically cool fun loving people who you simply don't want to cross.

    Last year me and my girl got harrassed bigtime by a huge, older, drunken born again christian biker in this place in queens. He kept on going and going and going.... had us corned and wouldn' let us go. not sure what my point is here, but I guess the worlds you mention aren't quite as far apart as you may think. :)
  12. w. edgar evans

    w. edgar evans

    Jan 21, 2004
    We were wondering if we started breaking out the praise and worship music if any of them might be Christian bikers and join in...

    Isn't there the Ugly Christian Biker's Association?

    Anyway, the band were really nice guys, but I do agree it would have been wise not to cross them (no pun intended). :)

  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    In a Metal Mood ... I have the album.
  14. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    raw bad ass.
  15. Hey! I remember that place! But, they moved it out to Spokane, WA! Not only the burnout marks on the floor, but the bike was parked next to the stage.

    A group of the bikers was at a long table across the back of the room. We found out that as long as they like you, you've got it made! Of course, when they ask for encores, you keep playing as long as they want!

    Lots of fun, though!
  16. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Wait, biker Bar in the middle of nowhere MD..... was it the... oh, *** was it called, something Cantina? I've been there myself, when I was about 21 or so.

    Cancun Cantina?
  17. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Riff-finder General Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    Springfield, MA
    Next time you play a biker bar, play some Black Label Society. Bikers love BLS. I know for a fact that there are several members of Hell's Angels that listen to them.
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    M O T O R H E A D ! ! ! !

    That's all I gotsta say.
  19. I really dig playing biker bars/club houses. Our drummer is an independent with many ties to local - Detroit area - clubs.
    They can be the coolest crowds. The only thing to watch out for are probies (probationary members), some of them are just itching to prove themselves and can become violent at the drop of a hat :rollno:
  20. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Many years ago when I was but a lad I played a "going away" party for two bikers name Ratch and Clam. As I say I was much younger and a tad more naive. I had to ask, "Where are they going?" I got a lot of strange looks. Great gig. Well paid, limo, the works.