Suggestions for gigless musicians

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Francis, Sep 28, 2000.

  1. Francis

    Francis Banned (JWC)

    Sep 28, 2000
    I noticed a thread elsewhere about there being nowhere to play in their towns. Well, my band started out somewhere you'd never believe, and to this day, we still play there 1 or 2 times a month.
    We play at a locally owned pizza joint. It is a diner type place with a couple pool tables in the back. There is an open spot in the middle. We just set up and play. People pull up chairs all aroud. Some dance. Its cool. Kids of any age can come, and they do. See, we know kids can't get in to a bar, but we remember when we were kids, so its a cool thing to do for them. The adults and 20 somethings can drink up at the bar.
    So, check around. Volunteer to play for free and tell the owner you can bring in a good crowd. Thats putting money into their pocket. Don't try a chain like Pizza Hut though, make sure its locally owned. Some franchises may not let their franchisees do that.

    Also, check with the local college(s). Sororities, frats, clubs. They all have parties, and we all like live music! Again, volunteer to play for free at first. Put out a tip jar if ya like. We played for our local colleges history club one Saturday at the president's garage. We cooked out, drank some brew. Was really fun.

    Make sure you get into any local music or arts festivals too. These are great. I should know. Our band, between us all, has done a load of em!!!!

    Good luck!
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    PLEASE include nursing homes and senior independent living apartments and assisted living apartments in your list of places to play. These people are so lonely and so bored. They truly appreciate any entertainment that comes their way. It will do your hearts good, believe me. (Except the punk and heavy metal bands. I don't think the seniors can understand that music and it might hurt their ears.)

    Also consider jails and juvenile detention centers. If you would be permitted, I just know you will be appreciated. even if your band almost sucks. These people are so appreciative of any attention. Remember Johnny Cash made a classic album recorded in Folsum Prison. If I remember coorectly, BBKing did one too. You could do that, record an album of prison performances. It might be just the thing to get your band over.

    Have fun. By the way, the post above by Francis of creative places to play was an excellent post in my opinion.

    Jason Oldsted
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey, francis

    i see in your profile that you're from georgia? where are you located? (i'm right near 6 flags, west of atlanta.)
  4. Since I'm a geezer I play a lot of gigs for old people and get pay too. But the other day I played for drinks and dinner in a nice pub. It in effect was a rehearsal with me and two band other band members doing it the first time. great players great fun and $1.85 an hour in tips. Does it get any better than this?.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    BassDude, I was at the nursing home today and there was a keyboardest there who played and sang World War Two era songs for the residents. Some could have cared less, but many were very touched and really enjoyed the music. The man played nearly an hour. I have to admit, I don't know if he was paid or did it just for the love of doing it. Still, those who enjoyed it were really grateful to have him there. He had to be in his mid-sixties, I'd say, but I bet these residents would love a young teenage group who come and play acoustic guitars and bass for them.

    I've discovered that the residents really respond well to young people, as kids and teenagers almost NEVER come to the nursing home to visit and the residents must miss them, because their faces light up when they see young people.

    SO if any of you readers are young and have a band, try an acoustic gig at a nursing home and I know you won't regret the experience. Never mind that some residents will sleep the whole time. You are playing for the ones who care and, anyway, people have slept through the finest symphony orchestras. My spouse fell asleep in an opera once! I was so embarrassed, but that is life.

    Jason Oldsted
  6. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Legend has it that Motley Crue played its first gig in a Sub shop. And look where it got them -- they now all have horrendous drug habits and criminal records... know, I could have sworn this had a happy ending...

    Whatever you do, DON'T play ANY gigs in Sub shops. ;)
  7. I would be embarrassed being on an opera! :eek: I hate those 3 hour shows where everybody, male and female, sing the same sh|t and usually on chinese! :eek: ;)

    I once played in a nursing home... classical guitar if I remember correctly... most people liked it :)
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    For one of the more unconventional gig sites, one of my bands arranged to appear at a new skateboard park that had just been built. We played the kind of music skate boarders like and we all believed the gig would be a hit and further our popularity even though we weren't getting paid enough even to cover transportation.

    Of course, it was to be an open air concert as the skateboard equipment was outdoors. So the day came, but the rainy season had started early and there was a terrible storm, so the concert was postponed a week, but the same thing happened again. The rainy season was so bad, in fact, that the skateboard park was ruined as everything was made from a low grade plywood. As a result, the constant rain warped and damaged all the skateboard surfaces making them impossible to skate on causing the owner to go out of business before we ever did get to play there.

    Jason Oldsted
  9. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Okay, so skateboard parks AND sub shops are out. Important safety tips. ;)
  10. Our Local park department has an ocasional concert or dance in the park for teenagers I don't play these gigs. This is somthing you could check out. We play two fundraisers a year for our schools with the bigband. Also we played one concert in the park with the bigband this was in a bowl at the park. The state Parks also have some concerts. So check local parks, state parks and school boards and the chamber of commerce also.