Tales from working "security"

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Punisher Bass, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Punisher Bass

    Punisher Bass

    Dec 24, 2008
    St Louis MO
    While I've been playing for 10 years now, I've never played at a gig before, but I do have some stories of things that have happened at gigs I've been at.

    My uncle has had his own band in one form or another for around 40 years and have played all over this area. Since they are a bar band, they sometimes get booked at places that can be a bit... hairy. Someone gets too drunk and tries to start something with the band, they knock over a guitar or mic stand, or just don't understand they can't be on stage while they are playing, you get the idea.

    In the summer of 07 my uncle had hired a new lead guitarist and changed the name of the band to get a fresh start and he wanted me there to see their first gig with the new guy. I had taken my mom along because she hadn't seen her brother (my uncle) in a while and always loves hearing him play. They played great and there were no real problems till about half way through the night.

    I had gone to the bathroom and came out to find some stranger pestering my mom to dance with him. My uncle was keeping a close eye on things from the stage and was ready to halt things and tell him over the PA to stop if need be, but I got there before it came to that. I walked up, tapped him on the shoulder and said "She said NO, now go back to your beer and leave her alone".

    Now normally that would be a good way to get a fight started, but I'm a rather large man (I stand at 6'6 and weigh in around 300lbs), his only response was a look of fear and a little "oh yes sir" before he stumbled away. During the next break we all were sitting down and the incident came up, my uncle jokingly said "We should make your our official head of security!". Much to my surprise everyone else in the band said "yeah!" as well, and thus a job was born. I became their one man "Security Force".

    In reality it was little more than an inside joke. Most of the time I didn't have to do more than "plow the road" for them while they were walking through the crowd playing the intro to La Grange. Mostly if something serious happened I let the bouncer take care of it, but on a few occasions I did have to step in.

    One of those times was a few months later. The lead guitarist was playing his solo to open up the third set when someone I dubbed Little Drunk Man showed up. He walks right up to the lead in mid solo and keeps saying "oh you're great! how do you do that! that's awesome! show me how to do that!" and playing air guitar with him and just being a pest. The lead is trying to accommodate Little Drunk Man but it's obviously he's not going to go away. He then becomes Angry Little Drunk Man and is upset that things don't stop so he can get a guitar lesson right then and there.

    My uncle gives me the look and I spring into action. I grabbed ALDM on the shoulder and spin him around to face me. I saw him ball up his right first and rear it back a little, but he dropped it as soon as he realized he had to look waaaay up to see my face (he was 5 foot nothing). I said "Why don't you just go back to your drink and let the man play?", before he could say anything the bouncer grabbed him by the arm and dragged him away. I sat back down and saw the bouncer chewing the little guy out. When he was done, ALDM gave a look of "I'll get you next time!", stomp his foot like a kid on the playground, turn heel and storm out the back door.

    A couple months later I almost had an altercation with a bartender. The gig ended at 1AM and the bartender starts yelling at the top of his lungs "IF YOU'RE NOT WITH THE BAND GET THE F@$% OUT!" My mom is with me once again and I'm her ride, it's the middle of winter so she will not be sitting in the car for an hour while I help with tear down. The bartender shouts his catchphrase a few more times and then yells directly at my mom to leave. I snapped and yelled that A: she's related to the band, B: so am I, C: I'm her ride home, D: if he didn't like it he was going to have to deal with me and the 4 other guys. That shut him up, but he spent the rest of our time there moaning about how he wanted to go home and didn't want to wait around for the gear to be packed up.

    About a month after that they were booked at the same bar, only this time the bartender kept his mouth shut about kicking people out the door.
  2. Easy8


    Sep 5, 2007
    Austin, Tx
    Wasn't "Roadhouse" set in Mo? :bag:
  3. Punisher Bass

    Punisher Bass

    Dec 24, 2008
    St Louis MO
    :) yeah it was now that I think about it. I have encountered a few bouncers who fit that Ron White joke to a T. For those who don't know it's about big huge guys who are bouncers, they hang out with other bouncers to talk about bouncing, then they go home and watch Roadhouse every night while they play with themselves.

    And I swear it's just a coincidence that I drive a Buick as well. :smug:

    For the most part it's a normal sized guy with an even temper, but I've seen a few bars who hired one little guy to be the doorman. I'm not sure what their thinking was since it looked like a stiff breeze would blow them over.
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Our security guy is about 5' 9" and 160lbs. He's a crazy little bald headed ex-marine with a bit of a Napoleon complex. He actually comes in very very handy. He handles the drunks, looks after the equipment on stage, watches the drummers back when he happens to hit on someone elses girlfriend..... The crazy little bastard has no fear, and just enough common sense to keep him from being a liability.

    There was one incident a while back that I hesitate to relate because it may have ramifications if I do, but he can handle himself if a situation escalates.
  5. Our old singer was 6'8", studied Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxed as a semi-pro, took a 3rd in the State of Nevada Bodybuilding Championship, and looked like a giant Phil Enselmo. He sounded a little like Phil as well and eventually left our band to join a Pantera tribute band. All is good though, we found a better singer/harder worker (music wise atleast) and you definitly want our old singer in YOUR corner if stuff goes down.

  6. Maybe the little dude is like my mate. He's about 5 foot 2 and quite skinny looking, but he could without hesitation inflict serious injury upon most people almost twice his size. He learnt kickboxing with me (thats were I met him) but I had to stop for a year whilst he kept training. When I came back he was an *** kicking machine and had regular gigs as a doorman at a lot of bars round Melbourne. The lesson is about books and covers and all that junk.

  7. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I prefer my doormen large - I hear you about small guys who can totally do the job (and know a couple), but they get tested a lot...

    The extra-large guys stop a lot of stuff before it starts, just because of their size.
    Used to play in a country bar with a pair of big ol' bouncers - as they'd put it, together they were just over 13 feet tall and 550 lbs...
    Most times one of them would just walk over to a situation and the politeness switch would flip for whoever was being a bozo...
  8. Godbody


    May 27, 2008

    1. Stand by a door.

    2. Be an a**hole.
  9. Punisher Bass

    Punisher Bass

    Dec 24, 2008
    St Louis MO
    I was offered a job as a bouncer at a local country bar a few years ago, but I didn't take it because for one I was under 21 at the time and I hate country music. But I've never run across any bouncer who's been an outright jerk, just a few who took the job WAY too seriously.

    There was another time when some drunk loved the band so much, he jumped on top of a table and started dancing like a madman. There was no bouncer at the bar this night, if there was I never saw him, so I was at the ready in case he decided to take a dive onto the stage or the amps or something. Thankfully nothing happened, he was just a very happy drunk guy who wanted to show his love, when the song was over he got off and went back to his drink.
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I was never a bouncer per say but entertainment security :rolleyes: for a large company in a tuff grimmy city. I did some of the roughest crowds and shows Ex: Slayer mosh pits, hardcore mosh pits with skinheads, goth shows , raves, Rap shows, hippie weed and acid fests, metal fests including Ozfest. I had my share of fun and a few scrapes including having my right bicept muscle tendon detached when a crowd suffer at a Twizted concert became airborn and kicked me square on the bicept detaching it..ouch. I have been cut, spit on, punched at (hit once) and hit in the face with coins ,spit ,batteries,beer and bucket of ice from an idiot clown at an ICP show, the list goes on and on and the stories forever.
    I wouldnt trade it for anything. I had a blast and did it for cheap pay the old S&G. I met great bands ,chicks and people. And BTW I am good size then lifting alot 6'-1" 260 and as nice to people as can be until like Patrick in roadhouse said the time came to not be nice :D
  11. Punisher Bass

    Punisher Bass

    Dec 24, 2008
    St Louis MO
    Here's another one, but I wasn't there to see this happen. Several years ago my sister was at one of their gigs alone and there was a group of drunken frat boys there, you know exactly the kind I'm talking about. One of them came over to her and said "I don't want to know your name, I just want to take you home and screw your brains out", yeah worlds best pickup line right there. She obviously told him "NO" and he went away, but he came back about a half hour later.

    This time it was "I'm going to give you a second chance here, what's going to happen is that I am going to take you back to my place, I'm going to f@%@ the s$@% out of you, and you're going to love it". My sister stood up to either tell him off or slug him when the music came to a dead stop. My uncle pointed right at the guy and yelled over the mic "HEY! YOU! BACK OFF RIGHT NOW!" which scared the crap out of the guy. His buddies ran over to drag him away and apologized to my sister up one side and down the other for how he acted.
  12. overdrivethree

    overdrivethree Guest

    Nov 1, 2008
    Western PA
    i happened to be playing guitar at an acoustic night at this hookah bar. it also just so happened that all the acts were being recorded for a benefit CD to help out a local musician who had fallen ill.

    so the "stage" set-up was right in the front, by the door. and the bar was right in front of us. right as we're playing this rinky-dinky little pop song (and recording it), this small old drunk guy stumbles in and saunters over to the bassist's girlfriend at the bar. he's just leaning over her, getting in her face, breathing on her, saying stuff like "you're really pretty." generally just would not leave her alone. a couple guys went up and told him to leave her alone, and to leave the bar.

    on his way out the door, he had to walk past and behind the band. so i'm standing there playing the guitar, and he just comes up behind me, starts rubbing my back and feeling me up. i had on my big winter boots, so i reared back and just kicked him square in the shins and knocked him out the door mid-song. the singer saw it and said it was a beautiful kick. you listen to the recording, you can't hear it, but i can tell you exactly where it happened in the song.

    and the bass player never even noticed his girlfriend was being propositioned by a wino until we told him after the fact.
  13. Punisher Bass

    Punisher Bass

    Dec 24, 2008
    St Louis MO
    Here's two more. I'm now working as security/roadie.

    The first comes from just this past weekend and is mostly me just venting. The gig was nothing big, a private party for a local car club, the band took it as basically a paid practice and a chance to see how they meshed with their new bass player in public. Since it was a private party, the people there were a bit... demanding.

    It's not a huge room so there isn't a whole lot of gear to setup. Two half stacks, 1 410 for the bass, 2 monitors, and 2 tripod mains. Before everything is even laid out, some guy comes over and requests that we make it as compact as possible, he apparently thinks there is no problem if everyone crams into a 6 foot radius around the center of the drum kit. :meh: :rollno:

    As everyone knows even after sound check, you still might have to adjust things once everything is rolling. I'm trying to listen for what needs to be tweaked during the first song when some old woman comes up and says "Can you turn it down some? You're blowing my ears out!". Everything is already set to 1 and she didn't have to sit right in front of the left main like an idiot. :mad:

    During the breaks the lead guitarist hooks up his laptop to play a selection of songs they group had requested beforehand, then they start making more requests. Such as the electric slide. :spit:

    He puts it on for them and instantly there's a couple dozen drunken middle aged men and women on the floor dancing along, one of them is obviously drunker than the others since he keeps crashing into tables and other people. Each time he goes through the dance, he's getting closer and closer to one of the mains... and I can see what is about to happen. I step in and tell him to back up a bit and give the tripod some space, his response is "I'll dance where I want!". "Dance all you want" I said, "But you're getting too close to the gear, just stay back a couple paces".

    As the night goes on, the band just gets better and better as they get into a groove. With the sound dialed in they sound great, they still need some polish with the new guy, but they still sound good. But by the final set the audience has gotten much more vocal about what they want. They keep demanding Freebird, more cowbell (which I REALLY hate), and various other songs. Then they take to yelling "we paid you for this gig, you'll play what we want!". :rolleyes:

    Yet at the end of the night several people came up saying how great everyone was and some asked for a business card. So musically things went better than expected, but the audience absolutely sucked. The band got a feel for how the new guy will work out and walked out with a bit of money in their pockets (I didn't, I'm doing this all for free), but never have I had to deal with so many jerks in a single night.

    Maybe I should keep a stun gun or a couple tranq darts on me from now on?

    Now the second is from about a year and a half ago and it just made me feel uncomfortable. I was at the bar getting a round of beers for the band when a woman in her late 40's turned to me. Keep in mind I'm in my early 20's and am in real life a big bad rated G boy scout.

    Her: Hey, you with those guys?
    Me: Yes ma'am I sure am, what can I do for you?
    Her: They are really good.
    Me: Yes they sure are.
    Her: So... do you know me?
    Me confused: No ma'am, I sure don't.
    Her: Well you should, everyone around here knows me, you should get to know me too...
    Me: Well that's very nice ma'am (thinking: WHERE IS THAT BEER!?) but I need to go.:help:
    Her: Oh why don't you sit here a while?
    Me: I'm sorry ma'am but I can't, the band is really thirsty and needs something to drink. I must get these back to them.
    Some guy next to her: Yeah! You NEED to get to know her!

    At this point I have nothing left in my little mental Rolodex to deal with this situation. Thankfully the beers arrived and I was able to scoot away in a hurry.

    Some might think I was stupid for missing a possible good time, but for one I'm just not that kind of person. Two, she looked rode hard and put away wet if you know what I mean. Three, the whole "everyone knows me" made me think she was the town bicycle and should be avoided. The whole thing just made me feel really uncomfortable.
  14. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    I've never tested a bouncer myself, but the few times I've seen a "small" bouncer get tested by an unruly patron they passed with an A+. I know a big bouncer will intimidate based on his size but, based on what I've seen, if you see a small bouncer I'd say odds are good that you do NOT want to mess with him.
  15. I have taken to breaking up fights at a few parties when they got unruly. If there was ever anything that I couldn't take care of, I called my 5 foot 2 friend over, he could take care of it. He has several black belts, never mess with the little guy.