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The worst gig you DIDN'T play.....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by guy n. cognito, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The thread about cancelling the gig due to the hurricane got me thinking. What's the worst gig you didn't play? You know, the one where you dodged the bullet?

    For me, it was in 2010, when Nashville got 13 inches of rain in less than two days. There was massive flooding, street closures, and general chaos. The first night of the flooding, my then-current BL contacted us to let us know that "the show must go on". He had talked to the venue owner, who told him that it was up to the band as to whether we played or not. The venue owner wasn't expecting much of a crowd, but he lived across the street, so he planned to be there no matter what.

    By this time, roads were flooded, schools were closed, and there were widespread reports of massive, city wide issues. Everyone else in the band replied to the BL, telling him that we didn't think it was worth it. He insisted that we play. I was the first to put my foot down, and refuse. The rest of the band followed suit, so the BL decided to play it as a one man acoustic gig. And so he did. He played to exactly ONE person the whole night (the venue owner). On his way home, he drove into some standing water, and flooded his van and trailer. Lost all his gear.
  2. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I completely understand being committed to a gig but this is just music people! It's not like you are going out to volunteer in a rescue shelter, fight a wildfire or build sandbags to keep a flood away from the city. You can cancel or simply reschedule a gig...nobody dies. I do not understand people like your past bandleader. Serves him right for standing his ground and being an idiot.

    We had a two gigs in my last band booked for a cool and hip Modmex eatery. The place has a stage on top of a parking deck overlooking the city just a great vibe. The day of the first gig was met with on and off heavy thunderstorms. The gig is outside only so I contacted the manager to get his view on it.
    He said it was 50-50 so far so lets watch the weather. Well an hour or so later the weather was worse with all forecasts showing heavy rains to come so we called the gig. That night when were to play the storm shifted and it was a dry and pleasant all night for the most part. We felt we blew it but we went with the forecast and gut.

    So a couple months latter we were booked at this place again. Gig day it rained all day off and on. We did not call the venue manager since the skies were getting lighter out and the rain was spotty.
    We all went to the venue, some members had an hour drive and you guessed it started raining like hell. It did start to lighten up but the manger said nobody will come up to the outside bar if its wet. They were right so they comped us a meal and we went home without playing there ever again.
    Being dedicated is great but use common sense. I highly doubt there are droves of people who so excited to see your band that they would swim thru a hurricane flood to see you.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  3. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    There was a club owner looking for a band to fill the place on weekends. He met with me and it was clear to me that he was an unappreciative, demanding narcissist, who, for a song (no pun intended) wanted me to work myself to the bone promoting the venue. I declined the gig. And passed it on to another band leader. This band leader picked it up and and did a few nights there, and eventually passed on it because the owner played games with paying him. The singer I was originally working with, when I declined the gig, got made about what I had done with the lead, giving it to this other band leader, and joined forces with him.

    He ended up breaking ties with her given her "it's all about me" attitude.

    Not taking on that gig was the best thing I ever decided.
    craigie likes this.
  4. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    I guess he was doubly "doof" for going in the first place and bringing a trailer of equipment for an acoustic gig.
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    My other dodged bullet came several years ago. I was leading a band at the time, and had been put on to a new club by a mutual acquaintance. My first few conversations were typical. The owner was a bit boastful, claiming that he had just had a massive renovation and were subject of an upcoming TV show. The bar had been renovated, but it seemed a bit dead to me. After a few more conversations, the owner tells me that he expects our first few gigs to be "free", until we had a chance to prove ourselves. After I politely tell him that my band did not play free gigs.....ever.....he takes a long, dramatic pause, then starts with "not many people have the balls to tell me no..." I didn't let him finish; I hung up with a giggle.

    About a month later, I hear about this on local news. Same guy, same bar.

    Bar Rescue Updates: Pit and Barrel Owner Charged With Second-Degree Murder
    DirtDog, crguti and pcake like this.
  6. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    :eek: Yikes! Were you guys a country band?
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    About 25 years ago, I turned down a sub gig because I had to study - good blues group. Cops hit the place as the band was breaking down - one member had a LOT of drugs. Apparently was a LONG night for everyone in the band, because everything was searched.
  8. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    No. They were trying to expand beyond country.
    bassbully likes this.
  9. Did he learn his lesson?
  10. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I LOVED that show. Having worked in the bar/restaurant industry in my younger years, this was compelling!
  11. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Nope. Blamed the band for lack of turnout and said that he wouldn’t have driven into the water had someone been riding “shotgun”.
    J_Bass and LiquidMidnight like this.
  12. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    So convenient to be able to blame all the rest of the people... even folks who aren't there. I'll bet that was a pattern, too.
    RSBBass and charlie monroe like this.
  13. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Concert in the Canyon
    We were assured there would be hundreds of people attending, lots of promo and plenty of hands to assist with load in and load out.
    We had to act quickly if we wanted a high paying spot in the line up.
    After looking at our schedule and logistics we declined.
    Day of the event, I decided to go anyway and check out the bands.
    Turns out the load in area was a dirt lot at the end of a dirt road and the bands had to set up 1/3 mile into the canyon.
    Access was by hiking with all your gear through a rocky stream bed, over drift logs and crossing slippery waterways.
    I made the 1/3 mile hike up to the concert area and saw a bunch of musicians sitting on a stack of dusty amps and PA's.
    The event organizers neglected to provide roadies, a stage or platform and the only power was a tiny generator the size of a small ice chest with only two outlets. They also forgot to bring gas to run the generator.
    The music never happened, the bands didn't get paid and some musicians went home with wet and scratched amps, sore arms and dust in their lungs.

    Canyon2.jpg Canyon.jpg canyon3.jpg
    Downunderwonder, pcake and Wookieeboy like this.
  14. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I recently commented on a gig I did two weeks ago- it sucked so badly, I suggested refunding the house the money we made.
    Anyways, I quit the following day (after playing two terrible gigs; the latter worse than the first one). Fool me once, shame on you ; fool me twice.... you get the idea.
    They have a gig coming up in early November which I know will suck beyond words.
    Luckily, I won't be there
    guy n. cognito likes this.
  15. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I stayed home one year when the band decided it wanted to go work the Sturgis Bike week.

    Two got busted for weed almost immediately and spent their weekend in the slam while the third ran around trying to get them out and save the gigs which, didn't happen.
  16. He really puts the "dick" in ridiculous!
    maxl likes this.
  17. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
  18. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    A few weeks back we were supposed to play at the 5th annual Jerome Film Festival in Arizona (BTW it's a terribly organized event)... we were told we were playing on a train for an hr or so before some films were to be shown... they failed to mention it was a 4 hr train ride... they failed to mention they didn't buy out a whole car or anything so there were going to be other events happening during this train ride (at least one wedding reception).... they didn't tell the people in charge of the train (think event center on tracks) that they were planning on having a band... the amount of space available to play in the first class car wouldn't even allow for me to put my upright bass on a stand much less for the piano player to sit and play his keyboard (the organizer actually asked if there was a way for us to play anything with no keys which is hilarious because we are a jazz trio with keys, bass and drums)... keep in mind the organizer wasn't anywhere to be found, but we did get her on the phone and she was trying to blame everyone except her terrible planning... Long story short we still got paid, but didn't play and wasted gas to drive 2 hrs away to play a gig that never happened...
  19. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    Liberty Township
    In the late 70's, I did a sit-in gig with a big band in a large showroom (~700 people). The conductor liked what I did and asked me back the next night. I had to decline since I was already booked on another gig.

    The night I didn't play with them, there was a fire and over 200 people died.
  20. Got a frantic text from the bandleader a few years ago about availability for the upcoming weekend. A few texts later he relates that we got an offer for a "booze cruise" gig (bandleader's bucket list gig) replacing a band that canceled at the last minute on the group that rented the boat (corporate event). They were offering to pay triple what they usually play.

    The drummer chimes back in the group text that we should check the weather report before we agree on it.

    Sure enough....remnants of a hurricane were coming through that morning and would be slamming the area for the better part of two days. We'd of been out in the thick of it, if we took the gig.

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