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Warning! Rant ahead (long, boring and whiny - read at your own risk)...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by awakefie, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. <RANT>
    Ok, so we had a gig last night. Private party, about 100 people, decent pay.

    Anyway, first set starts good. We take a few requests from the audience to get a feel for the style of music they want to dance to/hear etc...

    We get a good crowd going on the dance floor. 2nd set, going great, crowd gets bigger. Organizer requests a few slow songs. We play Wonderful Tonight (dance floor now packed), Knockin on Heaven's Door (dance floor still packed), Every Rose (still packed). Guitar player then launches into the start of FreeBird. Would've been fine but he was looking to get his "knees dirty" (meaning playing a solo on his knees - his words not mine). Anyway he cranks the distortion (on the slow part). Some folks walk off the floor holding their hands to their ears (too loud, scratchy). Anyway, we hit the transition and he just takes off on this shredding 20 minute lead part.

    By the time we finished the song there were 5 woo boys (you know 'woo, you're greater than Eddie Van Halen dude') and 1 drunk girl left on the dance floor.

    The drummer comes up to me and says "I hope you got that on video tape, that's the best we've ever played". I looked at the rhythm player in horror and said "Can we play something to get the dancers back?" He launches into Folsum Prison Blues. The dancers come back in droves. The lead player procedes to strap on his acrylic BC Rich that lights up. He tells our photographer to kill the lights in the room so people can see his guitar light up (in the middle of the song). I happened to be out with the dancers doing a little boogie with the crowd thing to get the atmosphere setlle. The place goes pitch black (all lights out - all you could see was that stupid glowing guitar). Dancers started to leave the floor because they could barely see.

    The drummer comes up to me after the gig and says "Ken had a good night didn't he?" I remarked back "Yeah, shame you can't say the same for the band." He gets pissed.

    I will never, ever understand the worship at the alter of the lead guitar. The band was overjoyed to hear 5 drunk woo boys sing his praises at the cost of losing the audience. I'd rather sit alone playing in my garage.

  2. Contra(Band)


    Apr 11, 2008
    Many musicians see performance (especially solos) as way to put the spotlight on themself (guitar/keys/drum solo anyone?) and thus believe that music is all about themself. When they execute something like what you mentioned above, they think it went well, when, as in the example, the performance solos don't work with the atmosphere. Really, seeing as you're doing covers, nobody listening came to hear your band, so much as they came for dancing with live music. If anything I just said made any sense.
    Point being, it isn't just lead guitar, it's self-absorbed/skill-over-music musicians in general.
  3. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Doesn't sound so bad, your guitarist went a lil crazy on 2 songs out of 3 sets? You still got paid, everyone had a good time....nobody can say you didn't groove or shred.

    Dance floor doesn't NEED to be packed for people to enjoy the music, I agree that you should give people the op to dance but its okay to let your guitarist wank off every once in awhile....You could theoretically do the same every once in awhile.

    Also I'm sure it wasn't a 20 minute Free Bird solo (probably felt that way)...and it is Freebird, it needs to have a drawn out solo.

    my .02
  4. Contra(Band)


    Apr 11, 2008
    Bass solos generally tend to not be quite as well received. Unless you're playing jazz.
  5. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    That is why I said theoretically... but keep it short but sweet and I don't see what the problem would be.
  6. mfgl


    Jul 1, 2008
    Altoona PA
    Im not in a band so feel free to ignore me, but if people were dancing and stopped, then started again, then stopped....thats probably what they were there to do. Id also assume whoever was paying you wants those people to be happy....and thats what he was paying you for. I think your right to be a little peeved, next time he may pay someone else who will keep the people dancing.
  7. mfgl


    Jul 1, 2008
    Altoona PA
    not to mention people who like clapton, and freebird could probably give two terds about a glow in the dark bc rich.
  8. Muckaluck


    Oct 11, 2005
    Whitby, Ontario
    I bet those guitar players were the kids who'd go over to peoples houses and impulsivly push every button in the house.

    Having no impulse control can get people into beneficial situations and crappy situations. The scenario you describe seems like a crappy situation.

    Sounds like your guitar player has yet to exit out of Freud's anal stage.
  9. kurtwash


    May 21, 2007
    If you're just trying to get people dancing, that extra gui**** is one too many.
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I feel for the OP - when the dance floor is packed, and booties are shaking, the crowd is sacred. You are there to serve them, not the other way around. No question in my mind your guitar player drove them off the floor.

    It's a sin to do that.
  11. People arn't going to stay on the dance floor for a song like Free Bird, it's not really a dancing tune.

    Also, sometimes you gotta drive the bus, some times you ride. If your driving and the people are leaving the dance floor, then maybe it's time to change direction. Don't forget you can play a little bass solo to keep the crowd dancing.

    As for the whole lights out process may have been a good idea at the time, just needs a little work.
  12. I second DudeistMonk's remarks. It doesn't sound so bad.
    As an audience member, I like to see people dancing. But I
    also like to see a little musical virtuosity. I'd say it's good
    to throw in a few tunes to show off a little. You gotta give
    something to those stoners leaning on the wall who don't
    dance. And the dancers get a break to rest their booty so
    they can come back and shake it in full force. :p
  13. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    You can build an entire career on that little piece of wisdom
  14. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    You have learned well, Grasshopper.
  15. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    In the grand scale of things, the glowing guitar and the dirty knees will work with some audiences and not with others. The 'show biz' side of our art is to be able to tell when to play for the crowd and when to play for ourselves.

    I do mostly straight ahead these days (with a fretted bass to boot - some frowns but F**K em) but when I play with my dance band (24/7) its all about making the audience feel good and get out there on the dance floor.

    Sometimes you just want to play with your toys!
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I would hope after 25 years something's sinking in....
  17. Sorry, that one confused me. I wasn't speaking of a bass solo. I was speaking of a guitarist.
  18. You must be kidding!

    On weekend nights when I'm not playing, my wife and I often go to check out other bands and new clubs. I don't ever remember asking her:

    "Honey, would you like to go out and dance to some bass solos in the solitary glow of some a**hole's guitar?"

    Bluesy Soul :rolleyes:
  19. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    To the OP I feel for you, hopefully you can find some other adults to make music with.
    A definate +1 to Pacman, very well said Sir!
  20. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Everybody goes through gigs like this, too.

    I remember doing a gig with a singer/songwriter that I really liked playing with in Atlanta. The gig was at a place called Fuzzy's, which is THE place to play for other musicians in Atlanta (at least it was). Well, less than halfway through the gig (which was less than packed), the guitar player just starts shredding all over everything - no taste, no sensitivity, just vomiting notes everywhere. This lasted the rest of the night. At the end of the next to last set, I already knew that I'd never play with the guitar player again - and I never did.

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