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Wedding gigs - gotta love them

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Slaine01, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Apologies if this has been posted before but it is definately worth a 2nd look.
    For those of us who do Weddings etc then this is not as far fetched as one may think.....hee hee hee :help:

    "Dear Band Leader:

    We look forward to your performance at our daughter's wedding. If you don't
    mind, we would like to request a few of our favorite songs. Please play these
    during the reception:

    A Keith Jarrett composition from his solo series. Please arrange it for
    ensemble in the key of B but nothing in 4/4 please.

    Mahavishnu Orchestra, "Dance of the Maya" and please have the guitarist play
    John McLaughlin's solo from the live performance Nov. 16, 1972 at Chrysler
    Arena. My wife and I were at that show and we liked his use of polyrhythms.

    One of John Coltrane's duets with Pharaoh Sanders. Our guests love High
    register tenor saxes. We thought a little Stravinsky right after the toast
    would be nice. So please play "The Rite of Spring." We like a tempo of about
    quarter note =93 and transpose it down 3 half-steps - it will be so much more
    appropriate for this occasion in the slightly lower register.

    Then for the candle lighting ceremony, please play Frank Zappa's "The Grand
    Wazoo." The original key of B-flat, would be fine but my cousin Jeannie would
    like to sing the baritone sax solo in the key of D--she has kind of a high

    When my new son-in-law takes off the garter, please just a little of
    Varese's "Lonization" It's such a funny piece, we think it would go over
    real well. Much better than "The Stripper." And for the bride & groom's
    first dance, please slow things down a bit by doing Barber's "Adagio
    For Strings." It's so much classier than "We've Only Just Begun" or
    the "Anniversary Waltz."

    When my wife and I join in the first dance, could you segue to Thelonius
    Monk's "Ruby, My Dear" - it's in honor of my wife's grandmother whose name
    was Ruby. It would mean so much to the family.

    Thanks for all your help. Depending on the outcome, we'll certainly be
    happy to recommend your band to our friends.

    We'll have your check for the fee of $250 (minus our expenses of $12.50 in contracting you)
    by the end of next month:
    we're a little short as the young lady doing the balloon arch wanted her $1,850 in advance
    and the DJ had to be paid up front his $2,500 as normal

    Our daughter assured us that your love of music was greater than your need for money,
    and that you would welcome the exposure you would get from playing this wedding.

    Before you leave, please feel free to ask the caterer for a snack sandwich
    and a soda (the bottles are returnable or you can pay the deposit to the

    Please use the back entrance to avoid disturbing the guests."
  2. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Its why I will never play, photograph or attend a wedding...even my own.
  3. justabass


    Nov 7, 2006
    Nashville TN/Old Hickory TN
    Endorsing-Trace Elliot,Peavey Basses,PedalTrain,Starkey inears
    I love em...Easy,crazy good money,free food,non smoking and usually get to play an hour or so of jazz standards for the dinner set. If you're gonna have to play Brown Eyed Girl or Brickhouse may as well make bank to do it...
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I was asked to serve food during our breaks once. I said NO.
    Last gig we had to set up a projector with screen and sound support,
    they just figured we knew how to do it.
    2 long jazz sets, 1 pop set, and rubber chicken.
  5. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    nothing at the hell hole combination whoregouse&boxing rings we were being booked into.WE started doing weddings, moved less gear and made more in one night than a whole month of bar gigs.
    It finally got to the point where we had our choice of wedding gigsand looked at food & travel as deciding issues.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    Amen brother!!!!!!!!!
  7. My wedding story / horror:
    the money dance, where the men all dance with the bride, and they pin cash to her dress. This involves making a line, having the money, a person to hand out pins and clips to attach the money, and to time the men, to allow everyone to dance with her. And the groom dances with her at the end.
    So I see this long line, like, really long. We played only one song (chosen by the bride, of course), for the money dance- "Color My World" - over, and over, non stop, for 45 minutes, and I thought the drummer was going to commit suicide. And I have not played that tune since- I refuse to- I get a twitch in my face when the name is mentioned...
  8. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.

    Yowza!...your band really played that song for 45 minutes?...your bandmates must of been sick and tired of playing that song over and over again. your band probably should of played some other tunes like she's a lady, lady in red, or even addicted to love. playing color my world for 45 minutes...sounds like a real snooze fest.
  9. Maybe I've just been lucky but I love wedding gigs! They're usually a piece of cake (pardon the pun). All bands have to do is realise that they're NOT the "main event", and especially they're NOT a guest but a service provider on the level of the caterer and florist.

    The money's good, and usually there's only about two short sets, and the only drawback to me is there's generally a lot of waiting around.
  10. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Weddings gigs are a mixed blessing. If you have a steady band ( that you enjoy) it truly is a piece of cake. If you freelance, its always an adventure: not always positive. I've been on plenty of gigs where I did nothing but check my watch and count the minutes until I could leave ( bad musicians, bad tunes) and sometimes the situation is just not musical. Some agencies that book musicians do treat the musicians like poop. Was once fired from a steady band for my "attitude" and it went all the way to the NLRB and was settled out of court, right before the hearing. Another friend of mine ( a drummer) was fired by the same agency for being "overqualified".
    I don't mind encores when I play out. Encores at a wedding when the time is up is another case. Usually drunk guests who have nothing to do with hiring/paying you get a little crazy and don't understand the dynamic of "the gig is over, the caterer wants everyone to leave" and start making a fuss. How come there are no encores in the real world? "build another room", "fill one more tooth". Only musicians are expected to work additional time for free. How come?

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