Who Played Their High School? (Not in a school band!)

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by DiabolusInMusic, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. I was in a high school band that was hired to play a dance for the junior high school. It was a populated area and there were probably 500 or more students at the dance...probably 1983 or '84. We had a lead guitarist who was a Rush and Van Halen devotee, excellent for our age. We also had a rhythm guitarist, lead singer babe, drummer (who has since gone on to considerable acclaim and is represented on Drummerworld), and moi. Pop- rock and hard rock from the 70s and 80s. We were a pretty strong band and drew our repertoire from the standard prerequisites: BOC, Eddie Money, VH and Rush, REO, some Doobies, Skynyrd...fill in the blanks.

    The gig went great and the girls went bonkers. Probably the only time in my life I experienced the storied phalanx of screaming teenies - it was a hoot. We blew the lid off the place but for whatever reason, the discipline principle (a hostile, portly, red- faced fellow by the name of Capalupo) took exception to our volume and some of our "company." We did have a few friends that helped us load in and set up, but to his limited mind, they were "groupies" and he disparagingly referred to them as such.

    That scene turned ugly, we were expelled after one hour of play time, and the whole place issued a huge, mighty "BOO!!!" I remember the goofy oaf screaming we'd never play a school in this town again, even as half of his school staged a mutiny against him...but two weeks later, we were doing a battle of the bands at another high school.

    Good times, good times.
    Bunk McNulty, The Owl, nixdad and 2 others like this.
  2. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I went to an all boys Catholic high school from '75-'79. The school was affiliated with two all girl Catholic schools, so dances were fun and there was ALWAYS a live rock band. Some were better than others, but it was always great to hear live music. I started playing bass in '77 (Fender Musicmaster Bass,) so it was cool to watch these guys play and fantasize about being good enough to perform and play my high school one day.

    After a few years of learning to play and mostly butchering rock songs, my buddies and I were approached by one if their older brothers to play country rock and bluegrass. That was 1979, just after 3 of us had graduated. Because most of the guys sang well and could harmonize, in just a few months we became a working band (Eagles, The Outlaws and Marshall Tucker Band were a few of the groups we covered.) After a key gig in 1980 at a local church fiesta, the band started working pretty regularly. It also didn't hurt that our timing was right, as the movie "Urban Cowboy" did for country music what "Saturday Night Fever" did for disco.

    I was very excited few years later when we were hired by my old high school to play one of the school dances. We were highly recommended by another graduate who had seen us at another gig, so we had high hopes. Unfortunately, it was a miserable experience.

    Although the band performed well, the kids just weren't into it. I think we may have even ended early. I'm certain we were the first and last country related band the school ever hired. Oh well - you can't please everyone. The band changed direction in '85 as we switched to classic rock. I left the band in '88 due to work constraints, but that band is still around today with the 2 brothers as the only original members. One of the other original members had started another cover band with guys who played and sang well at about the same time, and that band is also still around today.

    Fast forward to 2011, and I'm invited to join a new acoustic inspired Beatles band made up of my friends from both bands. We've been together for 5 years now.

    We just joined Gigmasters a few months ago, and oddly enough, our first confirmed gig is at my old high school! We've been hired to play a fundraiser at the end of January, so once again I have high hopes and am looking forward to the gig.

    Hopefully this one will have a very different end result.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep. I played mine, and a few other local schools with various bands and players. It was always fun.

    I remember playing a couple Battle of the Bands and a fashion show.
    I also remember the first band I saw play my school. Just a guitarist and drummer playing a Metallica medley. It was pretty good!
  4. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I did for a talent contest at Student Interest Day. Even had a bra thrown at me.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    I several times played on my High School, usually in the big lunch break where they had a kind of a free stage policy, both bass, guitar and singing lead in various musical constellations, and ranging from ridiculously bad, just for the joke of it kind of performances, to the more serious and decent performances.

    We even got hired once, and actually payed quite well, with our band Silver Kings, which was sort of a cheesy originals joke pop band, where I played bass and sang backing vocals, to the big introduction party for new students (a fun fact also is that 3/4 of Silver Kings lineup was the same as 3/4 of what was later to become Menfolk (hardcore/math/noise rock). I played bass in both, the lead singer/guitarist from Menfolk played drums and the drummer from Menfolk played synth/keyboard).

    Actually that was a pretty big gig, considering it is the biggest High School in Denmark.

    Probably the most far out performance was for the 1st year student's traditional song contest, where I together with a few class mates performed the track Fåresyge (Mumps translated to English or directly translated "sheep sickness"), and I was the only one of us 4 who actually knew how to play decently.

    I would play heavily distorted guitar and continuously scream Fåresyge (Mumps) and the other guys would "back" me up on respectively grand piano, bass guitar and drums.

    All improvised and in the free jazz/avant-garde spirit, sort of inspired by a free jazz outfit that performed earlier that year on our school at the initiation reception of some new sculpture the school had acquired (The sculpture by the way had the tittle "Don't play it again Sam" and the artist who made the sculpture was the one who had arranged for the band to perform).

    Anyway I would have a flute solo played unison with the feedback from my guitar about half way through the performance, and it all was timed to a clock we sat at the beginning of the performance that would decide when the track would finish by ringing.

    Our music teacher was rather thrilled by our performance, the rest of the audience not so much, to put it mildly (well, some thought it was funny, others, mainly some of the parents, got rather agitated or affronted).

    We did even receive some attention from the local press, who only mentioned our performance and the actual winner of the contest in the article.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  6. dangnewt

    dangnewt Veteran Dispenser

    Jun 6, 2003
    MetroWest Boston
    When I was in high school, the rest of the band was still in junior high. We played a fashion show at the junior high. The guys told me that all the girls wanted to meet me. I'm sure it was because I was a few years older than they were or it could have been that I played guitar back then. Either way, it was not enough to motivate me to practice harder.

    I was on the football team and was able to convince the coach to let us play the post-season awards dinner. That was actually fun. We were drums, keys, sax and me on rhythm guitar - no vocals. We did songs from Eagles, Chicago, Bread, definitely more on the mellow side of street.
  7. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    1969, and the times they were a-changin'. I went to school on the West Side of Chicago, in the shadow of U. of Ill (then called "Circle Campus"). I was the only band member who was actually a student there (a departing senior). We played the Band, Cream, Neil Young, even some Mothers of Invention ...you might say we were the "long hair" contingent - and our crowd was ready for it. We opened that night for the Cryan' Shames. Midwesterners of a certain advanced age will appreciate it.
  8. One year after graduating HS, I was still playing trumpet, and was subbing in a top 40 cover band with some older guys. We played my old HS to a crazy crowd. Some of the female students actually remembered me from being in the HS band, etc.

    Didn't get lucky, though.... :bored:

    Good times, for sure! :hyper::hyper:
    Jimmy4string and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  9. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    My band played at the junior/senior prom when I was a junior.
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  10. jmattbassplaya


    Jan 13, 2008
    I played in the school band, but I also played in a few garage bands.

    My first "gig" that wasn't part of a school group was the Battle of the Bands my sophomore year. I was actually in two groups: one an original act and the other a cover group. The cover group actually came in 2nd out of the 10 bands that performed. I don't remember if we actually won anything other than bragging rights. We played Funk 49 and White Room. We might have done something else but I can't remember what.
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  11. Noise Ninja,i have heard in Den\\mark folks do not like when people stand out. Do you notice this?
    Also seems like in the 70's and 80's people really appreciated live music more. I wish is was still that way. Like in the good ol days.
  12. I was in a band with 4 of my classmates as well as one of our math teachers as a manager. Late 1974 into 1976. Played several school dances at the High, Junior High as well as the Regional school. Our manager was pretty good at getting us gigs besides school dances. We played Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, anniversaries, etc... Had promotional pictures, even 3 piece suits for the classy gigs! We preferred the School dances even though the pay was a lot less, they were a ton of fun! Back then the drinking age in Massachusetts was 18 so we used to drink and party before and especially after. We used to rehearse at my Church with the condition we would play for the youth group sometimes. And we also used to rehearse at a space at Stonehill College in our home town quite a bit. It would turn into a party with school friends as well as College kids joining in. It was good times. MY first bass with that band was a Gibson Ripper which I traded or sold and got a Precision later on. My amps were first an EMG combo then I got an Ampeg B25B with the twin 15" cab. The good ole days!
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  13. Technically, I didn't actually play my high school, but I did manage a "battle of the bands" with an eye to raising funds for the schools music program.
    We sold out the auditorium, about 600 seats and had three bands playing. We also made our own flash pots (early 80's, probably 81 or 82) and I am betting the stage still shows the burn marks.
    We would have made money, but some dirt bag stole our mikes, some time after the show. I think I know who did it, but I never had enough evidence to pursue.
  14. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
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  15. BCRich100


    Mar 31, 2021
    Carrollton, TX
    I played my high school talent show three out of four years, but on guitar not bass. Didn’t start playing guitar til sophomore year and it was two weeks to the day I bought my first guitar and played in the talent show in front of 1200 people (went to a big high school). I had never even touched a guitar two weeks prior so I was terrified but totally hooked after that. We played “Song 2” from Blur that sophomore year show.

    Junior year we played “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twister Sister in full 80s outfits, complete with me in leather pants and my see thru neon green acrylic BC Rich Mockingbird. That got a lot of attention.

    Senior year we did “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” from the Beastie Boys. That was a blast since we had three singers, a kid that could beat-box, turntables scratching records, and my buddy and I on guitar and drums. That was a big hit too. Fun times and a great Intro to playing live in front of big crowds!
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  16. Some cool stories on here.

    I was a drummer in high school and played along with our show choir one time. So not really a gig.

    The closest I got to a high school gig was at your 20th high school reunion. One of my best friends was a key player and we lined it up so he could join our band for the night and play it. We emailed song lists and info needed for him to practice at his home in Kentucky. He came up about a week and 1/2 before the reunion and we had 2 practices to work it all out. It went really well and was a blast to play.
  17. I guess you could say I played my high school. 30 years after I graduated, two years after my daughter graduated. Our church praise band played a youth rally. By then my high school had been converted to a junior high and the high school was on the other side of town in a new building. It was fun though, we played on stage in the auditorium. I got to play all of the fills, and runs, I never played in church.
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  18. makaspar

    makaspar Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Austin, TX
    As a freshman, I was picked up by some seniors to play bass in their band. Their only goal was to play a set of covers for the "MORP" dance (prom fund-raiser), and to get the singer into the dance (he was banned from school activities for starting a food fight).

    We played a few songs from the newly released Pulp Fiction soundtrack, some Black Crows, and that's about all I remember...

    It was awesome!
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  19. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    In addition to being in the junior high school concert band (flute) and the high school orchestra (upright bass and tympani) and the high school pops orchestra (guitar) and the high school chorus (drums), my original rock band played at the high school once during my senior year, as part of their "Gong Show"

    Long story short, we got gonged ...but it was during the swampy ambient middle section of our epic prog-influenced 8-minute three-part suite [sic] so none of us noticed the gong, since it fit in so well with the music!
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  20. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    I played in my junior high and sr high schools. Played bass with a band as a fill in when I was in 9th grade and then as a senior I played guitar and sang with my band played during assembly towards the end of the year. Quite good memories, we played mostly grunge music (it was the early/mid 90's) with a few Zep and other classics thrown in. We were not very good, we didn't know that and the kids loved it so we didn't care!
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