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Worst gig experience thus far, Fisaga's in Harrisburg, PA.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Aug 21, 2005.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    2 days later and I'm still fuming.

    The Nerve! is doing weekend tours. We're booking 2 original shows and one cover gig to take care of our expenses. We had an agreement for $400 to play Fisaga's, 201 N 2nd St. in Harriburg PA this past Friday.

    We get slammed with traffic and it takes us around 6 hours to get there. We call the club and tell them we're going to be slightly late but we'll still be able to get up and running by the time they want us to, 10:30. We arrive 10:10, but they still haven't cleared the space we're playing so we have to wait 20 minutes for them to move people and tables. We get set up in around 15 minutes, my guitarist is parking the van and the woman who I think owns the place tells my drummer either we play NOW or go home. We're off to a fine start.

    The place is absolutely packed. I'm talking like hundreds of people, it's an indoor/outdoor restaurant-bar. Randy (guitar) returns and even before we start we're told we have to play REAL low. We quickly tape up the drums, put our amps ridiculously low (we're getting used to doing this) and start. They immediately tell us to lower. We do it. Again. We do. Again. We're now at a volume where I swear to you, we can talk in a normal voice on stage and hear each other, the sound of the crowd talking is drowning us out, and they still want us to get lower. I'm not insane, I've been doing this a lot years, and you have to trust me - it was completely absurd. People around us who were digging what we were doing were wondering what the hell was going on and telling us to turn it up. To make a long really bad story short, we finish our first set and this wimpy bartender comes up to us and says I'm giving you guys $100 and you're leaving. He's really obstinate, and walks away saying, "Take it or leave it, you're done!" I'm not violent at all, but the Bklyn. Italian in me was boiling over, and this is the closest I've come in 20 years to hitting someone. If it wasn't 3 of us against an entire city, I think I may have popped this time. I walked away - Randy followed him and wasn't going to let him off the hook.

    10 minutes later Randy comes back to the microphone and tells the couple of hundred people at the bar that the club isn't paying us, so we're going to walk around with a hat and ask for donations because we need money for the trip and hotel we already paid for. Old lady gets incredibly upset... 10 minutes later a bouncer asks who's in charge of the band. I say, "Me, what's up?" He tells me, "The cops are here, they're coming in, and be careful - they're really dicks." Seems like the bouncer is actually on our side. 6 cops make their way through the crowd and ask me to follow them outside. This is getting enjoyable now. I follow. There are at least 4 cop cars, 2 horses and a paddy wagon waiting for us. I'm really impressed and I tell them so. He asks what's going on, I tell him, he understands, tries to keep from laughing, feels bad, and just asks how long it's going to take us to get out of there. I told him, they waited for us to pack up and escorted us about a mile away from the place. The cop turned out to be a really nice guy by the way, I tried to give him a CD...

    Anyhow - this is getting way too long and I have a lot of things I actually want to say regarding this stuff. I'll save it for later if there are any responses. Valuable lesson learned: Out of town gigs will ONLY be done from here on with written agreements. In NY they don't fly that well, but I absolutely refuse to take another out of state show without something in writing. If they don't want to guarantee us the money, then that means there's a chance they'll screw us and I'm never taking that chance again. Later.

    P.S Please support your fellow musicians by not supporting this place - FISGA'S in Harrisburg PA - and letting the rest of the musical community know when people like them treat you as if you're nothing more than a worthless piece of meat.
     
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Totally lame. I'm sorry to hear about it.

    Did they explain why you were told to leave after one set? Maybe they saw that picture of you from the Dudepit?? :D

    How did it go passing the hat around?

    -Mike
     
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Oh god - what's the dudepit and can you give me a link to the picture. Things get around quickly these days.

    We walked out with $230 total. Everyone there seemed to be on our side except for the owner and whimpy barguy who I think was her son. The place was absolutely packed and a small handful left when we started because they obviously weren't into hearing a band. I don't fault the people leaving at all, but the bar knows their crowd. If their crowd doesn't want music, then don't hire a band.

    Also - I have to note that we don't suck. That's not why anyone left. I know every musician makes that claim about their band, but a few people including Nino Brown here can attest to it. A Sam Ash manager saw us a couple of months ago and immediatly wanted us to become endorsees. We just signed contracts with them. We're complete pros, we've been doing it for many year. We also mixed the set up bigtime playing music from 7 Nation Army to I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The bar just seemed to be doing fine (or better) without us. The most infuriating part of the whole thing was that we were willing to work with them and even play acoustically if they wanted. They could also have EASILY paid us the $400 and told us to be on their way. The place was an absolute goldmine. Blah, blah, blah, blah... it's getting late. I gotsta go to bed.

    The dudepit please...?
     
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Here is where I found the pic: That isn't the only place. It's also on another site. Check out the properties on the link in the thread I just linked to. Check the properties of the one posted over in OT also. I am afraid it is too late to do damage control Joe.

    -Mike
     
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I don't understand any of the above. I checked properties but it comes up from the original source that I posted. ? I don't really mind that it's getting around - I get a kick out of it actually. I'd just like to see where it travels. If you know any other links or places it's traveled to I'd appreciate if you would post them or email them to me at nervemail@aol.com. Thanks for theheads up. :)

    I'm waiting for the same pic of my girlfriend to start getting around now. :D It's been hidden well and will travel much more slowly I'm sure though.
     
  6. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    JOe, ya shoulda asked me in the Philly thread...Harrisburg is a hole...
     
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Sorry SMASH.

    The link I attempted to post was the one of Joe that was also featured in the OT thread. It was not deleted there, so I thought it was alright.

    -Mike
     
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Uhhhh, your caps lock is on.
     
  9. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Sorry to hear it Joe. Yes you should get it in writing whenever possible. Having a contract might have been interesting w/ the cop. "Yes sir, and I'd also like you to arrest the owner lady and the bartender guy for breach of contract."
     
  10. retitled

    retitled

    Feb 13, 2004
    forest hills
    what you should have done was turned all the way up and just jammed before they cut teh power on you :bassist:

    sometimes a memmory of sticking it to somebody is better then money :p


    but ur way was better too.... make sure u give the personw ho brought the hate an extra $5 :p
     
  11. Barfly

    Barfly

    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada

    LOL!
     
  12. Barfly

    Barfly

    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada
    Joe, that just blows. Good job on being pro about it and not popping the old broad right in the grape.

    Same crap has happened to us. From now on, we call the bar the day of the gig ensuring they know we are coming, have a PA/lights etc, and realize we are a hard rock tribute act, not a chicken wing Mustang Sally band (not that there's anything wrong with that!!!).


    We played tonight at a big room here in Brampton. First set = 8 people. :eyebrow: Summer crowd I guess.

    But about 30 people came in for the second set and were all dancing and having a blast! We had to keep playing for them, got the females up on stage and got mucho compliments on the way out.

    My mom, God rest her soul, used to always say to me when I complained about gigging and all the crap we musicians have to put up with, "Well, if it's so bad then quit."

    Y'know what? I'll take playing music WITH the accompanying B.S. anyday over not playing.


    BTW, checked out yer site. You guys F'ing ROCK!

    Cheers,
    Steve