New Year's Eve can takes you to a club or party that's out of your normal route -- and can be a wildly fun or horrible experience... here's my horror story from the past. It was 1975 - I was part of a three-man rock cover band, heavy three-part harmonies and very high energy stuff. This horror story starts with something even more horrible: about two months earlier we got a call from our agent to cover a Fri-Sat gig at a club we'd never played. We had planned to be off but took it as a favor. Played 10-3 Fri. nite -- came back Sat. nite at 9:30 and couldn't find the club on this dark road, finally did-- it had almost burned to the ground that morning. We lost almost everything, and were about 2 weeks away from finalizing gear insurance (damn guitarist, late with his receipts). So, in the interim time between that tragedy and the NYE gig we were in the drummer's basement scraping melted tolex off cabinets and rebuilding them with new speakers and coverings. Amazingly, our Yamaha PA, with its knobs melted to the front metal plate, still worked. Flash ahead six weeks. We find out the club where we regularly gigged went out of business. There goes two Dec. weekends and NYE. Our agent to the rescue, again, with another last minute special. Hoo boy. She sends us to this Philadelphia club for not-very-great bucks -- We arrive and this place looks like a set out of a movie -- apparently had been a very hot club at one time but fell out of favor. Dirty and tattered curtains frame the place and illuminated wall decorations barely sparkle, with half their bulbs burned out. It was almost like a scene from the Twilight Zone. We plug into the house EVs and begin to play... to the bartenders and fatass owner on a stool at the end of the bar. Our PA, still stinking of smoke, starts to cut in and out. Hoo boy. Meanwhile, NOBODY comes in -- people occasionally walk in and turn around and walk out. The owner bitches that we came off early (2 minutes). And then yells at us for taking too much time between songs as we try to fix the PA (which turned out to be his damn speakers, BTW). It was the LONGEST five sets I've ever played -- talk about having a night drag on... At Midnight there were three customers in the place. Happy New Year! We ask the owner once if he wants us to keep playing -- you can guess the response. We force out this high energy rock for two more sets and get the f out of the place, but not before the owner gives us a hassle about paying the full contract price. Give him a break, he says. Yeah, right. Whenever I play an even slightly screwed up gig I think of that night -- and it doesn't seem so bad anymore.