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Worst "open jam" of my life

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by sb69coupe, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    OK, I am traveling on business and stumbled on an open jam night at a local dive bar. I get there when it's supposed to start and the guys are just setting up the gear. I introduce myself to the bassist and he says that I can sit in and use his gear, pretty cool of him. I sign in on the board and wait patiently. The bar is totally empty at this point except for the band, me, and the bartender.

    The house band plays a few tunes and actually sound pretty good. Then a gui**** waltzes in and proceeds to set up his amp across the front of the stage, not along the backline at all. This guy whips out his axe and proceeds to put Neil Young to shame with his guitar wanking and out of key vocals. It's actually painful.

    I get called up and the Neil Young wannabe is calling random "original" tunes in standard I-IV-V progressions, but there's no rhyme or reason as to when he makes the changes. I'm staring at the other guitarist and trying to make some sense of the trainwreck that I'm experiencing. Thankfully after a couple tunes he excuses himself from the stage and I play a couple good numbers with the keyboard player and other guitarist.

    The last set comes and I am up there jamming with the keys and a different drummer. Mr Young comes up again, smelling of a freshly smoked doobie, and proceeds to wank away on more hideous crap that we all have to suffer through, trying to anticipate the changes he's throwing in there at random. I literally turned my back to him, faced the drummer, and prayed for a quick ending to the madness.

    Note to self: do not go back to the Monday night open jam at this establishment.......
  2. bhawk1


    Oct 9, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Ten bucks says the wannabe

    1.) Is a regular at that particular place
    2.) Rarely talks to or interacts with the backing band, or indeed any other musicians whatsoever.
  3. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    A well placed headstock to Mr Youngs head would have fixed the problem

    *{turn to talk to the drummer}* BAM!!!!!
    "Oh my, Im sorry, my basses neck is much shorter, you cant possibly play another tune with all that bleeding"

    problem solved...............
  4. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Well, you're batting .500 man, pretty good. The drummer said the dude shows up religiously every Monday night. Mr Young even told the backing band "you guys are making me sound much better than I do at home". But the dude did actually tell me the key and the changes to a couple songs he attempted to play.

    What a trainwreck.....
  5. Triclops

    Triclops Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    more like "what a BUM!"
  6. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    yeah man. open jams are notorious for that kinda crap. unfortunately the kids who can't jam worth anything go to all the jams instead of staying home and learning chords and rhythm.
  7. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    The prior mentioned Neil Young wannabe was at least 40 years old. I'd have had more tolerance for him if he'd have been a young dude who was trying to sit in and learn, versus getting up there and trying to lead the band.
  8. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    the words "open" and "jam" in the same sentence just spell "trouble" in my book!
  9. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH

    WOW. what a loser. if the dude is 40 and has been playing for a while and still can't get it together, he needs to get another hobby.
  10. maybe nobody's ever been honest with him.
  11. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Nothing ticks me off more than when bad musicians (with whom I have to play) get stoned or drunk and play even worse.
  12. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    usually if the cat REALLY can't jam, someone (usually the leader) in the house band will let them know that they should practice a little more before coming back. ive heard of it happening many times.
  13. Jamming is one of the things I like most about bass. I've always felt I was fairly proficient and thought about going to one of those open jam nights... Now I'm not so sure :meh: I'd hate to be stuck playing with a guy like that gui****, even worse I'd hate to be a guy like that!
  14. I am a regular at an open jam at the local blues bar. Second song with two newcomer guitarists, was announced through the PA as an original that they had been working on, it's in A#, and starts with a bass solo. I started off with a blues/funk riff, the drummer joined in, and their original was more original than they had planned. The audience liked it, but it didn't even resemble the song they had written.

  15. ....lessee....the last open jam....

    Got up on stage with two gui****s that were more interested in polishing their respective instruments, a PRS and a Strat, than in actually tuning or being able to play said instruments...

    ...seeing as I only brought a fretless, and neither of them was anywhere close to being in tune, nor were they out of tune the same amount, it made my situation...well, less than pleasant.

    After the first song, I pulled both back away from the front of the stage and commented:

    "Ok, look, here's the deal, my bass is at least as pretty and expensive as your guitars, probably more so (Zon Sonus Special 5 at the time), and I'm not too proud to use that tuner (pointing at Boss TU-2 sitting forlornly unused, yet right between them both on stage). Furthermore, no matter how "good" you think you are, of the 4 of us here on stage, I'm the only one approaching "musician", and I am NOT going to sit up here for one more tune with you losers unless you BOTH tune your boatpaddles with that tuner so I have some semblance of consistent pitch to deal with, since I've also got to deal with you having no sense of time and no clue how to solo over the simplest blues changes - savvy?"

    I didn't make any new friends, but at least my ears stopped bleeding after that.

  16. Wow, that seems a little harsh, but sometimes that kind of tone is necessary, especially in a situation like that.

    I can't believe people get up on stage and play without tuning beforehand.
  17. Trust me, the circumstances demanded that I take firm and clear action, immedately. It was THAT bad.

  18. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    ... another wonderful signature quote by the mighty Gard !! :D
  19. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    The thing that sucks about being a newcomer to a jam nite as opposed to one of the regulars is that you always get stuck with the worst players. It's worse if it's a busy jam-nite. You get to watch the house band and their buddies play, and then when the dregs of the night want to join in, you "the stranger" gets the joy of jamming with them. It's either the gui**** that wants to jam over a 1 chord groove until the mode police come, or someone with no clue about how to tune a guitar, count in a tune, or telling other band members what key a song is in.

    It's nights like these that make jamming along to a CD look better and better.
  20. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Well, I'm going to tempt fate and return to the scene of the crime again this evening. If the bandleader is to be believed, Mr Neil Young only comes out on Monday nights. The other players were actually pretty good, so hopefully tonight will be a redeeming experience. I'll make sure to give a post-jam report either later tonight or first thing tomorrow.
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