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YOUR first gig

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Corbis, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    I played my first 2 preformances this weekend and I was wondering since some of the people here have been playing for 20+ years if they remeber their very first gig.

    Well tell all that you remember what you wore, what songs you did, what you instrument you played. How the crowd reacted, and all the neat little things that happened.

    My first one was on a trailer and a flatbed truck across from my town's park at my folks furniture store parking lot. There was a major event happening at the park so the crowd was huge at least 100 people there in the parking lot (I never looked over at the park). And people said they could hear us 5 blocks away. We played with another band our age so that was fun. It was both bands first preformance so we were all nervous but it worked out.
  2. leftundone


    Mar 14, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    My first gig seems like it was yesturday. It was back in 1989. It was at our drummers church in Deerfield, IL. We were paid $30 to play an hour set. I think that was pretty good for a bunch of 7th graders. I remember playing some originals that we had written along with some cover songs. "Living loving Maid" & "Moby Dick" by Led Zep.."Angel in a Center Fold" & a Seve Miller tune.

    We went on to play over 600 shows since then.

    Feel free to check out some of our originals @

  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I can still remember this party we were hired for. Our first gig and it was for a college party.

    This was back in 1975. I can't recall the music we played...basically classic rock tunes. What I do remember was that Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll was more than abundant. Oh my God, the women!!!!!!!!
  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    My first gig as a Bassist was a pig roast. There was three other bands, but then the brother in law of the guy throwing the bash showed up with his "band", so next thing we know there was four other bands. We played fourth, and right before we took the "stage"(which was an old clapped out hay trailer), the cops showed up and tried to shut the bands down, since the neighbors were complaining.

    Somehow we were allowed to continue (little bribe, maybe?), and after having our set chopped from 60 to 30 minutes(thanks to the extra "band" showing up), we played a few originals and a few covers. Crowd reaction was good(what you'd expect from 200 drunks), and down front there were a few guys "sky drinking" (where you throw your beer into the air and see how much you can catch in your mouth).

    Dont know if Id drive 90 miles for a gig like that again, but it was one of the more memorable gigs Ive played.
  5. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane what goes here?

    Feb 23, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    Yep, right up there with losing (throwing away) your virginity.
    Just a sec..., let's see if the way-back machine will start.
    Air Force base, Minot, ND, Teen club, 1968. I'm in the Original Sin and it's our first paying gig. $35 total, divide by four.
    I don't have my first bass yet, but I'm playing bass lines on a Blackstone Japanese guitar through a bass amp trying to get as much bass as possible. My mom made me wear pants that I didn't like. They were too baggy. LOL! Everyone's dancing up a storm, conga lines running through the club. We're laying down (I'm not) Your Steppin' Stone, Time Won't Let Me, Summertime Blues, and the likes from the era.
    Afterwards, I'm waiting for Mom to pick me up in the lobby (it's -10 degrees F outside), and the drummer from the undisputed, absolute best local band around (he's like 18) comes through and tells me that we were really good. You could've knocked me over with a feather after that compliment.
  6. I remember it, have pictures and bad "boom box" recorded audio.

    December 15th 1991, The Spa lounge Staten Island NY. Was the hangout of the guitarist who was friends with the owner. We played for a case of beer, which since we were hanging out in the stock room between sets turned into multiple cases. Funny thing was... I don't drink. We opened with "Sympathy for the Devil" and closed the First set with "A day in the life".

    After that The guitar player relocated (read: ran from creditors) to Florida and he Roommate took over on Guitar(Who was incidentally running the sound the first night). Ended up playing with the Guitarist and Keyboard player for 8 years. Was a great run.
  7. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    My first gig was in 1992. I was in a band called Uncle Nub (named after the guitarists old soccer coach.) We played 3rd out of three bands on a Wednesday night at a club in Seattle called Mad Dogs (it's now a Walgreens.) We played for four of our friends, the bartender/soundman, and a lone long-haired butt rocker that stood in the middle of the dance floor and head-banged our entire set.

    Our fearless leader was so drunk he forgot to get our $50.00 fee.

    I was walking on clouds for a week after that! :D

  8. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    My first real gig was at a teen club that opened in my home town. The owner of the club was the father of a girl in my class. It was a big place with an enormous dance floor, pool tables, a mechanical bull (It was 1981, after all.) smaller secondary rooms upstairs that were bigger than a lot of places I have played since then. All in all, a pretty nice place.

    Jana, the daughter, convinced her dad to have a battle of the bands at the club. We were the third band to play. Instrumenally we did really well. Our singer sucked beyond all comprehension of the term, however. Even with the singer freezing up on us we were not the worst band there. And several people in other bands there that night comp;imented us on our playing. No one complimented us on our singer.
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    hmm...I coudln't say...I've played loads of events and concerts and talent shows but never a paying gig(always just free food or something)

    probably "ojai day" which is a local celebration for the town I goto school at. 2000
  10. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    My first gig was kind of an accident! The drummer in a cover band was drunk, fell off the stairs and broke his wrist! I ended up playing three sets with them and sitting in when they came back on the circut (with a different drummer!).

    I will NEVER forget the sense of power I got playing that first song - Born to be Wild (yeah, I'm dating myself), the whole dance floor was packed.

    I ended up seeing the light 28 years later and now play bass, although I do sub on drums when needed. I just don't enjoy drums much anymore.

    Dan K.
  11. I've been lurking here for a while and this is my first post. I feel like I have two "first gigs."

    Last September a friend of mine was playing drums accompanying a play at a theater in Hollywood. They were a few weeks from opening the show when he told me they didn't have a bass player and asked if I played bass (I've played cello for a long time). I told him I didn't, but I could play cello for them if they couldn't find a bassist. They thought that was a great idea so I went to the first rehearsal, where they were all excited about how they could add cello in to a lot of the music. Then they handed me a bass guitar and said "and this is for the bass parts." I told them I had never played bass and they just said "Well, can you learn? We can show you the basslines." So I said "Sure, why not." There were four bass parts. The most complex was Choo Choo Ch'Boogie (Louis Jordan) which we played in pre-show. The music in the show itself was all original and had fairly simple basslines. I got $5 per show (plus the theater didn't charge us for beer from the concession stand after performances). A week before we opened I went out and bought the Bass Starter Kit (Fender/Squier affinity p-bass + practice amp) because I fell in love with the instrument & was getting a lot of encouragement from everyone in the show.

    Through that I met the guys I joined up with to start a band. We're finishing enough arrangements to play out. All in all it was a pretty great experience, I met a lot of cool people.

    Shortly after the play opened another friend who is a singer/songwriter/impresario asked if I'd play cello on a song. I told her I was learning bass, and she was overjoyed to hear it. She produces a show every other Tuesday, sort of a "David Letterman" formatted talk-show thing live (not a tv show) called "Women's Night Out". It's aimed at 40+ yr. old moms who don't get out enough. Gives them somewhere to go, meet other people and make fun of their husbands. I started playing in the house band for that (free), but eventually the vibe was just too depressing, so I told her I couldn't do it anymore. A week later she called back and said "How about if we pay you?" So now the drummer and I get $25 a show, plus free sandwiches and beer. My friend usually writes one or two new songs for each show, then there's usually one or two vocalists who perform jazz & pop standards. We often don't get the charts until half an hour before the show. It's challenging to just pick up and play like that, but it's really accelerating the development of my chart-reading skills. I usually remind myself of the "simple is good" philosophy & don't worry too much about cluttering up the bottom with too many notes. We also do lttle fills between segments.

    I don't have a real amp, so I daisy-chain my two practice amps together and aim one a little toward the drummer so he can hear me, and the other points at the audience. It's a small venue, so that seems to be enough for now. I'll have to get a real rig before my band starts playing out. Now all my friends want me to get a double bass too, but I'd have to get a new car to fit it in....

  12. DDAvenger


    Mar 1, 2002
    Deerfield, IL
    Awesome, another bassist from Deerfield. And I felt so alone ;)

    Anyways, my first gig was with my band at a bowling alley bar in I think Evanston IL. We had a good time and overally played pretty well. We did a great job impressing the audience of about 8 people, 7 of them being parents of the other band and ours :rolleyes:
  13. Shuller


    Feb 2, 2003
    moscow, russia
    Mine was three years ago. I remember it damn well. We were playing in my favourite club and had about 70 friends come support us. With 3 other bands, (pop-rock, grunge and nazi trash) we were playing 3rd. I remember not being nervous at all (well...) or drunk. Played preety decent too for a first time I guess. Our friends who thought we'd all mess up (it was everyone in bands first time on stage) commented afterwards that they were very surprised. But the thing that really blew me away was the singer of the skinhead band, who came onstage after us and in front all of his shaved fans proclaimed that "we were ****ing good" and that they shouldn't dismiss our music just due to fact that most of the band are foreigners playing reggae-punk. Felt great. But that was when I was just on vocal duty.

    First time I got onstage with a bass in my hands (in another band, two years later) I was scared ****less. It was a lot more responsibility than before. But we did itagain, better than expected. I knew from then on that bass is it for me...and felt GREAT.:hyper:
    Below is a photo from that night.
  14. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    1st gig - 1984 - i've been playing for about 6 months
    a pal of mine introduced me to a hendrix-ish guitar player and his drummer, i was 17 they were in their late 20's and insane
    i mean really, the guitar player changed his name to jimmy james
    we play at a big club in new haven, i have no amp so i'm in a direct box and thru the pa - i still have a tape - it was strange, not terrible but wierd - i quit soon after

    2nd gig, 1985 with uncle john's jug band playing all dead
    we rent out a firehouse in hamden ct and pack it - crowd goes nuts - we go on to become local heros for a few years - sheer bliss
  15. My first gig was on January 12, 1990. It was at my high school. We played one song - "Living Loving Maid" by Led Zeppelin (with a LONG drum solo in the middle). The kid who was in charge of getting all of the amps and stuff made me play through his guitar practice amp, so no one could hear me at all. Our singer was so nervous that he was shaking and he sounded like Elvis (we had never heard of Dread Zeppelin, so at the time, we really weren't happy about the vocals.) It was at the school theater, so the room and the stage were awesome and it was packed - mostly with parents and other students. It was a lot of fun even though we only played one song.
  16. Sten


    Nov 18, 2001
    My first? It can hardly be a called a gig ;)

    It was 1st of June 2001, I had been playing bass guitar for about 3 months. We were offered some time during a youngsters day in our home town(just 5000 citizens). Played 4 songs (1 original+3 covers Green Day - Brain Stew, Fenix TX - All My Fault and Blink 182 - Dumpweed). There were about 10 people actually listening to us...but at least we got a slight idea what it's all about.
  17. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    My first gig: Some party in my old grunge band. I played thru the PA, 2 18inch speakers.

    First paying gig: 300 people in a underground metal club, in Bastrop Lousiana. Best show of my life.
  18. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    My first real paying gig was led up by a year-or-so of bush bashes, pit parties etc. where we would play for beer and end up spending more on PA rental gear than we ever made back....but the babes...oh, the babes...ever hear of a human mic stand?

    Anyways, first real paying gig was a Canada Day community party in one of the local suburbs - we got hired to play an outdoor gig on a baseball diamond. We had no idea what we needed for PA, so we went out and got everything, like 6 mics for the drums, all the amps mic'd, everything into a 100' snake. Seperate amps for the FOH and monitors. The band set up at home plate and the mixing board was on the pitcher's mound.

    Well, it being around 1986 or so, we did things like John Cougar, Springsteen, Stones, Cult, Billy Idol (ya - Mony Mony..) and with all the PA power, we pretty much smoked out all the happy suburban families that brought their kids down to the park that day. I think we pulled in $100 and spent most of that on PA and were asked to shut it down after about 30 minutes. That was a good thing since our singer pretty much sucked - he went on to an illustrious career as a one-man-band busker.

    Like all these first gig stories, ours was a great learning experience and one that I'll never forget...

  19. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Hey IvanMike, what club in New Haven??

    My first gig was ni 1994 on guitar, I know, I know, I played guitar first. Anyway, it was at a friend's party in a band called Distorted Image. We were God awful, but we had fun. I don't think anyone was really paying any attention, but that was ok. We played 2 20 minute sets. Good times.
  20. ZonPlyr


    Apr 29, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    My first gig was in 1983, I was playing bass in a 9 piece horn band made up of my friends. We were all 12 or 13 playing stevie wonder tunes and some old school funk. Not really a stellar opener since we were playing for the grand opening of a McDonald's playland but that landed us a gig at a local restaurant/bar playing for about 100 people during the dinner hour.

    God that was a long time ago.

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