Gig Story, Longish

Discussion in 'rec.music.guitar' started by Pete Kerezman, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Haven't seen a good gig story on the group in a long time. Haven't
    had a really good one to tell either, but here's one of mine from my
    personal diary back pages, 1998.



    Saturday evening, March 28th., the Flash Flood band played a
    ninety-minute set at the air base after the Blue Angels airshow, big
    doings for Kingsville. Our progeny came down from Austin for the
    festivities. Much of the stuff that motivates me to take the show biz
    trip occasionally was in evidence.

    Cesar came by the bike shop Saturday morning to drop off a
    concession pass for me which granted access to the "backstage" areas
    of the show, and to inform me that we wouldn't need to bring much gear
    since a p.a. complete with sound man was being provided, along with a
    drum kit. I found out later that Cesar was bound for one-hour's duty
    in a dunking booth! Had I known, I would have liked to immerse him a
    few times, but as it turned out he might as well have stayed in the
    pool he got dunked so much. I guess that happens when you have a lot
    of friends and work the dunking booth. The evening came around at the
    usual rate and we arrived at the edge of the stage quickly and without
    a hitch.

    The sound man was a big guy, mid/late-thirties, very unkempt.
    He looked like a carny, permanent sunburn, greasy clothes, stained
    teeth and all, he was working on a six-day beard.

    Although I had brought my compact bass rig for use as a stage
    monitor, the bass was run direct through the mixing board. In such
    situations I am totally at the mercy of the sound man, so naturally I
    immediately struck up a conversation with him. Sensing my uneasyness
    he reassured me, saying, "I been to a few rodeos." It worked. In
    about five minutes we were checking levels, getting ready to burn.

    Sunset was about forty minutes away. Cloudy sky, wind howling
    about twenty-five knots, forty-five degrees on our left, in our face.
    The strong wind probably kept the crowd down, but i feel it was still
    respectable and not bad at all for six pm on a day when the gates had
    opened at ten-thirty am and the airshow had been over for a while.
    Quite a few showed who I'd told about it, friends, and acquaintances
    from the shop, made me feel good.

    The stage was a couple of big trailers put together, with
    plywood sheets on top to bridge the gaps, held down with sandbags.
    Nice and springy to walk over, adding to the overall effect. Directly
    behind the stage was an enormous airplane hangar. To our left a
    couple hundred yards were the airplanes used by the Blue Angels air
    show team, and a bunch of display planes. In front of us about a
    hundred feet was a big ol' tent with chairs and tables, a small tent
    for the sound guy and his gear, and a loooong midway lined with
    concession booths went straight back a few hundred yards. To the
    right of the stage about thirty yards, was the carnival's portable
    roller coaster and a line-of-sight view of the back of the carnival.
    About twenty people were sitting in folding chairs in front of the
    stage, like concert style orchestra seats ten rows back, twenty or
    thirty more were standing, and another several hundred were sitting in
    the tent and milling around the various attractions.

    We lit off on time and performed a blistering-paced ninety minute
    version of our regular four-hour show, starting with classic country
    and classic rock, ending with raunched-out metal and alternative. As
    the sun went down and it gradually got dark, a couple of big guys
    slowly kept putting up spotlights and turning them on, two at a time,
    until there were about twenty and the stage was like day. We killed
    'em, kicked butt, they made us play an encore, even when we needed to
    clear out for the next act.

    One of my fave deals about the band thing is - you really never know
    what's gonna happen. What did happen was that near the end I found
    myself playing a guitar lead on AC/DC's "Highway To Hell". My buddy
    the sound guy seemed to like my lead playing and had me cranked way
    up. A group of about ten or fifteen college age "boys" came up to the
    edge of the stage where I was bouncing up and down on the flexing
    plywood as I feverishly slashed at the guitar. They seemed to have
    had a few beers and they were screaming at me, reaching their arms out
    to me, and inspiring me to new heights of crazed raunchiness. The
    stops had been pulled out, and like a shutter opening and closing for
    a very brief moment thirty years dropped off of me and I was light as
    a feather.

    Five minutes after the end of the show we were loaded up and
    ready to roll, and the next act was taking the stage. I made sure to
    say "thanks, bro" to the sound guy, and off we went to Cesar's for
    barbeque.

    Texas Pete

    ps - What's *your* gig story?
  2. Tom Yost

    Tom Yost Guest

    On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 17:27:09 -0500, Pete Kerezman <petekerez@aol.com>
    wrote:

    > Haven't seen a good gig story on the group in a long time. Haven't
    >had a really good one to tell either, but here's one of mine from my
    >personal diary back pages, 1998.
    >
    > Saturday evening, March 28th., the Flash Flood band played a
    >ninety-minute set at the air base ...
    >


    You didn't open for the puppet show did you?





    Tom
  3. Odin

    Odin Guest

    "Pete Kerezman" <petekerez@aol.com> wrote in message

    > The sound man was a big guy, mid/late-thirties, very unkempt.
    > He looked like a carny, permanent sunburn, greasy clothes, stained
    > teeth and all, he was working on a six-day beard.


    Hmmmm......scary.


    > Although I had brought my compact bass rig for use as a stage
    > monitor, the bass was run direct through the mixing board. In such
    > situations I am totally at the mercy of the sound man, so naturally I
    > immediately struck up a conversation with him. Sensing my uneasyness
    > he reassured me, saying, "I been to a few rodeos." It worked. In
    > about five minutes we were checking levels, getting ready to burn.


    You got lucky. A great many sound techs are not very good at what they do.
    It's always nice to have a good one.


    > The stage was a couple of big trailers put together, with
    > plywood sheets on top to bridge the gaps, held down with sandbags.
    > Nice and springy to walk over, adding to the overall effect.


    Heh. We played on one (a single trailer rig) that was rotten and noting
    would sit flat. The amps were rocking back and forth, Ryan's congas
    wouldn't stand up, and some of the boards on the trailer had rotted thru
    and you could see grass under the trailer. Of course it started storming
    while we were up there.


    > We lit off on time and performed a blistering-paced ninety minute
    > version of our regular four-hour show, starting with classic country
    > and classic rock, ending with raunched-out metal and alternative. As
    > the sun went down and it gradually got dark, a couple of big guys
    > slowly kept putting up spotlights and turning them on, two at a time,
    > until there were about twenty and the stage was like day. We killed
    > 'em, kicked butt, they made us play an encore, even when we needed to
    > clear out for the next act.


    Gotta love that. I personally like doing the short shows because you can
    put all the best material in one long set and the energy level is usually
    much higher because you only have one shot at the crowd.


    > One of my fave deals about the band thing is - you really never know
    > what's gonna happen. What did happen was that near the end I found
    > myself playing a guitar lead on AC/DC's "Highway To Hell". My buddy
    > the sound guy seemed to like my lead playing and had me cranked way
    > up. A group of about ten or fifteen college age "boys" came up to the
    > edge of the stage where I was bouncing up and down on the flexing
    > plywood as I feverishly slashed at the guitar. They seemed to have
    > had a few beers and they were screaming at me, reaching their arms out
    > to me, and inspiring me to new heights of crazed raunchiness. The
    > stops had been pulled out, and like a shutter opening and closing for
    > a very brief moment thirty years dropped off of me and I was light as
    > a feather.


    Those are the moments that make all the load-ins and load-outs worth it.


    > Five minutes after the end of the show we were loaded up and
    > ready to roll, and the next act was taking the stage. I made sure to
    > say "thanks, bro" to the sound guy, and off we went to Cesar's for
    > barbeque.
    >
    > Texas Pete


    Sounds like a perfect gig. Those are too far between IMO but when they
    happen they're a thing of beauty. Good story, we need more good gig
    stories.


    > ps - What's *your* gig story?


    Too many to recount. Can't think of a particularly good one right now
    either.
  4. "Odin" wrote:

    >> The sound man was a big guy, mid/late-thirties, very unkempt.
    >> He looked like a carny, permanent sunburn, greasy clothes, stained
    >> teeth and all, he was working on a six-day beard.

    >
    >Hmmmm......scary.
    >
    >
    >> Although I had brought my compact bass rig for use as a stage
    >> monitor, the bass was run direct through the mixing board. In such
    >> situations I am totally at the mercy of the sound man, so naturally I
    >> immediately struck up a conversation with him. Sensing my uneasyness
    >> he reassured me, saying, "I been to a few rodeos." It worked. In
    >> about five minutes we were checking levels, getting ready to burn.

    >
    >You got lucky. A great many sound techs are not very good at what they do.
    >It's always nice to have a good one.


    Don't I know it! If you'd a seen this guy you'd be triply amazed.
    He looked like one a them homeless guys at intersections who're
    holding "will work for Thunderbird" signs.

    Texas Pete
  5. Pete Kerezman wrote:

    > Haven't seen a good gig story on the group in a long time. Haven't
    > had a really good one to tell either, but here's one of mine from my
    > personal diary back pages, 1998.


    <Snip>

    > ps - What's *your* gig story?


    A few years ago I was running an open mike at this joint:
    http://www.northshorebarandgrill.com/

    Bugs Henderson played a gig a few days before, and was hanging out in
    town for the week, staying with the promoter, who's also a DJ on the
    local radio station. The promoter decided to get Bugs to play at our
    open mike, and advertised it on the radio. So there's like 150 people in
    a 99 seat club, and a ton of blues players signed up to play, probably
    hoping to jam with Bugs. But *no one* was willing to play before Bugs.
    It was hilarious; people were just disappearing when I'd approach them,
    and these are pretty good players too.

    So inevitably, I get the task of opening for Bugs. My band has the
    potential to clear a room really fast, but on this night we had a
    keyboard player sitting in, who'd only rehearsed like once or twice with
    us. He's a nervous sort, and you never really know what's going to
    happen with him on stage. Especially in front of a very full house. WTF,
    it's basically a captive audience, so we decide to go with a nearly
    all-improv set, having little choice anyway.

    We get up there; people are hanging on every word as I introduce the
    band and hype Bugs's set coming up. Somehow, the keyboard guy's
    channeling Bill Evans, my drummer's making like Max Roach, and we pull
    an actual jazz set out of thin air. Then I get sassy, and pull out the
    kitty song from the RMMG CD. I start scratching some slide bass, and
    yowling. The crowd buys it, hook, line, sinker; game over.

    Very late that night, Bugs's bass player sidles up to me, and starts
    singing one of my tunes back to me, verbatim. That night, I was the
    windshield, not the bug. Nice when it plays out that way, no?


    .cE
  6. Les Cargill

    Les Cargill Guest

    Charlie Escher wrote:
    >
    > Pete Kerezman wrote:
    >
    > > Haven't seen a good gig story on the group in a long time. Haven't
    > > had a really good one to tell either, but here's one of mine from my
    > > personal diary back pages, 1998.

    >
    > <Snip>
    >
    > > ps - What's *your* gig story?

    >
    > A few years ago I was running an open mike at this joint:
    > http://www.northshorebarandgrill.com/
    >
    > Bugs Henderson played a gig a few days before, and was hanging out in
    > town for the week, staying with the promoter, who's also a DJ on the
    > local radio station. The promoter decided to get Bugs to play at our
    > open mike, and advertised it on the radio. So there's like 150 people in
    > a 99 seat club, and a ton of blues players signed up to play, probably
    > hoping to jam with Bugs. But *no one* was willing to play before Bugs.
    > It was hilarious; people were just disappearing when I'd approach them,
    > and these are pretty good players too.
    >
    > So inevitably, I get the task of opening for Bugs. My band has the
    > potential to clear a room really fast, but on this night we had a
    > keyboard player sitting in, who'd only rehearsed like once or twice with
    > us. He's a nervous sort, and you never really know what's going to
    > happen with him on stage. Especially in front of a very full house. WTF,
    > it's basically a captive audience, so we decide to go with a nearly
    > all-improv set, having little choice anyway.
    >


    <obligatory Spinal Tap reference>

    Apparently, nobody thought to say "I'm not about to perform a free-form
    jazz exploration in front of a festival crowd".

    > We get up there; people are hanging on every word as I introduce the
    > band and hype Bugs's set coming up. Somehow, the keyboard guy's
    > channeling Bill Evans, my drummer's making like Max Roach, and we pull
    > an actual jazz set out of thin air. Then I get sassy, and pull out the
    > kitty song from the RMMG CD. I start scratching some slide bass, and
    > yowling. The crowd buys it, hook, line, sinker; game over.
    >
    > Very late that night, Bugs's bass player sidles up to me, and starts
    > singing one of my tunes back to me, verbatim. That night, I was the
    > windshield, not the bug. Nice when it plays out that way, no?
    >


    Yup.

    Nice story, man.

    > .cE



    --
    Les Cargill
  7. Les Cargill wrote:

    > Charlie Escher wrote:


    >>So inevitably, I get the task of opening for Bugs. My band has the
    >>potential to clear a room really fast, but on this night we had a
    >>keyboard player sitting in, who'd only rehearsed like once or twice with
    >>us. He's a nervous sort, and you never really know what's going to
    >>happen with him on stage. Especially in front of a very full house. WTF,
    >>it's basically a captive audience, so we decide to go with a nearly
    >>all-improv set, having little choice anyway.
    >>

    >
    >
    > <obligatory Spinal Tap reference>
    >
    > Apparently, nobody thought to say "I'm not about to perform a free-form
    > jazz exploration in front of a festival crowd".


    Well, I told the crowd: "You all are probably here to hear some blues.
    But first, I'm gonna give you the blues".


    .cE
  8. Odin

    Odin Guest

    "Pete Kerezman" <petekerez@aol.com> wrote in message

    > >> Although I had brought my compact bass rig for use as a stage
    > >> monitor, the bass was run direct through the mixing board. In such
    > >> situations I am totally at the mercy of the sound man, so naturally I
    > >> immediately struck up a conversation with him. Sensing my uneasyness
    > >> he reassured me, saying, "I been to a few rodeos." It worked. In
    > >> about five minutes we were checking levels, getting ready to burn.

    > >
    > >You got lucky. A great many sound techs are not very good at what they

    do.
    > >It's always nice to have a good one.

    >
    > Don't I know it! If you'd a seen this guy you'd be triply amazed.
    > He looked like one a them homeless guys at intersections who're
    > holding "will work for Thunderbird" signs.


    No, we had that guy. That actual guy, with the sign and all. And he was
    deaf.
  9. As Charlie Escher <charliejane@gorge.net> so eloquently put:

    [...]
    []
    [] Very late that night, Bugs's bass player sidles up to me, and starts
    [] singing one of my tunes back to me, verbatim. That night, I was the
    [] windshield, not the bug. Nice when it plays out that way, no?

    Thas'a sh'izzle.

    ----
    "...there would have been no Holdsworth or
    Hendrix without the genius of Boxcar Willie"
    -- Mark Garvin
    Remove X's from my email address above to reply
    [These opinions are personal views only and only my personal views]

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