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First gig story...
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Thread: First gig story...

  1. #1
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    Default First gig story...

    Okay, I'll throw in a first gig story...

    My band at the time got a gig at an open mic night at a club in Austin. We show up and load in at the appointed time. Since it was an open mic, we used the house drums. Our drummer just brought his cowbell (Bruce Dickinson/Chris Walken wasn't present, or we would have made some gold records ).

    I'd never played in front of people before, so needless to say I was a bit nervous, as in I suddenly forgot what this chunk of wire and wood was strapped around me, and how to use it.

    First song hits, and we're doing well. The band is tight, and people are getting into the music. I look over to the other guitar player to my right and see him narrowly avoid getting hit in the eye by a flying drumstick. Our drummer played one handed until he could get another stick, never missing a beat. We get through the second verse and into the chorus, and over the din I hear a loud BOOOOOOOM!. The drummer's cowbell slipped off of it's bracket, and he threw it, slamming it against the metal door, all while playing one handed again.

    The rest of the set went well, and all 15 people that were there to watch enjoyed the show. It was a dinky club, with almost nobody there, but by the time we were through, I felt like a god among men. Just a completely awesome experience.
    Guitars:
    Fender 2006 MIM Fender Stratocaster HSS in 3TS
    Ibanez RG 570 with a bridge Invader
    ESP M II Deluxe with a Tune-o-Matic bridge
    Eleanor, the magical, mystical Road Worn wonder Tele
    Blackstar HT Club 40

  2. #2
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    Where to begin? It's not my first gig (I can't remember that) but it's still a good story.

    As a younger man I was touring the USA and Canada constantly. Many of our gigs at that time were in places that the local economy was booming. One such gig was in the oil boom section of Wyoming. I'll spare the name of the place because I don't want any paternity suits.

    The start of our 2 week engagement started on a high note. The town was full of mushrooms. See what I mean by "high note." Everyone was in very good spirits, the band and the patrons. The town was very happy to have a good rock band in too because in the last 6 weeks they had what they described as crap bands. So far so good.

    Since everything was feeling very positive the phrase "when in Rome" was constantly coming up. So I became a Roman for those two weeks. Every gig was full of smiles from both sides, the band was cooking, the music flowed and there were 0 fights the whole 2 weeks which is highly unusual for an oil boom town. The band was really hot because we'd been touring nonstop for months. We had a large stage with a drum riser built in which was great because we didn't have to use ours and left it in the truck.

    At the end of the engagement we pulled the riser out of the truck and got ready to start loading. It was a 28 foot straight truck and we filled it with gear from end to end and to the roof. I was always the loading guy in the truck. I'm spatially adept, remember where everything goes and this was my way of getting a workout by stacking equipment.

    Just the band and the bar staff were left at load out time. They were telling us how much fun they had these two weeks, sharing stories and were looking forward to our return. At this time the free booze started to flow and flow it did. Trays of shot samplers were showing up every couple of minutes in the back of the truck delivered by the sweetest looking waitress (grrrrr). I felt energized and happy. Everything was really going well. It was a great feeling to feel appreciated and to have played well those two weeks.

    Finally the truck was totally packed. It was chilly outside but I was sweating. It was a good workout.

    As we were all standing around behind the truck the wait staff came out and said "Spud, you have been so entertaining these two weeks and have kept us all in stitches. We want to see exactly what kind of a sense of humor you really have." At that moment my whole world went white. Almost 30 cream pies came out of nowhere and covered me. Needless to say I was shocked. Not mad, just shocked. This had never happened to me before and I didn't know how to respond...until...

    I hear the bass player ask "hey, are you ready for the drum riser now?" Instantly I found the emotion that had been alluding me - anger. The drum riser had been sitting in the shadows along side the truck and it is THE FIRST item that needed to go onto the truck in order for the pack to work. There is so much equipment that things like this are critical. What to do now?

    I'm standing there covered in cream pies and drinking consolation shots wondering how to approach this issue. There was only one solution. The truck had to be partially unpacked then reloaded. Argh!

    We got the repack accomplished just fine but by this time all those shots had kicked in. I was warm and hungry so I walked next door to the mini mart to get a burrito. As I walked in the clerk looked at me like I was a robber or something. Strange. I wonder whats up with that dude...until I see my reflection in the cooler doors. I had completely forgotten that I was still covered in whipped cream. If you've ever seen a tripped out, whipped cream covered, sweaty drunk man with a stupid grin on his face then you can imagine exactly what I looked like at that moment.

    15 cans of whipped cream $17.85 ----- rock and roll - priceless.

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

  3. #3
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    Since my first was just last spring, I remember well. From another thread (http://www.thefret.net/showthread.php?t=3323):

    Quote Originally Posted by sunvalleylaw
    My guitar instructor had asked if I would play with some of his other students at a local outdoor "Springfest" in a park. I was not sure about it but said yeah, what the heck. He played a base rhythm on his Martin HD-35 (helped hide student mistakes) and handled vocals. I and one other 15 year old (Shecter LP type guitar, I forget the model) played combo rhythm/lead, taking turns playing solos in each song. Two other young guys played a MIM Fender P-Bass and keyboard. My instructor hired a local drummer who plays with several local bands. He practiced with us once a few days prior and was absolutely rock solid.

    We prepared a 4 song set including "Peaceful Easy Feeling", "Found Out about You" by Gin Blossoms, "Sultans of Swing" and "Secret Agent Man". That intro line is just fun to play. The three of us were right on on the timing, I think because the two students were following Herr Instrucktor. I was really nervous about my solos except "Secret". Secret and Peaceful I had practiced melody line oriented solos and had practiced a little something sort of tracking the Gin Blossom's solo. Sultans was just a bluesy type noodle. No Knoppfler chickin pick'n for me yet.

    It came off pretty well, and my solos were fine. I could have played the Secret solo better (I rushed it for getting my best tone out of my bends on G string), and blew the dismount on an encore of "Peaceful" by playing the final chorus chords in the wrong order. LOL! Overall though, we sounded pretty good for student types. If one was struggling the others filled in.

    I had an absolute blast and was smiling up there big time. Now I need to just get used to adding vocals to the mix. We hope to do it one or two more times over the summer. Anyway, just a beginnerish effort and certainly not perfect, but it sure was fun!!

    Sorry, no vid or recording. I was too nervous to have to think about getting that arranged and no one else did either.

    The pictures tell the tale.








    And then, despite the overwhelming support for this newb getting out there (see link above. Everyone was really nice), the sage advisers here let me know the error of my newbie ways in the "Why Crocs?" thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi75
    I can't believe you gigged with these shoes!
    Crocs are definitely no Blue Suede Shoes! Man, they are ugly as hell especially in green and pink colour!

    Sorry, but absolutely no Rock 'N Roll factor.


    LOL!!!! I love it!!
    Steve Thompson
    Sun Valley, Idaho


    Guitars: Fender 60th Anniversary Std. Strat, Squier CVC Tele Hagstrom Viking Semi-hollow, Joshua beach guitar, Martin SPD-16TR Dreadnought
    Amphs: Peavey Classic 30, '61 Fender Concert
    Effects and such: Boss: DS-1, CE-5, NS-2 and RC20XL looper, Digitech Bad Monkey, Korg AX1G Multi-effects, Berhinger: TU100 tuner, PB100 Clean Boost, Line 6 Toneport UX2, Electro Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi, DuhVoodooMan's Rabid Rodent Rat Clone, Zonkin Yellow Screamer Mk. II, MXR Carbon Copy Delay


    love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart. . .
    - j. johnson

  4. #4
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    Nice Crocks dude. Those must be comfortable?

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

  5. #5
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    Yep, still love 'em. I am glad they sell them at Costco now. Tone, when is your birthday? Mebbe Jimi75 too. ;-)
    Steve Thompson
    Sun Valley, Idaho


    Guitars: Fender 60th Anniversary Std. Strat, Squier CVC Tele Hagstrom Viking Semi-hollow, Joshua beach guitar, Martin SPD-16TR Dreadnought
    Amphs: Peavey Classic 30, '61 Fender Concert
    Effects and such: Boss: DS-1, CE-5, NS-2 and RC20XL looper, Digitech Bad Monkey, Korg AX1G Multi-effects, Berhinger: TU100 tuner, PB100 Clean Boost, Line 6 Toneport UX2, Electro Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi, DuhVoodooMan's Rabid Rodent Rat Clone, Zonkin Yellow Screamer Mk. II, MXR Carbon Copy Delay


    love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart. . .
    - j. johnson

  6. #6
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    Great stories from all, I hope to someday reach that point. Question for Spudman. How long have you been playing and what do you play?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by street music
    Great stories from all, I hope to someday reach that point. Question for Spudman. How long have you been playing and what do you play?
    About 33 years. YA I know, I should be better than I am.
    I play guitar, bass, sing and write. I'm assuming you are asking about instruments and not genre.

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunvalleylaw
    Yep, still love 'em. I am glad they sell them at Costco now. Tone, when is your birthday? Mebbe Jimi75 too. ;-)
    Ah yes, the crocs. One of the things I learned at thefret.
    Mark
    * Loud is good, good is better!

  9. #9
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    Spud, that's a lot of talent. By the way what genre do you play?

    Ok, I'll ask what the heck is crocs?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by street music
    Spud, that's a lot of talent. By the way what genre do you play?

    Ok, I'll ask what the heck is crocs?
    Simple....loud.: Ok,ok rock, funk, blues, experimental.

    Crocks? Uh oh. Since you had to ask you are now required to don the appropriate. You must now venture forth to Costco and procure your very own..plus one pair for Tone.

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman
    Simple....loud.: Ok,ok rock, funk, blues, experimental.

    Crocks? Uh oh. Since you had to ask you are now required to don the appropriate. You must now venture forth to Costco and procure your very own..plus one pair for Tone.
    Man, you are one hard a$$ judge tonight.
    Mark
    * Loud is good, good is better!

  12. #12
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    Ole man, I walked into that one! SHOES! Do I really have too? I think I can remember my brother wearing those ?????:
    I like your choices of genre.
    Maybe I learned something else tonight. The advise I got for my practice sessions has already helped me.

  13. #13
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    My first "gig" was a performance at our Junior-Senior banquet (think: prom) when I was a senior in high school. We played "Pilot of the Airwaves" (see clip below) and "Wipeout."



    I played bass and sang backup (also bass). I also made witty introductory comments (we called ourselves "Vuja De," the strange feeling that this has never happened before and, chances are, it never will). My sister played piano and sang backup. Two of her classmates sang lead and played drums. One of my classmates played guitar. I was borrowing a Fender p-bass that the school had. The only problem I ran into is that I had never practiced whilst wearing a tux so my coat sleeves were doing some unnecessary muting of strings. It was fun but also nerve-wracking. I didn't have much bass experience. Thankfully I fell back on my years of choir to take care of the vocal part so my brain could focus on playing bass. That summer I bought a bass and played on and off throughout college and sem.
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by street music
    Ole man, I walked into that one! SHOES! Do I really have too? I think I can remember my brother wearing those ?????:
    I like your choices of genre.
    Maybe I learned something else tonight. The advise I got for my practice sessions has already helped me.

    pssst. . . . they are the things on my feet in my gig pics above.
    Steve Thompson
    Sun Valley, Idaho


    Guitars: Fender 60th Anniversary Std. Strat, Squier CVC Tele Hagstrom Viking Semi-hollow, Joshua beach guitar, Martin SPD-16TR Dreadnought
    Amphs: Peavey Classic 30, '61 Fender Concert
    Effects and such: Boss: DS-1, CE-5, NS-2 and RC20XL looper, Digitech Bad Monkey, Korg AX1G Multi-effects, Berhinger: TU100 tuner, PB100 Clean Boost, Line 6 Toneport UX2, Electro Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi, DuhVoodooMan's Rabid Rodent Rat Clone, Zonkin Yellow Screamer Mk. II, MXR Carbon Copy Delay


    love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart. . .
    - j. johnson

  15. #15
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    Great stories.

    Creamed Spud is classic!!

    We need cream pie smilies & LOTS of'em.
    I pick a moon dog.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunvalleylaw
    pssst. . . . they are the things on my feet in my gig pics above.
    "things", good alternate name for them
    Mark
    * Loud is good, good is better!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by just strum
    "things", good alternate name for them
    Hey dude! You ought to try a pair. They feel really good. I've been known to rock with 'em on.

    At my age (and weight class), it ain't about looks, it's all about comfort. Hence the name "big old ron".

  18. #18
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    Steve, I can't believe I wrote it that way! Thanks for reposting and sorry dude for my harsh comment ;-) But these crocks...man.....you know...

    Here's the story of my first gig with my first band. We were invited to support the local metal heroes at that time. This was only because we had hundreds of friends and schoolmates to come to our gig, so these guys thought it would be a good idea to let us do the support so that they could sell their demo.

    Our singer lost his voice and because he was to nervous, so we had to give him Japanese oil to regain his voice. The gig was a typical beginners gig. We ran out of songs pretty soon and had to play some of the songs two times. We had an instrumental so that everybody could show his ability : on the instrument. Our timing was horrific and our drummer only knew the ***** batch rhythm at that time, but in two variations: Slow and fast!

    Now here comes the highlight of this evening:
    I played so many solos that the guitarist of the other band was totally pissed. My solos were bad but my colleagues from school celebrated my solos like if they were played by Kirk Hammett. Now the other guy felt like he had to prove that he is the best, so he came on stage and wanted a guitar battle. He plugged his Charvel Strat into his Marshall and played in front of my nose. I didn't know what was going on, but the kids were either luaghing or booing at him. I played some silly pentatonic stuff and used my wah wah and the kids were cheering. Now, some 15 years later I ashamed of what was going on their and still feel sorry for that poor guy, because he blew me away with his playing :-)

    By the way, this could have also been the second gig, don't know if we played 1 or 2 parties before....but it is definitely a happening of the mid 80's.
    "A lot of people in the industry want to blame downloading for the state of the business. But I think if most music wasn't shit to begin with people wouldn't be downloading it for free," - Corey Taylor (Slipknot)

  19. #19
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    Jimi's story brings up some questions:

    I assume that there are often ego wars between the guitar players from different bands.

    For you road warriors how well did you get along with bands that you shared the bill with?

    Ever jam with other guitarists after the show?
    I pick a moon dog.

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