I remember mine well. I was about 18. It was one of those gigs where everyone in attendance was related to you or friends. So as I was introducing the band I just kept going right through the audience. (Introduced my friends to my relatives) I remember looking at the band with them shaking their heads. I still get nightmares thinking about that night. It's one of those things that throws your whole night off.
I know there are some worse than this...
Hopefully, no one has already started this discussion. That would be embarrassing! : )
I had just bought my Warwick Thumb 5 with graduation money, and fancied myself to be a pretty good bassist, so I called the owner of THE recording studio in the area and evidently talked myself up pretty good because he asked me to come down and do some demo sessions for an artist that would be in town for tomorrow only. (At this point in time I had ZERO real world studio experience) I showed up a little early, the engineer and owner and I got along great, they loved the tone I was getting and had a quickie impromptu jam session with the drummer before the artist showed up and things seemed to be going pretty well. The artist showed up and hands some charts to the studio owner, and he hands me a copy: a sheet of paper with all of these numbers on it...1 1 4 5 6m 2m7...etc., which I had never seen before. So the drummer counted things off, and I started dropping bombs like Japan in WWII..it wasn't just bad, it was freakin' horrible. I missed every note imaginable; I had no idea what to play or where to go next. The engineer was nice and was trying to help me out, he would sing the correct notes over the talkback mic to me, but the artist was getting visibly more and more ticked. Finally after about 45 minutes, the artist comes over the talkback and says "All right, let's just take an early lunch, and maybe things will be better when we come back" I went to the KFC down the road and sat there by myself thinking "God, I suck..." anyway, I garnered myself up and thought, "maybe he's right, maybe it will be better when we come back" As I started walking towards the studio, I could hear muffled drums playing outside, and as I walked in near the control room, there, right by the door, was my bass, in its case, all my cables and stuff neatly packed up, and they were recording the song with someone else playing bass. I got the message, and even though I felt like dirt on the way home, that was a really motivational lesson for me, because I went and learned everything I could about the number system, recording, did stuff for free, and immersed myself in studying about it. And eventually, I worked my way back to being the on-call bassist for the same studio (about 3 years later!!) ;>
That's a great story. What a way to get motivated. I'll never forget the first time I saw the Number System. I thought just give me the Chords. Then they changed the key twice... I thought, I better learn this number thing.
I play piano for a lot of Christian artists. I was playing for a Southern Gospel Quartet just out of college and we were booked at a very large Baptist Church. We were being featured in both morning services. I walked onto the stage to the awesome Yamaha C7 and we had a blast through our first set. Everything was going awesome. After the set was over, we began to leave the platform. Apparently my brand new shoes did not get along well with freshly polished wood floors. I started at the top of the stairs on my feet and ended at the bottom on my feet, but the trip between was never on my feet. It was hillarious. It was kind of at one of those moments in a church service where everything was supposed to be quiet, but the whole place was in an uproar after that. I think it took nearly 10 minutes to get things back in order. It was hillarious and it was something I will never forget!
This was a while back....
I was the bassist with the late, great Jerry Reed on the Road in the late 80s and early 90s. One of the bassist's duties was to turn on the Nakamichi tape deck (told you it was a while back!) for one of Jerry's novelty hits called "The Bird". The track had kick drum, acoustic guitar and some piano and steel, and Jerry's Willie Nelson and George Jones impressions. Needless to say, we couldn't do the tune without it.
We were booked on a double bill with Merle Haggard somewhere in Michigan in some fairground grandstand or another. We had done our check, fine, no problem. Then Merle's backline was set up by the local crew. His guitarist at the time, Clint Strong, was playing through 2 rented Roland Jazz Chorus amps on anvil cases right next to the bass rig and the Nakamichi which was on top of it. The local crew moved our gear forward-and unplugged the Nakamichi!
We're in the middle of our set and playing to about 7,000 people in the grandstands. Jerry introduces "The Bird" and I turn on the tape-Nothing! I'm panicking and looking back realize that the deck's unplugged. I do a dive behind my amp to plug it in-and knock both of the Roland guitar amps (which were on, of course) off their respective anvil cases. It sounded like World War III....
I did get the deck plugged in and we did the tune. Afterwards, Jerry spoke to me over the mic,
"Are you OK, Roy?"
"I think so," I answered.
"Well, you won't be when Merle's guitar player sees what you did to his amps!"
Everyone cracked up-7,000 people laughing.
Like most of these stories, it's funnier and funnier the more time passes between now and then.....
This one...I don't like to think about. 4th of July...Daytona Beach, FL...several thousand people...old & retired, young & bright eyed - all patriotic. This was close to 10 years ago, and I hadn't exactly made it to musical bliss in terms of finding a great group to work with yet, I was just doing my thing still in college trying to pay a small piece of my summer tuition. So the lead singer/guitarist is your spinal tap-esque, stereotypical musician/guitarist/rocker guy. (He was given instructions by the promoter to learn the National Anthem prior to the gig, but somehow couldn't find the time to do so). And I'm walking around back stage as the opening act is on stage performing their last few tunes...(we were the "headliner"). And I notice our bandleader, said guitarist, CRAMMING our Nation's anthem when we were supposed to go on in like 3 mins. Luckily I had a reason to not stop to say anything and was getting some gear ready to move. Hoping he had made it through it, we all got on stage and played our show. The National Anthem was to be played at the end of our set and would lead immediately into the 4th of July fireworks display for the several thousand people who were there. We make it through the show relatively injury free and finally....it's time for the Grand Finale. "Ladies and Gentleman, please stand for the playing of our National Anthem"...there it was...the signal....and so the bandleader/guitarist/rocker guy begins Jimi Hendrix style the National Anthem......Now because this is a typed forum, and I can't really sing you what he played, ya'll are going to have to use your imagination on this one...do this - in your best Jimi Hendrix guitar voice, hum the first 6 notes of the National anthem...on the sixth note...sustain and use your wammy bar with great enthusiasm ending the phrase with some really fast played blues lick....DRAMATIC PAUSE.....now comes the next six notes of the song...EXCEPT when you get to the 4th note, imagine that you skip to the line in the song that says "Flag was still there"...with the crucial turn around note being on WAS...and he ended that phrase on "THERE"... Yep....he forgot the entire middle section of the song...the ramparts, rockets red glare gone...so what would you do? Well, he decided to go with what he knew...so he just repeated this extremely incorrect phrase and snippet of the song...FOUR TIMES....by the second time around I was on the piano trying to lead him to the next correct phrase...but didn't happen. So after the 4th time around that very awkward musical progression, he ended along with the rest of the band on a note that seemed to sound good to everyone...the puzzled and disgruntled faces on the folks from the audience was enough to make me want to really just crouch down behind my keyboard rig and stop breathing. It was absolutely the most embarrassing moment on stage for me...luckily I wasn't at fault for it which I'm thankful for...it makes me remember how fortunate I am to be where I am today! Woohoo!
Reply by Jerome Preston on Friday January 16, 2009 while reminiscing the moment.
I was touring as Maceo Parker's bassist in Tokyo, Japan around 1991........
The show itself was as we say "off the chain". There was a spirit of soulfulness that even the audience (mostly Nihon-jin) were singing along in English. Maceo's troup of musical souljas' were all for 1 and 1 for all. Like a precision time device callobrated to be set off by precise Qs given from 'The Man' himself, the band was entwined in reply/answer riffs that made Maceo, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis the Legends that they are and have been since the beginning of their reign with The Godfather of Soul; James Brown. Then came the moment of truth that separates the men from the boys; "Solo time"! To make a long story short, I blowed Big Time while seeing the woman of my life long dreams. She became my wife and is still my Soul Mate!!!
When I finished college, I put together a country band with my brother. Our pedal steel player also played steel for another band in town that was very popular and had a large draw, and had setup an 'audition' for the club owner where this other band was playing. We were going to play about 20 minutes during one of their breaks. The first red flag is that I'm going to use the other guitar player's amp and pedalboard which turns out to have a short in the input jack on the amp so every time I move, it cuts out. So I'm already a little distracted by this. We all look at each other "Ready?" and everyone nods....the drummer clicks "1 - 2 - 3" and somehow on beat 4 my brother says "wait!" I don't hear it at all, but the rest of the band obviously did.... I hit the diamond 1 and sing, the high harmony part, all by myself "I saw the light, I was baptised".........and there's no band. I turn around and they're all looking at me....I'm looking at them.....we counted it off again, played our set, and didn't get the gig.