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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Guitarteach, Feb 16, 2019.
Hey Beagle: ever played Hartlepool?
Burnley Blues Festival was legendary. One time a drunk jumped up on stage and whipped his manhood out while hugging our singer. The rest of us were in hysterics as the front man took about a minute of wrestling to get him off the stage.
A lot of shows we play are in places where the "stage" is the area next to the dance floor where they have to move the tables and dart machines away for us to set up. Had many drunks crash into us, which is why I always set my amp up as far back as possible and use as few pedals as I can get away with (most drunks can't tell the difference between your $400 boutique soft clipper and a $40 used tube screamer).
We don't get a lot of people wanting to "sit in," but one rule we always follow...at the end of the night when the drunk hot chicks want to get up and wail in a mic on Play That Funky Music White Boy we always let 'em.
When the "stage" is level with the dance floor, it's best that your floor monitors have perforated steel grills instead of grill cloth. Monitors are magnets for drunken feet and bodies.
I saw Steve Howe perform a solo show, probably about 10 or 12 years ago, now. After playing a lot of Yes stuff during the first set, Steve comes out for the second set, plays a couple things off his solo records, then when he startst talking to the audience, this guy in the front row starts yelling, PLAY SOME YES!!!!!!!!!". Steve politely says, "I played some Yes things earlier, and I'll do more later, but right now, I want to do a few other things...". Steve breaks out his Line 6 virtual guitar, and the guy yells "TURN IT UP!", and Steve sort of chuckles and says, "I haven't played anything else".
So this goes on, like every time Steve stops to talk to us, this guys yells something. Finally, Steve, again still being relatively polite about the matter, says, "Is it just me or am I having trouble coming from somewhere over there" and points in the direction of this guy", then comments that he doesn't mind enthusiasm but this guy was being ridiculous (or as Robert Fripp might say, "Your enthusiasm is appreciated, but restraint is required at the moment").
Finally, the guy gets up and leaves, I think being assisted by what I think might have been his wife. Steve comes out for the encore, and says, "This is for that guy over there", and someone says "he left" and Steve replies, "Too bad", and then launched into, I can't remember if it was Roundabout or some other Yessong. But it was kinda strange.
Another time, I saw Roy Harper stop in the middle of a song, during a similar solo acoustic oriented performance, because a couple people in the front row were chatting. Mind you, he had politely commented on it after each song up to this point the show, e.g. "You know, I can tell you everything you've talked about during each song". Finally, he stops in the middle of this ballad, and says "Look, either be quiet, or go to the back of the room, or something, but I can't perform like this!".
That's what almost always precedes the behavior the original poster described. It ain't funny, cute, cool, or appreciated.
I had one gig in a village hall somewhere when this young lad, obviously pissed up, kept sitting on my monitor. I decided to boot him out the way so I went forward and went to give him a shove when instead I went arse over t*t. Luckily my guitar was OK but it was a bit embarrassing, and noticeable as it was just before my solo. As we were loading out I saw the lad lying on the ground outside, looking very worse for wear, with his mates around him.
Then there was this acoustic gig as a duo playing at a beer festival. OK, beer festival, loads of drunk fellas getting out of hand yes? No, one of the ladies who'd had too much prosecco and was dancing ever more carelessly. Eventually she tripped over the monitor, crashing into my partner and sending him flying backwards. Luckily, the guitars were intact (good job too - a D28 and my Gibson jumbo) and the only thing damaged was a mic stand. It was after this gig that we resolved only to take beater guitars to these gigs in future.
I cannot stand drunks when I am seeing bands - not in general, but the types mentioned here. I just have no patience for it anymore. I guess that is why I don't gig. Either that, or because I'm not in a band or I don't have the talent, but let's not go there...
The worst places to play are when you're on the floor level with the dance floor. People come up and chat in between songs and stand there spilling beer on your pedal board. As was mentioned, floor monitors are real trip hazards. I've played those type of gigs where there's hardly room for the band to set up and a small and/or crowded dance floor where folks are dancing within arm's reach. My mic stand has a boom on it and I had a few gigs where I was afraid to sing because the mic stand was getting bumped into. In a small area there's nowhere to go.
My sax player once wandered out into the crowd during a solo and some lady bumped into him. He came back up on stage with a chipped tooth.
You're all telling these stories as though they're all unusual, rare, occurences.
Unfortunately, the worst drunk I ever had to deal with was in the band. We fired him.
Although, there were the drunken TCU sorority girls who kept screaming at us to play happy birthday to one of their party, which I politely declined (I have my reasons); then I had to gently rebuff the advances of one of the party (I’m a happily married man, thank you), which caused her to question my masculinity and sexuality.
At that point, the birthday girl and the one I rebuffed started crying, while their partners screamed profanities at us throughout the songs and the spaces between the songs (this was in an all-ages venue, BTW, so some kids got an earful)...at that point, the (female) bartender and head waiter escorted them out of the building and to the edge of the parking lot, telling them to stay away forever.
The audience (and us in the band) applauded loudly when they returned.
Man, I really appreciate this thread. Just when I was starting to miss playin' out, reading and being reminded of what a bar gig is really like makes me happy to stay at home.
Try to look at it this way. Yes, drunks can be a pain in the neck but they still beat playing a sober coffee shop every day of the week.
auh, stop playing bars problem solved .
I really haven’t run into too many really drunk folks. A stumbling flirty woman here and there, the “music expert” that talks your ear off between sets or the end of the night...but never ran into a flailing drunk knocking into our equipment (knock on wood)
some guy live streamed our gig to Ireland while writhing and screaming something in Irish on the dirty beery sticky crowded floor while we played a Johnny Cash tune
no damage, we were in the pocket, girls everywhere, all good
I have a about a 10 pound ASAT that has been used for stage security.
The beer slopping idiots were the reason I moved to all solid state amplification and a fully wireless rig - cordless guitar, headset mic, and wireless in-ear monitoring. It helps that I'm an electronics engineer. The whole band went cordless, and it gave us a number of other advantages - quick set-up, tidy stage with few cables around to trip over, and the electronics was all at the backline, so it couldn't be got at by the morons. The best gigs were the Air Force bases, and the worst were the country pubs with drunken yokels!
I played in the UK for years but things have changed I know. If you are in the Musicians union, contact them with the details telling them that members are in danger at this venue and get them to contact the venue owners and state that none of their members will play there until adequate security is in place. (you shouldn't have to put up with that c***) option 2 get your own security man to keep the idiots off stage. Get the management to post a sign that non band members are not allowed on stage. It is a genuine danger apart from anything else. Sorry does not fix broken gear. Last resort tell the management you wont be playing there again until this issue is fixed.
I am formerly of Oxford. been playing over 60 years.
Never seen that Oasis carnage before!