Fun things happen at gigs.

suave eddie

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Actually it was not really a squatt, it was an espace autogéré but i don't even what know it means in french, so i didn't try to translate that.

A squatt can refer to many things. It is usually people getting in an empty building and living there without the governement approval, or paying rent. Think punks. You guys don't have those sort of things ?

they range from dirty, occupied by gutter punks with dogs and addiction problems to places which are just plain awesome, with loads of arts in them, cool people, and clean. Both are ok, though i can remember trying to avoid dog poos inside some places, and not drinking from the bottle which was handed to me opened.
There are abandoned buildings and empty houses that homeless people "squat' in but I cannot imagine a band playing there.
First, unless you bring your own generator there is unlikely to be any power.
Second I would presume the noise would bring unwanted attention.
 

Killing Floor

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One of my favorite gig adjacent events..we were on a swing in the east and had a few shows in NY city. We were kinda dumb/broke/fearless and we stayed at the finest lodging in the city, the Seafarers (Lutheran hostel for merchant marine). Between gigs it snowed like heck and we got stuck indoors with little to do. We brought a couple acoustic guitars to the den - TV room in the basement and started hucking at some Stones songs and others and within a short while the couches were packed with Scandinavian and Russian sailors in sweat suits. Everyone was drinking and the only words we could understand were swear words yet they knew every word of Satisfaction and Sympathy for the Devil and others. It was the best drunken sailor sing along. It wasn’t really a gig but one of the best impromptu times I’ve had holding a guitar, waiting out the snow.
 

String Tree

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The last gig i played was in a squatt, but a cool one. So we did a quick soundcheck, but sound checking is pretty useless in a empty squatt. We blew up a few balloons to add a party feeling, and then it came time to play.

My monitor was way, way too loud, so i ask the soundguy to turn it down a bit. Well he wasn't behind the board. That is okay, i will wait until he comes back. 3 songs later i had him turn my monitor down.

Then the fun started. The guy turning on the smoke machine decided it was his time to fill the stage with smoke, a lot of it. So much of it that it turned the fire alarm on. So the next few tunes were played with no lights, and the fire alarm blaring on.

Then I was wondering why i couldn't hear the kick drum anymore, and looking at the drummer bashing away on the the tom drum, i knew he broke his pedal. Sometimes you just can't fight it. I still had a good time, because it was fun.
those are the ones we remember.
The ones that go smoothly never seem to get mentioned.
 

String Tree

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Playing the Florabama on a sunday evening. An older lady did a split in the middle of the dance floor.......she was stuck down there until the song was almost over and a gentleman helped her up. My old bands 2nd or so gig a flirty lady made sure to tell all the band memebers she was a junior miss and "she's a good moma because she brest fed all her childrens". She then proceeded to show the goods....
Impressive Credentials?
 

johnny k

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There are abandoned buildings and empty houses that homeless people "squat' in but I cannot imagine a band playing there.
First, unless you bring your own generator there is unlikely to be any power.
Second I would presume the noise would bring unwanted attention.
There are several types of squatts. The ones in switzerland are semi legal and are nice. And yeah, you can play there, the squatters are pretty resourceful even in the worst situations.

Here, it takes a long time between when people are first spotted squatting and the time they are evicted. Well evicted is not the right word since they don't pay rent, but you get it. And even if they are living illegaly in buildings you can't get them legally out in the cold months. Pretty much 4 or 5 months.
 

teletail

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I was playing a gig with a blues band and a drunk woman comes up and says, “No more sad songs.” I said, “It’s the blues.” She just said it again so I said OK. A few songs later she comes up again and says”I said no more sad songs.” And throws a drink in my face.
 

Linderflomann

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There are several types of squatts. The ones in switzerland are semi legal and are nice. And yeah, you can play there, the squatters are pretty resourceful even in the worst situations.

Here, it takes a long time between when people are first spotted squatting and the time they are evicted. Well evicted is not the right word since they don't pay rent, but you get it. And even if they are living illegaly in buildings you can't get them legally out in the cold months. Pretty much 4 or 5 months.
I concur with johnny here; European squats can be awesome (I'm not up to date on American squatting culture). A place for bands to play/crash, artists to exhibit, cheap communal meals, etc. Sometimes the city counsel even understands the value they bring to a neighborhood and they are legalized and turned into legit venues. I've seen a ton of cool bands in squats, and played many a show in them as well.
 

suthol

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A couple of funny ones I related here a few years back.

Playing a parents without partners night which is an ultimate meat market.

A guy had a light grey onesie on with obviously very little under it downstairs.

We always finished the night with Save The Last Dance For Me with the lights dipped, any way this guy had a bit of close dancing going on with an attractive young lady, when the lights came back on there was a large dark wet spot in the crotch, he'd fired his best shot a bit too soon.

The other was at a nudist camp, we did join in and played nude which was kinda weird, I kept my boots on and had a rebel cap on my head.

Sitting on the edge of a very low stage between sets with the rest of the band and a lady comes over and asks if we'd like a cigarette, one of the band smoked and said yes.

Just below the peak of the cap I could see a furry map of Tasmania.

So she lifted her left boob and a pack of cigarettes appeared and then she lifted the right for a lighter ( she was rather blessed in that department )

Nearly 50 years on I still find both of those events rather amusing.
 

archetype

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Via Tuck Andress

Bad Gigs by Tuck Andress (of Tuck & Patti)

Borrowed guitar, different string spacing, bridge or nut sliding during string bending or vibrato, wrong strap length or strap breaking during solo, unwound guitar string used as backup strap gradually cutting through shirt and shoulder, sleeve snagging on bridge suddenly locking up hand,

wrong pick, dropped pick, broken pick, no pick, pick stuck between strings, finger caught between strings, wrong strings, dead strings, sticky strings, blood on strings, broken strings, no extra strings, jar of honey spilled all over strings,

vintage L-5’s gig bag shoulder strap breaking immediately before album release concert for 5,000 people causing guitar to fall on concrete and creating crack from tailpiece to neck which gradually splits apart during performance with action getting higher and higher,

amp too far away, amp too close, amp broken so play through bass amp or P.A., tone all wrong, overdrive bypass switch broken, cymbal in ear, band too loud, audience too loud, band downstairs too loud, bad monitors, no monitors, in-ear monitors broken so Patti is heard acoustically but Tuck is heard only through house PA 50 yards away resulting in Tuck being unavoidably out of sync with Patti by 1/6 second for whole show, guitar buzz, RF from nearby transmitter louder than the music itself, brownouts making organ pitch fluctuate randomly over an octave range, power outage, equipment plugged into 230 volts immediately before show,

earthquake during show in high-rise, outdoor desert performance at 131 degrees with sand-blasting winds, sub-freezing outdoor mountaintop performance with snow storms and 40 mph winds, high altitude dizziness,

no sleep, no food, too much food, wrong food, food poisoning, fever, locked bathrooms, way too many liquids before long show, nagging suspicion that zipper is down,

contact lens falling out during moment of peak concentration, compromised hand position due to repeatedly sliding full width of stage while trying to keep playing but not collide with Patti on yacht in rough Finnish Gulf of Bothnia,

charts blown away by wind, charts on thermal fax paper, charts in wrong key, charts without bar lines, charts with bar lines all displaced by two beats, charts in bass clef or C clef, chord charts with do/re/mi (France) instead of C/D/E and everything else in Portuguese,

realization that Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, George Benson, Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin or Steve Gadd just walked in,

drunks falling on stage, drunks disrobing on stage, drunks grabbing instruments or band members, band members falling asleep during song, pigs frolicking in sawdust-covered frat house knocking over band equipment, thinly veiled animosity between bride’s and groom’s families erupting into violence during heartfelt version of My Romance,

nightly juggling of playing and operating the lighting console/footswitches and talking to audience members and trying to reign in tempos and egos of various fellow top-40 band members, arrival at duo gig with unbelievably loud, aggressive fuzz-wah hard rock bass player to discover that assignment is to back up elderly white-haired and white- suited gentleman singing unfamiliar country songs to unforgiving patrons, crowded upscale happy hour dance floor unraveling into pandemonium as normal-looking customers all collapse to the floor and writhe around on each other while astonished saxophone-playing duo partner walks out leaving helpless solo guitarist playing The Hustle for 25 minutes,

funk bass player imprisoned in lounge band insisting on popping strings throughout sensitive ballads, accidental imprisonment of Patti in wine cellar out of earshot during guitar instrumentals,

onstage and on- instrument living creatures with varying numbers of legs, belligerent drunken bowling alley lounge customer demanding that funk band play Debussy’s Clair de Lune while remainder of band looks expectantly at guitarist,

drummer watching ball game on portable TV with headphones throughout performance, guest singer repeatedly changing keys at random moments, realization that the people who have just boldly picked up instruments and are unexpectedly sitting in are Herbie Hancock and Wah Wah Watson, guns drawn at rehearsals to settle disputes about form of song,

marginally famous singer resorting to the dreaded “Do you know who I am” line, drummer and delusional would-be front man jumping off the drums in the middle of a song and mistakenly chanting “we don’t need no drummer to keep that funky beat” to a dance floor packed with suddenly hostile former dancers,

unstable band member deciding that it is his responsibility to educate the audience over the microphone, bass player playing random notes and rhythms because he is not a bass player at all but nonetheless booked the gig,

drummer announcing that he killed somebody just before the show, swimming pool party turning into orgy with splashing on inexperienced solo electric guitarist sitting beside pool doing his first solo gig and fielding endless requests for the same song he had just played yet again,

bride’s and groom’s special song evaporating from mortified solo musician’s mind at the crucial moment, band member disappearing suddenly when his chair falls backwards off riser, unstable enormous man peaking on LSD brandishing artificial limb removed from his companion at audience and threatening band to “sing with this”, mirrors on back wall of club causing introspective young guitarist to question meaning of his life at early stage in career.

Perfect, and yet Tuck hasn't seen *everything.* The next weird thing is waiting to happen.
 

StoneH

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No cool stories like those above.

Played in a National Guard Armory. Enormous steel Quonset hut with concrete floors and a couple of tanks. An acoustic band would have been too loud.

Filled in for a house band that went on vacation for a couple of weeks. Venue had a small stage about 8 feet above the dance floor and we weren't allowed to move their equipment. I had an M3, an Arrp Axe, and an Elka string synthesizer. . . he had a B3, and an Arrp Odyssey. Very cool . . . but his keyboards were arranged the opposite of the way I played.
 

brookdalebill

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No cool stories like those above.

Played in a National Guard Armory. Enormous steel Quonset hut with concrete floors and a couple of tanks. An acoustic band would have been too loud.

Filled in for a house band that went on vacation for a couple of weeks. Venue had a small stage about 8 feet above the dance floor and we weren't allowed to move their equipment. I had an M3, an Arrp Axe, and an Elka string synthesizer. . . he had a B3, and an Arrp Odyssey. Very cool . . . but his keyboards were arranged the opposite of the way I played.
Be thankful for the lack of stories/drama, sir.
I’ve seen lots of weird stuff.
I’m grateful that I personally have managed to avoid much inter-band drama.
I hate drama.
I split, plain and simple.
The phone always rings.
 

suave eddie

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There are several types of squatts. The ones in switzerland are semi legal and are nice. And yeah, you can play there, the squatters are pretty resourceful even in the worst situations.

Here, it takes a long time between when people are first spotted squatting and the time they are evicted. Well evicted is not the right word since they don't pay rent, but you get it. And even if they are living illegaly in buildings you can't get them legally out in the cold months. Pretty much 4 or 5 months.
Well your squats are far different than they are here on the other side of the pond.
 




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