Played drums a couple weeks back at a club in a college town. I made a rookie mistake by trusting the owner when I called and was told there was a "house drum kit." (I had played at the hard rock in Memphis two days prior, and the house drum kit was incredible...after that my hopes were far too high...) After riding 45 minutes with the guitarist to get there, the sound man showed me the "house drum kit." It was a kick drum with no resonant head and a duct tape-repaired resonant head. He then proceeded to tell me the snare drum had "disappeared", which was then followed by the news that the rack tom arms were broken and the floor tom had two legs...let's hear it for the house kit everybody...
So, I call a friend and have her pretty much break into my house, and in craling through a window, she breaks a beloved vase..a family heirloom. She puts my keys outside with my drums still loaded from the night before and the singer drove my drums up...crisis averted.
Now to the sound guy part...He was a bald middle aged fella...seemed kinda jaded and frustrated that he never had his chance to play much, and he told me all about his music gear before picking up our set list and telling us "I see you guys play Grey Street...I hate Dave Matthews...also..Slow Dancing in a Burning Room? Yeah John Mayer is awful...really not a big Tracy Chapman fan either..." and now for the kicker....he looks at me...and I swear...he says "Are y'all gonna play any Thin Lizzy?" THIN LIZZY...because what college kid doesn't go out thinking they'd really love to hear a cover of The Boys are Back in Town? I had no response. I tried to act like I had to tune my snare or something.
This guy ripped on our whole set list...which we had specifically catered to our crowd...and then started making requests. In the end we were fully justified though. The place was packed and everybody loved it. Booked three more shows but I had to move to college. I was talking to a sound engineer friend of mine and he admitted that "most soundmen are unqualified musicians who wish they were on stage"...which to me was the equivalent of getting politicians to just admit they're corrupt.
Any other good sound man stories?