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Worst Gig Horror Stories


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Check the sig.....


Actually, some good has come since I posted the thread. Basically, myself and my band members/associates have formed a promotion company - we already have the gear/crew and have been running shows for ourselves and other bands for a while, and have been speaking to venues who have approached us as a band in the past but felt obliged to go through a promoter for tax purposes. it seems I can make some money for myself, play more shows, and help the local scene a bit. and pay bands for there efforts.....

 

+1000

 

I hope it works out well for ya!

:thu:

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The worst show I have ever played was with my first band 4-5 years ago. First of all it was at a venue called "the stairwell" in which you actually had to load your gear up a flight of stairs. To make things worse, myself and the other guitarist both had Crate amps(i had a blue voodoo halfstack and he had some {censored}ty 2x12 combo) And to top it off we played with a band called Job For A Cowboy(back when they were a really {censored}ty hardcore band) and were pretty much hated by ALL of their gay fans because we were against putting breakdowns in our songs. In the middle of our set, the second guitarists cable fell out of his guitar and he didn't know what happened. Someone even got a picture of the cable laying on the floor with a confused look on his face- it was hilarious :D It was a bad show, but looking back on it I can definatly laugh about it. But now I'm pretty good friends with a few of the JFAC guys now so you guy's should grab they're new cd- SO much better than they're previous crap :thu:

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Do you want the "river of vomit and feces" story, or the "giant rugby team vs. cops brawl" story? Or how about the "coked up singer {censored}s himself midsong" story?


All are equally terrible.

all, i must hear them.

 

River of vomit and feces

 

We were playing a dive bar in a college town. The kind of place that has NO top shelf liquor, 3 beer taps (Meister Brau, Bud Light, and Michelob) but only has kegs of Strohs in the basement. It was always packed with college students, because there was never a cover and beers we dirt cheap. The floors were wooden but felt "squishy", and nothing in the building was ever dry. It was heated by body heat, and ventilated by a combination of a rickety screen door and "Red Bull Breath".

 

There was no stage, just an "area" between the jukebox and the restrooms. The place (even before the incident described below) always smelled of stale beer, vomit, BO, and piss.

 

We play our first set with no incident. Good rowdy crowd. Fun was being had. Midway through our second set, some drunk backs over a hydrant, flooding the street in front of the building. Due to some unsavory plumbing in the building, all the water makes it's way into the sewer system of the bar, forcing everything that was flushed that evening back up through the restrooms. The titular "river" wass formed which proceeded to gush out underneath the door, out into the band area. The smell was powerful enough to cause secondary gastric explosions in the crowd (and our drummer). We kicked open the screen door behind the band area and began hurling our equipment outside. There were a few cables that were just too gross, so we just left them there.

 

Funny, they still paid us.

 

 

I'll relay the other 2 stories later...

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River of vomit and feces


We were playing a dive bar in a college town. The kind of place that has NO top shelf liquor, 3 beer taps (Meister Brau, Bud Light, and Michelob) but only has kegs of Strohs in the basement. It was always packed with college students, because there was never a cover and beers we dirt cheap. The floors were wooden but felt "squishy", and nothing in the building was ever dry. It was heated by body heat, and ventilated by a combination of a rickety screen door and "Red Bull Breath".


There was no stage, just an "area" between the jukebox and the restrooms. The place (even before the incident described below) always smelled of stale beer, vomit, BO, and piss.


We play our first set with no incident. Good rowdy crowd. Fun was being had. Midway through our second set, some drunk backs over a hydrant, flooding the street in front of the building. Due to some unsavory plumbing in the building, all the water makes it's way into the sewer system of the bar, forcing everything that was flushed that evening back up through the restrooms. The titular "river" wass formed which proceeded to gush out underneath the door, out into the band area. The smell was powerful enough to cause secondary gastric explosions in the crowd (and our drummer). We kicked open the screen door behind the band area and began hurling our equipment outside. There were a few cables that were just too gross, so we just left them there.


Funny, they still paid us.



I'll relay the other 2 stories later...

 

 

Yeah, I think that counts as a horror story. :eek:

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I remember sharing this story in a previous "Worst Gig" thread a few years back, but here it is...

 

I used to play keys for a 70's - 80's r&b/funk band about 5 years ago and we were scheduled to play at an outdoor event in the city. It was a gorgeous summer day, bright and sunny, perfect day for an outdoor gig. I arrived at the gig about an hour and 15 min before start time, the lead singer arriving a few short minutes after. About a 1/2 hr later, the guitarist, bassist and backup singer drop by. All of our equipment, PA, monitors... setup close to ready. Where's the drummer??

 

Now, it's 15 min until showtime and our drummer still hasn't shown. In the meantime, the rep from the local TV-station who is hosting the event is getting a bit nervous. Then, we came to a revelation that would propel us to do the unthinkable. Our bass player used to bring his drum machine to rehearsals on the nights the drummer was unable to attend. The drum sequences to all of the set list was already programmed. He got in his truck and flew home, arriving back with his Alesis SR-16 about 10-15 min later. We ended up starting about 10 min late, with the bass player queing up the drum sequence in betw each song. Surprisingly enough, the gig turned out fairly well. The audience seemed to dig it.

 

Where was the drummer?? Supposedly, he had a "prior engagement" and he totally forgot about the gig. What?!! Now, he and the lead singer did engage in a few shouting matches during some rehearsals and there may have been a bit of tension betw the two of them. But to not show up for a gig?:freak:

 

As it turned out, the band wasn't really getting anywhere and he guitarist and I ended up quitting a few days later.

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I'll relay the other 2 stories later...

 

Giant brawl - Rugby team vs cops

 

We were playing a bar eerily similar to to one described in the "river" story. Different town, different college. Just before gig time, the college's rugby team got their asses kicked by some other schools team. They were pissed off, drunk, and looking for trouble.

 

At first things were going swimmingly. We had a barful of drunks singing along with out cheesy cover songs, dancing, hootin' and a hollerin'. Then something happened outside. I don't know what. I imagine the was a scuffle with some "townies". The cops arrive. Realizing there was a {censored}load of angry drunks in the bar, more cops arrive. We stop playing.

 

A hush comes over the bar for a scant moment, then all hell breaks loose. The entire audience morphs into the giant boulder that chases indiana jones through the cave. It was like in the old cartoons - a dust clould with fists and feet poking out.

 

Once again, we kick open a back door and hurl our equipment outside. The cops eventually haul away 3/4 of the audience in the paddywagons. Gig over. We did not get paid, as the owner was one of the dudes taken away.

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Giant brawl - Rugby team vs cops


We were playing a bar eerily similar to to one described in the "river" story. Different town, different college. Just before gig time, the college's rugby team got their asses kicked by some other schools team. They were pissed off, drunk, and looking for trouble.


At first things were going swimmingly. We had a barful of drunks singing along with out cheesy cover songs, dancing, hootin' and a hollerin'. Then something happened outside. I don't know what. I imagine the was a scuffle with some "townies". The cops arrive. Realizing there was a {censored}load of angry drunks in the bar, more cops arrive. We stop playing.


A hush comes over the bar for a scant moment, then all hell breaks loose. The entire audience morphs into the giant boulder that chases indiana jones through the cave. It was like in the old cartoons - a dust clould with fists and feet poking out.


Once again, we kick open a back door and hurl our equipment outside. The cops eventually haul away 3/4 of the audience in the paddywagons. Gig over. We did not get paid, as the owner was one of the dudes taken away.

 

Owch, did you track his ass down later?

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Don't think I can really compete with feces and rugby brawlers, but here's one of my stories.

 

Last Sunday I was scheduled to run a jam session at a local bar from 5:00PM to 9:00PM. I used to work at this bar quite a bit, but the jams had died down over the last year or so. The owner was trying to start the whole thing up again., and I promised to work with him.

 

I was working an afternoon gig that same day, so I really had to drive like a maniac in order to get to the jam session on time. When I show up there's another band performing on the stage. I called the owner and he told me that he had forgotten to tell me that one of his buddies was having a birthday party, but that they should be done and off the stage by 6:00.

 

Meanwhile a bunch of musicians who wanted to jam kept asking me when they would be able to go on. I repeated the owner's conversation with me.

 

Well, 6:00 rolls around, then 6:30, then 7:00, and these guys are still onstage, cranking out extremely loud rock and roll in what is a very small venue. Meanwhile, the owner has arrived and keeps assuring me that they are almost done and will soon be off the stage. Finally at 7:30 they stop playing and start tearing down. I'm finally able to take the stage at 8:00. By then, all but one of the jammers has left the bar. To make things worse, the drummer I had contacted to play the gig called and told me he had been called in to work early, so I had to play drums (I'm not a drummer by any means, but I can keep the beat).

 

So we did one hour with one jammer. When we were done and packing up, the owner comes up to me and tells me that there should be a lot more jammers there and I need to do a better job of promoting the jams. I told him that there were at least 15 musicians waiting at 5:00, but they all left by around 6:30. I might as well have been talking to the wall. He just kept saying that more musicians need to show up if I wanted to keep running the jam.

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I might as well have been talking to the wall. He just kept saying that more musicians need to show up if I wanted to keep running the jam.

 

I am a really mellow guy, I mean really mellow don't raise my voice or anything. Fight? Don't care, whatever it's cool.

 

But I swear to god being talked to like that would piss me off quick, I would have blown up at the guy the moment I got the message that he was not listening. :mad:

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  • 12 years later...
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^this sounds like the reason it was bad was because of you....not because the gig itself had it's own 'suckage'...I mean, seriously, you played for 10 minutes and didn't notice you were out of tune?

I would have hiked if you finished the first song before apologizing/blaming the road manager/blaming the elevation, humidity....10 minutes? Out of tune for 10 minutes...and your 'tuning' process bored them enough to leave?:philpalm:

Please tell me this was not a paid gig....

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One of the worst gigs ever.

I was a kid in a rock band. We got hired to play at a retirement village. At that time retirement crowd was still in the Big Band / Frank Sinatra era.

It was for a New Year's Eve party, and they were desperate for a band at the last minute.

I cautioned the leader about taking it, to no avail.

They absolutely hated us. They actually yelled and screamed at us.

The band leader learned a lesson.

Notes

Edited by Notes_Norton
  • Haha 1
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