Post by washboardchris on May 17, 2019 20:22:54 GMT
It struck me that I have done some strange gigs and played with some odd people eg I once played a gig with Bert Weeden's brother (Moe?)who was a very small men who at the time was playing a full sized Double Bass. He was so small,or the Bass was so big that he stood on a chair and when he wanted to play up the neck he would jump of the char shouting Geronemo. Any one else ?
In NOLA, strange and bizzare is to be somewhat expected... One of the stranger and better unknown muscians Ive worked with is Ironing Board Sam. He always has had some over the top showmanship. the keyboard rig attached to an ironing board that got him his stage name made for some interesting moves as he raised and lowered the thing, tip it on its end, play behind his back.... A true character, At one point he was driving around NOLA in a shag carpet covered cadillac... an excellent blues and funk player prone to some bizzare showmanship. He laid down during the middle of a set one time and it took a while before anyone figured out he needed his insulin. Under all the act was a very genuine and warm friend.
Post by washboardchris on May 18, 2019 9:00:50 GMT
I once had a call from an agent to play a club in Hackney and being that he was paying very very well(this is years ago before I went full time) more than a weeks work on a building site, so off I went.When I got there I was greeted by a doorman who showed me to the dressing room where I was faced by a young blond girl with no clothes on who asked me to help her dress (acts as if this happened all the time)at this point I found out I had been booked for a Stag night.I got on stage and started signing and heard a ting ting noise,they were throwing bottle tops some with teeth marks on them at me .when I left the stage and the stripper got on(all black leather high heels and a whip)when I left the stage the stripper came on but sadly they didn't sweep the stage before she went on >she started dancing ,her heel slipped on a bottle top feel over onto to the bottle tops and on the way down wiped out her tape machine leaving her to finish her act in silence peeling off her G string with one hand and bottle tops from her back with the other.It was a little like the wilde west in those day's
Post by Michael Messer on May 21, 2019 17:16:07 GMT
I have done many, maybe too many bizarre gigs.
One that springs to mind was at a performance art festival in the mid 80s. We had a 30 piece tea chest bass orchestra playing Big Noise From Winnetka for half an hour. Each tea chest bass was individually decorated and each had an umbrella on the neck/stick. It was bizarre and wonderful.
Oh.... I did two concerts at Broadmoor High Security Hospital in Crowthorne, Berkshire (for those that don't know, this is the main UK permanent residence for the criminally insane). At the first one, which was an open air event I met Reggie Kray, he helped me use the tea machine, and the Yorkshire ripper was in the front row. It was not a pleasant experience, but it was a memorable one. Jimmy Savile was the MC. If we knew then what we know now he should have been given permanent residence there.
Another one was at the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, at a private party put on by the Ambassador. That was a little surreal.
A double bill at a private party on the west coast of Ireland with the bizarre and eccentric Baby Gramps. If you don't know Baby Gramps, Google him.
Backing Billy Connolly and Aly Bain at Cambridge Folk Festival with the pair of them just slightly "off their tits" was fairly bizarre, but lots of fun. I met Aly recently at a gig, he is lovely chap and an amazing fiddle player.
To earn money for real gigs, I used to play guitar in a comedy trio called the Slick Richards. We did a gig at the Bristol Bridge Inn (circa 1989). At the height of our 'popularity', we used a lot of props, including dressing up as Diana Ross and the Supremes (thankfully we were far sighted enough not to black up). We came on at half time dressed this way, and some of the audience objected to our ham fisted attempt at portraying DR&S. Several members started a fight, the PA got knocked over, and we were bricking it. So the suggestion was made that I go into the crowd, identify the ring leader and serenade him, which I agreed to and did. I sat on his lap, and sang "I'm Still Waiting". He saw the funny side, and we were saved. They then started another fight with some other punters... TT
Post by washboardchris on May 22, 2019 17:46:13 GMT
Here's another one.I once played a variety show which featured a duo called the mini tones which featured Kenny Baker who played R2 D2 in star wars & a band called Nuts & Bolts witch was a spin off from Sid Millward and his Nitwits who ended there act with Cyril Lagey (who was the wrestler Johnny Kwango's brother blowing down the rear end of a huge stuffed Vulture that was mounted on an old pram and made the sound of a nightingale.we called it entertainment back in the day.
Post by washboardchris on May 25, 2019 18:44:51 GMT
I was hoping for some good stories but maybe its just me these things happen to. I got a call to dep for the guitarist in a Rock and Roll Band.Had no idea what sort of venue it was. It turned out to be a nudist camp.seeing naked middle aged couples trying to jive was bad enough but when it came to the twist it was a bit much !!!
There are so many weird gigs to pick out from more than 3000! Well, here are some...Those were the days!
- Gig in a extreme right wing place where after we ended it, while we were out on the parking lot loading to go home two guys on a motorbike arrived and screamed at everybody to run away. Then they threw a cave bomb in there and destroyed the place! - Very funny gig at a soccer hooligan party ended with almost everybody dancin’ naked. Ambulance went back and forth from the local hospital to the party 5 times because of alcohol related episodes… - Speaking of naked people: gig at a stripper night place in Texas. I’m not sure you want to know what some drunken strippers can do after a certain point ( cream, oil and various objects appeared and disappeared at different times). Playing a one chord Bo Diddley beat for a long time contributed to the crazy environment… - Hookers party in the back of King’s Cross station, ended by the metropolitan police in a massive free-for-all fight with everybody running away… - Gig at a swingers club in Denmark (…………………….) - Quite a few fights with the obvious choice of keepin’ on playing on stage or joining the fight down on the floor. - A landlady at a club who went crazy. They had to call the police and she jumped on their car and they couldn’t grab her. Then after a real catfight and with a kitchen knife in her hand she told the cops she was going to surrender as along as she could first pay the band!
Post by washboardchris on May 28, 2019 16:03:05 GMT
Nice to be over paid.Once did a new years gig in east London.knocked it on the head at around 12.30 and was faced with the landlord & 5 or 6 large men clutching pool cues & being told that we could either take half the fee or get nothing & lose a few teeth.much better being paid to much. I thought that the same would happen on millenium eve.Was playing at a venue that had booked me on and of for 15 years and the owner asked how much it would cost him for me to play.being I had worked for him so often I told him I would work for half of what he had been quoted as I had worked for him so much in the past.He said right £1000 it is.There were 16 people there that night but he told me that I should regard it as a bonus. :-)
Post by thebluesbear( al) on Jun 6, 2019 19:36:09 GMT
Hi everyone I can think of several places that i have played that fit this bill. but ill share two of them
a. In the 90s i gigged lots in germany and we thats my trio at the time were gigging in Munich in a place that had a odd vibe to it .well all of a sudden there was a stream of verbal abuse between two women then a catfight and the noise they made caused playing to be impossible .right about this time 2 guys who were playing chess , started punching up , the strange thing is it looked good aka real BUt there was no blood and none of the punches landed , so they kind of get through the first round . the fight stops . they start playing chess again like nothing was wrong ....20 minutes later the punch up is resumed . then the chess game .
I asked the owner of this club who these people were . He replied actors who i have hired for the vibe....
b. the 2nd place was just last xmas in rotterdam. my current trio were booked for a gig in a place in rotterdam , the stage was app 25 feet above the bar , like in a crows nest in a old sailing ship , it was about 5 feet long by 2 feet wide including the mixer . we went guitars and all up this ladder , i did the gig on a milk bottle crate upside down .....never again
About 10 years ago, me and my mate's blues duo Idle Frets were playing a New Year's Eve gig at a village pub. During the break after our first set, we were approached by an old man who told us that he used to play washboard in a skiffle group during the '50s and he asked if he could play along with us during our next set. Of course, we accepted - our music being tailor made for the washboard.
We were a tolerably good combo anyway - been playing together for years, but this old boy was brilliant and his washboard lifted our sound to previously unheard of heights. We played up a storm. The audience were on their feet dancing, the beer was flowing and it was shaping up to be a really memorable New Year. About ten-to-midnight, we came to the last song before Big Ben's chimes and we launched into an up-tempo boogie number. We were blowing the roof off the place. My mate was rocking, I was rolling, and the old boy was having a whale of a time until, suddenly... he dropped down dead. Right in the middle of one of my solos, too. He could've waited a while, don't you think? Talk about inconsiderate. It really put the dampers on the evening.
Seriously though, it was a tragic end to what should have been the best gig ever and it became memorable for all the wrong reasons. But at least he died a happy man.