From this article about a videotape of Uday Hussein’s birthday party:
Now that’s a BAD gig.
I had a keyboard player who found a local drug dealer kinfed and dying on the floor of the mens’ room. We also had a drunk pull a long-barreled revolver (to stop an argument, he said) just after we had finished playing, but he wasn’t pointing it at us so we just scooted out the door.
About 15 years ago, I was a guitarist in a moderate-heavy but essentially middle of the road rock band. I occasionally hung about with other guitarists, one of which - an acoustic-playing ‘tie a yellow ribbon’ or ‘the leaving of liverpool’ (i.e. completely crap folk music) - asked if me and the drummer in our band would back him and his bro’ for a new years gig at a local club.
So far, so good. We assumed that the clientele actually wanted to hear this folk-muzak, and were quite happy to prostitute ourselves for what was quite an amount of money, it being new years’.
So we got there, set up, and the clients started to pour in.
It soon became clear that not all was well. The booking manager had screwed up. Royally screwed up.
The Hell’s Angel’s helmets were probably the first giveaway, quickly followed by the realisation that each of these 20 stone behemoths must have been cultivating their beards with much effort over the last 5 years.
To say that we went down badly was an understatement that nearly landed us in hospital. We were due to play 2 x 45 minute sets but managed to sneak out and run away after the first set ended with a lot of flying glass and the promise of broken limbs. We left the kit to the mob (intending to come back next day to pick it up but accepting the fact that it would probably be gone/unusable - remarkably it wasn’t).
It gives you some idea of how mismatched this gig was (and bear in mind that me/drummer were standing in to give a bit more thickness to these folkies) that a cheer went up from the crowd when we played some Shadows song! Shadows, for crying out loud. By this point the 300 Hell’s Angel’s had presumably given up waiting for Motorhead and were either grateful for whatever wasn’t The leaving of Liverpool, or they’d taken drugs and thought they were in some surreal never-never land (which is about how we felt, but with inner peace which accompanies the dawning realisation that you’re going to die).
The irony was that if we’d had the main band there, we probably wouldn’t have been able to play much they knew, but it would have been loud and raunchy and a considerable step in the right direction.
Towards the end of a wearing tour featuring (Australian band)Frente and (NZ band) The Headless Chickens, we played Sydney’s Festival Hall during the Royal Easter Show. The agents had done the “let’s book for the biggest guarantee we can get and then leave publicity up to the venue even though they don’t have a clue” thing. Everyone’s already sick and grumpy and wanting to go home - or anywhere away from the people on the tour.
The room holds 5000. Thirty people show up. Our singer has no voice. The Chickens’ guitarist somewhat unexpectedly has an epileptic fit on stage. No-one realises and we begin to heckle him. The TM takes him to hospital once we realise. Then we have to go on. It was a long night, and the remaining weeks of the tour don’t much appeal.
I played in a rural fair in my hometown. I normally had no stage fright but playing at home made me incredibly nervous. We were playing for a talent show (hey, we were in college and could have used the prize money). I froze and couldn’t get my fingers to work (bass player). We were beat by some little kid singing “Somewhere over the rainbow” or some shit like that. It was embarassing.