I was the lead guitar player in a country music band. We were playing at a social dinner/dance at the local USAF Officer's club, a gig we'd been selected for out of 5 bands.
We traditionally play some bluegrass music as part of our repertoire, and I also play banjo. We were playing an instrumental called "Whoa, Mule, Whoa", which is a fairly up-beat, higher speed banjo tune. Halfway through the song, my fingerpick slipped off and "flew" out into the middle of the dance floor, where there were about 40 or more people "boogeying" to this tune.
Without missing the beat, the band kept playing the background music, while I climbed off the stage, banjo still strapped to me, looking around for my fingerpick, moving people out of the way, hoping no one would step on it and crush it.. People were laughing, watching me search for me needed fingerpick.
Finally, I found it, and luckily it was still in good shape, hadn't been stepped on. I slipped it back on my finger, climbed back up onto the stage, and, jumped into the continuing beat, and we finished the song.
Unbelievably, we got a standing ovation out of it, as they seemed to think that what happened was part of the show, but it really wasn't. Just a freak thing that happened that really became the highlight of our show that night. What seemed to be a total embarrassment became a much talked about event that night, and they thought we were amazing, not to have stopped in the middle of the song, but kept everything going, completing the song undaunted.
I was working with a jazz band in the Midwest, and we got a gig playing for the local high school's convocation. We were booked to open with the opening theme from the Batman TV show. It was a big production with lights, smoke, characters swinging down from the catwalk on ropes.
At curtain the band was in its place and the tune was a groovin'. Batman made a smooth entrance, sliding down from the catwalk. The guy in the Robin costume, however, must have lost his grip and fell 12 feet to the stage floor with a loud thump. Everyone froze.
He then caught his breath, stood up, and finished the tune on his feet.
We were playing a packed show at an all ages venue in downtown Terre Haute, IN, that for whatever reason was being broadcast. The show so far was amazing. We had an amazing crowd, our sound was tight, etc. I noticed about half way through our set that the stage was only about a foot off of the floor and that the audience was beginning to mosh. Add a wireless and me, a cocky bassist, to the mix and you have a recipe for a bad time.
I hopped off the stage to join in the crowd's rocking out but after only a few seconds some of them began to mess with my bass. Before disaster could ensue I began to make my way back to the stage. I should have mentioned that I choose not to wear not my glasses while playing, and I'm blind as a bat. This prevented me from noticing the monitor in my path as I was making my leap back on to the stage.
My foot clipped a corner of the monitor causing me to fall flat on my face in front of 300 people and several cameras. A loud "THWANG" shot out of my amp as my bass slammed on the floor. I left the show that night with a busted knee, a bass that hasn't played right ever since. and video that my bandmates like to pull out when they want a laugh. I know now to never leave the stage during a performance ever again.
Many years ago in my prime I had a trio and we played the ski lodges and restaurant lounge type places in Vermont. I played acoustic guitar and had a female keyboardist and bassist. One night we were playing in this nice "woodsy" type restaurant which had a lot of barnboard, raw timber, probably peanut shells on the floor, etc. During one break the band headed over to the bar as usual and I ordered a drink. One of the restaurant clientele engaged me in a conversation and we were probably talking about the music or something and I was trying to ease myself on something to sit on after being on my feet for 45 minutes.
I spotted this pickle barrel with a lid on it, and with the drink in my hand kind of hopped on top of it. It must have been a real antique because when my full weight landed on top of it the lid broke and I folded up and went in the barrel. Luckily I didn't go all the way down as it turned out there was broken glass on the bottom. The amazing thing is I didn't spill a drop of my drink.
Back in the day when I was in a "hair band" we went out of our way to create a special mood onstage wherever we played. I played guitar and keyboards, and rather than using a plug-in light or flashlight to see our set list I would light a couple of candles and set them on my keyboard rack. Because the writing on the set list that night was a little smaller than usual I guess I got a little too close and caught the front of my hair on fire.
I turned from the keys to play a riff on my guitar and the bass player stepped over and smacked me on the front of the head to try and put it out. When I realized my hair was burning I frantically started smacking myself in the head and managed to extinguish myself. We ended up coming up with a cool instrumental out of it, appropriately titled "Oh My God, Frank's Hair's On Fire!"
18 y/o band guys been jammin together only 1 month. We had about 12 originals we put together in that time. Judas Priest came out with Turbo Lover that year. It was a hot July and me and my band mate, Ben, were getting ready for the Judas Priest show . We were really wanting to see Dokken (they were the openers that night). A couple of hours before show time we get a call from some concert promoters (Herb Graham) asking us if we wanted to do a gig that night. "No thanks" we said, " We are going to see Judas Priest and Dokken tonight."That's where the gig is." they responded.
After dropping a few bricks out of our butts and a series of phone calls to get the other band mates to believes us that it was really happening (they kept hanging up on us thinking we were joking), We were soon driving up to the Ector County Collosium and there it was on the Marquee, "Judas Priest, w/ spcial guest *****". All of our friends were shocked.
Don Dokken got sick. He wasn't able to sing. Sorry Don.. we almost got famous. Soon after we tore up the whole area with our tunes and bacame a well known local band in West Texas.
Back in the "Heavy Metal" days, my sister bought some red crushed velvet material and had a pair of pants custom made for my birthday. I think the material would have been better suited for curtains than pants, but they looked good on stage.
We set up and started playing, and everything was going swimmingly. I was getting excited, and performing some stage antics typical of our band and genre. When I did a kick to a crash cymbal, however, the whole crotch of my pants ripped out! I covered what I could with my bass guitar for the rest of our set, but it was still quite embarrassing.
Years ago while I was attending a well-known music school in Boston, I got a gig with a bar band fronted by an Elvis impersonator. This guy was only modestly talented but thought he was a musical genius. Rehearsals were a nightmare of conflicting instructions from Elvis, interspersed with hysterical rants about out-of-tune this, or off-time that, and if we can't get it together, there are plenty of musicians who he could hire. Actually the band was smokin'--it was Elvis' ears that were the problem.
"Elvis" told me that I was replacing a guitar player he fired because the poor guy wanted to be with his wife while she gave birth to their first child! He said "women have been having babies for two hundred years without their husbands being there..." Really? 200? But I digress.
After a few miserable rehearsals we have a gig booked in a crappy dive somewhere near Revere Beach, MA. On stage, I was positioned to Elvis' right. The gig begins uneventfully and Elvis is in fine form, dancing around robotically, singing badly, and periodically turning around to berate the drummer/bassist/sax player. This went on for a set or two and I was getting really bummed out. The gig was so horrible I felt like smashing Elvis over the head with my guitar.
I swear it was an accident. It really was. At some point during this musical mayhem the stars aligned perfectly for one glorious second. I forget the song he was butchering, but unbeknownst to me, Elvis decided to do a little spin move. This was unfortunate. For him.
At the exact moment Elvis was spinning his torso quickly down and to his right, something (maybe the ghost of the real Elvis?) compelled me to turn quickly and decisively up and to my left. I saw what was about to happen but it was too late. BOOM! Elvis slams into the hard rock maple headstock of my Strat, which catches him right in the forehead. I felt the wood dig in a little. He pulled back and staggered for a couple of steps and almost fell, and then, bent over, he looks up at me a little cross-eyed, and angrily mumbles something.
I actually felt bad for the poor guy, but at the same time it was all I could do to keep from bursting out laughing. I turned to look at my bandmates who were just staring blankly back at me. Rarely in life does karma come that instantly.
I called the music director the next day and quit.
Our band played a show in northern Wisconsin and we indulged heavily in the libations. After the show we packed up and went to the hotel to crash. The next morning I went to the van and trailer to find that we had been robbed!! The thief had apparently opened the trailer. Both of my basses were gone (one of them is a $4000, hand made bass from Chicago), the keyboard rack, the cymbals and kick drum were all gone too.
That day we filed a police report and visited every pawn show and music store in the area to make them aware of the crime that took place. We finally had to move on and go to the next town to play another show. The phone rang about an hour before the gig. We got our gear. On the the phone was the police department. And they pieced the night together for us.
We didn't lock the trailer! When we hit the freeway with the trailer door wide open gear just fell out. Someone was nice enough to grab what they found and turned it into the police. The other half of the gear ended up back at the venue. The next day we spent about 7 hours in the van retrieving our gear.
The hotel was in a different town then the venue and we called the police department in the town of the hotel. The police department near the venue found the gear. Because we never told the police we filed the report with that the gear is back the case is still open. About once a year I get a letter telling me my case is still unsolved. Keep up the good work guys!
We were playing a Sheryl Crow tune My Favorite Mistake, and our female singer, who we knew was a tough girl and very focused, was out in the crowd with her wireless mic. She was teasing some men, as she often does, and they were in front of a swimming pool. She turned her back to them and leaned into one of them. He didn't catch her as the guys usually do, and she went in the pool, with her wireless mic.
We wondered what had happened when she quit singing. We kept playing, and then we saw her, completely drenched, walking back to the stage, still trying to sing into the wireless mic. The light was still on. She only missed two lines, grabbed another mic and finished the song. I am still amazed when I think of that!