I played drums with a show band that performed in many different venues during the middle 70's. During one county fair gig the leader told me a fair organizer needed a drummer for a special show over at the outside amphitheater and that I 'fit the bill' since I had vaudeville experience. Be there ready to play at 1pm.
I got there before 1pm and set up on the stage but no one was around. The audience started to come in but there was no one else on the stage or backstage. Was I at the right place? The leader of our show band came in with the other musicians but they all sat down with the audience. He gave me the hi-sign so I knew I was at the right place.
Suddenly a guy comes running out from behind the stage and said 'Watch the right side in front of the stage and make some sound effects to what you see'. He then ran off to the right side of the stage.
Out of nowhere came a LARGE ELEPHANT walking in front of the stage wiggling it's ears, head, etc. Well, I started imitating what the elephant was doing on my drums. It really went quite well for no rehearsal. The audience loved it, the elephant handler loved it, my fellow band members about died laughing, and I walked away with $25 for 15 minutes work!
My wedding band played at the Waldorf Astoria for Bat Mitzvah for a top Brain Surgeon in NYC. He insisted on making the "Family Grand Entrance" with his pet dog. I told him it was not a good idea to include "Poochie."
As the family got closer to the band the dog became terrified as the band was rippin'... and the dog pissed all over the Doc's white tux.
Brain Surgeon indeed!
A few weeks before Christmas, a friend booked us as an old-timey duo at a petting zoo in the evening. Well, it was too close to Christmas, too far out in the country, and a miserable night. We played in the small room in the barn as the very few people who came exited. But we did have a captive audience for the entire gig.
Two turkeys, four kids (young goats), and a Vietnamese pot bellied pig. At least they weren't drunk.
I was in an opening act back in 2004, really groovin, and right in the middle of "Sweet Caroline" a huge moth flew right into my mouth! I virtually inhaled it and it was flapping and vibrating its wings in my throat. All that powdery stuff from its wings was coating my airway.. way gross!
I finally "hacked" it up and begged the audience for a beer. The closest crowd member ran up to the stage and handed me big bottle of of Jaegermeister. I chugged a large gulp and went right back to my set, but the rest of the night is a bit fuzzy!
My band opened for a touring band from Texas at a local bar. A few days after the gig we heard about their adventure on the way home. On the freeway in the middle of nowhere, a vehicle towing a trailer containing several horses got in a horrific accident with semi truck. The band's tour van got smacked right in the windshield with a HEADLESS FLYING HORSE. No injuries to the band, thankfully.
While singing in a honky-tonk in Tallahassee I watched an intoxicated middle-aged man and woman dancing intimately on the dance floor. They held each other close, dancing slowly, his right hand caressing her neck. As he withdrew his hand, her wig was entangled in his fingers and came off in his hand. He studied it briefly at arms length, and then seemed to determine the thing was a varmint and began shaking his hand wildly as he backed away attempting to free himself from the critter attacking his hand. When it hit the floor he jumped back, not sure it was dead, then immediately left the room. It took all of my will to keep from laughing aloud.
I was playing drums in a band from Pensacola at a blues bar in Mobile, AL. They had pets that roamed the bar at will: a goat, cat, chickens etc. The stage was made out of long neck beer bottle cases with plywood over them. One night a big old rooster sat on the rail two feet from my head all night long, and not far from him was a brown spider about the size of a silver dollar. Neither moved the entire night.
Many years ago I was in a soul band as a trombone player and stayed with an acquaintance, a dixieland clarinet player at his mother's country farm cottage in Lebanon OH. They were from England and his mother was deaf which made it a great place to practice as I had the upstairs bedroom and a roof portico to practice on. We were in farm country and were at least a quarter mile from the nearest farm.
When I would sit on the portico and practice, on warm nights, the cows from the nearby farm would answer my practicing with their own bellowing from the barn. I would play a small section and they were quiet, but when I paused they would answer back with long and melodious moos.
Oddly enough, the same thing happened on the beach on the eastern US. As I would practice at the beach it would attract long-legged sea-birds who would honk back at my trombone. For quite a while I was called sea-bird by my band mates.
I played in lots of cover bands over the years... too many bars to remember! I always remember the weird stuff that happens while playing in bars though.
One night at a local bar, we were mid-set and mid-song when this Beagle came running in the side door. It ran right up onstage, ran the length of the stage (Between our legs!) then ran off the opposite side and back out the door. I just could not function at that point because THAT kinda stuff just slays me with laughter.
Another time a cat came meandering in and slowly walked around the dance floor. Our Frontman didn't miss a beat! He said into the mic "Um..bartender would you please give that cat-a-tonic?
Yet another gig, at a lakeside resort / bar, we were mid-set and an Elvis Impersonator walked in, jumpsuit and all. Not only that, his buddy is with him , and this guy is a Roy Orbison impersonator! He's got the "Roy" hair, thick dark frames, the whole bit. "Elvis and Roy" are dancing together to us doing Sharp Dressed Man, and it's pretty clear that "Elvis" is way hammered. Later he came up and informed us he was leaving cause we wouldn't let him sit in, and of course we had a minute of on-mic fun with the whole "Elvis has Left the Building" bit. We watched him and Roy stagger down to the boat docks, where Elvis promptly fell into a skiboat head first.