We were in the last week of a three week tour down the West coast and through the plains states. We met some friends from home that were originally from Wichita. They had helped us book the show. The plan was to play the show and take the next two days off and party with these friends. We were to be the second of three bands. One did not show, so this made us first of 2. We played through our set. As we approached the end we noticed that the other band was packing up. As we finished we heard one of the members talking to one of our friends. “There’s no way we’re going on after them. We’ll be laughed at after that.” Apparently, not only did their style not come close to ours, but they were not well rehearsed. They were fairly young.
What ended up happening is that one of our friends, the drummer of my band and I ended up playing some blues standards, and jamming on some variations of I, IV, V progressions. It wasn’t too bad, but we got bored pretty soon after, and decided to just get drunk before going to the house where we were staying to… get drunk.
While hanging out there was a guy that our friends all knew, but really distanced themselves from. He was aching for a fight. He even tried to start a fight with a homeless guy who asked him for a cigarette. Apparently the homeless guy was known in the community, and someone gave him a cigarette. The guy who had refused became belligerent and tried to fight the person who had provided the cigarette but was intercepted by a very large patron of the bar. We had all decided that this was enough, and we wanted to go to the house. Unfortunately, someone that either didn’t know what was going on with this guy, or didn’t care, invited him to go with us. Damn.
After about an hour this guy had become so drunk he became pretty quiet, so whatever, right? Wrong. I went out to sit in our van to call my girlfriend and say goodnight. I see this guy stumble out of the house and down the street. Good riddance. About two hours later, we’re all sitting in the living room, wasted, and the door flies open, knocking pictures and mirrors off the wall, and in stumbles our wayward asshole, covered in blood from head to toe, literally. His clothes are ripped, one eye is swollen shut, the other is full of blood, and one of his pinky fingers is dangling off of his hand. He walks directly to the couch where my guitar player is sitting with a girl and begins to fall into the couch, each of the previously mentioned running away, half laughing, half terrorized. The bloody man had no idea what had happened to him, or wouldn’t say, but just continued to say “I have to get some sleep, I have to work in the morning.” It was about 5:00 am at this point. No one in my band could convince the owner of the house to get this guy to the emergency room. They were trying to convince us that it would be better to let him sober up and sleep some, and convince him to go to the ER in the morning. We didn’t like the sound of this, so we let ourselves sober up, and I drove us to the next city where we were supposed to play.
Upon returning home our friend informed us that the guy had to receive a blood transfusion, had broken BOTH eye sockets, among other serious breaks, bruises, contusions, etc. Not to mention the concussion we had tried to warn them about, and why he should not sleep or avoid the ER.
In the 80's, I had a traditional Irish acoustic band (ballads, jigs and reels). We were booked on to play a gig on a Saturday night at a large semi-local bar. We had a brand new fiddle player on the gig that we had never worked with.
When we arrived, we found it to be a banquet for a women's bowling league. The women were already drunk and we were following a male stripper. The new fiddler was reduced to playing "Alley Cat" on my Fender Mustang. He was willing to finish the gig, but left he band that night. If I could remember his name and find him and I'd apologize.
I was playing in a hard rock cover band in a biker bar. We launched into Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher", a song I enjoy playing as a guitarist because its challenging and has some nice lead breaks. Halfway through the song, a friendly, chemically enchanced patron decides to join me on stage. I'm always down for having fun, so I let him sing backups with me. Into the guitar solo we go, which is fun but a little intense and which I had spent some shed time on, and my rig suddenly goes comepletely silent. Unbeknownst to me, he had kicked the power plug for one of my effects boxes out of my power strip. Frantically, I tried every knob and button I could while the band chugged on through what should have been my solo, to no avail. For those unfamiliar with the song, at the end of the solo, the band drops out and the guitar plays a signature riff, and I realize that we are rapidly careening toward it, with no guitar sound whatsoever - dead air!!
I had no clue what to do but wasnt about to let that stop me. The solo ends, the band drops out ... and I SING my guitar part into the mic ("Daa, bat-daddat-daa, bat-daddat-daa etc). The singer was great; he sensed what was going on and joined in a third above. During the next verse I finally discovered the loose plug, plugged it back in, and said singer directed the band mid-song back to the top of the solo so I could redeem myself. Everyone thought it was some goofy planned thing.
Multiple morals: 1. Never let a drunk onstage. 2. If there's dead air, fill it.
I'm playing with a blues band at a local bar, walking distance from my house. At the end of the gig, I start packing up some gear and when I return to the stage I discover that my chromatic harmonica has been stolen. I spend the next 30 minutes looking for it before giving up and walking home.
Later that night, I'm sitting on my front porch, about a half-mile away. I hear someone walking down the street in front of my house, playing a chromatic harmonica. Poorly.
I decide to follow the sound, and discover it's a group of 4 college-aged guys. Keep in mind that I'm alone, unarmed, and not particularly well schooled in less polite types of discourse.
"Excuse me guys," I said, "but were you at ****** tonight?"
"Yeah, we were. It was awesome!"
"Great! I'm glad you had fun. I was playing with the band, and I can't seem to find... my harmonica. Could any of you guys help me out with this?"
At this point, one of the guys produces my chromatic harmonica from his pants pocket and nervously says "Oh yeah, I.. uh.. found this on the ground outside. Do you want it?"
"Absolutely. Thank you guys very much, and have a wonderful evening," I said, and walked away, harmonica in my pocket.
I probably could have caused a scene, and I may have exacted some revenge, but I had my instrument back in my pocket and it was a polite situation, so I decided to leave it as such. If only it were always that easy to recover stolen gear.. and have it inadvertently delivered back to your house.