This was in '81 or '82. I was playing bass in a 4 piece rock/pop group, and we did the whole hair and spandex thing like most bands at the time. Girls were never a problem. Anybody who doesn't believe guitars are chick magnets has obviously never strapped on a guitar before. Anyway, we played all over the state, working pretty steady, staying in all manner of “band housing”. We were at a better-than-average club (closed mid-90's) and doing our normal thing. This particular night the bar was having a drawing for something, I can't remember what. We were going to have a longer break than usual after one of our sets so they could use our PA to do the drawing. I went to the bar and was getting a coke. A rather attractive girl asked me if we did a certain song she liked, to which I nodded and replied “next set, I think”. Our drummer was standing there waiting on me, as he wanted to get in a game of pool while we waited for the drawing to get over. We went to the tables and he racked up the game. I was lining up my first shot when I heard “hey, asshole”. I, of course, looked up to see who was calling who an asshole. What I saw was what turned out to be the butt end of a pool cue coming at my face at rather high velocity. It caught me on the bridge of my nose. I'm done. I'm collapsed on the pool table, screaming, blood pouring from my face. The drummer tackled the guy swinging the cue as he was lining up for another whack at me. Then the singer (not a small guy) jumped in. They, with a bouncer, dragged the guy out thru the kitchen and behind the bar where they damn near killed him. Turns out the attractive girl who asked me about the song had an extremely jealous ex-boyfriend who was in the bar and saw her talking to me. A couple days later, after the swelling went down and my eyes were able to open, she took me to dinner. She was really embarrassed over the whole thing. Just dinner, too. She had another boyfriend already, a cop. Who just happened to be the responding officer that night who ended up arresting ex-boyfriend for assault. Guess there were a few too many witnesses for him to claim self defense...
I was playing bass in a start up Blues band in the late 1990's at an outdoor venue. It was an event that was more or less open to the public but was on private property. During the middle of one song a drunk comes up on the stage and loudly calls out "who is the bass player" Being confused and uncertain why he would be on stage and having to ask who the bass player was, I raised my hand and said that I was. He comes over to me and says "well I'm gonna whip your ---"
At first I'm a little amused and uncertain why he would want to single me out, I had no idea who this guy was anyway. I realized that I was not going to talk this numb skull out of what he was wanting to do so I told him to meet me on the ground.
When we get to the ground, I'm still not angry at this guy just a little perplexed but he won't let up. He had no way of knowing that I am a trained martial artist for 30 years and I was just getting ready to give him an elbow in his mouth that would cause him to remember me for the rest of his life when he put his false teeth every morning. Just before I cocked my elbow to let him have it, security came and hauled him away.
To this day I have no idea why he was angry with me.
Early in my playing days,it became evident that as a drummer, I always had the best seat in the place,able to observe everything from awkward encounters, to crazy dancing, and best of all, the dynamics of mixing strangers and Gorrilla juice! (Lots more to follow!) This particular night however,the action was right on stage, on either side of me. From horror to hilarity, I've seen it all!
Phone rings late Saturday afternoon, a deep,gravely voice asks,"can you be on stage, set up ready to play by 7:30? I paused just enough for him to introduce himself,which made my mouth yell back,"Hell yes!" (these guys being legends)I couldn't contain my exitement! These two played Vegas! This was going to be Epic.
Fast foward to meeting the dynamic duo, exchanging pleasantries, asigning harmony parts, and subtle clues I would get from whom ever wasn"t singing lead! A quick sound check brought the crowd foward and we were LIVE! First song, a masterpiece, I could see the shock in everybodys face. These guys are awesome! Clever arrangements, lots of interaction with the crowd, these guys were off the hook!
I can't say exactly when it changed,(I was having too much fun)but slowly they began to stop running songs together and seemed indecisive about whose song was next. No time for voting, one of them would just start playing one of his tunes, expecting us to jump in. Worked okay briefly but it was obvious there was a competition afoot. I thought it was part of their shtick. Soon I wasn't getting any cues, they were sabotaging each other with bad notes, volume increases, and tempo changes.
Luckily it was break time before it was noticeable. The two headed outside and by the time I got there,it was a full on fist fight! Both guys were six foot plus and around two hundred pounds. They managed to bloody their clothes and injure their hands, but it wasn't till they had to sing again that I realized they had knocked out each others front teeth.Needless to say, I spent the rest of the night,nearly in tears from laughing, every word mispronounced! It wouldn't have been quite so funny if these idiots had realized how rediculous they sounded!
I have been playing guitar in bar bands since my teenage years, and I have witnessed a LOT of craziness in that time. When I get together with fellow musicians to tell, "war stories", this one always comes to mind.
I was playing with a three piece rockin' oldies/Blues sort of band, and we were at one of our usual haunts, a little bar on the Skunk river in Iowa. This place was an old 10x50 trailer with and addition built up on stilts (yes really) because it was literally on the riverbank. We always had a fun crowd there, and one young guy in particular, always liked to come up and sing a couple Elvis tunes. The guy's name was Frank, he was local kid, and was always a life of the party kind of chap.
This particular night was Frank's birthday, and he was partying especially hard. He was drinking with a grizzled old biker, most of the night. This guy was probably in his sixties, short stocky, big white beard, and long hair. Under other circumstances he could have been mistaken for Santa Claus... except for the grimy jeans, beat up leather jacket, beer belly, and jailhouse tattoos. Anyway, Frank and this guy were getting along famously, drinking, dancing, and chasing girls, generally having a great time. About the middle of the third set, I noticed it looked like they were having words at the bar, and a couple minutes later, Frank knocked the old guy off his bar stool, jumped on him, and proceeded to beat the living Sh*t out of him. It took about four other large men to pull Frank off, and get the old guy outside to safety. A while later, when we were taking a break, I approached Frank and asked him what had happened. He said, "Oh that's just my Dad"
My first husband and I had a long run in Las Vegas when country music was popular in the casino lounges. When the popularity waned, we moved to Houston, Texas and continued our outlaw country duo in some less than perfect venues.
On July 4, 1986, we received a call at the last minute to play a bar on the notorious Telephone Road. We took the job needing money as we had 2 babies. The first hour went without incident. The next hour, a girl came up to the stage, dressed in red, white and blue, and started yelling,"Doesn't anyone dance in here?" She proceeded to dance alone in front of the stage, but the manager felt her dancing was inappropriate, and asked her to stop several times. She finally yelled out, "Can't people dance in here? Isn't this the land of the home and the free of the brave?"
As my first husband and I stood there laughing, a beer bottle flew through my legs and broke against the back wall. A fight ensued with 2 men fighting on the pool table and the club emptied out. This is my entry into the book of Telephone Road Club stories.
This happened in the late 1980's. I stopped by a bar my band played at on a semi-regular basis to confirm an upcoming performance date. My band didn't have a gig that night so I hung around to check out the new band that was booked. They were a four piece college age band playing all original rock/pop-rock songs. These tunes were well written, well balanced & well rehearsed. A lot of time & effort went into these songs, which makes this even more sad.
The keyboard player and the bass player had some sort of problem between them. They would flip each other off during performance, mutter insults at each other between songs, that sort of thing. It started early in the first set and got worse.
About halfway through the second set the keyboard player flipped one bird too many and the bass player lost it. He yells "THATS IT" and took off his (reeeally nice) expensive looking bass, slams it into the guitar stand and storms across the stage toward the keyboard player. The keyboard player sees this and steps out from behind his keyboard rack and they start duking it out, on stage, in the middle of a song!
Fortunately neither of them knew how to fight and were basically flailing at each other like a couple of elementary school girls. There was little chance of serious physical damage.
The drummer and the guitarist/singer, instead of stopping the song and dealing with their feuding band mates, opted to keep playing. The song, of course, just fell apart. Phrasing and meter died a horrible death! After about eight or ten measures of this the drummer & guitar player finally stopped playing, stepped away from their instruments and separated their fighting band mates. The bass player charged out the door cursing loudly, the keyboard player found a dark corner to pout.
Try to picture in your mind, a four piece band, half of which is engaged in little girl fisticuffs, the other half soldiering forward because 'the show must go on'. It was like a scene that got edited out of a really bad movie. The saddest crash & burn of a live performance I've ever seen!
My band was playing in a rough type bar. Our drummer was the only one not married in the band. He always kept his eye out for good looking women. As we were playing our set, we notice this good looking girl on the dance floor with her boy friend. Someone called her by name, it was Dixie. So a couple of songs later the drummer said I need to make an announcement. I said ok.
With a big drum roll he said I have an announcement to make, over his mic. The packed dance floor were all looking at him now. He said, "I only have one wish and that is, I wish I was in Dixie tonight." Just then Dixie's boyfriend cold-cocked her on the jaw and knocked her out on the dance floor. He was yelling something about her being a cheating no good something. The poor girl had no idea what happened or why.
There was a flatbed trailer parked against a shed to run the power into. We began tuning (I'm a drummer) and all strings and even my heads were just getting more loose and losing any tuning...then we began to feel the fireball they had lit right in front of the stage! Man! Felt like we were getting sunburned too! I yelled till I found my friend (Who also was putting the event on) and got him to get a lawn trsctor, 4 wheeler, ANYTHING...to pull the fire back quick! To my surprise...Those drunk skunks had the whole bonfire pulled back a good 50 ft and mostly by hand! We managed to get tuned and playing and, being a hard rock/metal band, a pit had broken out in front of the stage. I don't remember which song we were playing for sure, but I think it was "Whatever" by Godsmack. I was sooooo pumped from the interaction and the energy that I threw my sticks out into the crowd! A few minutes later, a dude came up holding his head and handing me my sticks back. My ego got deflated.....Then, we had gotten going good and the sheriff's dept showed up to shut us down....There were many 'almost fights' and real fights taking place as we played and then the same people would be handing each other fresh beers like it was a family squabble. The wildest 4th I've been a part of
It was 1970 something; a Saturday night in the summer. We were playing a stay-open-really-late place that was packed to the gills. Mid-way through the night after some Zeppelin, Alice Cooper (w/ snake), and Bowie, I (the singer) noticed a drunk dude dancing right in front of the stage, which had about a 3' rise to it.
He was acting like the typical a-holes that do this type of thing, but then he grabbed my mic stand while I was singing and shoved it so that the mic hit me in the mouth. He didn't do any real damage (except to my ego), but when he came closer and turned his back to me, I put my 4" platform shoe on his shoulder and gave him a shove. He went stumbling into the crowd and fell to the floor...no real damage done to him in turn.
I don't remember what song we were playing as the guitarist (a Townsend look-alike) and the bassist watched with wide eyes as the guy got to his feet and started heading for the stage with that "gonna' kick your ass" look in his eyes.
Now, I'm not really a fighter, but I saw a bad scene about to unfold if I retreated... including damage to our gear. So, I jumped off the stage and cold-cocked him as hard as I could...band still playing. He went down like a ton of bricks, and I climbed back on stage and finished the song. Next thing two guys were carrying him off the dance floor and we never saw him again. Needless to say, the crowd loved it.
January, 1979. Milton, Vermont. The country band I was playing bass with had been on regular rotation at this one, tiny, hole-in-the-wall. As the venue was located in a pretty small town, we knew most of the locals who showed up at just about every gig.
The night started pretty much without incident: trouble free load in, everyone on time, etc.. Sometime around the middle of the first set, I began to notice some "different" sort of behavior occurring between some new faces and a few of the regulars. One incident that stands out was seeing one of the "newbies" (male) grinding his ass into the ass of a friend of mine (also male). And while I thought this was strange, I quickly forgot about it until about, oh, five minutes later when a brawl, which included my friend, the guy previously mentioned, and about 8 other people, erupted in a distant corner of the bar.
As the band and I watched from what started off as a safe distance, the entire swirling mass of fists, beer bottles, torn clothing, and testosterone made it's way across the room, onto the dance floor, across the dance floor, and finally onto the stage. As the stage was set back completely into the wall, we were trapped. It was exactly like watching an approaching storm, but without the benefit of shelter. Within seconds, I was on top of my bass amp. The two guitar players had no such recourse and thus were sucked into the vortex. The drummer, a Berklee grad(nice guy, great player)could only watch in horror as this entire mess came across the stage, into, and eventually over the drums, trapping him against the wall behind him.
Fortunately, within seconds of these idiots securing their place among us, things ground to a halt largely due to the club owner's becoming involved, he of the 6'6, 260 lb, variety. As the dust settled, we began to assess damages: bent hardware on the drum kit, torn drum heads, bent mic stands, etc...
After that night, the club owner would only allow us to play country as he was convinced that the few rock n' roll tunes we had begun to include in our set had been responsible for bringing in the "wrong kind of people".