I play solo piano at retirement homes, playing mostly old standards in ballad or easy swing tempo. On one occasion a black female employee approaches me with a big smile (most residents and employees are white). I'm figuring here's someone who appreciates good swing and has come to tell me so. So she says: "Do you know Flight of the Bumblebee?" So much for stereotypes.
This was 1985 and I formed a band with a co-worker on guitar, me on bass and the drummer from my previous band. We were sort of a metal band because the guitar player was several years younger and was into bands like Iron Maiden. But we played mostly just hard rock which me and the drummer grew up on. And we were LOUD I must admit.
We rehearsed in the storage unit at the guitar player's apartment complex. The complex was original built during WWII as officers quarters for the nearby military base. The storage units were a long line of conjoined spaces built as a block. They were actually car garages but a new bridge had been built and the road going through was literally about 10 feet from the doors, and the original access driveway was gone. The only reason the units had not been torn down for the bridge was the owner was a high-flying attorney and after years of fighting, the city just gave up. But they did get a stipulation that the driveway was gone so that only allowed for foot access.
Anyway the units were a distance away from the main apartment building and since they were only storage they didn't get much coming and going so we figured it was a good place to blast. Plus they were old and solidly built with thick, plastered walls and the whole bit.
So one late afternoon we are jamming away and we hear some noise with the door which was a regular pull down, wooden, garage door. We stop playing and the guitar player says "Yes?", no answer. Again he calls out "What do you want?", still no answer.
Guitar player starts to open the door to see who it was but the door won't budge. He yank's and pulls but it won't move. We're like "WTH? did somebody locked us in". Then he starts yelling and screaming and cussing his head off "OPEN THE DOOR". Still we hear nothing. By now the guitar player is freaking out and kicking the door and screaming at the top of his lungs "WHEN I GET THIS DOOR OPEN I'M GONNA KILL YOU". We all join in and pull but we can't open the door.
After about 10 minutes of this we hear what sound like a padlock being opened and removed. We have no idea who or what is on the other side so we each grab what ever we could find to use as a weapon. Guitar player is pissed out of his gourd by now and rips the door open. We're stunned to discover a scrawny, little old man, easily well into his 80's standing there in nothing but boxer shorts, slippers and a padlock in his hand. Me and the drummer were just relieved, but the guitar player is a hot head anyway (which landed him in jail numerous times) so he can't be calm. He rips into the old guy with a tirade that goes on for several minutes. I'm just glad he didn't hit him or anything. But by now it seems funny to me and I'm just standing there enjoying the show.
Though the old guy is obviously intimidated he holds his ground and just keeps saying "I'm calling the cops". But he finally just walked away all the while muttering he was going to call the cops. They never came so I don't know if he called or not.
But if he had locked us in and left we could have been stuck in there till someone started to miss us. The storage units were basically just crammed with stuff the tenants couldn't fit into their apartments so you rarely ever saw anyone else besides us open them. And with all the road traffic noise and the thick walls it would have been difficult for anyone walking on the back side to hear us shouting out. Our best bet would have been probably to wait till about 3 AM and then turn up full blast hoping someone would call the cops.
The apartment complex was pretty big with over 100 units. None of us had ever noticed the guy before so didn't know which one he lived in. Each of the apartments had a large window in the living room and dining room area. Our next rehearsal we are headed out to the studio and something kinda caught the corner of my eye. I look up and standing in the window is the old man looking at us with a maniacal grin and dangling the padlock in his fingertips like a little bell, up near his temple. I motion the other two to look up. Guitar player of course gets pissed all over again and starts pointing his finger and yelling "Try it M*****F****r I'll rip your face off. I know where you live now" etc. etc. With that the old man flipped him off which sent me and the drumming rolling, which in turn pisses guitar player off even more. But we got him to walk away.
That band broke up not long after because I just couldn't take the guitar player's temper and attitude. He went off like that on everybody and thought he was gods gift to music besides. And he really wasn't that good so I bailed. Plus we couldn't take him and his girlfriend screaming point-blank in each others faces 24/7. But our contact didn't end because as I mentioned we worked together. That tension eventually wound up with us really hating each other. Thankfully he got fired.
I entertain residents of retirement homes by playing popular standards on the piano. Some residents like to sing along so I hand out sets of lyrics. Not infrequently a resident won't want the lyrics, usually because of poor eyesight. On one particular occasion a male resident didn't want the lyrics, saying "I can't read it."
Detecting a Scottish accent, I asked him if he was Scottish.
He replied: "Just because I can't read it doesn't mean I'm Scottish!"
Although I almost fell down laughing, I never really knew whether he was kidding, given his unsmiling (dour?) expression. Now I'm wondering if Scotsmen have a thing about illiteracy. All I know is, if someone mentions illiteracy, "Scotsmen" is not the first thing that pops into my head.
We had a 4 piece rock band (guitar, bass, drums and female vocalist) in the 1980's and did a lot of wedding dances...a lot. Although we played mostly top 40 tunes, we would occasionally get a request for country, old rock, etc. Because we all had a varied background in music, we could usually pull it off until one night at a wedding dance, an elderly couple came up to the stage after we had just blasted out a Fleetwood Mac tune and wondered if we could "..play In the Mood by Glenn Miller, only slower."
Without skipping a beat, the bass player said, "Yes, we would be glad to play that for you but we left the horn section home tonight. Sorry."
They smiled and said "O.K., thanks."