We were in a motel room after a gig and we had partied rather excessively. 4 of us shared two beds - however, by the time the drinking and smoking and snorting had ceased, we would only have two hours of sleep.
I woke when some outdoor light hit my eyes from the open door of the room. I see our guitar player stumble into the room, wrapped in a sheet, and flop on an open part of one of the beds ..... followed by 2 of the local law enforcement.
Since I was the first to see the cops entering the room - I was able to quickly hide a bag of weed and a small pipe that was on the nightstand, by stuffing it under the mattress (while still laying in bed as if I were still sleeping. Everyone else was still sound asleep.
Once the cops came in and were standing at the foot of the bed,I sat up to find out what was happening. Apparently, the guitar player had gotten up to pee, walked out the motel door (rather than into the bathroom) and could not recall which room he came from (I don't even want to know where he peed). He found an open door to the linen storage area and curled up with whatever sheets he could find to cover up - and that is where the cleaning lady found him.
The room reeked of smoked weed, stale beer and stanky musicians - so they new there must be contraband to be found - and they proceeded to search the room, never looking under the mattress (I'm guessing they thought they caught us on too short of notice for us to actually hide anything. While the cops are starting the search I was trying to wake the other guys up - but we were all still in pretty bad shape.
The cops did not find anything (including a bag of 100 hits of speed that was in one of the dozens of pockets of the guitar players army coat. While they may have been able to arrest the guitar player for trespass (or something) - they simply gave us 5 minutes to leave the motel (and leave town).
I left the weed and the pipe under the mattress, put my boots on and was out starting the van before the other guys were even sure what had happened.
An entertainment agent knew one of our band members and called with a big favour to ask. She said "I need you guys to play interstate in two days, overnight". Some of us had day jobs to support our gigs but luckily they were considerate enough to let us go. The Agent told us it was for a major corporation national managers convention and she had to blow the remainder of the companies entertainment budget on it. Needless to say we were looked after very well.
We flew from Sydney to Noosa and were driven by limousine to Coolum. We unloaded band gear at venue and were taken to our rooms (which were the second most expensive rooms at a premier international resort).
That night we played for 15 Minutes before being told to take a break so they could start speeches. The Green room had a couple of very large tables covered with food enough for 20-30 people. Two extremely large coolers full of all the major labels of beer and soda. There were five of us.
We were booked for five hours and we played approx 30 minutes (15 minutes at beginning and end of the evening) and ate and drank the rest. We were then invited to hit the town with the clients. Great night and we were payed almost five times our usual rate.
Would like to have played more but I was not complaining at all.
I cant exactly remember the town but we were heading to a gig in our van and trailer going down a mountain to a small valley town when the rear end and back brakes started leaking fluid. We made it to the town however it was very late and we pulled into a hotel which turned out to be closed. We tried to slept in the van but it was late fall and we were freezing so we took some of the canvas back drops and and huddled around the huge halogen ground lamps that lit up the sign to the abandoned hotel to keep warm. I have NO IDEA why they were on. In the morning we made calls and found a rear end a couple 100 miles away and arranged to get it.
We then went to the other hotel in town only to find out that once a year lots of famous actors attend/perform at a playhouse in town and were all staying at the hotel. There was a black-tie affair that evening. Thru the local gossip we found out that "Superman" was in attendance as well as "Norm" (the beer drinking sitcom guy) and "Mona" and "Dr. Moriarity" and others. Long story short we crashed the party dressed in leather and spandex, met the aforementioned celebrities till the hotel manager came in and asked us to politely leave but that we were welcome to go to the hotel bar and hang out and drink on the house. 2 of the famous guests said "I hate these parties" and followed us to the bar where we had a grand time drinking and hanging with them. It was a blast.
Back in '97 I got booked to play in a band fronted by an NBA player and musician. We'll call him W. The gig was opening for the Isley Brothers at the NBA all-star game in Cleveland.
A former friend had talked me into playing the gig, telling me how great it would be. I asked what the money was going to be, but nobody could tell me. After several inquiries, the band's music director told me it would pay $120 for the 2-day trip. I said, "Are you kidding me?!?" The MD said, "The NBA's not paying W very much for this, and he can't afford to pay any more than that." Right, a multi-millionaire can't afford any more. I finally got some more money out of him. Then later on I got a phone call telling me there would be a bunch of rehearsals at W's house before the trip. All unpaid, of course. And W wouldn't actually be there except for a few minutes at the very end of the last rehearsal, and we'd teach him all the songs we'd learned. Right.
Our plane arrived in Cleveland, and a limo picked us up at the airport. Yay, a limo! I'm a star! W was staying at a different hotel, doncha know, and he got out and the limo continued on to the band's hotel. When we arrived at our hotel, the counter clerk told us that all the rooms were under W's name and not ours, and so none of us could check in. We called W to fix it, but he didn't answer his phone. So we sat there in the lobby for 90 minutes waiting for him to return the call. Finally he called back and put the rooms under the right names, and hung up.
Then the counter clerk asked us, "OK, who's paying for all these rooms?" We said, "Aren't they pre-paid by the NBA?" Clerk says nope, nobody's paid for anything. So we called W again, who again didn't bother to answer his phone, so we again left another message. 90 minutes later, he called back saying the NBA had mailed him a check to cover the rooms, and he'd left it on his desk back home. Oopsie. What's a 3-hour wait in a hotel lobby among friends, right? Especially when the hotel security is hassling you.
Next morning, soundcheck was scheduled for 11am in the ballroom at W's hotel. The limo picked us up and dropped us off, only for us to find the crew just starting to assemble the stage and hang the lights and PA. Not even remotely ready to soundcheck. W came down, saw what was going on, and went back to his room, leaving us stranded again. 3 hours later, it was finally time to soundcheck. The sax player set up 3 horns onstage, soprano, alto, and tenor. At least $10,000 worth of horns. He left the stage for a minute. Meanwhile, a roadie lobbed a mic cable across the stage to a buddy, who grabbed the other end. They had it stretched tight like a clothesline, and started walking from the front of the stage to the back. The cable caught all 3 saxes and knocked them all over. Clunk clunk clunk!
We sound checked and rehearsed, and figured out some cues for W. At the gig, W missed all the cues and the band had to vamp until he figured out when to play. The gig finally ended at about 2 a.m., with a 6 a.m. lobby call for an 8 a.m. flight.
The limo shows up to take us back to the airport, and so we load our gear and our suitcases into the trunk of the limo. Then we shut the trunk, only to discover that the limo driver had locked the keys in the car with the engine running. It took 90 minutes for the limo company to send someone with a spare key. We got to the airport with 20 minutes to spare. Those of us with carry-on bags made our flight, just barely. The drummer and keyboard player were unable to check their gear and missed the plane. For all I know, they're still in Cleveland.
True story, every word.
I had set up a tour for my original rock band at the time. It looked pretty good -- two of the members were based in Denver so the gig in Alamosa was supposed to be our "send off." I'd gotten the only written contract on the tour from this guy, a three hundred guarantee, and certain number of drinks and food etc.
Anyway, we arrived good and early, eager to get started, and the bar had been shut down. We wandered across the street to the Mexican place for a beer, and recognized a waitress who had been working that bar when we created the contract. I guess the owner had been serving minors, that's why it was shut down -- that's probably why he was so confident in offering a guarantee.
Long story short she ended up on the phone to get us another place to play and with much deliberation we played there. My wife worked the door and it paid for the rooms that night.
Had a Top 40/Classic Rock band in the 80s, 2 guitars, bass and drums. Played regularly in the Bay Area during the 80s and 90s. Was hired at the last minute to play up in Northern California, a quaint 4 hour drive from where we were, just less than 24 hours before the gig. We originally were driving up with 3 vehicles, our lead guitar player had just purchased an new truck the day before and on the way all of his oil drained from the truck. We had to leave it and cram the 4 of us, a wife and all the equipment into 2 vehicles. Drove on for hours. Was supposed to start at 9PM at a lodge where the customers had already paid for food, entertainment, etc. We didn't arrive til about 10:15 - 10:30. The people there greeted us joyfully and helped us with getting our equipment in quickly. After about 1 set, our lead singer began losing his voice. I filled in best I could and we managed to get to the end of the night. They had rooms for us (it was some sort of ski lodge) and said we would be paid the following day. The next day as we're planning to leave, no payment. They said we got there too late and we would have to take it up with the agency that hired us at the last minute. We all drove home tired, broke and pissed. I believe this was January 1st, 1986. Awwwwww, the 80s!
I became involved with a band on tour back in 1982. These are some of the highlights. After joining up and spending a week with the band in Casper, WY, we had to stay another 3 days while the equipment trailer was being repaired before we could leave. When we finally got on the road, we then got stuck in a snow storm about 20 miles outside of Cheyenne. The Hwy Dept had to take us off the hill to a hotel where 14 people in two rooms sleeping in shifts on four beds waited another day for a tow truck to retrieve your van and trailer off the hill.
By this time we’re 4 days late to our next gig in Phoenix, AZ. While in Phoenix, in the middle of a show, the leader of the band got off the stage and began to fight with a drunk, both falling into the P.A. column and sending it crashing into my keyboards.
After playing 10 days in Phoenix, we headed to Denver, CO. Two weeks later in Denver, the leader of the band, who was married to the lead singer, said he was taking their two kids (imagine that, having your kids on the road with you) and going home. This all came about because the lead singer was shacking up with the light guy.
We picked-up another guitar player in Denver and off for two weeks in Cheyenne we went. Everything went without a hitch in Cheyenne, or so I though, more about that later. Next stop Rapid City, SD for two weeks. When we arrived in Rapid City, one of the back-up singers took off in a car with total strangers an disappeared for some 20 hours. Later on in the first week, the guitar player and I were drinking in our hotel room after playing that night. I started ranting about how much crap was going on with this band (e.g. the drummer being an illegal alien from Canada) . Little did I know, the lead singer and her “boy friend” were in the room next to ours and they heard every word I said. Needless to say, your relationship suffered from that point on.
Back in Cheyenne, for another two week stint, I continued my efforts form the previous time to score points with this particular cocktail waitress (little did I know she was the bar manager’s girlfriend). This was the justification for the band being fired. So there we were in Cheyenne, no gig, no place to stay, band members leaving left and right. Nothing left to do but leave myself.
Fortunately, I had my own van. All my equipment was with me. I had just enough money to get home to So Cal. Off I went into the sunset. After nine weeks on the road and making some 2700.00 in total (most of it spent on expenses), I came home flat broke. That was the first and last time I went on the road with a band.
Our 4 piece rock group usually sticks around home for the most part nowadays.. Most gigs are within 50 miles because we juggle the band and home lives. But there are several that are a bit further away, and we usually grab a room for the night.
Well, we're playing up at our friends bar in Ely, MN. This town is like a combination of a cool, hip little burg, and the movie Fargo. Many of the people are laid back, natural, backwoods folk. Our bar owner friend says, "Hey, I can get you guys a cabin out on the lake at my friends resort for pretty cheap." So, of course we're all in agreement that this would be sweet! Uh huh.. After I introduce myself to the owner, who looks like a stoned garden gnome, he says "You guys are in cabin 2, the Wolf's Lair. Here's the key. My wife just went through and gave it a good cleaning and scrub down."
So, we walk in the door to this little crapbox shack. Noticing the 1943 GE fridge, the 1978 Zenith TV, the loosely plumbed gas lines running to the awesome 2 burner death machine stove precariously placed on a wooden "shelf", and rusted out water heater, we all just kind of stood there wondering if a raccoon was gonna jump out of a cabinet and attack us! I looked up and saw the wonderful skylight in the ceiling, and also noticed it was being taken up by a spider web the size of a hammock..and yup, it was still in use by the giant alien spider creature that weaved it! There were stains on the sheets and blankets, spiders and webs on the lights on the nightstands by the "beds", 3 shoes under 2 different beds, and none were pairs. Garbage behind the curtains, an uncontrollable gas furnace that was either on full blast spewing fumes into the air, or wouldn't kick on as your manhood was freezing to the stained satin sheets. I think you get the picture.. Just use your imagination and whatever nasty things you think of, they were in that cabin!
Kinda felt like a place a serial killer would hang out.. I'm glad we don't tour much anymore. I've been in some real dumps, but this place was the King Craphole! We stay at a local hotel now where you could eat off the floor, and she makes us fresh baked scones in the morning! And, it's 25 bucks less a night for us to stay! Ah, band life..
After playing a two night stint in the clubs in Bowling Green, Ohio, we made good friends with a band we shared the bill with. We spent the last night at the home of their manager. I woke up in our van the next morning not knowing where I was or even what year it was. After locating our drummer and his then-wife we went about the dubious task of locating our bassist.
He wasn't in the van, in our trailer, or in the house. We feared the worst and checked the pool and alley. Luckily, there was no body. Our drummer then started hearing the unmistakable sound of our bassist's snore coming from somewhere close by. After some sleuthing we found him in someone else's van, parked in their driveway. He had broken in thinking it was ours and we had locked him out, and just went to sleep when he made it in. Fortunately, we made it out of there before anyone else noticed.
This was a full on road band with one van and one 24 foot box truck for equipment. We played a bar gig in Kansas City. After initial load in, the big truck usually stayed parked for the week and the van used to get to the club and back for lunch, rehearsals, laundry, etc. The band wanted to go to an after-hours party one night after the gig. I did not feel like getting chemically challenged that night, so they dropped me at the band house and went on to the party about six miles away.
I awoke the next day at about 1 PM with the whole crew standing around me. "We've got something to tell you," the light man blurted out. "The tranny went out in the van last night."
After about ten seconds of silence, I said matter-of-factly "well lets go get it."
"The van is here," said the light man, "but the only gear that worked was reverse"
"Oh NO! You Didn't," I screamed.
Yup, they drove the van IN REVERSE six miles from the party to the band house, drunk. I just shook my head.