We were playing a mid-afternoon wedding at a nice hotel. We were a pretty good wedding band and could even get the crowd dancing during daylight events. Not bad!
All was going well until the hotel wheeled out the dessert table and placed it directly in front of the band's PA system. One of the guests, a lady of about 300 pounds, ran up to the table and proceeded to make a scene yelling "turn it down, you're too loud, we can't hear" in between stuffing her face with chocolate cake and petits fours.
I guess she couldn't figure out why the band would turn up the volume just to disrupt her snack.
In the mid 70's I was in a band that played a lot of weddings. At this memorable wedding the bride had her two year old daughter with her from a previous romance. At the end of the night I walked over to the bass player to tell him that the bride had been hitting on me and gave me her phone number. He pulled out another piece of paper and said look she gave it to me too! High class wedding! Aye!!!
About 10 years or so ago I was one of the guitar players in a classic rock band. We were on our way from Fort Dodge Iowa to Dubuque to play a show for our other guitar players wedding. We transported our gear in a great big p-chassis panel van by GM. It was old, like a `79 or so.
So we are cruising down the interstate. Me, the lead singer and the drummer. It is probably 11 o'clock pm. We are all drinking beer and smoking pot. When all the the sudden there is a loud BANG! DUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDU! We blew a u-joint and dropped the drive shaft. We just made it to the side of the road when the van came to a resounding halt.
Great... So here we are with no cell phones (they were pretty new at the time), stuck on the side of I-80 about fifty miles from our destination. We throw all the beer cans in the ditch and try to flag down oncoming traffic. After about an hour of us standing there on the super busy interstate with a flashlight, an old couple finally stopped, and SCORE! They had a cell phone! Just then a Highway Patrol pulled up behind our van. Me, being the drunkest, and most stoned idiot out of the bunch, decide I am gonna do the talking. lol. Great idea.
So I am sitting in the front seat of the cops car and we are talking and I am explaining where we are headed and what has happened. He also tells me he himself is a drummer, so I drunkenly invite him to the reception to jam. So he radios for a phone line and calls our other guitarist to help figure out what we are going to do. "Hello Mr. ####, this is officer &$&$& with the Iowa State Highway Patrol and we have some members of your band." Well, our guitarist at first thinks we have been busted, but after a few more minutes of conversation he has the whole story and arranges for a flat bed to come ad pick up the whole van, the equipment and us.
I get out of the car and notice our drummer is a little bit anxious about something. The cop says he will check back a little bit later to make sure we have been picked up and are not in need of further assistance, and bids us farewell. After the officer leaves, the drummer walks over to me, and casually tucks the bag of weed that was very noticeably hanging out of my shirt pocket, bag inside. I don't have any idea if the cop noticed and was being cool, or if he was completely oblivious. He never showed up to jam, or I probably would have asked him.
Our band has been playing together since 1986. In 2009, we were booked to play at a wedding reception. The mother of the groom (who was paying for our services) requested rather quiet music, and after turning down the equipment three times, we finally hit the volume that made her happy. After a rather boring hour, we were approached by the bride and she asked if we knew any music from the 80s. The wedding immediately took a turn for the better!!!
We started to play “You Spin Me Round” by Dead or Alive. Our drummer was singing. In the middle of the dance floor a very large (I do mean VERY LARGE) lady began to do the Robot dance. The entire crowd was cheering. She was so good at it, but the 350 pounds only added to the overall effect! The guitarist and I were laughing so hard, we were in tears. The drummer had no idea what was going on. We ended up stretching the song and she made it till the end.
The boring wedding turned into one of the best parties we have ever played at. We gave them an extra 2 hours of music, gave all the tips to the newlyweds, and ended up enjoying it more than any other gig in the past 20+ years. We were also booked at 3 other wedding receptions that night all of which requested the 80s music.
I was the drummer in a convention band in the early 90's that would ony do the better paying gigs that included conventions, weddings, festivals and such, but this one guy who saw us at a convention one night asked if we could play his daughter's wedding. We negotiated a fair deal with him and agreed. The wedding and reception was at a local yacht club and was set up well for a 5-piece band and we were happy up until the first song.
We knew that the room carried sound pretty well, and we were at a WEDDING, so we weren't trying to break the Who's sound pressure level so we played accordingly. The first song brought management, patrons and parents to the band to tell us we were too loud, so we played quieter and brought down front of house. Then they said the drums were too loud (not mic'd), so I adjusted my ego and played softer,...etc. It came to the point that I was playing with a rolled up shirt on my bass drum batter head and was using my fingers instead of sticks because my brushes were too loud!
My bass player then said for all of us to play "Folsom Prison Blues" at a volume level that pleased US (and use real sticks), and the guests came back to us and said THAT was the perfect volume!!! Apparently "volume" means the same thing as "type" of music.
We were a reasonably established 5 piece band, booked in to do a wedding locally. We take requests for bridal waltzes etc, and go and learn them if we need to - the song in this case was The way you look tonight. We all went our separate ways to learn the song, but never actually discussed *which* version we would be learning, and didn't get together to rehearse it before the gig (couple of members live hours out of town)...
Long story short, it turns out Sinatra has a big brash version, Buble has a smooth laid back version, and there's a waltz version out there as well. We played them all simultaneously. Nobody seemed to notice, but I'm still amazed we got paid for that train wreck.
So this lady calls me up and says, "I'd like to hire a flute/harp thing." Ok, that's cool. She goes on. It's a wedding on horseback, arrival on horse, vows on horse, in a corral. I told her we needed some equipment especially for the harp to get in, and not get all dirty, and that most harpist's I know won't do such a gig in the heat and dirt. She goes on to explain her dream music, "I want it to bounce off the hills like the Sound of Music." Good Lord. This was going nowhere; she was dead set on her idea. I told her this wasn't going to really work out well and would be very costly to her, suggesting an alternative such as acoustic guitar with amp instead. She gets all huffy with me, so I get huffy back, "Lady, even Bill Graham would be hard-pressed to create that sound." "Why" she asks. "Because that soundtrack was made in a recording studio." I'm betting she never found a harpist.
Boy-o, can I ever relate to these stories. I've got a few. One time I did a wedding with my guitarist, and we see this lady coming up the aisle in white, and begin to play her requested tune only to be shushed by the pastor because, it WASN'T THE BRIDE!! It was the Matron of Honor, I guess, looking better than the bride, in white lace. (We were hired over the phone.) OH, and this wedding we had to really drive to get there. They gave us erroneous directions in the wake of the 1989 quake, when whole chunks of freeway were no longer usable. SO we ended up having to stop in some neighborhood and request to use the phone to call in and say where ARE you, only to have the church phone busy repetitively. Finally I requested an emergency interruption and told the operator, "Tell them we're the musicians and we need directions." We arrived, thankfully, about 10 minutes ahead, with guests that were gracious at least......
I've done Xmas party gigs. My fave is the check is in the mail. My contract clearly states, payment immediate upon completion of services. One stands out where the head honchos of the biz blathered on, and the Admin who hired me tried to ding me claiming I didn't play for the full duration. I stated I wasn't leaving without the full payment because I WAS here on time, and ready to play, and it's not my problem how they use my time.
Another time I played for a birthday party, and they said the check will come in the mail in about a week. I could sniff something was remiss in the situation, and it was about a $400 gig, so I didn't want to lose all my money. So I insisted on payment right then and there. Hubs had to go to the ATM on his birthday to get cashola. Sometimes ya gotta stand your ground and go with your instincts.
My fave is being asked, "how much do you charge per song?" I don't charge per song. I charge per hour, cuz it's my time that you're paying for. I can play a lot of songs in an hour. I guess opera singers sometimes charge per song, or so I've heard some do. Most pros I know, though, don't.
Lead, South Dakota used to be a gold mining town. Anyone who has played in a mining town knows that the crowd can be a little rough edged. We were hired to play a wedding dance at a bar that we had played many times. We always had a great time playing at this place and didn't figure tonight would be any different. The gig was going great until about the second set when the bride and groom (both underground miners) got into a fist fight on the dance floor.
The groom left, the bride sat at the edge of the dance floor crying and the gig went on pretty much as usual. Everybody but the bride and her mother had a good time and partied pretty much like they always did at this bar, just kind of ignoring the pity puddle on the edge of the dance floor.
One weekend we were hired to perform at some wedding reception out in the sticks.. some shit kicker town whose name will not be mentioned to help protect the innocent. Anyhow, the bride went to great pains to make sure that we had a violin player that would perform a very specific song while she was escorted down the aisle by her father. Evidently this was THE big focal point of her entire wedding and was very very important to her. We dont normally have a violin player in our band but we went ahead and hired a utility guy who played fiddle and a couple other instruments as well. He agreed to take care of the violin song during the ceremony as requested originally. We gave him the song to learn and made sure he understood the importance of what he was doing.
A few weeks later, it's show time. The band (minus the violin player) is at the reception hall setting up and sound checking. I say to my bass player "hey, you ever hear from so and so?". He replies with "nahh, I assume he is over at the church doing his violin thing for the ceremony". About 10 seconds later his cell phone rings and its the groom. He is not happy. Turns out the violin player showed up to the church 5 minutes after the ceremony was to begin. He was completely under dressed (t-shirt and jeans). They quickly grabbed him and tell him to get his ass going so they could start. He grabbed his fiddle case form the back of his car and guess what? The case was empty. He had left the thing at home! Home was about an hour away, so a quick rescue of the situation was impossible at this point.
The bride was crying, screaming, pissed off...basically Bridezilla on steroids. They finished the ceremony and headed over to the reception hall eventually and I can tell you I have never ever gotten more dirty looks from someone in my life. This chick hated us vehemently and I would imagine to this day has a dart board with our band picture on it in her living room. We had a very difficult time getting paid that night. Not sure how we pulled that off. Needless to say we received zero gratuity and of course we will never again offer to supply a violin player for any future weddings. Bogus!