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What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby PScooter63 » 15 Apr 2018, 05:54

Hoping for some fun "war stories" here... so I'll kick it off with mine:

Several years back, I got a call to play piano-bar style for a local ad agency's holiday event. This particular company was housed in a former entertainment venue, and thematically speaking, they wanted to "acknowledge" two periods in the building's history: about a hundred years ago, when it was a saloon (ahem), and about 40 years ago, when it was a rock bar.

So never mind the seasonal music... they asked me to concentrate on only two styles: ragtime, and late-60s-to-mid-80s rock. They wanted me to alternate between those, for three hours. And I did: "Stairway To Heaven" unabashedly followed "The Easy Winners", which followed "Back In Black", etc.. ALL ON PIANO ALONE.

As a keyboardist, my main takeaway was a newfound respect for the Stride Left Hand. What a freaking workout that was. It's one thing to play a couple of rags as a throwaway, but 90 minutes' worth!?

Confession: there were about four rags that I really wanted to learn, but there was only so much time to practice in advance. So for just those, I sequenced the left hand. Cringe, you say? Well, no, that freed me to add density to the right-hand part with both hands, which was its own fun. And besides, the clientele were way too snookered to care.

Now... your turn.
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What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?


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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby kbrkr » 15 Apr 2018, 18:19

I have a long list; but one we played was a wedding for a couple who were s*x therapists and the theme of the wedding was HIGHLY sexual.

And just yesterday, I played a poolside gig for a clothing optional resort. Out of 200 people in the pool area, I saw 1 bathing suit. Maybe not weird, but shocking nonetheless.
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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby fieldflower » 15 Apr 2018, 18:33

We were hired to tag along a company trip to a Norway ski resort thursday to sunday as their own after ski band.
They had a "cabin" with 60 beds and some left over, so plenty of room (but we did take the whole cargo compartment in the bus with our gear).
We ended skiing 1 hour before the lifts closed to prepare, so they had after ski in their own cabin when they came in.
So far, nothing out of the ordinary....

Later at night we did a more intense gig in the cabin.
We have photo evidence of the CEO hanging by his knees from the ceiling lamp.
People exiting the hotel hundreds of meters away (that had a band playing) said our party/playing immediately won over the hotel party although they were still right outside the hotel.
At 3am the CEO entered the stage and took a microphone and said:
"I have been contacted by the people in the cabin next door, and they're saying that if we don't stop making noise immediately they will call the police.
I have never been in trouble with Norwegian police before... But I must admit I'm really curious... LET'S PARTY!"
And then we commenced playing a couple of hours more.

Weird..? Maybe not, but a little surrealistic at the time...
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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby JayDee » 16 Apr 2018, 09:00

A Supermarket. Why anyone would hire a band to play in a supermarket is beyond me, but it was a paying gig. We set up near the vegetable aisle. I was closest to the avocados.
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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby AlexNagel » 16 Apr 2018, 14:11

JayDee wrote:A Supermarket. Why anyone would hire a band to play in a supermarket is beyond me, but it was a paying gig. We set up near the vegetable aisle. I was closest to the avocados.


Not really a supermarket, but some years ago we played regular gigs at the entrance of a big clothing store. All saturday from 10 in morning till closing time, standing right at the doors, watching all sorts of weird people passing by in the pedestrian zone... that was fun, well paid and also good advertising for us! :-)

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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby fieldflower » 16 Apr 2018, 15:00

We had a gig at some pyramid type organization that had a full day WS with members.
They were something like 100 in total.
The most we had on the dance floor was 4 people.
After 3 songs people started taking off, and after first set the place was empty.
The organizer took the blame for not understanding this group of people were not going to stay and party, paid us in full and told us we could pack up.
He also paid the DJ that was going to play all night, after we had finished our intended 3 sets...

Strange gig...
On a per-minute or per-song basis it was very well paid. ;)
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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby kbrkr » 16 Apr 2018, 15:49

I did do a 4 hour solo gig in a JC Penny's department store Jewelry department for a big Mothers Day sale!

It was the highlight of my professional career.
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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby PScooter63 » 16 Apr 2018, 16:19

JayDee wrote:A Supermarket. Why anyone would hire a band to play in a supermarket is beyond me, but it was a paying gig. We set up near the vegetable aisle. I was closest to the avocados.

So did y’all cover “Watermelon Man”?
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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby JayDee » 16 Apr 2018, 17:55

:) No but Green Onions was well received

The author JayDee was thanked by:
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Re: What's the WEIRDEST gig you ever played?

Postby Quai34 » 19 Apr 2018, 08:09

Well, the only weird one that I could think of was I was 15, first garage band and we were looking for a drummer....A 35 years old guy came and said he need us to play for a party for old people...But we needed to learn some Accordion songs...Then I Played "La cumparsita" on my Hammond L100 and some other Tango stuff as well....
Besides this one, I don't think I 've ever had a weird gig...
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