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Road Musicians, just paying their dues!

Glen Reid 04 Nov 02 - 04:07 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Nov 02 - 05:00 PM
Bev and Jerry 04 Nov 02 - 05:28 PM
Glen Reid 04 Nov 02 - 06:08 PM
Leadfingers 04 Nov 02 - 08:04 PM
Steve Latimer 04 Nov 02 - 08:28 PM
Rick Fielding 05 Nov 02 - 04:14 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 05 Nov 02 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,harvey andrews 05 Nov 02 - 06:37 PM
Blues=Life 05 Nov 02 - 07:26 PM
Mooh 06 Nov 02 - 11:11 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Nov 02 - 11:16 AM
M.Ted 06 Nov 02 - 01:41 PM
53 06 Nov 02 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,harvey andrews 06 Nov 02 - 02:23 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Nov 02 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Willie-O 06 Nov 02 - 03:10 PM
Glen Reid 06 Nov 02 - 04:35 PM
Jeri 06 Nov 02 - 05:13 PM
Justa Picker 06 Nov 02 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,iggy 06 Nov 02 - 06:08 PM
wilco 06 Nov 02 - 07:03 PM
Mooh 06 Nov 02 - 10:13 PM
Steve Latimer 06 Nov 02 - 10:34 PM
JedMarum 06 Nov 02 - 11:44 PM
Art Thieme 07 Nov 02 - 12:28 AM
JedMarum 07 Nov 02 - 09:46 AM
Rick Fielding 07 Nov 02 - 12:54 PM
Big Mick 07 Nov 02 - 01:06 PM
JedMarum 07 Nov 02 - 01:33 PM
JedMarum 07 Nov 02 - 01:36 PM
GUEST 07 Nov 02 - 03:40 PM
Glen Reid 07 Nov 02 - 10:25 PM
JedMarum 07 Nov 02 - 10:48 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Nov 02 - 11:49 PM
Jeri 08 Nov 02 - 09:02 AM
Glen Reid 08 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM
Rick Fielding 08 Nov 02 - 10:43 AM
Jeri 08 Nov 02 - 10:49 AM
Mooh 08 Nov 02 - 11:34 AM
Glen Reid 08 Nov 02 - 11:48 AM
Tinker 08 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM
Jeri 08 Nov 02 - 12:40 PM
Art Thieme 08 Nov 02 - 02:57 PM
Art Thieme 08 Nov 02 - 03:13 PM
53 08 Nov 02 - 03:16 PM
JedMarum 08 Nov 02 - 05:02 PM
Big Mick 08 Nov 02 - 05:11 PM
Art Thieme 08 Nov 02 - 10:35 PM
Glen Reid 09 Nov 02 - 07:45 AM
Jeri 09 Nov 02 - 09:22 AM
Steve Latimer 10 Nov 02 - 01:39 AM
Stephen L. Rich 10 Nov 02 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Steve Latimer 11 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM
Stephen L. Rich 11 Nov 02 - 03:40 PM
Blues=Life 12 Nov 02 - 09:46 AM
Glen Reid 12 Nov 02 - 10:47 AM
Rick Fielding 12 Nov 02 - 12:19 PM
Steve Latimer 12 Nov 02 - 12:33 PM
Stephen L. Rich 12 Nov 02 - 01:42 PM
Glen Reid 12 Nov 02 - 02:18 PM
harvey andrews 12 Nov 02 - 03:57 PM
Jimmy C 13 Nov 02 - 10:29 AM
Marion 14 Nov 02 - 09:18 AM
Rick Fielding 14 Nov 02 - 11:23 AM
Marion 15 Nov 02 - 09:55 AM
Rick Fielding 15 Nov 02 - 01:10 PM
Rick Fielding 15 Nov 02 - 01:19 PM
Marion 17 Nov 02 - 12:55 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Nov 02 - 01:11 PM
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Subject: Road Musicians, just paying thier dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 04:07 PM

At first I thought I would title this
"woes of the one man band" because some of the most memorable moments in my career have been as a travelling single performer.But I think its only fair to include all musicians who have been "payin' thier dues" etc.

We all have had similar experiences, like showing up at a gig to find no sound system, even though you had been gauranteed there would be one. Or you are expected to do a full night of dance music with just you and your guitar. etc. etc. etc.

How about some of the more grittier experiences like when you go to you room to settle in for a one week gig, and your first experienc is a sticky door handle. Or even worse, the beds not made up and when you shrug and try to staighten it up, you discover the sheets are stuck together.
Or its so bloody cold, the plumbings all froze up.

But you dare not complain because you need the money and further more , its in the middle of a string of six or eight similar gigs and you are in the wilds of Northern Ontario and no alternatives in sight.
Or the time a fight brakes out and a flying beer bottle hits your mic. and explodes in your face, causing permanently scarring .
A normal person would have at least ducked, but somehow we live under
a misguilded notion the "the show must go on" come hell or high water.
I even had a friend of mine ,who mutilated himself with a sharp object, in an desparate attempt to get out of having to continue a similar nightmare.
Now I'm sure some of you out there, have even worse tales to tell.so come on road warriers, share some of those,DUES PAYING EXPERIENCES.

Cheers, Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying thier dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 05:00 PM

Guess what? I'M the guy who "mutilated himself"(!!!) in order to escape with my life!

T'was way up in Northern Ontario...the bar was verrry full.....the welfare cheques had been issued and cashed that day.....and the crowd did NOT want to hear my mix of old time Country, folk, Blues, Gospel and roots rock.

They were mostly Canadian Natives (they called themselves 'Indians' or "injuns" and laughed at City people's attempts at political correctness) and INSISTED I play "Kawliga" and "Running Bear" over and over again. Eventually I refused, and it started to get ugly. I was scared shitless, 'cause at the best of times you still had to 'walk a gauntlet' when you played these little towns. There was a built in hostility from many of the locals if they knew you came from "The City", and fights weren't uncommon.

On my break, I took out my Swiss Army knife, stuck the end of my thumb (the left one), let out a yell, and ran to the owner saying that I'd cut myself on a sharp edge of the stage, and couldn't play anymore. He just seemed to be glad that I wasn't gonna sue him, and with blood spurtin' out of my finger, I grabbed my Martin and beat a path to my room!

The next night, there were fewer folks in the audience, they weren't as drunk, they were FAR calmer, and they ALL asked about my "sore finger"...Ha Ha!

Jeesus, I'm glad I don't do THAT kind of travellin' anymore!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying thier dues!
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 05:28 PM

Many, many years ago Utah Philips gave us some excellent advice: When you're first starting out, take the worst gigs you can get - you'll learn a lot. We did and he was right. So, when we started on the road we decided to make some rules.

One was that we only played in schools, house concerts, festivals, etc., never in bars or restaurants.

Another is that we always travel in a small motorhome and never by car or plane. This severely limits our range of travel but it means we always have our "house" with us. No surprises there.

Another is that we always bring our own sound system and rarely use theirs unless there's a tech available to run it.

After twenty two years we're sliding into retirement but being on the road hasn't been too bad. In spite of all this, we have enough "experiences" to write a book and we just might do it one of these days. No self-mutilation but we were trapped by a mad dog in a room with about one hundred kindergarten kids for nearly two hours!

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying thier dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 06:08 PM

I'm glad Rick gave up his anonimity re: the mutilation thing, and I know theres a wealth of other missadventures and bizarre occurances he's had to endure,that a bit of prodding might produce.
Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying thier dues!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 08:04 PM

try this one.Working solo with no DI,so separate mic for vocal and istrument when a customer decides he wants to 'join in'and takes the
guitar mic to add a drunken vocal.I cant hear what I am playnig and the owner of the bar thinks its all hilarious.Only good point was it was HIS mic,not mine.The joys of working in Hong Kong!!


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying thier dues!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 08:28 PM

That's the great thing about being a hack, I don't experience these things first hand. My family does. I was out listening to my sister the other night, there was a happy drunk at the table in front of her giving her guitar lessons as she was playing songs and he gave her her favourite backhanded compliment "you're a really good guitar player; for a girl". Sue can outplay most guys I've ever heard.

Then there's my brother who was a drummer in a Rock band that spent most of their time playing Northern Ontario. He has many stories similar to the ones that Rick described. He is a very good looking guy, his worst experience was when someone tried very hard to pick him up, a guy in a wheelchair. Spinal Tap never played Northern Ontario.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 04:14 PM

I'm a pretty laid back fellow these days, but 15 or so years ago I DID go to a psychiatrist, complaining that I had dreams about murdering my audiences! He laughed, and when I told him about some of the "road adventures" I'd had, he immediately picked up on how I'd survived. "You've turned them all into jokes, but I'll bet they were ANYTHING but funny while they were happing" he said. Yup. Some were verry scary indeed.

T'was a good living though, and difficult to get out of, 'cause I had/have very few other marketable skills. Free-Lance Philosophers don't make much!

Cheers

Rick

P.S. One night at the Royal York Hotel (that's the place where I squirted Crazy Glue into the Juke Box) a guy sitting just below the stage, kept fiddling with my chorus pedal......I asked him not to, but he thought it was fun......I waited for a bit, timed it perfectly and jammed one cowboy boot HARD onto his hand. Talk about "feel good"...I DID!


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 05:42 PM

No story to contribute - I just wanna say 2 things:

I'm lovin' these stories and (mis)adventures.

Glen, it's darn nice to see you here.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 06:37 PM

Following two hours of interminably boring speeches at a mason's ladies night. As soon as I started to sing they all exhaled in joy and began to chat. I finished the song, they ignored me. I began to talk to them, they ignored me. I started the next song, they ignored me. I unplugged my gear and reckoned I had fifty seconds to make it to the car park. "I think this is a mis-booking ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy your conversations and have a nice evening" Exit left. Guitar in case, gear in bag, out through the swing doors,nearly at the entrance, man comes racing out. "You get back in here and sing, you're being paid. How dare you walk out!" "Sorry" I said, (this being the Thatcher years) "I won't accept a fee. I don't do this just for money" He gaped at me. I had the necessary thirty seconds to get to the door, sling the gear in the back and get in the car and lock the doors. Three of them chased me down the road.
Then there was the Bailey's night club. I thought it was a strange venue. A thick-set man showed me the dressing room. The door was off its hinges and had holes kicked in it. "What happened" I asked. "They didn't like the actlast night" he said. Then I found it was a stag night. Men only. I had half an hour to do to open. They found me inconceivable, so much so that they just sat there as I did my stuff. They stared, waiting for the joke to be revealed. I consider my survival one of my greatest achievements.
Then there was the night at a naval mess where I followed Tommy Trinder (English music hall artist) at one o'clock in the morning. Fortunately the audience was so drunk they fell asleep. Tommy sat all through my 45 minutes with his funny little music hall hat on his head. he knew I was suffering as much as he was, but we were both determined we would get paid!
I blame agents!


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Blues=Life
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 07:26 PM

Not violent, but it was just "one of those things" that happen when you're playing out. We were all set to start playing the gig, the audience was seated, and everyone was all tuned up and ready to go, when one of the vocalists waved the other two over to the ladies room, where they disappeared. One came out, went to the lead guitarist, whispered in his ear, grabbed a roll of duct tape from the gaffers bag, and ran back in. Turns out tight blue jeans can be too tight, and sometimes they split out. Mike just laughed, looked over at me, and said, "Blues in the key of C", and off we went, jamming for about 10 minutes. A very red-faced singer came out in a little bit, and we did our regular set. You really can fix anything with duct tape.

Blues


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Mooh
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 11:11 AM

Being stiffed by bar employers is not fun, but we solved it once by playing Take This Job And Shove It until the cops arrived to see what was going on so long after closing time. Without the cops we wouldn't have got paid.

Some 22 or so years ago I had a van load of gear swiped in a snowstorm. Fender basses, Telecaster, Gibson 335, Guild flat-top, amps and so on gone forever. Used the insurance cheque to pay off the van rather than replace the instruments...dumb, dumb, dumb...

Drunk bar patrons are fun, especially woman hitting on the band. But a couple of years ago a perfectly innocent Gibson SG got damaged by some polluted twit falling onto stage while trying to show us her tits as we played. Same place as the same guitar was damaged another time in almost the same circumstances.

Then there's well meaning stage hands knocking over favourite instruments...you know what they say about the road to hell...

One of my favourite nights to forget involved a pipe band and a horny she-piper who got quite hammered and went about lifting her kilt to show everyone that men actually wore more than she did beneath. Great fun, and she fell off her chair after sitting on her pipes. My gig had ended and we were sitting around getting plastered and playing lewd renditions of old folksongs which only seemed to arouse her. Laughing at others has its limits, thankfully, but that first image of her flashing her privates at the band will last a long time. She was kinda nice looking, but too bad drink made her kinda ugly.

Dues paid in full, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 11:16 AM

Check in at hotel.

Arrive at club.

Pretty tired after three hour plane ride (and Taxi ride into St. John's Nefoundland.

Start unpacking guitar, banjo, small amp and stuff.

Owner comes over and says "You mean you play guitar AS WELL!!??"

I look at the (honky tonk) piano and know that the agent has made a HUGE mistake.

She had.

Oooooooooohhhh.......


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: M.Ted
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 01:41 PM

Twenty odd years ago, was play at bar in a small town that had a big chemical plant--One night some truckers started requesting country songs and singing along-- then some townies asked for old rock n roll tunes, and tried to sing along louder than the truckers--

Then somebody hit on somebody else's girl friend and a fight broke out--The manager asked me to keep singing to distract the crowd while he went for the cops--Someone smashed a chair to pieces on the floor, then a pitcher of beer flew across the room--then tables started getting tipped over, more chairs were smashed--I looked over toward the bar and noticed that the bartenders were gone--

the next thing was like a scene from an old cowboy movie: someone threw a barstool and smashed the mirror behind the bar! I never imagined that anyone would actually do something like that--Then someone set some newspapers and napkins on fire--and I managed to drag most of my stuff out the back door--

The next morning, the cops came out to where I was staying with a couple of things that I'd missed, and my pay--they told me that my services would no longer be required, since the bar was closed for repairs--


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: 53
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 01:48 PM

I was on the road for over 15 years and its tough no matter what kind of music you play.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 02:23 PM

You know it sounds more interesting in the States than in the UK. I've never been flashed in 39 years (back to the sexiest folksinger thread eh Rick?)and never seen a fight in a folk club. And you know what? I'm damned grateful I've earned my corn over here!


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 02:40 PM

Harvey, if you'd been playing the "Folk Rooms" on this side of the pond.....well what with your good looks and articulate manner (not to mention the songs) you'd have been propositioned EVERY night!

Hey Glen Reid, tell them about playing in Toronto.....and then waking up IN ATLANTA!!! I believe you said you weren't sure how you got there...but you had company when you woke up.

GREATEST COMPLIMENT I EVER RECEIVED:

A waitress asked me after the first set: "How long are you playing here"? "Two weeks" I said. "MY god" she moaned, "I've gotta listen to YOU for two weeks"??!!

Ahhhhh, makes it all worth while.

Oh, and another one. A customer KEPT asking me to play a James Taylor song. Finally I did. He came up to the stage and said "You're no James Taylor"!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: GUEST,Willie-O
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 03:10 PM

The most persistent, obnoxious and drunken requesters are the worst listeners.

I've only been punched out once...and I don't recall ever mutilating myself at a gig. On purpose anyway. I can see why you did it though Rick!

Less than 2 weeks ago, at the end of a thoroughly unsatisfying performance, I mutilated my Martin O-18, with no help from anyone and no extenuating circumstances, by watching it fall from my homemade rotating instrument stand and crack right around the bout.

It's all stitched up now, with one more (lengthy) war wound.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 04:35 PM

The incident you mentioned Rick was and occurance that happened while I was playing in an Irish pub band. It was a Sat night in Boston, and the next thing I remember was waking up in a hotel room in Atlanta Ga

Now this was in the worst of what I call my WET PERIOD (living on the edge of lunacy, alcoholic haze days).
As it turns out I was seriously dating an airline stewartess( yes , that what they called them in those days). She later explained to me that I swore my love was so strong that I would follow her to the ends of the earth, starting that very night.
Trouble was Atlanta was just a layover for her and that where she left me.
Needless to say that relationship never made it, as did so many other things, in those wasted years.

Probably the most embarassing things that ever happened,was not to me personally, but to someone else.

In the early days, I was playing with a showband and we were doing a Sat. afternoon amatuer hour.It was a hot summer afternoon, and the place was packed.
This very drunk woman in her 50,s insisted on singing a song.
All she wore was a halter top and powder blue short shorts.
In the middle of her "I Did It My Way" rendition and to the horror of everone there, she suffered a moment of total incontinence.
Radiating outward from the groin area of those, powder blue short, shorts a dark stain quickly spread.
Totally unaware of what was happening to herself, with a professional flourish, she took her bows and sensually glance at me with a " how do you like me so far look"
Not something, I'll ever forget.
Gosh, I miss those days!
Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 05:13 PM

Talk about your wet periods, eh?! That one must've lasted forever for her when she realised what had happened.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Justa Picker
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 05:19 PM

I've many road stories far too numerous and detailed to chew up band width here.

But one in particular when I was a young buck/nerd - take your pick (back in the early 70s) with the first professional gig I had, and that being in a show band, with dancers and a very effeminate male vocalist/front person/band leader. Part of the show, included doing a minstrel set of Jolson material, so you have this male vocalist with a very deep baritone voice doing "Mammy" and other Jolson favourites with very effeminate moves. Everything was charted and arranged and we were expected not to veer or improvise one whit from any of the arrangements. All the musicians in the band were jazzers and, druggies as it turned out.

One Saturday night, in Brockville, Ontario at some dive where we were booked (with mostly a redneck and biker crowd - gotta picture doing a minstrel set with this clientele!) about an hour before show time, the guitar player offered to lay acid on everybody in the rhythm section to "make the evening a little more interesting" (since we were all bored to tears with the arrangements, knew them by heart and could play them in our sleep) and we all unanimously agreed figuring it would be good for a laugh, and so we did, about an hour or so before we hit the stage.

So we hit the stage and the band (rhythm section) does a few funky numbers by the Average White Band, Tower of Power, etc...and we're groovin', and then the show portion began --and about half way into the 2nd show tune, the acid started to take hold, and I guess it was hitting everybody at about the same time because suddenly we all had these goofy grins on our faces - and, we're becoming completely oblivious to the increasingly cantankerous audience. As the set continues we all just sort of go onto autopilot, where what we're actually playing is remotely in the background of our minds, and of course we all started improvising, and this in turn threw off the dancers as all their steps were choreographed to the arrangements, and the leader (vocalist) kept turning around and glaring at us as if to say "what the fuck are you guys playing up here?"...and it just descended into musical mayhem, and then...before we knew it the evening was over...and the band leader called us into the dressing room and said it was the worst show he'd ever performed, and couldn't figure out what was up with us - and of course the louder he yelled in his effeminate lispy voice, the harder we laughed and the more the tears streamed down our faces.

Following the gig, we found ourselves (don't know how we got there) at someone's cottage, where there was a full scale party in progress and we all started drinking and partaking of smokables. I then found myself standing on the deck over the water in front of the cottage admiring the stars in the sky (I think they were stars), and the next thing I knew I was under the surface of the water - with all my clothes on of course, and vaguely remember being pulled to the surface and helped back up onto the dock, whereupon 2 very attractive girls hustled me back into the cottage, stripped me of my wet clothes, threw a blanket around me, sat me down in front a fireplace, massaged me and fed me drambuie straight up. I'm pretty sure this was real. 8-)

I woke up the next morning in my hotel room not having a clue of how I got there, or what transpired after the massage -- but about a week later I had to go and see my doctor for a prescription for tetracycline.

Two weeks later I quit the band. Bad for my health. 8-)


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: GUEST,iggy
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 06:08 PM

What a great discussion. The stories are amazing! And I'm sorry I got into a pissing contest with RF in the telemarketing thread. You're still wrong but I was unusually hostile for some reason.

iggy


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: wilco
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 07:03 PM

I've gotten to know a retired guy here in North Georgia, USA, who had a 35 year full-time "career" as a bar musician in honky-tonks in blue collar Chicago. He knows thousands of old country songs. He has tales to tell. I once asked him what his "rules" were, for playing in these places. I remember things like knowing where all the exits were, making sure you knew who was paying you (an how much), how to protect your equipment, and never, ever turn your back on the crowd.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Mooh
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 10:13 PM

Years ago, in my first fulltime band (meaning we were all otherwise unemployed or unemployable) I played country and rock'n'roll in the Lucknow Legion house band. Two nights every week and sometimes more. We were booked for a singles dance (sometimes around here known as a mixer) and we loved those gigs because we inevitably got female...um...companionship at the end of the night (or earlier). Anyway, we show up for the gig, set up, and kick into our usuual routine to an empty house. Seems the organizers moved the gig to the community centre because the Legion roof was about to fall in or something but never told us about either the move or the danger. By the time it was figured out that we were in the wrong place, most of the crowd had dispersed because the band didn't show.

In the end, we got paid, found some dance regulars at a licensed restaurant, got plastered and slept the night six to a bed in some sleezey dive. The next morning nobody recognized each other (I didn't even know myself) and laughed the whole thing off.

Crawling out of a bottle was so much easier when I was 20!

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 10:34 PM

I met Jody Payne, Willie Nelson's guitar player a few years ago. At one point I asked him how long he'd been with Willie. He replied "22 years". I said man, you must have some stories with that "let's hear a few" look on my face. His his answer was simply "Yep".


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: JedMarum
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 11:44 PM

... seen too many drunks to find 'em amusing, anymore ... have always managed to avoid suffering any personal or equipment damage, so far ... I did get hit by one driving home a couple of weeks ago.

... have had a few nice offers along the way, some tempting but I've never taken 'em up on it ... have seen quite a few fights, quite a few times when some young buck wants to show the cops just how tough he is; and I have always been impressed with how quickly and neatly the cops dispatch these young drunken idiots.

Never been stiffed by a club owner .. though one festival I played got rained out completely and we only got half. Have had a few women threaten to disrobe to various levels ... always seems to happen on St Paddy's day.

I played a place in Worcester Massachussetts where the crowd loved us, came out to see us every time we were there, requested their favorite songs, would sing along with us, but they'd still walk up and throw a quarter in the juke box while you were playing, if the urge hit them!


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Subject: Lyr Add: STORIES WE COULD TELL (John Sebastian)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 12:28 AM

All of the above----and more !!! And looking back, I'm glad I did it--went through it---came out the other side and am here to tell about it.

John Sebastian said it best in a fine song:


STORIES WE COULD TELL

I remember that guitar in a museum in Tennessee,
The nameplate on the glass brought back 20 melodies,
And the scratches on the face told of all the times he fell,
Singing all the stories he could tell.

CHORUS) And all the stories we could tell,
And if it all blows up and goes to hell,
I can still see us sittin' on a bed in some motel,
Singing all the stories we could tell.

So if you're on the road trackin' down your every night,
Singing for a living 'neath the brightly colored lights,
If you ever wonder why you ride that carousel,
You did it for the stories you could tell.

And all the stories we could tell,
And before we have to say our last farewell,
I can still see us sittin' on a bed in some motel,
Singing all the stories we could tell.


(I think that's all there was to it but I might be off by a verse or two.)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 09:46 AM

... some of the fondest memories I have are of night long sessions after the gigs - sometimes rooms full of pickers ... drummers picking up someone's guitar and laying down a fine rendition of an old favorite ballad ... the electric bass player singing an inspiring harmony. Somehow when the magic descends on the room and all the players, no matter what level of skill hit their stride, the song shines through in all its glory ... these are the moments to live for.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 12:54 PM

Ahhhhh, St. Patrick's Day guys. Yep, seems like there's ALWAYS a full moon that night.

I don't know about you Jed, but the fact I didn't drink (or drank very little) often made me feel separated from my audiences. Sometimes I'd get together with bands (there were far fewer 'solos' to hang out with) who were playing at other clubs, and we'd sit in someone's hotel until noon the next day, bullshitting and playing. Once again, I wasn't much of a 'doper' either, so I often felt a tad isolated. One prominent folkie famous for his "hazy lifestyle" said "Well Rick it may have been tougher on you 'cause you had to face all the idiots STRAIGHT! My general sobriety wasn't a 'moral' decision, I'm simply one of those people who CAN'T drink without being sick all the next day. They weren't all idiots of course...most folks were quite enjoyable, but ohhhh did I meet some verrrry strange people.

The (Ontario) Politician's wife who hung out at the Dick Turpin Pub on Monday nights trying to pick up each week's new entertainer.

The owner (in Parry Sound Ontario) who told me, "They HATE what you're doing.....now get back on that stage"!!

The performer who collected women's brassieres from every town he played!! Glen, you know who THAT was! (so did the late Little John Cameron)

The agent who insisted that I get a DRUM MACHINE!! "Look" I said, "I've spent a long time learning how not to NEED something like that"! "I know", he said. "That's your problem"!

Boy, I'm enjoying these stories folks. Keep 'em comin'.

To Iggy: Fer Gawd's sake don't worry about "the pissing contest"! Trust me, I ain't thin skinned....disagree with me anytime and as much as you wanna......this is just cyber-space.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 01:06 PM

As a performer, I can't get much beyond the "flashers", the performer junkies, and the drunks trying to get onstage. Most of my life has been spent union organizing and getting folks elected. And boy have I got stories about some of that. I can give you one that is kind of connected.

Over the 26 years that I have been organizing, I have spent a ton of time in hotels, away from home, and many times all by myself. In order not to lapse into depression, and to keep myself from going crazy, I have always carried a guitar with me. I spent hours either in the lounge or in my room playing music. I remember the time I was in the Red Roof Inn in the southern suburbs of Denver. I was lonely, it was 2:00 AM, and I couldn't sleep. I was sitting there playing Irish ballads and comes this fierce knocking on the wall, followed by a muffled voice hollering in a very intemperate manner, "Do you know any f**king Willy Nelson????" I promptly played "Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys". As I finished, I heard the same voice, in the same bad temperament, holler "Thanks, motherf***er". I put my guitar away, chuckled, and went to sleep.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 01:33 PM

Years ago, playing in a band - in between the first two sets we had to play for the stripper - who did a 20 minutes show each break. One night the room was jammed packed with kids (they'd just lowered the drinking age in Massachussetts and all the kids were out spending Dad's money on too much drink).

The kids were quite unruley, and rude as hell, especially toward the dancer ... This stripper was a petite but fiesty looking woman - and as she walked off the stage, some young strap leaning back in his chair obviously made a comment she didn't like because without even breaking her stride she hauled off and back handed him across the face and chest - sent the young buck flying over in his chair into a heap on the floor - in a daze. Great shot! I always wished I couldda had a film of that, it was soo perfect!

The young lady just kept on walking into the dressing room while the drunken fool tried to pick himself up off the floor, probably wondering how he got there. His friends, of course, thought the whole incident hillarious. Me too!

We kept on playin' Black Magic Woman ...


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 01:36 PM

similar story - I went to see Tom Rush at Tangelwood in western Mass many years ago. It was a lovely summer day ... during the set, as if on cue, at a quiet moment between songs I heard a woman's voice say, "I don't have to take that shit from you!" and she stood up to the fellow who had been standing over her, drew back her fist and punched on the chin - swung like a man. He went out like a light! Stayed out for a few moments ... the crowd gave her a little cheer - and Tom Rush started his next song, "Kids these days..."


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 03:40 PM

Ah!.the stripper!.University...car park...met by a gorilla, a witch and a tin man...realised it was a party night...heart sank...set was following stripper..stood in audience as she enticed young men on stage and did things to them....heart sank lower...she exits left... my guitarist and I follow up stairs to the dressing room...she is going up in front of us, starkers but for very high heels...her bum is on a level with my face.....she turns round flashes me a smile and says "They're just coming to the boil boys!"...we go on...the conga comes in from the left...we exit right...car park!


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 10:25 PM

Years ago, while playing in a country/rock band, somewhere in the Nova Scotia outback ,my one and only encounter with a stripper/dancer will forever be a "remember when" and firmly embedded in my memory banks.
This gal insisted that part of her show be performed with the band providing the music (that being us and remember we are a country/rock ensemble, leaning heavy toward the country side)
She billed herself as Sabana Sabina from Buffalo NY. I figured she probably wasnt from there at all, but just wanted to give the impression to us rubes, that she was an expensive import, from the wild side.
Without being too graphic, her most memorable qaulity, which has stayed with me all these years, was the way she sashaed through the crowd (nearly all men) to the beat of GUITAR BOOGIE SHUFFLE and would occasionally light cigarettes from a lit candle, firmly protruding from her lower regions.
Cheek to jowl, so to speak.
Isnt it odd, that I can so vividly remember stuff like that, but I can,t remember my own S.I.N. number, which I've had much longer.
Cheers Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 10:48 PM

not surprising at all, Glen. You have a pornographic memory!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 11:49 PM

Jeesus Keerist Glen! She said she was from BUFFALO in order to be a big shot!!??

That's like me hitting a small town and telling them I was big in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan!

Hmmmmmm, stripper stories: Fort Coulange Quebec, one general store, one gas station, one hotel, and nine Cathedrals! Don't remember her name but I had to play for her three times a night (as a SOLO acoustic guitarist!) and she made her own costumes out of rabbit skin! After the second show, she was one odourous bunny!

After the show she turned tricks for the loggers in her room......which was RIGHT NEXT TO MINE!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 09:02 AM

Don't have any road musician stories myself, never having been one, but I'm enjoying the memories, pornographic or otherwise! Some of us are enjoying the vicarious trip to the wild side (which isn't anywhere near Buffalo) or into retrospective voyeurism - I'm not sure which.

I think the Sebastian song Art posted pretty much nailed it. If it weren't for the hard (ahem) times, the silly times, y'all would be boring old farts. Nice to have something to talk about in the sensible, boring years. In all seriousness though, I think that those who've come through any "trial by fire" and not been consumed by it are left with a certain strength and courage - and wisdom, certainly, along with enough humor to smile at the memories.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM

Hey Rick, nothing derogatory about Buffalo, but sure, I was aware of that towns stature, but funny enough she billed herself from there.
So she must have though it would give her that hard town mistique.
At least to the folks in rural NS.
I,ve never been to Moosejaw, but its my hope someday to finally get there....Interested in doing a duo sometime, Rick?

Well put Jeri,

Cheers, Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 10:43 AM

A duo with you in Moosejaw Glen? Hmmmmmmm......you go first.....I'll be along later....

I was playing at the Holiday Inn (or was it Howard Johnson's?) in some town in Florida years ago and I went out for a walk on my break. The Hotel next door (Howard Johnson's or perhaps the Holiday Inn) also had a solo performer, and I walked into the lounge. To my shock and horror the guy playing there was someone who I thought was WAYYY beyond doing that kind of gig.
He'd had a couple of HUGE hits, one of them being "Wildwood Weed".

He was playing a set of bass pedals (very well) and was a dynamite guitarist. Anyone know his name....and his other big hit?

Actually, this was something that most solo performers encountered at least once or twice a year.....Acts that had had one huge hit....but weren't big enough to be featured anymore. (and loved music enough that they HAD to keep playing). I remember seeing Ginger Baker in Niagara Falls.

The more I think about these stories, I realize how lucky I was to go through amost twenty years of this without getting my head punched in. Although I (obviously) LOVED playing, I was really disdainful of inebriated customers and overbearing owners and managers. Plus, the UNDISGUISED racism and often totally right wing politics in rural areas really got to me after a while. Even strong Union members often scared me with their lack of acceptance of anything different. Had I been a bit more outspoken with my views, I'd never have gotten hired once the word got around.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 10:49 AM

a) Jerry Reed maybe, and b) I dunno, but I'll think of it next Wed when I can't remember why I wanted to remember...


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Mooh
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 11:34 AM

Jim Stafford wasn't it? Wow!

Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 11:48 AM

Rick? wasnt your favorite deterant to obnoxious drunks that bugged you , was to swing your guitar peghead into the face of said offender, then make out it was an accident.
Or maybe I'm confusing you with Blind Freddie,but thats another story.
I only wish I had though of it myself, but thank God I dont find myself in those situations much ,anymore.
Glen


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUT THE MUSTARD (Shel Silverstein)
From: Tinker
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM

I've been lovin' reading this thread. Spent one night in a Texas Roadhouse and it was enough for me... but that's a different story. Couldn't find this in the DT and figured this was as good a spot as any to post it. Thanks for sharing...

Kathy


CUT THE MUSTARD
Shel Silverstein

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon
Miss Dolly was havin' her barb-cue
And I just happened to be leisurely strollin' by (My, My he was strollin' by)
She hollered come in and have a taste
This stuff's too good to go to waste
You ain't tried nothin' 'til you've tried this sauce of mine (Hey boss her sauce is boss)

I said now I don't want to hurt your pride
Your cookin' is known far and wide
But I'm expected home for dinner so I must decline
But Dolly yelled whatsamatter Buster
Are you too old to cut the mustard?
I turned my silver head and I replied

I ain't too old to cut the mustard
I'm just too tired to spread it around
So I got to turn you and your bar-cue down
So leave me alone, I'm goin' on home
To the best home cookin' in town
I ain't too old to cut the mustard
Just too tired to spread it around.

And you ladies you're watchin' me sing and play
With my belly kinda flabby and my hair kinda gray
But I see you lookin' that old time way at me
I hate to see you get your hopes deflated
And I hate to see you humiliated
So before you storm the stage so shamelessly
Slippin' me notes and flowers and motel keys
Permit me to decline so graciously

You see we ain't too old to cut the mustard
Just too tired to spread it around
On every juicy little hamburger in this town
So leave me alone, I'm goin' on home
To the best home cookin' I've found
And we ain't too old to cut the mustard
Just too tired to spread it around.


On "Old Dogs" Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Bobby Bare, and Jerry Reed


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 12:40 PM

Mooh, I think you got it. Part b: Spiders and Snakes.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 02:57 PM

Duck Donald and partner Cathy Fink got me a gig in Winnipeg at a bar that seemed to be populated by a few college types, heavy drinking hard hats, Native-Canadians and about a third folkies. I remember Tom What's-His-Name---a good Native singer who later did kid's TV in Canada, being there that night. This was a downtown hotel if I'm recalling right. Once a nice place these digs had long since sort of gone to seed. A fight broke out at one point between the folks that wanted to listen and those that were out to be raucus drunks. This was no kind o' fplk club at all----but folksingers worked cheap. I was a warm body with a guitar---and that's all that they cared about. I drank that night just to forget where I was. Generally I NEVER drank until I was done. In those days, then I'd drive home----hoping I'd get there. (Later I never drank and drove.) But I do recall seeing a chair sail past my eyes----from one end of the place to the other. Throughout, I just kept pickin' and grinnin'. Ended with. "'Tis the gift to be sinple / 'Tis the gift to be free... / You will dwell in the valley of love and delight." ------------------------ And Mitch Podolac came down that night, heard me, and hired me for the Winnipeg Folk Fest. That's the story of my life. One thing leads to another and on and on...and on and on. But the rent got paid----that's always the bottom line.

Later, that same trip, I did a show at the University of Manitoba with a 104 degree fever. Cathy & Duck were waiting in the wings all night to take my place when I fell off the stage. Happily, that never happened. I was told it was a real good show----but I don't remember much of it at all; only the amazing colors in the fever-filtered spotlights playing all around the room. Psychedelic, man, psychedelic!!
And then there was the night the guy in Chicago who preferred and ate nearly raw chicken ----- with blood all down his face and shirt. He (George) was singing a different song than I was right in front of me standing over a table where 10 amazed people were gathered with 12 pitchers of beer and I lifted my booted foot without missing the proverbial beat and pushed him headlong onto that steaming pizza.

It was wonderful. --------- The club owner gave me extra cash for chasing that guy out of his club/restaurant. After that he never would come in there when I was playing. That particular night was the first night of a 3 year Monday night gig for me. Monday night featured me doing the folksongs and all the chicken you could eat for $4.00. Those gigs bought the groceries every week for Carol, Chris and me. Good recollections !

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 03:13 PM

And the gigs I did in '64 in Washington D.C.----a place called The CROW'S TOE. I opened the show for a gold-painted nearly nude exotic dancer named Robin. My third night into the gig I went into the men's room and Robin was stnading at the urinal doin' his thing. No value judgments here, good people, I was just was a little surprised. And this was 1964 after all. Stuff like this didn't happen real often. Knowing I'd be a Mudcatter some years into the future, I tucked this tale on my memory's back burner----until now.

This was Joe Hickerson's first year working at the ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN FOLKSONG at the venerable Library Of Congress. I do think he may have sent me to the CROW'S TOE to find a possible gig. Well, a hearty belated thanks, Mr. H. !!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: 53
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 03:16 PM

the road is tough no matter how you cut it.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: JedMarum
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 05:02 PM

great stories!


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 05:11 PM

We might want to consider making this a Perma Thread. This diary of stories from seasoned performers (I like that better than calling all of you old bastards) might be a wonderful thing to have for posterity.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 10:35 PM

I started a thread a while ago called WHAT WAS LEE HAYS REALLY LIKE?

I knew Frank Hamilton, once a member of the WEAVERS was lurking out there and he jumped right into that thread and we heard some priceless stuff. I'll try to find that thread and bring it back.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 09 Nov 02 - 07:45 AM

I'm sure there are a good number of veteran Mudcat performers out there, that may not have noticed this thread yet. One in particular comes to my mind, would be the old war-horse himself, Sandy Paton. Having met and had the pleasure of working with Sandy (Rick Fielding's Lifeline album) and heard him reminice on the old days, I'm sure he could recount many a memorable event.
Also the newest generation of balladeers out there,still carrying on the tradition ,could share a thing or two.
Cause we all know, history repeats itself and everything thats old, is new again.
Or something like that!
Cheers, Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Nov 02 - 09:22 AM

Here's the What was Lee Hays really like...? thread that Art started and refreshed.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 01:39 AM

Hey Glen, Why don't you PM Sandy about this thread?


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 06:42 PM

"Seasoned Performers"? Not one your life! After nearly thirty years as a professional entertainer I have darned well earned the title of "Old Bastard" and noone is going to take it away from me!!!*G*

As for strange gigs? Well, that would have to be the year that I spent playing every other Saturday in a little dive in the heart of Chicago's Uptown neighborhood called "The BOOZOOREY" (the middle syllable being the opperative one here). My old friend Mark Lee Dorroh booked it. He would do one Saturday as a solo. I would similarly do the next one. We would both perform on the third one. Then we would start the rotation over again.

At that venue (if I may use so dignified a word for such a wretched place)the question was not "Will a fight break out?". The question was "When?". If it started before midnight we could probably sing through it. If it started between midnight and two a.m. things could get a bit dicey. It was a four o'clock bar, so if the fight started after two a.m. (after all of the patrons from the two o'clock bars had come in) diving for cover was the only viable option.

Strangely enough there is no experience i've had before or since which has taught me more about focussing on the music and listening to the audience. It's amazing what you can learn when you need certain skills for raw survival more than for the performance.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: GUEST,Steve Latimer
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM

I remeber telling my brother, who had played Northern Ontario gigs for a few years about being in a local place to hear a band. I said it was good until a fight broke out at the pool table. He said "fights always break out at the pool table".


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 03:40 PM

Isn't that what pool tables are for?


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Blues=Life
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 09:46 AM

Pool table. That starts with P which rhymes with T which stands for Trouble.
Or words to that effect.

When I worked in a college/townie bar while in college, that's where all the fights started. Of course.

*g*
Blues


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 10:47 AM

I equate pool tables with projectiles ie: pool cues, pool balls, beer bottles all being used as weapons and often directed at the band, either by accident, or otherwise.
In my initial post I mentioned having a beer bottle used as a weapon, missing the intended victim and exploding in my face, upon impact with the microphone.
Here is an example of a projectile being hurled, from the stage, at the audience.
But, with a different twist!

Once again its the early 70,s and I'm part of a country band ,in a working mans tavern
(definatly not a 4 star establishment).
Freddie ,the leader of the band, was a large man, 350lbs. and totally blind from birth.
He played his guitar flat on his lap, much like a dobro, in a seated position.
Like so many others, of that time, excessive drinking was a way of life.
This man was quite a legend and a big influence on me.(He taught me an appreciation for, warm beer for breakfast, among other things).

His preparation for the gig would be a six-pack of beer on an empty stomach (he could only eat late at night, after the show was over).
Often he had difficulty keeping those first few beers down,
and well......

Its Friday night and the place was packed. Directly in front of the stage was a big round table fully seated with happy revellers.
These folks were completly caught off gaurd and never knew what hit them, when between verses of "I,m MOvin' On" ,he let go with a glut of warm beer (remember, he didnt eat).

The owner of the bar, angrily demanded, we pack up and get the hell out of his establisment, because this was not the first time something like this had happened, and he was sick of it and most certainly his customers were as well.

With an indignant aire of self righteousness, Freddie's reply was,

"I dont know what the hell everyone,s so upset about, there was no groceries in it".

I guess you just had to, have been there.

Cheers, Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 12:19 PM

JEESUS GLEN!!! YOU CAN'T TELL "THAT" STORY HERE!!

The first time I saw Big Blind Freddie, was at a place called "Steel's Tavern". He was playin' a Telecaster. Some wag sitting at my table said "guess his J-45 was full"!!

Art...so you escaped Winnipeg with yer life did ya? Poor ol' Duck...he died so young.

In Edmonton I stayed at a boarding house that was run by a gorgeous woman (in her late twenties) who was one of the classiest dressers I'd ever seen. She had these beautifully tailored business suits, and wore black shiny high heel shoes (not the standard 'folky' uniform).
She never came out to any of my gigs, although I was in town for over two months....'cause she always appeared to be busy at night. Several times when I'd get home from the coffee house, she'd invite me into her flat (beautifully decorated) for coffee, chat, and she'd ask me to play a few tunes. Sometimes her little three year old son would wake up, and she'd bounce him around a bit to the music.

By about the second week I was there, she'd guessed that I didn't make value judgements (about stuff like that) and told me that she was the city's top (her words) call girl. By the third week I did some baby sitting on my nights off, while she drove off in her red Triumph to conduct business. Yep, I WAS fascinated.....BUT she also had a good typewriter, big TV, and a huge collection of interesting records.

She told me some of the strangest tales I could imagine about her work. Prior to meeting her I'd never even imagined that people (especially big shot execs, and City Council types) would PAY to be whipped!! Gawd, I was naive!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 12:33 PM

Hey Rick, have you ever met any dull people? (ducking from the obvious answer).


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 01:42 PM

Glen -- That's a great story. Meeting and learning from old characters like that is all part of the dues paying process.
For more than a few of us it's also a great source of material.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Glen Reid
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 02:18 PM

Hey Rick, You never responded to my question about deterants for unwanted stage guests?(10 or 12 posts back)

I just cant imagine you baby sitting, there must have been a pretty good incentive besides big TV,s and good records?

Hi Stephen Lee, I guess the best education I ever got ,was the times I spent, in the trenches ,so to speak, with all the wonderfull and crazy characters that I met and worked with in those days.
I didnt know it back then, but I guess I never realized what appropriate behavior was, until I sobered up and joined the real world.
All the best,
Glen


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: harvey andrews
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 03:57 PM

Great story Rick, reminds me of back when my wife and I put up a visiting American singer songwriter in our flat in 1965. A female journalist, all done up as a Spanish bolero dancer who we'd first met trying to seduce Art garfunkel at a party for him and Paul on their first tour of England managed to get herself invited back. Now to get to the bathroom in this flat you had to go through our bedroom. We left them to it at about two in the morning. At ten o'clock there was a knock on our bedroom door then she staggerd in hair all over the place, bags under the eyes. etc. We lay in bed and stared at her. She stared back and then headed for the bathroom door muttering "He never stopped...all night...he never stopped."
We got up to prepare breakfast and there he was hale, hearty, bright as a button and ready for the new day. I think today you'd say; "Respect!"
We never saw her again. He's still giging and, I understand has quite a reputation as a lady's man. Deserved I'd say. I can't name him because of the libel laws, but I bet he had no regrets about that night.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Jimmy C
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 10:29 AM

Been through many similar experiences as those posted, Ontario is one interesting place to play. Like one time in Hamilton, Ontario ( with Glen's old group), the P.A. system behind the bar somehow got hooked up with ours, in the middle of a beautiful ballad the barmaid cut in with " Taxi at the Bar - Taxi at the bar for Mr.Smith).

Playing a one week gig in the Parkdale in Toronto, a "native" requested we play Red Deer, I explained that we did not know the song, his response was to "play it anyway", we eventually ignored him and the result was a 10 inch long souvenir tomahawk being hurled at the stage and lodged in the bass players thigh.

In the Carlton club one "St.Patrick's Night" the crowd (all well dressed and very snobbish) were upset because we did not know any real Irish songs like "Who put the pyjamas in mrs. Murphy's chowder and other gems. After suffering some cat calls we took a break. Unfortunately we did not know that the dressing room had an intercom system, so we discuussed everything from the big fat bitch with the pearls, the cigar smoking turd in the front seat to the fairy bartender, unaware that every word was being heard up in the enteretainment room. Needless to say we got a very cold receprtion for the second, third and fourth set. We did get paid but never invited back.

Rick, I played the Dick Turpin room ( 2x four week gigs) alternating with George De Souza. There were so many ladies checking out the new entertainers that it was hard to tell the politicians wife from the doctors wife or the dentists's wife. It was a nice gig though, the only drunk was the president of a very larger bank who came in every night around 8.30 and was carried out to his limo by the chauffeur around 1.00am. Every single night.

Another night in the Camelot Tavern in Toronto, our bass player had to run down to the nearest drug store for some cold medicine, on the way back he was sprayed by a skunk. He did not notice because he had a cold but the rest of us on stage and the people in the first 6 rows noticed , big time. That was one long night.

Being almost fully retired now I (as Glen remarked) also really miss those days.

After close to 30 years playing around Ontario I am sure there are a lot more stories to tell, the truth is I can only remember about 10 of those years. ?.


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Marion
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 09:18 AM

Re: The performer who collected women's brassieres from every town he played!!

At one of my gigs last week there was a woman holding a bra and pair of panties on her lap, and after the music she asked me if I wanted them. Is this the polite Canadian way of throwing underwear at singers? I declined, and I now realize that I missed the opportunity to start a collection.

Also, for my gig yesterday I expected to play music for a seniors' group at a little community centre, and I arrived to find the room mostly filled with children who were expecting a magician. I'm firing my frigging agent first thing this morning!

Marion


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:23 AM

FRIGGIN' AGENTS!!? Ohhhh Marion, that's more than a whole thread in itself!

However.....

An agent I worked for (I've had about fifty) phoned and said "Can you handle a prison"? Hmmmmm....I thought... Sure I can. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Leadbelly did. "No problem" says I, but I need Five hundred bucks. (this was in the late seventies, so that was a decent night's pay)

Holy Shit! It was Vanier WOMEN'S PRISON!!

Look, I co-wrote, and toured with Arlene Mantle, a Lesbian Feminist friend and singer. I played (with her) for large audiences of pretty pissed off women, and I'm not easily spooked, but WHAT A DISASTER!

Two hundred tough imprisoned dykes who DID NOT WANT TO HEAR FOLK MUSIC! ESPECIALLY FROM ME!

After my poorly received show, one of the guards told me "You were a last minute substitute weren't you"? "I think I may have been", I said. "Who was supposed to be booked here"?

"POLLY DARTON" the guard said, "A Dolly Parton impersonator"!! "She/He's been hear lots of times, the gals love it"!

FRIGGIN AGENTS!

What happened on the gig, Marion?

POS

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Marion
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:55 AM

What happened is that the organizer agreed to book me during our initial phone call, so she hadn't seen my brochure... and she was not completely fluent in English... and I identified myself as a "musician" rather than a "singer"... and they made a point of involving the kids that day because a magician was coming... and so it goes.

We all survived. I threw away my set list and faked my way through some children's songs, letting the kids come up front to lead the singing (because I barely knew the songs) and muddling around a bit to find chords. I also let kids do the strumming for a few songs, which seemed to go over well. But it was still clearly a disappointment for the audience, many of whom kept asking if I would do tricks, and many of whom left early.   

Also, pretty much everybody there was East Indian and the older people weren't really relating to my prepared songs anyway; actually the organizer explained the gist of the song in Punjabi between songs. I'm thinking that I may need to do some racial profiling of my own - if the main appeal of my act is the nostalgia/familiarity of old songs, then maybe seniors who are immigrants from other cultures are not an appropriate audience.

Oh well, it's nice to get my first disaster out of the way. I actually tried to invoke my "satisfaction guaranteed" policy myself and only accept bus fare, but the organizer insisted that it had gone well and insisted on paying me.

But yesterday's gig (different yesterday now) made up for it all. I played at a nursing home where I picked up a cold - even hostile - vibe from the audience when getting started. By the end of the hour I really felt like I had won them over. This was confirmed later by a staff member who told me that they were often disappointed with entertainers, and often got complaints, but that the people had just loved me. Got another booking for next month too!

Rick, I find it interesting that you say "An agent I worked for...". Don't they work for you?

Cheers,

Marion

PS: "POS"?


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 01:10 PM

You've nailed my "life-long problem" in once sentence Marion....AND I AIN'T KIDDIN'!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 01:19 PM

Playing for recent (and not so recent) immigrants is difficult, if your repertoire is completely "anglo-centric". I would, over the years throw in Jewish, french, Italian etc. songs but find myself a bit stumped when it comes to playing for East Indian kids. Even at a Christmas show, the majority of tots are now Muslim or Hindu, and are brought by their folks for the pageantry. They always LOVE the magician, and are fascinated by the "Santa Claus" figure, but I suspect I'm less likely to take these holiday jobs anymore 'cause I simply don't feel I'm "right" for them.

Hmmmmmm, is this good enough for a separate thread discussion?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Marion
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 12:55 PM

Re: You've nailed my "life-long problem" in one sentence Marion

That's funny, Rick, I don't remember saying "I'm afraid something terrible will happen if I stop talking," recently.

Marion

PS What's POS?


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Subject: RE: Road Musicians, just paying their dues!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 01:11 PM

Hmmm, I shouldda said: In this one sentence, you've nailed my life-long problem!

"Rick, I find it interesting that you say "An agent I worked for...". Don't they work for you?"

Too much Crumb and Kauffman I guess!!

Cheers

Oh.....I wuz readin' something about how young people 'talk' on the net, and I loved the "POS" thing. It means "Parents over shoulder"!

Rick


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