Gigging Stories

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zoomboogity
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Gigging Stories

Postby zoomboogity » 10 Apr 2018, 12:36

Okay. I can't be the only one who has gig stories. Did we do this already? Never mind, here goes:

17 October 1980. My three friends B, S and T are going to see Talking Heads at The Greek Theatre in LA. We gave B money to get the tickets. We trusted this guy.

The plan was for S, who lived 30 miles away, would pick us up. The previous weekend, however, his car got plowed into by a drunk driver while he was parked. Several cars were hit until the car hit a lamppost and the dude got arrested. So that left S outta luck, leaving me to pick him up after gathering up the other people (and not being able to leave work before 5pm). Oh, and that 30 miles is in the completely opposite direction of the venue, which is about 30 miles north from where we were.

We finally get there and park. Then we ask B for the tickets. "Okay, hold on... hmmm... I can't find them."

"You what?"

"Ummmm... maybe I left them on C's table (a friend's place where I picked him up)."

"Yeah, maybe." By this point we're all having a teachable moment about concert tickets. "What good will they do us sitting there?" (We're all thinking, "You never even bought them, you fuck, while I just went through all that?")

"Let's go to a pay phone and call C. There's time to get up here if I left them there."

"Uh huh... 'if'... okeydokey."

He calls C, of course there's nothing there, so B says, "Maybe they slid down the seat, I'll go back and check."

That leaves the three of us just fuming. At our own stupidity, mostly. But just then...

About a minute later, someone walks out the side exit and leaves the door wide open. T walks right over and goes past the door. He then starts making frantic motions to us to get inside NOW. I'm thinking, "He's gonna get booted out in a few seconds." He's yelling, "There's no one here, RUN, get in here."

I go over, and he's right: this side area, which is often used for merch, was completely empty but for us. That could change in a matter of seconds. Now we're both waving frantically: "Now! Hurry! No one's here! Good, now shut the door!" Now we're in, and now we mingle.

We go up fairly close, pick three seats, and watch the whole concert without anyone ever claiming we were in their seats. While Mr. Man had to wait by the car the whole time. It was the nine-piece band. Totally got our money's worth!

Oh yeah - about two-thirds into the concert, I look down at my feet and find a joint. It was full and unlit, so I pick it up, and we smoke it. It was excellent too.

I was thinking about this the other day when I heard Once In A Lifetime on the supermarket, then realizing that was 38 years ago. 38. "Lettin' the days go by..."'

Okay. let's hear 'em!
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Geezee » 10 Apr 2018, 13:16

Poor B to have friends like that! :lol:
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Positive Passion » 10 Apr 2018, 13:26

Well i indeed have lots of stories.

There was the time when Madonna brought her drowned world tour to the UK. Getting tickets involved being on the internet at 9am and retrying and retrying over and over again. Half of my office were trying to get tickets. Some of them would get through the system on the 20th attempt then get a message saying their payment didn't go through. Anyway evetually I managed to get 6 tickets for one night and 2 for another - the cheapest tickets, a thousand miles from the on the upper tier of Earl's Court as was -it has now been destroyed. Tickets were like gold dust so I knew I would have no trouble getting friends to go.
So my griup of 6 agree to meet at a pub in before the gig. Two of them get there very early, and decide to go into the venue without the rest of us. Wandering round the area our seats are likely to be, an employee of the venue approaches them.
"You two are big Madonna fans, right?"
"Err....sure, yes".
"Here are two tickets for the front row."
So then they called me to tell me this.

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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Positive Passion » 10 Apr 2018, 13:27

Geezee wrote:Poor B to have friends like that! :lol:


And why did they shut the door? The other guy had left it open.

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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby zoomboogity » 10 Apr 2018, 14:44

Geezee wrote:Poor B to have friends like that! :lol:


At least we let him keep the money!


Positive Passion wrote:And why did they shut the door? The other guy had left it open.


The first guy just sort of flung it open, probably expecting it to close on its own, despite its lack of hydraulics. We told our friend to shut it because then, the door was shut, no questions asked, and there's 6000 people and you're just three of them. One of my favorite venues too, nothing like a warm summer night at The Greek or The Hollywood Bowl.
Last edited by zoomboogity on 11 Apr 2018, 12:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Bent Fabric » 10 Apr 2018, 15:21

Positive Passion wrote:Well i indeed have lots of stories.

There was the time when Madonna brought her drowned world tour to the UK. Getting tickets involved being on the internet at 9am and retrying and retrying over and over again. Half of my office were trying to get tickets. Some of them would get through the system on the 20th attempt then get a message saying their payment didn't go through. Anyway evetually I managed to get 6 tickets for one night and 2 for another - the cheapest tickets, a thousand miles from the on the upper tier of Earl's Court as was -it has now been destroyed. Tickets were like gold dust so I knew I would have no trouble getting friends to go.
So my griup of 6 agree to meet at a pub in before the gig. Two of them get there very early, and decide to go into the venue without the rest of us. Wandering round the area our seats are likely to be, an employee of the venue approaches them.
"You two are big Madonna fans, right?"
"Err....sure, yes".
"Here are two tickets for the front row."
So then they called me to tell me this.


The one time I saw Madge (I was at a peak of fandom and just stupidly "low overhead/excessive disposable income" at the time), I'd managed to splurge on 12th row tickets (which I suppose I was lucky to find, but...this may be what happens when an artist does 4 arena shows). I felt like these were the best tickets any person was ever going to have for anything. Sure enough, Mrs. Bent (which she would become two years later) and I walk into the venue and - as we approach our seats, an usher asks to see our tickets and then tells us he has some bad news...which is that he is moving us to the fifth row center, right on the runway. Fantastic show, eye contact, the whole damn thing. I'd wanted to see her a few times on later tours, but...probably just as well that I didn't.

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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby sloopjohnc » 10 Apr 2018, 17:12

I mentioned this in another thread. My friends and I went to a AC/DC and UFO show in high school on Friday night. We went in my friend Pete's VW van and had a keg in the middle, drinking on the way up. In Oakland, my friend Joe had to piss, but it was rush hour and we had to go all the way to Sacramento. With traffic stop and go, Joe pulled the van door open and ran down to the sound wall on the side of the freeway. A couple seconds later, traffic opened up and Pete waited as long as he could before he had to go. We kept looking back, but Joe must've really had to piss.

50 yds down the freeway, Joe comes out of the bushes by the side of the freeway and looks for us and sees we're 75 yards down the freeway. Joe starts running alongside the freeway and finally catches us and jumps in the van.

We finally get to Sacramento and we find out we must be the only ones who didn't hear about the concert being cancelled because Michael Schenker has "exhaustion." Us and a group of Hell's Angels. My friend Kevin, pretty drunk and incensed, gets the Hell's Angel's all riled up to where they look like they want to riot. It was funny seeing this high school kid churning up this bunch of bikers to a frenzy.

Anyway, the concert people must've been scared because about six Sacramento cop cars began pulling up with sirens. Obviously, they went after the Hell's Angels first and we were able to escape and head back to the Bay Area. It was kinda crappy because we'd finished the keg on the way up.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby sloopjohnc » 10 Apr 2018, 17:15

I had a friend, Dave, who had a great scheme for seeing bands he liked. He'd buy a case of cheap beer and wait for the opening band to pull up and do their sound check. He'd greet them and say, "Are you guys, XXX?" They'd say, "Yeah," and he'd respond, "I love you guys. I'm your biggest fan."

Invariably, he'd offer to drink the case of beer with them, tell them he'd really like to see them play, but didn't have any tickets. They'd put him on the guest list and he'd get to see the headliner he really wanted to see for free.

He told me he had done this 7-8 times without fail.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Fonz » 10 Apr 2018, 18:02

In, what I considered at the time, a Patrick Bateman-esque whimsy, I went to see a U2 tribute, muscled my way to the front, and got to shake ‘pretend Bono’ ‘s hand, which he seemed to take great pleasure in doing. Like ‘Rockstar’!

Got lightly stabbed at a Faith No More gig.

Nearly got murdered by some squaddies on my way home from a Siouxsie gig.

Nearly had a groupie at one of my own gigs.

Slept rough in Kilburn after a Killing Joke gig. Had sympathy with homeless since. Grim.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby the masked man » 10 Apr 2018, 20:57

I may have told this story before, but it always amuses me. I had little gig experience before I went to university, but once I got there I started gigging in earnest. Reading is hardly a town known for rock'n'roll mayhem, but the Student Union ents committee did a pretty good job of bringing decent mid-80s bands to this sleepy Berkshire market town. I saw The Smiths, The Pogues, Prefab Sprout, Marc Almond and The Violent Femmes, among others. These guys knew what they were doing. On the other hand, the rags committee putting on entertainment for their charity week seemed to choose music by sticking a pin in a list of available bands supplied by a booking agency. Anyway, in 1985, their choice of charity gig was Pete Shelley. The former Buzzcocks frontman was at the time attempting an electro-based solo career. I jumped at the chance to see one of my musical heroes only to find that, about 48 hours from the date, he'd pulled out, and the replacement would be New Model Army.

I felt this was a downgrade, but, having already purchased a ticket, I decided to attend anyway. I snoozed through the support act, Del Amitri, who played precisely the kind of unadventurous, uneventful songcraft that would eventually give them hits in the 90s. Then New Model Army arrived. Now their clog-wearing proto-crusty fanbase was nowhere to be seen, largely because this was a student-only gig, and their obsessional fans simply had no time to make plans to get in surreptitiously. Instead, the hall was full of nice little middle-class students who thought they were about to see a nice little charity concert (these generally weren't the sort of people I saw at other concerts at the time). New Model Army, however, decided to be terrifying. They sounded far angrier and resentful than they ever did on record, favouring all-out aural assault over any melody. Playing at deafening volume, they also had a spotlight on stage (which may or may not have been stolen from a lighthouse) and they kept shining it on the audience, meaning it was actually painful to stare at the stage. Band and audience simply could not have been more ill-matched.

I expect that, by the time the gig ended, maybe a third of the initial crowd was still there in the hall. Those of us still present seemed to share a moment, as we all looked around and realised we'd survived a concert that resembled an inquisition rather than entertainment. Weirdly, I did then understand why NMA were a popular live draw, as their ferocity was nothing suggested by their records, which looking back seem tame compared to that night's performance. But this was absolutely the wrong venue and wrong crowd, hilariously so!

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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby sloopjohnc » 10 Apr 2018, 21:36

the masked man wrote:I snoozed through the support act, Del Amitri, who played precisely the kind of unadventurous, uneventful songcraft that would eventually give them hits in the 90s.


:lol:

We haven't had great lines like this in awhile.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby John aka Josh » 10 Apr 2018, 23:46

the masked man wrote: Reading is hardly a town known for rock'n'roll mayhem, but the Student Union ents committee did a pretty good job of bringing decent mid-80s bands to this sleepy Berkshire market town. !




'Twas so in the mid to late '70s too. Grew up close to the university - born in Red Hatch Drive (did you ever visit Sibley Hall?). Started going to gigs put on there in '75 or '76 - my fifth form days. Lovely campus - enjoyed many a campfire in the Grotto on Friday nights after a drink or five in the Three Tuns.


Nights I particularly recall as being especially great include Jack the Lad, Tom Robinson Band, Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias, John Martyn, Argent & Stiff Little Fingers. Saw many others but haven't the facility to recall them instantly. Some of the halls used to have bands at their of year hall events, particularly enjoyed Desmond Dekker at one and East of Eden at another.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Muskrat » 11 Apr 2018, 00:27

zoomboogity wrote:17 October 1980. My three friends B, S and T are going to see Talking Heads at The Greek Theatre in LA.


B, S & T wwre so over by 1980!
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby zoomboogity » 11 Apr 2018, 00:46

Muskrat wrote:B, S & T wwre so over by 1980!


Well, yeah. David Clayton-Thomas, one trumpet player, and the drummer could only do so much on their own. Rough times.

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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Matt Wilson » 11 Apr 2018, 01:39

This has nothing to do with the show per se, rather everything involved with going to shows these days. I told this one at the jollyup last Saturday.
So last January, I thought it would be nice to take the girlfriend to see Clapton at the Inglewood Forum. She used to be up for seeing pretty much anyone (as long as I was paying, of course - but that's another story), and I knew I could just buy the tickets without even asking her if she wanted to see the show. So I did.

It was one of those things where you buy them online and they show you the ticket price and say 'if you don't buy these tickets now, we'll offer them to someone else in five minutes." They were $345. I figured for that money they must be good seats because you couldn't see where they were located in the arena. I couldn't google a map of the Forum in that time and still go through the process of purchasing the tickets within five minutes (I realize now that indeed, I probably could have done just that, but didn't, obviously), so I bought them right then and there. After the transaction was complete, I looked up the seats online and sure enough - they were up there in the nosebleed section closer to the top of the arena than the bottom. 'Geez, what must this old geezer be charging for floor seats, $600?" Anyway, we were all set to go in March, so no regrets... But it wasn't over.

Come March, he cancels because of illness and the concert is postponed for six months. Now, we have to wait until September. And wouldn't you know it, the girl friend and I break up a few months later. So now I'm thinking "no problem, I'll just take whoever I'm dating at the time." Yes, you guessed it, I wasn't dating anyone in September. Now I'm starting to get a tad concerned. I'd paid all that money for tickets to a show that I'm not even that jazzed to see anymore (I'd already seen him anyway). I asked around and none of my friends really wanted to pay $172 to see Slowhand. I could have taken one of my daughters, but I could tell neither one of them were really into the idea either.

Luckily, one of my former students said he'd go for $100. Well, some return on my investment was better than nothing I guess, so we agreed to go. He got there before me and texted that parking was $25. I couldn't believe it. This is EXACTLY why I don't go to shows anymore. Capitalism, at its finest. So I park a block away for $5 less (and felt it to be a bargain, at least I was saving some money). We go in, and the beers are $13 (more for better beer). He's got no cash and no credit card, so I buy the drinks.

Anyway, the show was exactly how you'd expect it to be. A guy long past it, performing songs he'd had hits with decades earlier. Of course, that's my description of seeing anyone who was famous in the '60s,'70s, or '80s who still performs. Eric can still play, but was it worth almost $400? Hell, no.

Oh, and as a post script, the kid was there the very next day with my money. I felt bad because I know he really can't afford it, and we've still got that teacher/student kind of relationship, so I said to forget about it and he could keep the cash.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Muskrat » 11 Apr 2018, 02:47

I thought it was musicians who were supposed to be sharing stories, but since it's wide open...

Mad Dogs & Englishmen were coming to town, to play the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (capacity in the range of 2500; it's where the TAMI show had been shot). I was on the outs with A&M's publicity department, and damn if I was going to pay $5 or whatever to see the show.

So I arrived a couple of hours early. The band was in sound-check mode, and security was vastly more lax then than it would be a few years later. I simply walked in the back door, and wandered around backstage, trying to look like I belonged there.

When the show started, I was in the wings, out of sight. The sound, from the monitors (mostly on my side, from where I was) was terrible. So when the choir left the stage, I joined them for their return -- and wound up on the top level of their stand, dead center -- and with Denny Cordell's young son on my shoulders, so he could get a better view.

I had a great view, too: of the A&M publicity guy, who was sitting in the front row. I don't know where he saw me, but neither of us mentioned it when we became friends again. I've never seen the movie, but may be in it.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby zoomboogity » 11 Apr 2018, 07:23

Muskrat wrote:I thought it was musicians who were supposed to be sharing stories


"Gigging" here is in the UK sense, as in "going to gigs." Playing gigs is okay too.

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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Insouciant Western People » 11 Apr 2018, 08:48

I collapsed at the end of a Leatherface gig on my 20th birthday, a combination of too much beer and weed before the show, and wearing a raggedy jumper and woolly watch cap á la Fugazi in what was a very small, crowded and hot venue (the Hull Adelphi).

One moment I was happily jumping about and enjoying the last song of the encore, then I had about thirty seconds of feeling distinctly wobbly, and realised too late that I should be making my way outside. The next thing I knew, the floor came up and hit me very hard in the face.

The band were kind enough to take care in stepping over my inert body as they left the stage.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Kinkhurt » 11 Apr 2018, 08:56

the masked man wrote:and the replacement would be New Model Army.

I felt this was a downgrade, but, having already purchased a ticket, I decided to attend anyway. I snoozed through the support act, Del Amitri, who played precisely the kind of unadventurous, uneventful songcraft that would eventually give them hits in the 90s. Then New Model Army arrived. Now their clog-wearing proto-crusty fanbase was nowhere to be seen, largely because this was a student-only gig, and their obsessional fans simply had no time to make plans to get in surreptitiously. Instead, the hall was full of nice little middle-class students who thought they were about to see a nice little charity concert (these generally weren't the sort of people I saw at other concerts at the time). New Model Army, however, decided to be terrifying. They sounded far angrier and resentful than they ever did on record, favouring all-out aural assault over any melody. Playing at deafening volume, they also had a spotlight on stage (which may or may not have been stolen from a lighthouse) and they kept shining it on the audience, meaning it was actually painful to stare at the stage. Band and audience simply could not have been more ill-matched.

I expect that, by the time the gig ended, maybe a third of the initial crowd was still there in the hall. Those of us still present seemed to share a moment, as we all looked around and realised we'd survived a concert that resembled an inquisition rather than entertainment. Weirdly, I did then understand why NMA were a popular live draw, as their ferocity was nothing suggested by their records, which looking back seem tame compared to that night's performance. But this was absolutely the wrong venue and wrong crowd, hilariously so!


NMA were without doubt one of the best live bands of the 80's, I was never part of the tribe, but I used to follow them when I could - the true believers were a ferrel bunch, handy with their fists and yet to find a use for soap. Quite like the US New York hardcore scene at the same time, although I don't think anybody knew that - live they sounded magnificent - way better than LP, especially when Morrow was in the band. A mate I lived with at Uni used to be pen pals with Justin, ran a fanzine where they were the significant band. Our house was littered with tapes, notes, flyers .... Back when kids had a passion for music and hard found information .. I'm getting nostalgic, I'll stop.
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Re: Gigging Stories

Postby Nuts » 11 Apr 2018, 10:28

NMA were a bunch of tossers. Punk band I was in (Lost Cherrees) supported them at a local gig organised by a promoter friend. They insisted on spending all their time in the dressing room and not even acknowledging us. They wouldn't let us use any of their gear either so I had to set up my drum kit in front of theirs. Had a problem with one of my cymbal stands so went to the dressing room to ask if I could borrow one cymbal stand to which the reply was "No!"
The ironic thing was as it was a very local gig for us, we packed the place out. When we finished our set, one of our mates jumped on stage and grabbed the mic shouting "More Lost Cherrees, more Lost Cherrees, Fuck New Model Army!" We played an encore, shifted our gear off the stage and about half the audience left, leaving NMA to play to a half empty hall. As I said, tossers.
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