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Thread: Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

  1. #11

    Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    We similarly had memorized our high school marching band routines as to when to turn, etc. At one actual game/performance, three VFW members were carrying flags (including the American Flag) and walking down the center of the field between two long facing lines of stationary bandmembers. Unfortunately, these flag bearers were never part of any practice. When it came up to our planned time for our eupher and trombone section to be the initial group to turn and march down the field, I noticed that the flag bearers hadn't passed us yet and that there definitely would be a crash of these VFW flag bearers and ourselves if we started our joining turn. So our section delayed our marching for an 8 count until they passed us. I was hoping that everyone else would key off this difference and would also delay...but they didn't. This created an accordian-like routine of lines bumping into each other...a real mess. Our band director was very upset. I guess that we high-schoolers should have just trampled over the elder VFW flag bearers and kept our routine in synch...
    Don't Tread On Me!

  2. Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    This happend when I did my milltary service with The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces. We were at a millitary base one friday way out in the woods playing for newly educated officers. After the gig me and two others also doing their services, loaded the truck with instruments, musicstands etc. This was a part of our duty, then we went to have lunch with the other musicians and later went back to Oslo for the weekend.
    On the following monday when rehearsals started, the solo trombonist capt. Halvorsen and solo french hornist capt. Martinsen couldn't find their instruments! After searching around for a while we called the base if they had seen any of the instruments. Thoroughly investigations revealed that we had forgotten the two instruments beside the truck and after lunch we drove away leaving them by coincidence next to a couple of garbagecans. The genitor wouldn't have any garbage lying around so he just threw them into the incinerator!
    Capt. Halvorsens reaction was that he could understand that someone wanted to burn a french horn, but to burn a trombone was totally unacceptable;-)

  3. Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    My dad was a band master in the Navy during WWII. He played trombone and was in the front line of the assembly. He got the flu and was out for several days. He came back in time for the grand parade (or what ever it is called) in front of all the brass. No one told him that the marching course had been changed, and in front of the grandstand the whole band turned left while my father kept going straight.

  4. #14

    Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    I'm laughing out loud at some of these incidents. Mine is nowhere near as funny but here goes.

    Our high school marching band was marching in the Crispus Attucks Day Parade, which, in New Jersey, falls on the fifth day of March. Well, I believe that March fifth was the coldest March fifth in New Jersey history. We wore our long johns under our heavy marching band uniforms but they didn't help much. Nothing would have helped much.

    The parade began on Broad Street in Newark at Lincoln Park, continued past the City Hall reviewing stand, and concluded at Washington Park -- a distance of approximately two miles. During our final march, when Washington Park came into sight, the entire marching band broke formation and ran at full speed to the warmth of our waiting bus. Our marching band director was not happy but by that time we had only survival in mind. And we did survive, without frost-bitten fingers, or having our lips stuck to our mouthpieces like Flick's tongue on the flag pole in "A Christmas Story".

  5. Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    The lips freezing to the mouthpiece story reminded me of this-

    The USMC Drum and Bugle Corps was brought in to play the daily opening ceremonies for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. The first day there we were nowhere near prepared for playing in that sort of weather. Day one came in at a nice -8 degrees.

    Well I guess thats how cold it needs to be to freeze valve oil, as when we started to play, noone could move their valves. The drummers were a huge mess too since none of them could feel their hands. We sounded absolutely horrible.

    The following days our valves were moving non-stop as soon as we stepped out into the cold to prevent the freezing. It worked a little better then. Heres a picture of one of our small brass features from that- I'm on the right.






  6. #16

    Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    That's a very nice photo! (Good haircuts, too)

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    170

    Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    I played in the Burlington (Iowa) Municipal Band for a while. The city sits on the Mississippi, and the bandshell overlooked the river. Because of this, I swallowed a lot of bugs including mosquitos, gnats, mayflies, and others while taking in breaths between phrases. One time, though, I inhaled and brought in a June bug which is fairly large and prickly. I struggled through the piece, which had solos, playing and trying to clear my throat. Unfortunately and understandably, he kept kicking. Needless to say, it made things difficult. Finally, I ended up swallowing him because he wasn't coming up.

  8. Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    Well...a percussion story and not a brass story. Was a band concert though, just a couple years ago; I was playing timpani. For some reason they had put the timpani way out front on the side, practically in the lap of the audience. I had a fold-up stand (learned THAT lesson) and in the middle of the piece the music folder comes sliding off the stand right onto the timpani. So I'm trying to see the music, play the part, put the folder back up on the stand, and frankly I'm making some pretty funny sounds because I'm literally playing "the music" since the folder was sitting on top of the timpani. I finally gave up, stopped playing and struggled to get the folder back on the stand, which it did not want to do. I probably missed a third of the piece fiddling with that thing.But I'm sure I provided a lot of "visual interest" to the audience. MA

  9. #19

    Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    OK, this story is a bit morbid but it's a true story.

    During the '70s I was playing in an R&B band in bars and clubs in and around Newark, NJ. We were playing the last day of a weekend gig on a Sunday afternoon in the small back room of a club called "Whitey's Lounge" on West Runyon Street in Newark, just about half a block off Clinton Place. The room was packed and there was only one exit up by the bar on the opposite side of the room from the stage. During a set I heard a popping sound so I turned to check the settings on the Fender Pro-Reverb amp the singer was miked through. I figured it was the culprit because the singer always set the reverb too high and it would sometimes pop. Next thing I knew the guitar player grabbed me by the arm and was pulling me down to the stage floor. I hit the floor and when I looked around I noticed everyone in the room was on the floor, behind tables, anywhere they could find cover. The room had become eerily quiet.

    The popping sound wasn't the Fender amp, it was a .45 the bartender had unloaded all around the room.

    It seems the bartender had an argument with a patron and, unfortunately, the poor guy sitting next to that patron had chosen that moment to reach into the breast pocket of his jacket for a cigarette. The bartender apparently mistook this as the guy going for a gun, so he pulled the .45 out from under the bar and promptly shot the poor guy in the chest at very close range, likely killing him instantly. The bartender then proceeded to empty the .45 around the room, grazing another patron in the head and shooting a second in the hand. Another ricocheting .45 slug took two strings off of the guitar player's guitar and left a nice dent in the headstock. The guitar player was much taller than me. The stage was small and the headstock of his guitar was just a few inches above my head. I guess it's true what they say, a few inches can make all the difference. They certainly did in this case.

    When the shooting stopped several patrons "subdued" the bartender and the police were called. We had other gigs booked and we were worried the police might shut the place down for the length of their investigation with our equipment locked inside, so we had to break down our equipment and get it out of there fast through the one exit which was now blocked by a corpse. So we very carefully carried our equipment out over the body of the poor guy whose only mistake had been to reach for a smoke at the wrong time, trying our best not to step in the puddle of blood surrounding him, doing our best not to look into his still open eyes at that final shocked expression on his face.

    That's about the most bizarre gig story I have, and I hope it will always remains so.

  10. Odd or Funny Things that Happened During a Gig

    My first time ever playing in concert, I was about 12 years old. I didn't realize that when I had my baritone in my lap that I was pressing on my water keys. My entire skirt was soaked and we had to stand up at the end of the concert.

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