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I've got a gig; please don't come!

MichaelM 04 Apr 01 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,#1 04 Apr 01 - 06:38 PM
Amos 04 Apr 01 - 06:51 PM
Marc 04 Apr 01 - 07:23 PM
kendall 04 Apr 01 - 09:19 PM
Gary T 04 Apr 01 - 10:54 PM
flattop 04 Apr 01 - 11:28 PM
Troll 05 Apr 01 - 12:31 AM
P Mitchell@work 05 Apr 01 - 04:36 AM
KingBrilliant 05 Apr 01 - 06:19 AM
Whistle Stop 05 Apr 01 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 05 Apr 01 - 08:59 AM
Troll 05 Apr 01 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Rana 05 Apr 01 - 09:39 AM
KingBrilliant 05 Apr 01 - 09:53 AM
annamill 05 Apr 01 - 10:01 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Apr 01 - 01:10 PM
Willie-O 05 Apr 01 - 01:46 PM
MichaelM 05 Apr 01 - 11:08 PM
Troll 06 Apr 01 - 12:21 AM
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Subject: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: MichaelM
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 06:18 PM

I have a gig with a trio in a downtown bar(pretty much of a hole)in about two weeks. It was booked by one member of our trio doing a favour for a friend who is a member of the main act. He booked the gig first then told me. We are the first of two opening acts with the headliners coming on about 11 p.m.(the time I'm normally going to bed).

We had a rehearsal last night and things were pretty ragged. We haven't played together in a year. Lyrics were missing. Keys and tempos were debated. Songs that we have been working on as solo performers were dragged back to the fixed,stale versions of a year-plus ago. I have already decided that my friendship with the other two members of the trio will suffer if I continue to play with them.

Here's my dilemma: I asked my wife to skip this gig and she became quite upset. It seems I have done this before for reasons of security (when you're keeping your coat and guitar case on the stage under your chair you can't be constantly looking past the stage lights for your wife's safety), health (both of us are allergic to smoke and only one of us has to be there), worth (I knew it was going to be a lousy performance) or because I didn't have the right to bring someone into a closed party at a convention we played.

We're playing a 45 minute set followed by the debut of "somebody's sister who's just learned to play the guitar"(Hey I've been playing for 23 years and haven't yet "learned to play" the guitar).

Under what circumstances do you tell someone "Yes I'm playing and No, don't come?"

Michael


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: GUEST,#1
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 06:38 PM

Just have me as guest artist, and nobody will come.


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 06:51 PM

Leave it up to her -- just tell her what you reakky think, why you're concerned, and what would make you happy about knowing she was snug at home. But leave it a free choice.

A


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Marc
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 07:23 PM

Wow, Thats interesting . My fiance rarely go to my gigs.Weve been together 5 years, she knows most of my repretoir. and realy has know need to watch work.

Marc Bernier


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: kendall
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 09:19 PM

I would be pissed off at the one who booked this dog without my input. I'd hate to have his nerve in a tooth!


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Gary T
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 10:54 PM

I don't quite follow, Michael. Why did you ask your wife to skip the gig (I can make inference from your post, but that's not the same as knowing for certain). Why did she become upset? What bearing do past "skip requests" have on this current situation?

As to your question, I'm not sure I can advise WHEN to suggest people skip your show (I think it varies too much with different people and different circumstances), but I can offer a thought on HOW to do it. Try to put the focus on the other person's interest, e.g. "I really suspect you wouldn't enjoy this particular gig very much" rather than "I don't want you to come."

Sounds like when it's over, you might have a story for the "Worst Gigs" thread. I hope it goes better than feared.


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: flattop
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 11:28 PM

You could lighten up Michael and have an enjoyable evening with the guys. Keep the music loose. Laugh when they flub a lyric or flub twenty. Make up new and better lyric when they get lost. Buy your wife a can of pepper spray or a small pistol for her purse. She probably won't need it because the big hairy tough guys can be just as interesting and friendly as your average anal retentive accountant in his lovely lapels. Let her enjoy herself. Make enough mistakes to make somebody's sister who's just learned to play the guitar feel good. Have a ball.


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Troll
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 12:31 AM

The rule is, LHAH (leave him/her at home) This is a job, not a social ocassion. Your wife wouldn't expect to sit in on a business meeting, would she?
If you are going to have to worry about her all evening (is she ok, is she having fun, is that guy getting too pushy, WHERE DID SHE GO!!) you will not be able to devote proper attention to the gig. You have been hired to provide entertainment and that should be your focus, not worrying about your wife.
Anything else is, in my opinion, unprofessional.

troll


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: P Mitchell@work
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 04:36 AM

"Make enough mistakes to make somebody's sister who's just learned to play the guitar feel good."

Flat Top, such great words. They will adorn my guitar case, should I ever get one.


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 06:19 AM

I imagine your wife was upset because she felt excluded (that's the way I would feel). Perhaps she is unhappy because she would rather be there supporting you than at home worrying about how you're getting on.
It sounds as though you are really not happy about the gig, but it might well turn out better than you think. Maybe what felt stale in rehearsal will spring into life once you are actually performing it. Anyway - if it does turn into a disaster then at least if you wife had been there you could laugh about it together later - which should take any sting out of the whole thing. When I am disasterous I always like to unburden myself of it & laugh with Mark about it later - that gets things back into perspective
Kris


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 08:34 AM

I've had my share of bad gigs, but I would not go into one accepting that it will be bad. I think there may be ways to redeem this one, if you're willing to try. It's certainly worth a try.

My wife comes to a lot of my gigs; her presence does not detract from my performance, so I disagree with troll's suggestion that leaving her at home is the only professional thing to do. Also, she knows me and my music well enough that she will not think less of me if I turn in a mediocre performance. I suspect your wife knows you well enough to overlook this, too. So why ask her not to come? Are you embarrassed? I would think there are a lot of people that I might be embarrassed in front of, but my wife is not one of them.


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 08:59 AM

flattop - Kudo's to you. Lighten up and have fun.

Troll - I disagree...my significant other does not always care to come to the shows, but I'm always thrilled when she does. If I owned my own business, I would be glad to have her nearby when I worked...if I go on an extended business trip I would be glad to have her with me. Comparing playing in a bar to a business meeting is just downright silly. Maybe she would not be welcome in a meeting, but neither would any of the other folks in the bar or anyone with a beer or a cigarette.

Micheal - I agree with King Brilliant, she is probably upset because she feels excluded. Let her come if she wants.
"I have already decided that my friendship with the other two members of the trio will suffer if I continue to play with them."

If you think you can't be friends with people who don't play as well as you, then shame on you. Your friend is doing this as a favor for one of his friends and I assume he thought he could count on you to do a favor for him.

If Eric Clapton and I ever played together, the resulting music would sound better than anything I have ever done, and worse than anything Eric Clapton had ever done, and nobody would think "Gee, that Eric really messed that one up "


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Troll
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 09:32 AM

I speak from bitter experience. I've had band members leave the stage to rescue SO's from a variety of persistent drunks and one couple got into a fight because he thought she was flirting too much with a patron. Another time, the drummers wife got roaring drunk and was ejected from the bar. He had to leave the gig and arrainge to have her taken home.
The list goes on; domestic disputes that go on between sets, lovey-dovey just off stage between sets, she had to leave because the show ran long and the babysitter charged extra after so many hours so I had to drive 40 miles out of my way to get HIM home, etc.
My wife comes to some of my gigs but she always comes with several friends and doesn't stay to the end. The support is nice but I still worry that something will go wrong. Since we also play in a couple of bands together. we have plenty of musical time together.
Still, as a general rule, I stand by LHAH. Over 40 years experience has shown me that, for me at least, it's the thing to do.

troll


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 09:39 AM

Hi Michael,

Since your the opening act, with one in between and the main coming on after 11 pm, why not express your concerns and suggest she shoulld just come for you - after your finished you can probably both go home. Sign of my age, but I very rarely will go out to a club these days even for some one I want to see - 11 pm is actually early for the main act!

Regards Rana


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 09:53 AM

I didn't think MichaelM was saying that the others didn't play as well as him - only that they don't play together well as a unit anymore. I can understand how if the music feels stale then its not enjoyable & that fact can put a strain on the friendship. If the gig is a favour for a friend then thats fine as a one-off (though perhaps it might have been nice to be consulted first).
But if you don't like gigging as a band then you shouldn't feel obliged to keep on doing so in the future, and it may be better to keep the friendships by backing off from the band rather than harbour festering resentments.
On the other hand, this might just be a down moment & it might all turn out rosie yet.
How come you're still a trio though if you haven't played together for a year? Had it tailed off or broken up or what?
I'm dying to find out how it goes....

Kris


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: annamill
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 10:01 AM

Flattop, I think I love you... I'm a musicians wife (drummer) and I love to see him play. He played, just recently, at a gig in a hole in NY. La Bat Bar, actually. I went to support him, and I had a really good time. As said by others, let her choose. My first husband thought he was my father too.

As said, lighten up, have a good time.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 01:10 PM

Hi Michael. I do it all the time! Sometimes I take a gig simply 'cause I need the money (Back in the bad old days, took a LOT of gigs for that reason). If you think you're going to be uncomfortable with friends and loved ones in the audience, just tell them not to come...and WHY. Then it's up to them......BUT.....BUT....Remember, the musicians are the only ones who know something's amiss with the gig. Most folks in the audience who go to listen, WILL listen and enjoy themselves.

Rick


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Willie-O
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 01:46 PM

I don't tell my wife not to come to a show, I think that would be weird--she is a grownup after all. Literally speaking though, I do usually leave her at home, cause she's not my roadie. She shows up at show time, to provide audience support, usually brings some audience with her, might or might not stay to the end and help load out. It's my job not hers. Conversely, since I'm working, she sorts out the kids for the evening.

It makes sense to advise her what kind of an environment it's going to be. Then leave it at that. Telling her not to come sounds too much like saying "I'm planning on doing something I don't want you to know about."

But the real message I get from your opening post is that you are pissed off because you feel you were manipulated into a gig you didn't need or want. Why don't you just tell the guy that booked the gig that he should have asked you, because you don't want to play there and "he's not the boss of you"? Cancel and spend the evening with your spouse instead, how's that for a plan? Everybody will survive...

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: MichaelM
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 11:08 PM

I have been paying attention. Thank you for your thoughtful insights.

Some of you have very smartly zeroed in on my resentment of the way the gig was booked. Everything else has become fruit of the poisoned tree.

I have no illusions about the abilties of my fellow players. They are extraordinarily gifted musicians who have very evolved styles. We are just heading in different directions (different paths, same mountain). As we diverge in musical tastes the compromises we make to play together become more numerous and extreme.

I will show my wife all of your posts. It is (Annamill please note) her decision alone. I could no more prevent her from coming than I could prevent the sun from rising.

Rana: Thanks for your fellow feeling about time. I also am a early-to-bed kind of person. What is the etiquette about bugging out before the headliner appears? I always feel srange striking my equipment during the break after our set. It seems obvious that I am waiting for an opportune moment to escape.

King Brilliant seems to have particular insight into my dilemma. To fill in the context this trio was playing together for about 4 years gigging 3-4 times a year. I left the group after a gig in a new and as yet unknown restaurant. We played for a measly amount ($150 Canadian among three musicans for three sets). My fresh strings cost more than I made after renting the P.A. The 10 people who came, ate and drank were all there specifically at the band's behest. The owner and his wife sat at the back of the restaurant, ignored the music all night and, at the end of the evening, came up and asked us if "we had ever played together before". Insult piled upon injury (the money). We had a second night scheduled there (the two were booked at once) and I couldn't do it. I gave my money for the first gig back to the (now) duo saying I wouldn't touch it considered the circumstances under which it was given. They played the gig as a duo and we never played together again. We all remained friends. (Prayers were answered when the For Lease sign went up on the restaurant.)

I will fill you in after the gig. You deserve it.

Michael

I am going to start a new thread regarding who you play for specifically who the really tough stuff is for.


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Subject: RE: I've got a gig; please don't come!
From: Troll
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 12:21 AM

After looking at all the posts and re-reading mine, I realize that I sounded as if I dictate to my wife what she can and can't do.
Nothing could be further from the truth and if I tried to do it she would hand me my head.
She is a musician too and knows the problems that can arise at gigs. Since her group usually plays casuals, if I go at all, it is as a roadie.
My Irish group plays mostly bars and 11pm is a little late for her anyway but if she does come, she comes with friends and leaves when she wants to. I have a gig to deal with. I don't want to be distracted from the job. At my age it's hard enough to remember all the words to "Johnny McEldoo" as it is.

troll


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