Most Unusual Request

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by xjb0906, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. duanemassey

    duanemassey Piano User

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Houston
    I have played many odd gigs, but most would require a lot of effort to document here, so just this one:

    I played in a C/W band for a while, 4-piece, and the leader was a hustling son-of-a-gun. We 'd play 2-3 gigs in one day at times, and he had a small RV with a trailer. I wouldn't to ask where we were going, just show up and get on board. We had a weekday gig once, and after driving out in the middle of nowhere in east Texas for an hour or so we took off down a dirt road for another 30 mins and then stopped in the middle of a field that had one small utility shack and two "iron horses" (oil pumpers) running up and down. There was a picnic table set up, but not a soul there. I also realized that we had no drummer, and discovered that I was to play drum patches on my keyboard. Eventually 2 limos showed up with about 8 people and a few picnic baskets. We played 1 hour, packed up and went home. One of the guests came up and asked about the drummer, and did not believe that I was actually playing "drums" via the keyboard (no sequences or loops, actually playing time), so he said he'd tip the band $100 if we could play "Wipeout". And we did. And I did. And he did. We wound up making almost $400 each on that one.
     
  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    The Wide Brown Land
    I've been invited to play (with the band) in the Turbine Hall of Sydney's Powerhouse Museum - it's an enormous black hole of a venue - hugely high ceilings, great chunks of machinery, some old locomotives and other steam engines - such a space that it is quite difficult to hear the others in the section, let alone the rest of the band - apparently the sound resounds through the facility beautifully though.
     
  3. simoncroft

    simoncroft New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    SE England
    I can remember a friend of mine showing me the single meal ticket he had been issued with during an evening engagement where food had been part of the deal. The only reason he wasn't angry that his wife was excluded from this arrangement was the fact he first had to get angry because so was his entire five-piece band! The organiser eventually capitulated, but with such bad grace, it put a real downer on the evening. I was double ripped-off because I was mixing the sound as a favour, and ended up paying to eat.:-(
     
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Heart of Dixie
    Yep, I played with a big band for a "taste of the town" event with food from most of the top restaurants in the city, for a meal in lieu of pay. No wives allowed, which ticked me off a bit, but that happens. We had played the gig in previous years, though, and the food was great. Anyway, when it came time for us to eat, the organizer came over and told us we couldn't circulate the venue and pick items we wanted for our plate (which is what we did before)...instead, they would fix us a plate and bring it to the stage where we were playing. They brought me a bunch of $#!+ that I didn't want, so I basically played for nothing and had to pick up a burger for dinner on the way home. That was the last time I played that gig...
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dayton, Ohio
    The Statesman Big Band that I played lead with as a graduated student at Colorado State was hired to play a Pro Golf outing. Arnold Palmer was on of the featured pros, and his team partied rather heavily the evening before the start of the tournament. His agent was totally passed out in their camper. Arnold came up to the trumpet session during a rehearsal and agreed to pay us $50 each to go into the trailer, circle the agent, and play the opening theme to Manyard's version of "Theme from Rocky". We did just as we were commissioned by Mr. Palmer. The agent didn't budge. I pronounced him dead.
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dayton, Ohio
    I never play just for a meal, but many places I do play include a meal. Night clubs have been pretty cool about giving us a free meal and let us eat it among their patrons. One thing I always do however is tip the waitress that delivered that free meal.

    What I really love about eating at the Nighttown in Cleveland when we play there, is they will bring individuals to the bands' table to meet the band and talk about our jazz. One time we played there, a young man from an area high school was in attendance to write up a paper on the performance that evening. When he came to the table to introduce himself, we sat him down, went over the material he needed to include in the article and gave him an interview that addressed every single item. He walked away from that table with on of the biggest smiles I had ever seen imprinted on a face.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dayton, Ohio
    Now my experience with getting meals in playing in banquet halls for private parties is much different. They always have the band's table sequestered away either into the kitchen or some far off corner of the hall, as if we may infect the guests with the "jazz bug".
     
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Heart of Dixie
    I played a big band gig at a monastery one time - it was a benefit dinner/dance for a cancer support group, if I remember correctly. At a long break for a speaker and an awards presentation, we were ushered into a side room for our meal time. It was a long hall containing a big, long wooden table with about 20 wooden chairs down each side...the dining hall for the monks. A few of the monks seated us and waited on us, bringing the food in. At the end of the meal, one of the monks asked if any of us would like a dessert, and a few others and I said yes. He asked what we would like, and I said that I would sure like a slice of coconut crème pie. With a smile, he said, "Ask and you shall receive", and shortly returned with a slice of coconut crème pie...very cool!
     
  9. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    The request wasn't unusual (per thread topic), but the results certainly were.

    My band was to play in Vegas at the opening of a major builders' convention. It was trite as hell; a T-shaped stage/runway, Vegas dancers in Uncle Sam regalia (adorned above long legs), and we were to play Stars & Stripes at the conclusion. I hate cornball stuff like this. Anyway - behind the band at the top of the T, was an enormous American flag, held up by two construction cranes.

    We started S&S and the dancers marched up and down the runway with sparklers, and then these idiot sponsors shot off a fireworks display behind the band. But instead of doing it ~behind~ the bandstand and flag, they shot them off between the flag and the stage, directly behind the band. Scared the hell out of us. At that moment, a strong wind came up and made the flag bellow just like a ship's sail. The rockets went up and hit the "sail", causing them to arc up and over and right into the assembled crowd. Not funny if you were one of those injured, but on another level funny as hell. The rockets caused some injuries and the event ended with them being loaded into emergency vehicles.
     
  10. tjcombo

    tjcombo Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    My first brass band used to play a concert every year for the patients at what was then known as the Sunbury Mental Asylum. A bit freaky for a nine y.o. third cornet player - especially with the dozen or extra conductors lined up across the front of the stage.
     

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