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Thread June 28, 2014 editorial: comments

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Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
First post
1 Posted on 06/28/2014 at 10:00:00

Gig Horror Stories

Although we use a lot of our editorial space covering recording and production, Audiofanzine is also dedicated to issues facing performing musicians. And as all of you who play live know, not all gigs are played under the best of conditions, especially when they're at a club.

Back when I was gigging full time, I remember my bandmates and I joking that club owners were only a couple of steps above the amoeba on the evolutionary scale. Now if there are any club owners reading this, I don’t mean you, of course. I’m sure you’re very nice, and are always considerate to the musicians who play at your club, and you pay them fairly. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of some of your peers.

Case in point: I recall one snowy weeknight, when my band was booked at a club about an hour away. I assumed the show would be canceled, because who would go out to hear music in a snowstorm? But when I called the club to check, I was shocked to be told, “The club is open, the gig is on.” So I risked life and limb driving through a snowstorm to get there, and after we’d played about a half of a set to an empty room — big surprise — the club owner told us to stop playing because he decided to close early due to the snow. Then he refused to pay us the agreed amount. “I didn’t make any money,” he said. “How can I pay you?” Grrrr.

I also remember a venue where the owner had two vicious looking German Shepherd guard dogs that he would let loose in the club after it closed, but while the band was still packing up its gear. The dogs would walk around snarling at us, and transformed the process of tearing down and packing up from merely tedious to downright frightening.

I could go on and on, but I don’t want to be the only one telling stories. Let's hear yours! Post them to the On stage/Backstage thread in our Forums.

Have a great week.

Mike Levine

U.S. Editor, Audiofanzine

       

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